Bone-guided headphones: long-term testing and AfterShokz review

After four months of testing, we love this podcast — not the music.

Read more Headphones Without Headphones: We tested the Lucyd Lyte Bluetooth sunglasses In March of 2021, we tested the Lucyd Lyte Bluetooth sunglasses - in short, a pair of shades with in-ear headphones. Lucyd Lyte didn't cut it all out - mostly because its tiny built-in speakers can be heard by nearly everyone around you. Today, we are going to take a look at two models of bone-guided headphones in the comments section - AfterShokz Titanium and AfterShokz Air.

We bought both Titanium and Air in early March and have been using them regularly for months. Orthopedic headphones certainly aren't for everyone — but they're great for people who enjoy a special blend of comfort, environmental awareness, and better hygiene.

Ears open and comfortable

The first question you should answer when reviewing products like Titanium and the Air is "Why?" At $80, the older Titanium model is a lot more expensive than the $40 Skullcandy wireless earrings—and it only gets worse if you order the latest $120 from AfterShokz Air now.

The great advantage of titanium and air is that it does not touch your ears. They wear what looks like sunglasses on the back, a ring over each ear, and a small ribbon at the back. If you have ear sweats near the station with headphones and/or regular headphones, this is a great convenience and hygiene. AfterShokz Bone Guidance's design is also a significant performance improvement for anyone who needs to keep up. Pay attention to the world around you. With unobstructed ears, it's a lot easier to talk to others and see important traffic lights when jogging, biking, and more.

On the other hand, ambient noise can distract from your content. It's less than you think - something about the bone ransom "consciously" focuses on the sound. And we know that the difference between audio and ambient content is so easy to focus a little bit on the second and ignore the first.

If you want to block out the outside world, both AfterShokz models ship with foam earplugs - but this reduces or eliminates the added value of the open ear design. Just to reduce the occasional loud intrusion—a truck with a solo driver, a barking dog, or an unusually noisy conversation nearby—we found that pressing a finger on the ear was close enough to bother. Average audio Unfortunately, none of the AfterShokz models hold a candle to their ears or regular headphones due to the music. The AfterShokz headphones are loud enough to change well, the sound is crystal clear - but the bass response is very limited, and the overall impression that the full-range music on AfterShokz's performances is smooth and decidedly unimpressive. Fortunately, the headphones' audio specs are well suited to reproducing natural human speech - so podcasts, phone calls, audiobooks, and voice navigation sound great on both models. Distinguishing between content and ambient noise is easier than you might expect because the bone transmission allows the sound to be focused inside your head.

The microphone quality is excellent on both models. In our tests, there was virtually no ambient noise—much less than the Pixel 2XL's built-in microphone.

Solid battery life The battery in AfterShokz Titanium has been reduced to 60% after just over four hours of listening to podcasts on Saturdays and Sundays. The battery in the AfterShokz Titanium dropped by just 60% over four hours of listening. . Jim Salter

AfterShokz lists "six hours of continuous music + one charge" for the Air and Titanium models combined. In our tests, we easily exceeded this amount, while listening to podcasts during long car trips, the charging rate drops by about 10% per hour. Standby time is good too - AfterShokz claims up to 20 days of standby time, which again seems a bit conservative. A week after putting the titanium headset on the charger, we were still clocking in at 90% charge. It takes just under two hours to fully charge the fully charged headset. Just like the sound, that's nowhere near "best quality" or even "best value" — the same $40 Skullcandy wireless headphones we mentioned earlier offer 24 hours per charge. But AfterShokz templates are easily suitable for most uses.


Air and Titanium have the same controls - a large "multifunction button" next to the left earring, and the on/off and volume up buttons below the right ear. The charging port is closed under a soft rubber cover behind the volume buttons.

Pause or resume playback, answer or end a call, answer the call and put the caller by pressing the multi-function button only in the current standby, pressing twice will lead to the next song, or 30 seconds before it jumps on Podcast or audiobook, long pressing for 2 seconds will reject calls. Voice dialing starts or answers and closes on the current caller.

Turn both models on or off by long pressing the on/off button and increasing the volume for two seconds. With long-term pressure, it enters into Bluetooth pairing mode for five seconds. Pressing the two volume up buttons simultaneously will mute the microphone if you can take a call, or change the drawing mode (between external modes and ear components) when listening to music.

Air vs. Titanium

We bought both Air and Titanium models for testing. In this shot, titanium is on the left and air is on the right. We see Jim Salter with a titanium box, a large case, a titanium headphone, and a pair of foam earplugs. The guide is printed in Kiev. The Air has the same gear available, in a slightly more attractive package. Jim Salter

The AfterShokz Bone Transport headphones come in two models: Titanium and Air. The Air is a newer, newer model - but it hasn't improved much, and some people (really yourself included) may prefer the older, cheaper titanium.


The Air and Titanium both delivered the same sound quality and battery life in our longer testing. The main difference between the models is that the Air is thinner and lighter, which is what some users prefer. Also, the whistling sound is noticeably louder when adjusting the volume on the newer Air model - so much so that we find it a bit painful.

Although air is lighter than titanium, we think it is less modifiable. When using the headphones for more than two or three hours continuously, some users sometimes want to change the pressure point of the headphone to reduce irritation. We've found a wide range of situations in which titanium can be used successfully, which in turn has made it a better choice for long-term comfort than the Air model. With less sapphire tuning, that makes titanium a better choice for us.

However, different users have different opinions - I initially bought Titanium and Air and my wife and daughter (who eventually bought herself) preferred the Air.


If you don't hate regular earphones or headphones, it's hard to make a file for Air or Titanium. Its cost is higher, it has a lower battery life and it does not offer a wide range of music for sound production. But they excel at voice work that focuses on the relatively normal range of human speech, and their battery life is good enough for everyday use.

Most importantly, it stays completely out of your reach - a nice feature that forces us to buy it on a trial basis. AfterShokz headphones don't leave you sore or sweaty ears after hours of continuous use. The comfort factor isn't perfect - we figure we want to get rid of it a bit after three hours or more - but we know that's a definite improvement. AfterShokz bone transmission technology does not interfere with normal hearing, and this electrode is the opposite of noise canceling headphones. With AfterShokz headphones, you'll hear every conversation, car trip, or childish mischief all around you. We don't consider cycling with headphones safe, but we find both models very suitable for combining cycling with the latest episode of our favorite podcast or audiobook published by the series.

We've also found the Air and Titanium to be great for homeschool craziness—my wife can listen to sweary questions and/or questions from the kids during podcasts, audiobooks, or phone calls, and my daughter can listen to them. I know far better for class interviews and multimedia use than the traditional headphones the three kids already have.

Hear the sound of everything in the world around you when playing audio Excellent human speech reproduction Excellent separation of speech and ambient noise in the built-in microphone Easy to pause and resume No matter what the content is with the big left lighting button No one can hear your AfterShokz - Even at high volume levels Adjust volume, pause, skip forward, mute, respond and disconnect using physical buttons without sweaty/foggy ears behind the watch, use The Bad Hear while audio plays everything in the world around you. At its best, Music Reproduction has a shorter battery life than most modern wireless headphones without the headphone's "reverse/go backward" button. Ugly is a little pricey ($80 for titanium, $120 for air)

Bone-guided headphones: long-term testing and AfterShokz review
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