Updated on 20 March 2023
This model offers 8 hours of battery life but includes a quick-charge cradle that allows 1.5 hours of battery life in just 10 minutes of charging. Its slim, ultra-lightweight design (only 26g) is comfortable to wear for several hours. It also offers a perfect fit, and its IP67 certification means it is water and dust resistant. It also has a built-in humidity sensor with an alarm system. During our test, we used it a lot while doing sports. As for the controls, it has three buttons (including one multifunction button on the earpiece) which are very responsive. In terms of audio, the sound is clear and powerful with good bass. Some sound leakage and vibrations are noticeable at maximum volume, but nothing that stands out from the rest. The two noise-cancelling microphones provide satisfactory call quality. In addition to the quick and easy pairing, it has a convenient multipoint connection but beware of obstacles (walls, doors, etc.) that may hinder the connection. It also comes with a pair of earplugs and a soft carrying case. What did we like least? The proprietary charging cable is difficult to replace.
Bone conduction headphones send vibrations through the jaw.
The weight of the earphones is crucial to comfort.
Bone conduction headphones are often of lower quality than conventional models.
The sound is audible to those around you.
Some models use a main cable for charging.
Pay attention to the resistance (IP certification) of the headphones before you buy them.
It has one of the best battery lives on the market (17 hours) and can be recharged via USB-C in just one and a half hours. The design is lightweight (27 g) and does not cause discomfort after several hours of use. In addition, the titanium headband ensures a good fit when on the move, and resists light rain and perspiration (IPX4), which means it can be used for sports. The three3 physical buttons are fairly easy to use. For the price, the sound quality is satisfactory, with no temple vibrations at maximum volume. In addition, there is a SoundPeats application that gives access to the manual equaliser and eight defined sound profiles. In addition, the gaming mode reduces latency with video content. However, when we put it to the test, we found the quality of calls to be a bit of an improvement despite the four built-in microphones. In general, it is audible, but the voice is rather muffled, even distorted in some situations. Among its other strengths, the multipoint connection is convenient, and we paired it easily with our smartphone and laptop. Despite all these positive aspects, it is clear that sacrifices have been made in hardware quality.
It has a good battery life (10 hours) and charges quickly, but its proprietary magnetic cable is complicated to replace. Its well-finished titanium frame is light (29 g) and smooth. Therefore, we found it comfortable to wear even after several hours of listening. In addition, it offers an excellent fit and is IP55 certified, making it suitable for sports and outdoor use. As for the controls, there is a multi-function button on the left ear cup and two buttons on the right arm which are easy to use and responsive. In this respect, Shokz delivers an excellent, bass-rich and detailed sound. The new Shokz app is not overly developed, but it is intuitive and allows you to further customise your listening experience with the standard or voice equaliser (the latter helps to reduce latency with video content). Thanks to its two noise-cancelling microphones, call quality was not very good during our test. Background noise is perfectly masked and the voice is audible in all circumstances. Furthermore, it has a stable multipoint connection and pairing is easy. Last but not least, the hard carrying case is very practical.
Available in two cut-offs, their lightweight structure (29 g) does not cause discomfort after long listening sessions and even ensures a good fit when on the move. IP55 certified these headphones are suitable for outdoor sports. The two buttons on the earpiece and the multi-function button on the left earcup are easily accessible. The audio is of the same quality as the Shokz, with a good balance despite the slightly lower bass. The two noise-cancelling microphones reproduce speech well during calls. In terms of connectivity, the connection is multipoint. Although pairing was fairly simple and fast during our test, we did experience some instability when faced with obstacles (walls, doors, etc.). In addition, its battery life is a little more limited (only 6 hours), but unlike the others, its USB-C cable is more convenient to replace. Finally, you receive a pair of earplugs with delivery (the magnetic tips make them easy to store, while the soft case makes them easy to carry).
With a battery life of 16 hours for phone calls and 8 hours for listening to music, it has good endurance and charges quickly. However, it is difficult to replace the proprietary magnetic cable. The IP55 rating means it’s resistant to sweat, rain and dust and stays securely on your head even when you’re on the move or driving. During our test, we found it comfortable to wear, even during prolonged use. It has a multi-function button on one earcup and two buttons on one of the earpieces, making it easy to control the headset with great responsiveness. The sound is good, but the special feature of this model is the presence of a noise-cancelling boom microphone. We found the call quality to be far superior to that of other headsets, as it perfectly suppresses ambient noise. However, the microphone cannot be removed. In terms of connectivity, it has multipoint connectivity, NFC for pairing with a smartphone and a USB adapter for linking to a laptop (the latter offers a much more stable connection). A practical hard carrying case is also included with the purchase.
