Aftershokz Wireless Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones review
Tinnitus sufferers rejoice – you can listen to music again!
Back when I was a teenager, my dad told me that if I continue to go to loud concerts and listen to loud music, I will ruin my ears. And god bless him, he was right. Since I was 19 I’ve suffered from Tinnitus – a constant ringing in my ears. It took me years to get used to it and learn to sleep without the radio on, but even today friends and colleagues will see me at pubs, clubs and even noisy restaurants wearing my custom-made musician’s earplugs to cut out the damaging frequencies.
It’s meant that listening to any kind of (even moderately loud) music inflames the problem and becomes annoying and uncomfortable. Wearing headphones is out – on a plane I wear my earplugs beneath the headphones. Listening to any loud, favourite song is a calculation… I know I’m going to pay for it.
So perhaps you can imagine how I felt when these Bone Conduction Headphones turned up?
The technology sounds horrendous but we’ve seen variants of it before. There have been military uses – soldiers can hear their surroundings AND remote-relayed instructions. Sydney Harbour Bridge’s Bridge Climb leaders used to use them to talk to the tourists (before they went cheap) and they were brilliant.
These Trekz look like regular gym headphones (they’re IP55-certified dust and sweat resistant) which sit around the back of your head. They look pretty normal too – passers by need to double-take to see that they’re not actually in your ear.
Setting them up is simple using a standard Bluetooth connection. A built in microphone means they act as a full handsfree setup too and the people we spoke to said they found our voice came through very clear - thanks to the dual microphone.
Audio, naturally, is what it is and is greatly affected by your environment. In a busy city when walking to work we struggled to hear much at all – some foam earplugs are included in the box but wearing them with these looks ridiculous. Nonetheless, you can hear the music and it gets quite loud – too loud and it literally buzzes while on your face and other people will even hear it. But for the most part, in quiet environments you can hear the audio come through clearly and it can get surprisingly-loud – with nobody around you being any the wiser. We kept asking people, “Can you hear that?” but they couldn’t. It would be magical if it wasn’t straight physics.
Also included are clips to improve the fit on people with smaller heads. Beyond that there are the usual volume and power buttons which can skip tracks if you hold them down longer etc etc – they’re as fiddly as ever for these type of things. A carry case is included.
Don’t buy these expecting the latest frequency-isolating, noise-cancelling, multi-driver, bass-enhanced, fashion-rocking, great looks and audio quality. But if you need to listen to stuff while keeping your ears clear, these are a fantastic choice.
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