Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air Headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
When I go out for a run, I like to just worry about my physical being – is my body up for the task at hand? did I drink enough water? get enough sleep? the list goes on. The last thing I want to worry about is whether my equipment is up for the challenge, that’s why I like to stick with quality and trusted brands.
Below is a fairly comprehensive review of the Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones, so buckle up and prepare for a dive deep on this review. I’m taking everything out of the box and sharing my thoughts on these Trekz Air headphones.
My Headphone Experience before the Trekz Airs
I’ve reviewed other headphones in the past, and for the most part, I’ve been relatively satisfied. I’ve gone through my share of wired headphones, all of which functioned, but didn’t hold up to sweat and daily use.
I made my first real purchase and bought a nice pair of semi-pricey wireless earbuds [reviewed here] and put them through a gambit of functional tests. For the most part, I have been relatively satisfied with my purchase, however, they have two flaws: one major, one minor.
The major setback is the need to constantly have the phone on the right side of your body at all times. Small disclaimer: I read countless reviews online of people complaining about the sound dropping but figured the pros of the wireless earbuds outweighed the cons. When I first purchased these the sound rarely dropped and I didn’t experience any issues within the first 5-6 months of ownership. I think a lot of this had to do with the fact that I would always have my phone in my right-hand instinctively, being that I’m right-handed. However, once I started increasing my miles and feeling the need to switch hands or carry my phone elsewhere I noticed the sound dropping in and out. The moment you place your phone in your pack, or switch hands, the sound immediately starts to drop from the left earbud and then cuts in an out on both earbuds. Running the 2019 Hot Chocolate 15K I was forced to carry my phone in my right hand for the duration of the race due to losing any sound the moment I put my phone in my fanny pack.
The minor setback is the noise canceling quality of the earbuds… don’t get me wrong, they completely cancel out the surrounding noise. This is great for when you need to zone out, for instance at the gym on a treadmill, but makes it horrible for running with friends, or even trying to hear your surroundings while running on a semi-busy road. I’ve been startled more than I like to admit by passing cars, and the random horse and buggy.
AfterShokz Trekz Air
I’ve seen glowing reviews for the Aftershokz bone-conducting headsets for a long while. BibRave and Aftershokz have teamed up in the past, and after talking to a lot of BibRave Pros I was starting to feel an itch. Just as I was about to cave in and purchase a pair, the opportunity came up to review them through the BibRave Pro Program. I immediately signed up.
The Trekz Air headsets arrived and in an insane fury, I dove right in. The packaging for the headset felt heavy, so I was concerned about how these would feel on my head. After opening the box, I realized the heft was from the added carrying case, charging USB cable, and… earplugs?? (more on this later). I put them straight to use. Once I had them out of the box and on my head, they paired up with my iPhone with no trouble at all. I was ready to go, and it was just that easy.
The Science behind the Design
I’ll admit I was skeptical at first thinking there was no way I could ever get used to how the Aftershokz technology works, or how well it would work for that matter. After reading the specs on their website, I was pretty intrigued by the science behind the design [more here]. Being the bearded individual I am, I had some concerns about how well the bone-conducting pads would work, but as soon as I hit play on my Apple Music and Mastodon came blazing through clear as day, I knew I was golden.
The open design allows you to enjoy your music, but still be aware of your surroundings, making them ideal for all running occasions. During the Hot Chocolate 15K, I wore my noise-canceling earbuds and had to keep popping them out to talk to my friends and to hear the race director as our corrals were called up, which was really annoying. The Trekz Air headset allows you to hear everything that is going on around you without having to adjust your setup, etc. And, since they are paired to your phone you can easily adjust the volume from your device, or manually via the volume buttons located on the headset.
The Trekz Air headsets boast a 6 hour run time, TALK + MUSIC, so you can get away with wearing these almost all day with very little downtime. Charging is quick and easy with the provided USB cable, and I typically just use my computer to get back up and running.
The Trekz Air headset is surprisingly lightweight and fits comfortably around the ears. I’ve been wearing my pair since April on just about every run, every chance I get. I’ve had them in the rain, in the sweat, and in the sun – these headsets are durable and extremely comfortable. I’ve even made phone calls during races to let my family know my progress, as well as when it was time to come pick me up after long training runs!
I’ve taken this a step further and I’ve been wearing them around the office, which has become a game changer! I can listen to music, hold conversations with colleagues, and take phone calls all through the Trekz Air headset!
OKay, so the bone-conduction is a little weird at first and I’ll admit the first few times you use the headset it’s going to tickle your temples. I found this adjustment period similar to when you put on a new hat for the first time, or glasses… after the initial “this is weird” feeling, you’ll go on to enjoy your music in ways you didn’t think was possible.
I’m amazed at the richness in the sound produced by the headset, the lows and highs are fairly clean, better than you’d expect for a headset that doesn’t go into your ear! Oh and those earplugs? If you are looking to cancel out the noise around you, you can pop in the included earplugs for the noise canceling capabilities! With the earplugs in, the music takes on a much deeper richness in sound.
So, where do I stand on these Trekz Air headphones? I’ve gushed over the PROs of these bad boys, so it’s only fitting that I highlight what I’d like to call the area of improvements for the headsets.
First, it takes a little bit of a learning curve on how to access some of the features of the headset [determining battery level, adjusting sound quality/equalizer] I think a way to improve the experience would be if the headphones came with an App where you could see battery life, adjustments, etc. It’s not imperative, but something that could be beneficial to the visual types like me.
Second, one feature that I like from my other headsets are an auto-off or auto power-down feature to help conserve battery. I’m sure the draw is minimal during inactivity, but often times I forget I’m wearing my Trekz Air headphones, so you can imagine how surprised I am when a phone call comes in or when they start playing music. Again, not imperative, but a feature that I liked from my other headsets.
None of these are deal breakers for me, for the fit, function, and performance I genuinely feel like these are a superior headset. So it should come as no surprise that I’m rating them 5-stars.
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