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AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones are arguably the best bone conduction headphones on the market. They are the latest headphone model made by AfterShokz and they are designed for active lifestyle and for people with different types of hearing impairment (especially for people with outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear issues).
When it comes to bone conduction headphones, the number of possible choices is not impressive. The way we see it, there is AfterShokz, and there’s a bunch of no-name manufacturers. Those no-name bone conduction headphones are significantly cheaper than the AfterShokz headphones, but their performance, build quality, and durability is not even close to AfterShokz headphones.
AfterShokz Trekz Air are the second wireless bone conduction headphones made by AfterShokz. The first wireless model was the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium. Trekz Air is an upgraded and more expensive version of Trekz Titanium. These headphones are incredibly well-made, very durable, they provide great fit and stability, and they are very comfortable. The fact that they are wireless (Bluetooth-enabled and battery-operated) make them more appropriate for running, cycling, or any other sports activity. One of the biggest selling points is their open-ear design. All bone conduction headphones have this kind of design which allows you to be more aware of your surroundings (in this review, we will also discuss all the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of design).
Most of the downsides of Trekz Air headphones are closely related to the specific design. First of all, they don’t sound as good as some regular headphones. In fact, you can find numerous headphone models for less than $100 that sound much better than Trekz Air. Also, they don’t isolate the ambient noise at all, but that’s not the idea. They are intentionally made like that. Another thing we were not happy about is the battery life. The battery can deliver only 6 hours of playtime which is simply not enough considering the price. The manufacturer tried to make them light and that’s probably the reason why some larger battery wasn’t installed, but we still think that battery needs to be upgraded. The last thing we didn’t like is the price. Trekz Air headphones are quite expensive (approx. $150) and for that kind of money, you can get a very good pair of regular headphones.
- Open ear design/improved situational awareness
- Very comfortable/lightweight
- Wireless – Bluetooth-enabled and battery-operated
- Voice prompts
- Clear midrange reproduction
- Poor overall sound quality (compared to regular headphones)/weak bass
- Poor battery life/6-hour playtime
If your main priority is sound quality and if you don’t really want to improve your situational awareness, you will be disappointed by these headphones. If you understand how bone conduction headphones work and you know their purpose, you will be quite happy with AfterShokz Trekz Air. The only real downsides of these headphones are battery life and price.
Official video – AfterShokz Trekz Air
What’s in the box?
AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones come in a nice-looking box along with a pair of foam earplugs, USB to micro USB charging cable, and a carrying pouch. You will be happy to know that they also come with a 2-year warranty.
Besides this regular packaging, there are 4 more bundles with different equipment – endurance bundle, tech bundle, adventure bundle, and golf bundle.
|AfterShokz Trekz Air Specifications|
|MATERIAL||Titanium, plastic, silicone|
|DRIVERS||Bone conduction transducers|
|Playtime||Up to 6 hours (at 50% volume)|
|Recharge time||Approx. 2 hours|
|Supported profiles||A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP|
|OTHER TECHNICAL DETAILS|
|Frequency response||20Hz to 20,000Hz|
|Mic Sensitivity||-40dB +/-3dB|
|ADDITIONAL FEATURES||IP55-certified (water and dust resistant)
In terms of design, all the bone conduction headphones, including AfterShokz Trekz Air, are very different from regular headphones. Bone conduction headphones don’t cover your ears and don’t go inside your ears. They may look like some regular sports earbuds with a neckband, but the difference is in the earpieces. They don’t go inside your ear but rather in front of your ears. The earpieces are supposed to rest on your cheekbones.
This difference in design is caused by the working principle. Bone conduction headphones don’t have the same working principle as regular headphones. They transmit the sound waves (vibrations) through your bones, directly to your cochlea. That way, they are practically bypassing outer ear, ear canal, inner ear, and eardrums. Their working principle makes them perfect for people with certain kinds of hearing impairment and that was their primary purpose. The fact that they leave your ears open made them good for one more thing – they are also great for various activities that require you to stay aware of your surroundings.
