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But when it comes to choosing which headphones to buy, the sheer range of options on offer can leave you scratching your head. One of the major decisions to make is whether to go for in-ear buds, over-ear headphones or open-ear, bone-conduction headphones such as the ones from AfterShokz.
As you are here, we are assuming you are wanting to find out more about bone conduction headphones, that have the open-ear feature and require some advice in deciding which AfterShokz headphones are best suited for your lifestyle and listening needs.
Two of the newest and most popular AfterShokz models with runners, cyclists, fitness fans, and swimmers are the Aeropex and the Xtrainerz. Below, we break down the benefits of each one and help you work out which bone conduction headphones are best for you.
If you are a runner or cyclist looking for wireless Bluetooth headphones that let you hear the world around you as you pound the pavements or cycle the trails, the Aeropex is for you.
Crucially, the headphones don’t fit in the ear canal. Instead, you hear your music by the truly genius method of bone conduction.
This way of hearing, as also used by certain animals, means sound vibrations are carried through your bones to your inner ear instead of via the eardrum.
With your ear canal unhindered by tight-fitting earbuds, you can also hear ambient sounds around you as you exercise, including cars passing close by and other warning sounds that would be muffled by in-ear earphones.
This makes for a safer and more social way of exercising, as you can even chat with your running partner while listening to your running power playlist.
Like the Xtrainerz, they are extremely lightweight thanks to the titanium frame, and hook over the ears and rest on your upper cheekbone for a fit that is comfortable but crucially does not bounce annoyingly when you run.
When tested, the Aeropex gained glowing reviews. T3 said: “The Aeropex’s sound quality is amazing, it weighs only 26g, is IP67 water-rated and has a battery life of up to eight hours. Perfect for runners, cyclists, and even for work when you can’t isolate yourself from your surroundings but still want to listen to some sweet tunes.”
As runners and cyclists often like to color coordinate, the Aeropex is available in cosmic black, lunar grey, blue eclipse and solar red to match your favorite workout gear.
Short answer: No. More. Boring. Lengths.
For swimmers, Xtrainerz can transform a tedious hour in the pool into an inspirational, music-filled training session. This is because they have the top waterproof standard of IP68, meaning they can be fully immersed up to two meters in saltwater or freshwater while providing two hours of listening time.
This makes them ideal for your pool training sessions, open-water lake swims or sea swims through the rolling waves. They are even a great option if you’re jumping on your surfboard or going windsurfing.
Rather than using Bluetooth, the Xtrainerz are wireless MP3 headphones, so your phone is not required, making them ideal for swimming. Simply download your favorite tracks onto the Xtrainerz (they come with 4GB of storage, meaning they can hold up to 1,200 songs) and you’re ready to dive in.
The hold 8 hours of charge, which is enough for most long swims (unless you are Ross Edgley). And also, like the Aeropex, they are open-ear bone-conduction headphones, meaning your ear canal can hear the world around you. They are fully compatible with swim hats, goggles and earplugs, making for the perfect swim get-up.
The Telegraph said this of the Xtrainerz: “Swimmers and triathletes alike regularly sing their praises, saying they are so comfortable, it is sometimes easy to forget you’re wearing them. They’re not cheap, but are the most complete, high-tech waterproof headphones on the market.”
For fitting tips, check out our blog on how to wear your Xtrainerz.
One of the big differences between the Aeropex and Xtrainerz is that Xtrainerz is rated IP68 instead of IP67. This means they are ideal for wearing during pool lengths or a morning in the lake powered by your favorite playlist or podcast.
On the other hand, the IP67 rating means Aeropex is totally sweat, rain and showerproof, and can be safely submerged in water up to one meter deep for 30 minutes, which means you can take shower with it.
The other main difference is that the Xtrainerz stores your audio content as MP3 files rather than using a Bluetooth connection to play audio from your device. For those who want versatile headphones that don’t require them to carry their phone, Xtrainerz is the answer.
Another advantage of MP3 storage over Bluetooth is that Bluetooth technology cannot pass a signal through water, so playing audio content like podcasts and audiobooks from an MP3 source is the way to go while swimming.
Finally, the Aeropex charge via the provided magnetic charging cable for safety easy use. You can use your own charging base, but we do not recommend ‘fast chargers’ such as Android or tablet chargers, as those can exceed the 1 amp or 5 volts maximum.
If you want Bluetooth headphones for daily use when taking part in things like urban sports or commuting, pick the Aeropex.
If you are a swimmer or sports enthusiast who prefers NOT to carry your smartphone while training, pick the Xtrainerz.
Be sure to allow ample time to air-dry your Aeropex prior to charging if they’ve collected moisture from rain or sweat. If you connect the headphones to the charger while moisture covers the headphones, the moisture detector will sound. If you ignore that and charge them anyway, there’s potential for the headphones to get damaged. In this case, the headphones will discharge to prevent damage. If you find the charger does not work, wait for a while and try again before contacting customer support.
We hope this post helps you figure out which AfterShokz model fits your lifestyle best.