Welcome to Trekz Titanium, is what I hear now at the start of every run I make, thanks to the AfterShokz bone conducting, wireless headphone I purchased last year. It may seem that a year is quite a long time to wait before writing a review, and it is, however time and other commitments have got in the way lately.
Simply put, there are now three things I must have for an enjoyable and productive run: my shoes; my Garmin; and my AfterShokz. To me a run without music is hard going, the time feels like an eternity and there’s only so long my inner monologue can entertain itself before turning to self-depreciating thoughts (why are we doing this, you can’t make it that far, let’s go home and get pizza). I used to run with ordinary wireless headphones, the type that you shove deep into your
wax holes ear canals and loop around the back of the head or over the ear. But these isolate me too much from my surroundings, I can’t hear cars, people or zombies coming which is not a safe place to be.
So I did some research and found the magic technology of bone conduction, read up on it a bit (I am a migraine sufferer so didn’t want to buy something that will trigger one of those when several miles from home) and decided to buy some AfterShokz. I went with the Trekz Titanium model as they were available at the time and in my price range, which has come down quite a lot recently BTW. I got them in red like the picture above as I think the combination of black/red looks good. I did consider the mini ones, I have a smallish head but went with standard size in the end.
I had no problem pairing them with my phone, in fact phones, as I discovered that I could pair them with my own phone for music, but also have them simultaneously paired to my work phone (both iPhones) for calls.
My first run with the AfterShokz was amazing, right from the start they were comfortable, not too much pressure, didn’t slip around on my temples, just sat where I put them. Even after I had run for a while they did not slip around and stayed in contact the whole way around. The music quality is great, not as good as top of the range headphones, which a lot of people do complain about, but for me its not all about music quality, it’s about being able to run, listen to some tunes to pass the time but most importantly be aware of my surroundings.
The quality of the music is still great, we’re not back to cassette tape here, I still get enough clarity on the instruments and vocals, there’s just a lack of bass but like I said, I am no audiophile, I just like to have something to listen to. Initially it was an odd experience, listening via bone conduction, the first 30 seconds it felt like someone gently tickling my temples, but not in an unpleasant way!
The biggest different to my AfterShokz experience came last summer when I got the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. This watch allows me to store music on it and stream from that, wirelessly to bluetooth headphones. AfterShokz are one of the brands that Garmin recommends and I can see why, near instant pairing, great quality of music and rock solid connection. I even get alerts from the watch over the headphones (you’re going too slow, you’re going too fast, are we nearly there yet). With the added bonus that if I take my phone out the multi-pairing will allow me to receive calls too.
I mentioned earlier about my dilemma of whether to get the mini ones or the standard fit, now grip wise the standard are fine, they never move around and I never lose the tunes unless I pull them away from my head. However I do find that the loop around the back of my head can be a little long, it projects out and bounces on the back of my neck occasionally, or more so if I’m wearing a hydration backpack. It’s not a big deal and I can live with it, however it would have helped to try both on before I purchased.
If like me, you want to be able to go out as naked as possible (tech wise, calm down) then a watch with music on it is a must, to go along with it I cannot recommend AfterShokz enough for the quality of connection and sound. Not to mention the safety of knowing that not only can I hear cars coming behind me, apart from pesky electric ones, I also know that I am not blasting my ear drums to pieces. They’re also approved by England Athletics for a number of races, as you can hear the marshals, I of course forgot mine on the first race I could have used them on.
And no, they have never been the cause of any migraine I have had.
Note that this is an honest users review of AfterShokz Trekz Titanium, I am in no way affiliated with them or sponsored by them, I just think they’re a really cool piece of technology.