30 April 2021

REVIEW: Aftershokz Aeropex Bone Conduction Headphones

Boning up 

Almost three years ago we were wowed by an impressively light and rugged pair of headphones. The Aftershokz Trekz Air weren't our first pair of bone conduction headphones, but they were the first to pair comfort with real-world usefulness. After using them for all this time, we were VERY happy to get another pair of open-ear 'phones from Aftershokz, the new Aeropex.

At first glance the Aeropex look almost identical to the Trekz Air. A thin and flexible frame wraps around the back of the head, then sits over each ear with pads that rest on the top of your jaw. They slip effortlessly on, and despite not being able to adjust their size, they fitted perfectly around all the adult heads we tried them on. However, as soon as they were on, we did notice a difference.

The Aftershokz Aeropex are slightly smaller than the Trekz Air, also lighter and more flexible. This meant they were exceptionally comfortable to wear, ever over prolonged sessions. We truly did forget we were wearing them on several occasions.

As they are open-ear, meaning nothing is covering your ears, blocking ambient sound, there is no pressure on the side of your head. Even the most comfortable of on-ear headphones require a degree of inward-forced pressure, to help block out other sounds. Nothing like that with the Aeropex, as all sound is welcomed in. Which means they are safer for exercise.

Their IP67 waterproof rating, and eight-hour battery life, means they are perfect for street runners. If you run with conventional headphones on (and we're especially talking to those of you who run with noise-cancelling headphones) you're an idiot. Well, not completely, but you are adding risk to your run by making it harder to hear surrounding sounds like cars and other people. Bone conduction headphones eliminate that issue.

That said, the quality of the sound is never going to compete with the likes of the noise-cancellation headphones, and we would never recommend the Aftershokz Aeropex to hardcore audiophiles. But, not all runners and sports people listen to music while working out, and here's where they come into their own. If you listen to podcasts or audiobooks, you'll love these.

Voice reproduction of the Aftershokz Aeropex is remarkably better than the highs and lows of most musical genres. Its just the way that bone conduction of sound operates, and any deep bass can actually cause your jaw to vibrate uncomfortably. We had a similar issue with the Trekz Air, so were prepared for what to expect. What we didn't expect was that Aftershokz had upped the quality to a level where everything was improved, with reduced vibration at higher volumes.

Another noticeable difference, and one we were less pleased about, was how the Aeropex charge. Gone has the MicroUSB charging port, replaced by a proprietary magnetic connector. This means you need a specific wire to charge them, and although you get two of them in the box, we would have preferred a universal USB-C port for convenience's sake. 

With so much tech, we're forever misplacing wires and cables, so having to carry another specific type around with us, is a bit of a pain in the arse. Yes, the battery life is very good on a single charge, it's just we would have preferred charging them to never be an issue.

However, that charging issue is not enough to put us off, and the Aftershokz Aeropex have impressed us. Better audio quality and a lighter, more comfortable frame, makes them a must-buy for safer fitness.


Visit aftershokz.co.uk

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