This specific bone conduction headphone model is also great for all kinds of sports activities due to amazing build quality.
All the bone conduction headphones feature open-ear design
AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones are available in four interesting colors – slate grey, canyon red, forest green, and midnight blue.
AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones are available in 4 colors
The headphones feature 3 control buttons. On the left earpiece, there’s the multifunction play/pause/answer/end calls button. On the right arm, behind the right earpiece, there are two more buttons (volume buttons) and a micro USB charging port protected with a rubber gasket. Volume + button is also a multifunction button and it’s used to turn on/off the headphones and initiate pairing.
We have already discussed the open-ear design. This is the first and most interesting feature of these headphones. You can find all the other features on regular headphones, but you won’t get this kind of design.
In a way, bone conduction technology is a completely opposite thing to noise canceling technology, and regular headphones/earbuds are somewhere in-between. The intended purpose basically determines the type of headphones you are going to use. This specific design and placement of the earpieces are perfect if you need to be aware of the situation around you.
The earpieces are located in front of your ears and allow you to be more aware of the situation around you
The specific open-ear design is something all bone conduction headphones have in common, but there are some important features that make AfterShokz Trekz Air better than the others.
First of all, there’s the build quality. Trekz Air headphones have titanium frame wrapped in silicone. The selection of materials made them very durable. They are also IP55-certified (dust and water resistant) and can withstand heavy sweating which makes them great for workouts and other sports activities.
The neckband is made of titanium and the headphones are IP55-certified
Most of the bone conduction headphones are wired, but these are not. They feature Bluetooth 4.2 with the advertised range of 33ft. This makes them more convenient and more appropriate for sports. Trekz Air also support multipoint/multi-host pairing which means that you can pair two devices simultaneously with the headphones.
The headphones have a built-in rechargeable battery. The capacity is rated at 183mAh and you can get up to 6 hours of continuous music playback per one charge. The recharge takes up to 2 hours.
Trekz Air headphones also have a built-in mic. In fact, they have two noise-canceling microphones and they actually have above-average specs (but don’t deliver above-average performance).
We have a few small complaints and one big and really important one, but we are still quite happy with the overall performance of AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones.
The thing we really liked about Trekz Air is their durability. They are incredibly strong. You can bend them, throw them, put them in your pocket, sweat as much as you want, and be sure that they won’t break. The durability is, besides the design, the biggest selling point.
We were also impressed by the comfort Trekz Air headphones offer. They are very lightweight, they don’t put any pressure on your ears or on your skull, and it’s really easy to forget that you are wearing them. Thanks to their design, they offer secure fit. There’s absolutely nothing bad we can say when it comes to comfort and fit.
AfterShokz Trekz Air are incredibly comfortable
They manage to stay comfortable even if you are wearing glasses or a bike helmet. Or both.
They don’t interfere with the helmet or glasses
The volume buttons are maybe too small, but they are still responsive and functional. It’s not that hard to master the controls and the only tricky thing is enabling the multipoint connection. Luckily, AfterShokz covered this issue and you can find detailed step-by-step instructions in the user manual. You can also find a video tutorial on YouTube. This tutorial is made for Trekz Titanium, but the procedure is basically the same for Trekz Air.
YouTube Tutorial – Multipoint pairing
Bluetooth connection works flawlessly and the range is close to the advertised 30ft. If there are obstacles around you, the range shortens to 10-15ft.
Most of our complaints are related to battery life. You will get the advertised 6-7 hours at 50% volume, but we honestly think that’s not enough for that kind of money. Numerous regular headphones under $100 deliver much longer playtime than Trekz Air. This is the only thing that really bothered us about these headphones. We truly feel that they need an upgraded battery.
Based on the specs, you would assume that the microphone works flawlessly but that’s not the case. It all depends on the ambient noise. In a quiet environment, everything works flawlessly and your voice is crystal clear. As the amount of noise increases, the call quality gets worse. If there’s too much chatter or traffic around you, your voice will be mixed with that noise and it will be distant and muffled.
