The physiological and psychological effects of music on humans is extensively researched and well documented. Music is a powerful tool which can transform our emotions, adjust our focus, manipulate our creativity and affect our athletic performance. So, is it any wonder that many of us "tune out" when we "tune in" during our workouts and training sessions?
Over the past few years the emergence of futuristic-looking headphones which do not obstruct the ear canal (and thus alienate the wearer from their surroundings) has become commonplace.
"Bone conduction is a natural part of the hearing process - sound travels through our eardrums and bones simultaneously. We've taken the concept to the next level through development of a suite of proprietary audio technologies and design patents. The result: headphones that deliver unrivaled situational awareness and comfort" - Aftershokz
How do they work? Transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them.
Bone conduction technology is not new; even Beethoven, who was hearing-impaired, used it to listen to music by biting down on his composer's wand that was touching the piano.
Four major industries who have benefited from bone conduction technology include:
What are Open Headphones? Open Headphones are designed to allow some outside noise to mix with the headphones' output. Some listeners prefer the open natural sound (just like listening to music from speakers in a room) rather than the isolated sound of closed headphones.
In general, open headphones are more comfortable (with lighter pressure on your ear area) and offer users greater awareness of their surroundings; ideal for running, cycling and sneakily listening to music and podcasts whilst at work.
When it comes to bone conduction headphones, Aftershokz offer a superb range of quality wired and wireless options with accessories to match. After three months of product-testing their top-end wireless Trekz Air model, we hear exactly what Aftershokz are saying (and all the other conversations going on around us too for that matter).
From 1hr solo cyclocross adventures in the mud and rain to 6hr group rides on the tarmac, our Trekz Air headphones haven't skipped a song or missed a call. We've even hosed ourselves off accidentally whilst still wearing them with no affect to their performance. Oh, and no more shouting conversations whilst wearing them either (you can easily hold a "regular" conversation whilst listening to music at the same time, just as if the music were playing in the background).
Aside from their luxurious feel, comfortable fit and light weight, our Aftershokz Trekz Air are simple and easy to set-up (i.e. pair with our phone) and use, with all buttons (volume and multi-function) ergonomically positioned for easy access ... no fumbling around with one hand off the handlebars. Once on our head we also didn't even notice them there; no pressure points or re-adjustments required to accommodate our range of MET helmets either.
Did we mention you can make and receive telephone calls whilst exercising? Whilst most use music to escape the world, it's comforting to know that important calls won't go missed if you happen to be ... busy!
Just a few tech facts about our Trekz Air wireless headphones:
IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust and moisture
10m wireless range
Rechargeable lithium ion battery
Continuous play: 6hrs
Standby: time: 20 days
Charge time: 2hrs
Weight: 30g (claimed and actual)
We've become so fond of our Aftershokz Trekz Air bone conduction headphones that we use them on and off the bike. You too can have your own life soundtrack playing in the background (yes, even the Star Wars "Death March" if that suits your mood).