Reviewed by Peter Fain.
Peter Fain may be most recognizable as the tall slim figure running straight up Castle Peak, 20 miles north of Lake Tahoe in California. His passion for competition and performance-based mountain running is evident in his racing and his coaching.
To learn more about his coaching check out his website RunOnDirtCoaching.com.
Peter Breaks the Silence and Tries Aftershokz
I’ve always struggled shoving anything in my ears whether its for hearing protection or listening to music. After a period of time one side or the other just gets sore. And often one side fits better than the other causing constant adjustments. But this year I’ve decided to break my own silence is golden running practice and begin listening to music. For certain types of runs I loved it except for the aforementioned ear condition. Then I stumbled across the Aftershokz bone conduction headphones at Tahoe Mountain Sports.
I tried them on and couldn’t believe the clarity of the sound without having to insert anything into my ear. The unit was comfortable, almost unnoticeable. I walked out without buying the headphones, went home and went for a run with my earbuds. I realized the sound was much better with the Aftershokz and vowed to get a pair.
Two weeks later I am at home reading through the directions, charging the headset and pairing it to my phone. I head up to Castle Peak for my first snowshoe run of the season.
Test Run with Aftershokz Trekz Titanium
The day was clear and windy with very noisy snow, perfect conditions to “test” the ability of the headphones. I decide to start with something heavy, Metallica. (Note: I listen to music uncomfortably loud for most) I crank the volume up to max and take off running up the road. Immediately I notice that I do not hear the crunch and clack of my snowshoes. I do initially feel the volume isn’t loud enough. Some music is just meant to hurt. But after about 10 minutes into the run I find the volume to be perfect. I pass some skiers heading up. I say hello as I pass and I hear myself clearly as well as hearing them respond. That would never happen otherwise unless I paused the music. But the funny thing is I don’t hear my labored breathing. Go figure.
When I finish the run and pause the music I actually forget to take them off until I am reminded that I have them on when a phone call comes through.
Second Test Run
Another week passes now I head out for a run. My thoughts are on holding a maintained uphill effort. Once again I play some music that is tempo and beat heavy, a Pandora radio station called drum and bass. Hey, it makes me run fast. And since I don’t know any of the songs I lose track of time. This is the only drawback with the headphones. I found that the bass is less present and more of a vibration. When I turn the volume down a bit then It becomes more clear. Otherwise the run was great and the sound too.
In a nutshell, I’m a fan. I’ll continue to wear these headphones and look for more ways to test them. So far I’ve got 5 hours of running in and have yet to recharge the headset. That tells me I’ll get through most runs that I do.
(1-5 rating 5 being best)
Tried with a beanie & sunglasses – no issues
Tired with a trucker hat and sunglasses – no issues
Sound clarity- 5
Sound volume-3 (note: my ears weren’t ringing after a run that’s a good thing I guess)
Battery life- 5
(you can actually hear mountain bikers, cars, other trail users)
Bottom Line: Worth the spend. You won’t be disappointed.
Former park ranger turned writer/marketer. Always down for a sufferfest, as long as it ends with ice cream. Favorite activities include backcountry skiing, trail running, and backpacking.