It’s Thursday again, and that means I’m back to talk about something that I have been loving. One more thing that has improved my dad life. This week it is a relatively new product, at least to me, that I saw all over the Hot Chocolate race. If you have ever heard of bone conduction headphones, then the AfterShokz Trekz Airs are probably what come to mind. I hadn’t tried them on until the expo, and the next week, I had already purchased two (returned my first pair, more on that later). These headphones have changed my fitness habits. Paired with my Garmin VivoActive 3 that I talked about last week, these carry me through a run with ease.
The sound that these produce is very odd. It’s like there is music playing inside your head. Since there is nothing that sticks in your ear, you rest the conduction pads in front of the ear so that you still have full range of motion which is important for running, especially on a road. When running with these on a trail, I was able to hear people running up behind me or people saying hello as I ran by. I also run in my neighborhood in the morning and some sidewalks are blocked so I need to run in the street. When a car is coming up behind me, I can still perfectly hear them while they are still far enough back that I can move to safety before they pass.
Another way I have used them often was listening to music while cleaning or doing the dishes, and still being able to hear the kids playing. This was nice so that I didn’t have to listen to Mother Goose Club again but was still able to hear them if they needed me. The actual sound quality is about average with a $15 pair of wired-in ear headphones but the added benefit of being able to safely hear your surroundings makes up for the steep jump to ~$150.
These are not cheap by any means. When I was making my purchase, I had multiple people suggest that I buy the $100 older pair instead of spending another $50 to save .2 oz. I took their advice and wore them around the house for a couple days and had to return them. The battery compartment rubbed the back of my ear to the point of discomfort without even running. My running store let me exchange up to the Airs and I can barely feel them when they are on. It might just be .2 oz, but it was night and day on my ears. This could absolutely just be me that is experiencing this, but I highly suggest trying on both before buying. If the older model doesn’t hurt your ears, there is no reason to drop the extra $50.
I have never liked to run with music or a podcast because I don’t like cords hanging everywhere and haven’t found a decent pair of bluetooth headphones. Also, when I get sweaty, the sweat in my ear against headphones may be the most annoying feeling in the world. These have solved all of these issues as well as the issue of not being able to hear. Being able to listen to podcasts has gotten me through longer runs than I have had ever in my adult life and I don’t think I can ever run by myself without them again.
What do you like to listen to while you run? Do you use the cheapest headphones that you can find, like Sarah?