|Our choice, Best mid-range||Best budget||Best high-end||Mid-range alternative||High-end alternative|
|Shokz OpenRun||SoundPEATS RunFree Lite||Shokz OpenRun Pro||Shokz OpenMove||AfterShokz OpenComm|
|This is the brand's flagship model and probably the one offering the best value for money. Its small but sturdy design, good resistance, and sound quality are its main assets.||It offers unexpected performance for its price, not only because of its lightweight design and connectivity but also because of its diverse options and exceptional durability.||Ideal for outdoor sports, these next-generation headphones incorporate advanced technology to combine rich, dynamic sound with a comfortable, durable design. They're expensive, OK, but they're the best.||Much cheaper than other models from the brand, it makes some sacrifices in strength and sound, but it is still a safe bet in the market.||If you often make calls while working remotely or on the road, this is probably the best choice. It's the only bone-conduction model with a high-quality boom microphone.|
Why trust us ?
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How did we do the tests?
We used each headset in several environments or situations (sports, work, transport, outdoors, etc.). This allowed us to evaluate their durability, comfort, fit, connection stability, responsiveness and comfort of controls, as well as battery life (and charging mode). If available, we also took a look at its app.
On the audio side, we evaluated possible sound leakage and vibrations, as well as sound quality. For this, we used a varied list of tracks (whether bass, treble or vocal). As far as call quality is concerned, we alternated between quiet and noisy locations. Finally, we played video content to examine latency.
How to choose your bone conduction headphones?
This type of headset sends vibrations through the jaw. An operation that requires quite a lot of energy. If you increase the volume of such a device, the effect will only really be felt if you press it against your temples.
So let’s be clear: the sound quality of a bone conduction headset is much lower than that of a classic Bluetooth headset. However, this type of headset has several advantages, starting with the ability to hear ambient noise. A very useful feature when playing sports on the street.
In addition, bone conduction headphones allow people with hearing problems to listen to music or use them while wearing hearing aids in their ears.
As a result of our research, the Aftershokz brand has become the only reliable reference. Depending on what you are looking for, you will find several alternatives here. But first of all, certain criteria must be taken into account:
- Ergonomics: weight is an essential element of listening comfort. Although the models in our comparison differ, they are all very light. Therefore, attention should be paid to the shape and arrangement of the buttons.
- Sound quality: Bone conduction headsets offer a lower quality than classic headsets. Their main shortcoming is the lack of bass, although the equalisers struggle to compensate for this. However, they are very good at reproducing speech.
- Sound leakage: A disadvantage of wearing a bone conduction helmet is that the sound is audible to those around you. Be sure to wear them during sport, or in a quiet place.
- Battery: this is an important criterion if you want to use your headphones for long sessions. Some models take longer to recharge than others, and sometimes two cables are included in the purchase, which makes it convenient to leave one at home and take the other with you.
- Endurance: The sport you play can influence your choice of bone-conduction headphones. Some can withstand dust and moisture, but others can also withstand water. See which IP certification is listed on your model.
Other models we recommend
Tayogo S2 (£42.22 upon publication): some sound sacrifices have been made to reduce the price. It’s the ideal model if you don’t want to spend too much. These lightweight, durable headphones feature a flexible, open design that allows you to hear ambient sound. It is sweat-resistant, so it can be used during sports. The titanium headband provides excellent fit and support for all heads, even those wearing glasses. The controls are easy to operate and it features Bluetooth 5.0 multipoint connectivity to connect to two devices simultaneously. On the other hand, the battery life is shorter (only 6 hours) and the sound quality will not be to the liking of the most demanding people. In addition, the lack of a noise cancellation function affects call quality (especially in noisy environments).
Creative Outlier Free Pro (£169.99 upon publication): improvable and a bit expensive. This model has a good battery life (10 hours) and a fast charging system. The IPX8-certified headphones are fully waterproof, and we found them stable and comfortable on the head, thanks to their soft surface. The control buttons are a bit small but quite responsive and you get used to them quickly thanks to the instruction manual (provided you understand English). The sound quality seems good and vibrations are only felt at maximum volume. Furthermore, it has a multipoint connection, and you can easily transfer audio files from a PC. However, the charging cable with a magnetic clip is very difficult to replace. Finally, we noticed a high latency with video content, but the low-latency mode, fortunately, alleviates this somewhat. Also, the call quality does not reach the level of the Shokz headset.
Other models we have tested
Philips TAA6606 (£89.97 upon publication): despite its good autonomy (between 8 and 9 hours) and its luminous design visible in the dark, it is a rather uncomfortable model to wear, as we feel some discomfort due to the friction behind the ear.
Creative Outlier Free (£129.99 upon publication): is a very durable and comfortable model. However, its latency with video content and its call quality can be improved. Compared to the Pro version, it is not waterproof and has no flash memory. Therefore, in our opinion, the price is too high.
Translated by Selectos