AfterShokz Trekz Air-Best Headphones For Running Outdoors

The AfterShokz Trekz Air is a unique headphone for outdoor sports like running, cycling and for people who want to hear everything around them. They are not your typical headphones that send music to your ears, but they use the bone conduction to send vibrations to the cheekbones, so you feel the bass instead of hearing it. That’s why they do not measure as well as they sound. These are very niche headphones for athletes who want to monitor their surroundings, but still have background music while they are physically active. They are mediocre for any other use.

Design

The Trekz Air are sport-oriented headphones that have ear hooks with a band at the back of the head that is different from a neck band like the Bose QuietControl 30. Their design is similar to Plantronics BackBeat Fit. but with a stiffer band. However, they do not sit in your ears like the BackBeat Fit as they use bone conduction. They are comfortable and sturdy enough for most sports and will not make you sweat anymore as they will not cover your ears. Their build quality is good and they are covered with a rubberized coating. Its control scheme is easy to use even with the small buttons, but it would have been nice if everyone were on the same page.

Sound

The Aftershokz Trekz Air is a bad-sounding headphone with bone conductivity. The bass is almost completely tactile with an average punch that is felt through the cheekbones. However, Subbass and Rumble are missing. They also have an uneven and overpowering middle class, making vocals and lead instruments mushy and cluttered. Their highs are also uneven and quite bright. Overall, their sound is not heavy in the bass and more in the middle range. Their soundstage is open, but they do not look very big, of course, or spiteful. This makes them suitable for listening to podcasts, audiobooks or music that is not very bass-heavy. However, they are not ideal for fans of extended and strong bass or for vocal music.

Note: We measured the bass of these headphones with normal microphones, as we currently have no method for measuring the tactile bass generated by bone conduction headphones. The overall sound of these headphones may be better than shown here, but it’s still not ideal for listening to music. Using them with the included earplugs will attenuate treble and boost bass.

Isolation

The AfterShokz Trekz Air does not isolate the sound from the design, because nothing covers the ears. The buds rest on the cheekbones, leaving the ears wide open. They lick a lot and are definitely not a good choice for daily commuting or office work. They are designed as sports headphones to monitor your environment while being physically active. They are however supplied with foam pegs. So if you want to suppress more ambient noise and use the Trekz Air as a more normal headphone, you can. The sound quality is slightly affected when using the earplugs. It feels like the bass is louder, but the trebles are more subdued.

Microphone

The AfterShokz Trekz Air have a mediocre microphone. In quiet environments, the recorded or transmitted voice sounds thin, muffled and incomplete. In noisy situations, they can separate the language from background noise in moderately loud environments, such as a busy street, but will be difficult in louder places.

Active Features

The AfterShokz Trekz Air have a decent battery life, but have no app support. They provide about 7 hours of playback at moderate volumes, which can be short for some more intense users, but is well suited for people who only train a few hours a day. They also have a standby mode to extend the life of the battery. However, you do not have a compatible app to change the sound profile to your liking. There are still some EQ presets that you can customize with the control scheme for a little customization, but that’s it. There is also no way to know which EQ preset you hear, unless you hear the difference in sound.

Connectivity

The AfterShokz Trekz Air are wireless Bluetooth headphones that have no wired connection when the battery is empty. You also can not use it with console controllers. They can be connected to two devices at the same time. This is useful if you want to switch between your PC and your phone. On the other hand, they have an amazing wireless range, the longest range we’ve ever measured, but like most Bluetooth headphones, they have too much latency for video content and games.

Conclusion

Mixed Usage

Bad for mixed use. Developed as a sports headphone, the AfterShokz Trekz Air are a poor choice for office work and commuting due to their unique technology and openness to bone transmission. Your sound profile is actually better than what it measures, but they are not meant to be critical headphones. They also have too much latency for TV and gaming.

Critical Listening

Bad for critical listening. Without the sound going into the ear canal and no bone conduction being used, you will not hear the bass, you will feel it. Our measurements are not accurate at the moment because they were our first bone conduction pair and were not measured as typical headphones. They sound better than what the notes reflect, but overall, their sound quality is not good enough to be considered a critically listening headphone.

Commute/Travel

Not enough for commuting and traveling. They usually do not isolate noise so you can hear everything from engine noise to ambient noise in public transport. They are also open and lick a lot, which is annoying for the people around you because they can hear what you hear.

Sports/Fitness

Decent for the sport. The AfterShokz Trekz Air are very breathable, because they do not cover your ears and are stable for most activities due to their design. They are very light and decently wearable. If you’re a runner or a cyclist worried about cars on the streets, the bone-guiding design is a good choice for you because you do not isolate sounds, but have background music during your workout.

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