Review: AfterShokz OpenMove Headphones

Review Summary: The AfterShokz OpenMove Bone Conduction headphones are designed for all-day wear while leaving your ears open to allow you to stay aware of your surroundings. This latest generation is designed to have an entry-level price while still having great sound quality and being incredibly lightweight. This newest version of Aftershokz is half the price of most other older models, but you really don’t lose many attributes of the more expensive models.

AfterShokz OpenMove Description Overview

The AfterShokz OpenMove is the least expensive set of headphones made by AfterShokz. At $79, they are a great set to start with to see if bone conduction headphones will work for you. They consist of two earpieces that fit over the temporal bones in front of the ear. These earpieces are connected by a headband that fits over the top of the ears and lay behind the head. This leaves your ear canals free to continue to hear surrounding ambient noise, which is an AMAZING safety feature. Runners can hear oncoming cars, as well as hear other approaching runners and cyclists.

One big concern is how they fit in place. The headband is nonadjustable but sits lightly along the back of the neck. The springy headband also keeps the earpieces snuggly fitting onto your temples. I originally thought that the headband would jiggle up and down during vigorous runs, especially since I am on the smaller size. However, that headband stays fairly locked in place. For folks of heads of even tinier size, some sizing options are available. While the OpenMove does not come in multiple sizes, AfterShokz offers several other lines of headphones in “mini” sizes.

AfterShokz OpenMove Bone Conduction Headphones in white

All Day Wear

When I received my AfterShokz OpenMove headphones, I first wanted to compare the sound quality to my two year old pair of AfterShokz Air. Switching between the two pairs, the newer OpenMove fit more snuggly. The pads fit snuggling along the temples and are designed for all day wear.

AfterShokz OpenMove headphone fit comfortably for all day wear

I’ve tested this out extensively, as I wear Aftershokz all day at work. I can listen to my audiobooks but can be easily interrupted when needed. Aftershokz bone conduction also allows more capacity to be aware of my surroundings. Since I often work isolated, people sneaking up on me tends to SCARE THE EVERLIVING CRAP OUT OF ME. Hearing folks entering the room to ask me a question makes for a much more relaxing and easy day.

While the Aftershokz OpenMove are designed for all-day use, I found that at about six hours of wear, they tend to pinch my temples a bit. Of course, this is not helped by the facemask and other items, such as safety glasses, that are also being attached near the same area of my face. This might be the one sacrifice for the more cost-effective price. I haven’t noticed this pinch in the more expensive sets, such as the Aftershokz Air or Aeropex.

However, for an inexpensive set of bone conduction headphones for running? The OpenMove are great. They’re secure and most folks will rarely be wearing these for longer than two hours.

Bone Conduction Sound Quality

When humans normally interpret sound, vibrations travel through the open ear canal and our inner ear and brain translate those vibrations into sounds. Bone conduction operates in a similar fashion. Vibrations travel through the bone surrounding the inner ear instead of the open air, therefore bypassing the open ear canal. (Aftershokz has a great blog post on this, complete with diagrams if you’re interested in the biology behind this technology).

So, how is the sound quality with bone conduction vs traditional headphones? Honestly, I don’t notice the difference, so pretty damn good. I’ve read from true audiophiles that the bass of heavier music doesn’t transfer as well. However, this isn’t something that I’ve personally noticed. The sound is crisp and clear while still giving you the ability to hear sounds around you. One drawback I’ve found is on particularly windy runs, wind can somewhat dampen the sound because of the air noise.

The sound quality of AfterShokz also is improving over time. I still very often use my two-year-old pair of AfterShokz Air, which are holding up very well from everyday, all-day use. When comparing my new Aftershokz Openmove headphones to my two-year-old pair, the sound is overall much crisper and I can keep the volume at a much lower setting with the OpenMove.

Summary

Aftershokz OpenMove Bone conduction headphones are an inexpensive option to dip your toes into a different style and type of headphones that highlight runners’ safety.

If you’re interested in purchasing a pair AfterShokz OpenMove using THIS LINK will save you 15% off your purchase. HOWEVER, during AfterShokz Spring sale the OpenMove are only $65. (Discount is not combinable with sales, but this sale price is MUCH better.)

Disclaimer: As a member of the AfterShokz ShokSquad, I received my AfterShokz OpenMove for free.

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