AfterShokz Sportz 2 Review
AfterShokz Sportz 2 are a pretty impressive set of bone conducting sport headphones, which differ from normal in ear headphones as they actually sit in front of the ear, and deliver sound via your cheek bones.
These headphones have been designed with the open air sports fanatic in mind, leaving the ear canal unobstructed the user is not at risk of not hearing on coming traffic etc. The build quality is good, and the headphones claim to be sweat resistant which is important when using during exercise.
However, I do feel the sound quality suffers from not being a complete in ear solution. They are certainly not a patch on my Sennheiser PMX 685i Sports In-Ear Neckband Headphones. As one of my colleagues Philip Gardham pointed out they do sound a little like holding a normal in-ear earbud to your cheek and turning the volume up. On more base intense tracks the headset actually vibrates on your cheek bone, this headset is actually better with a medium volume track. They do also seem to suffer from quite a bit of sound leak too, which is another reason not to have them too loud.
The headphones use a lithium ion battery to power their bone conduction technology, and boast a massive 12 hours of constant use between charges. Headset charging is via the included micro USB cable, and takes approximately 2 hours before fully charged.
The headphones also have an ‘inline’ volume/play/pause/power functionality, which you can see below, the black box with the orange power button.
The box also contains a ‘tough’ storage case for keeping your headset and charge cable neat and tidy. However, the case is quite bulky in size – so would take up a considerable amount of space in your gym bag.
So to recap:
I am a big fan of up and coming technology, and think bone conduction is quite frankly amazing, although the sound quality wouldn’t satisfy the most savvy audiophile, I’m sure day to day users would be more then happy. They are also reasonably priced at £59.95.
I am not a big fan of standing out from the crowd, and think that the look of these on your head will turn heads in the wrong way.. They look a little like either I’ve missed my ears trying to put on normal headphones, or I should be wearing a star trek outfit.
The sound quality leaves a lot to be desired, and they are not as comfy as you might think.
The bottom line:
Although I certainly wouldn’t rush out and buy a set (I won my set) I do like the concept, and hope they pave the way for many more advancements around bone conduction. Until then, I’ll stick with my Sennheiser’s