Going out on a ride, if you are riding solo, sometimes you like to rock out, listening to your favorite tunes, but that generally means headphones, and by law, you need to have at least one ear exposed. Now, whether or not people out riding, listening to music, has both ears covered, or only one, who knows.
Now there’s a new product, made by Aftershokz that features headphones that don’t cover the ears. That’s right, you can listen to your music, and still hear background noise all around you.
The technology is called bone conduction, and it vibrates against the front of the ear. This is pretty cool, not just because of the safety aspect of it, but you don’t have that annoying ear bud stuck in your ear.
The actual surface of the part that goes in front of the ear is flat. When you put it on, it feels comfortable. It’s pretty freaky to listen to your music, and talking to someone, at the same time, and be totally coherent.
There are a number of different versions of the headset … There is just the standard headset, one with a mic (so you can use it to send and receive phone calls), and a Bluetooth version. I found trying to get the Bluetooth version is hard to find, so I just got the wired version with a mic.
If you do use it for calls, you do need to make sure the controls are pinned to the top of your shirt, so that your voice can reach the mic.
Sound quality? Well, that is not the main focus of this product, and it does lack some bass, so there’s something you have to give up.
Sweat? Some people were concerned about sweat and overall dampness on the membrane, but so far, I haven’t run into any issues.
Overall, I highly recommend this to any commuters (unless you don’t care about music or a podcast). You do hear all the noise around you, and you do have experiment with the volume to get it just right. To me, it’s a win win situation. Listen to tunes, be aware of surroundings, and just enjoy it. I just wish this was more available in LBS or REI, or something like that.