None of the bone conduction headphones deliver sonic performance that’s on par with regular headphones and AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones are not different, but they are still better than other bone conduction headphones.
Trekz Air headphones deliver very clear mids and vocals. Highs are clean but far from perfect. The bass is the biggest issue. It’s simply too weak and it lacks a lot of detail and depth. After all, those two bone conduction transducers are just two small vibrating speakers in front of your ears. When you increase the volume, you will get a little bit better bass, but you will also get some odd tingling feeling caused by the vibrations. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s strange.
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The headphones also come with earplugs and if you decide to use them, you will get a better listening experience (mostly better bass), but that basically ruins the purpose of bone conduction headphones. You can also get a better bass response if you press the earpieces against your skull. They are not loose but if they were tighter, they would deliver better sound quality.
To conclude, you won’t be amazed by the sonic performance of AfterShokz Trekz Air, especially if you’ve never tried bone conduction headphones before. It’s almost like listening to some background music in a room. Still, Trekz Air deliver better sound quality than any other pair of bone conduction headphones on the market.
AfterShokz deliver better sonic performance than any other bone conduction headphones
The lack of competition is a huge problem when it comes to bone conduction headphones and the only manufacturer with some kind of reputation is AfterShokz. All the other brands on the bone conduction headphone market are generic brands.
AfterShokz Trekz Titanium
Trekz Titanium headphones are the predecessor of the Trekz Air. They are significantly cheaper ($90 compared to $150), but they don’t offer significantly worse performance. In fact, they are pretty close to Trekz Air.
In terms of design and build quality, they are practically the same. Trekz Titanium are IP55-just like Trekz Air. Both models come with 2-year warranty.
Trekz Titanium headphones are slightly heavier than Trekz Air but still very comfortable. They also deliver slightly shorter playtime.
Both headphones have the same control buttons. The button placement is also the same.
Trekz Titanium feature Bluetooth 4.1 while Trekz Air have newer Bluetooth version (4.2). They both deliver the same Bluetooth range and support multipoint pairing.
Trekz Titanium headphones are just a little bit tighter than Trekz Air and that tighter fit is responsible for slightly better bass response. Trekz Air deliver slightly clearer mids and vocals.
Both headphones have built-in noise-canceling mics.
Vidonn F1 Titanium
Vidonn F1 Titanium is one of the cheaper options. If $150 or $90 is too much for you, Vidonn F1 Titanium is a viable choice. You can have them for less than $60. You can find this exact pair of bone conduction headphones under different names (Borofone, Oannao, JUHALL).
In terms of design and build quality, they are pretty close to Trekz Air. Just like Trekz Air, they feature IP55 rating but they come with 1-year warranty.
Vidonn F1 Titanium are heavier and a bit bulkier than Trekz Air. They also provide a slightly tighter fit.
Vidonn F1 Titanium feature Bluetooth 4.1. They have the same 30ft range but don’t support the multipoint pairing.
Vidonn F1 Titanium is probably the loudest pair of bone conduction headphones on the market. They are louder than Trekz Air and Trekz Titanium, but they also leak a significant amount of sound.
Just like Trekz Air, Vidonn F1 Titanium headphones have a built-in mic.
AfterShokz Bluez 2S
AfterShokz Bluez 2S are slightly cheaper than the Trekz Titanium but significantly cheaper than Trekz Air.
The basic shape of Bluez 2S is very similar to Trekz Air but the material they are made of is plastic which makes them less durable. They are still IP55-certified, just like Trekz Air. The build quality is probably the most significant difference between Trekz Air and Bluez 2S.
Bluez 2S are also slightly heavier and less comfortable than Trekz Air. They are less suitable for sports activities.
Both headphones are wireless, but Bluez 2S feature Bluetooth 3.1 while Trekz Air have Bluetooth 4.2. They deliver the same Bluetooth range, but Bluez 2S headphones don’t support multipoint pairing.
Trekz Air headphones deliver significantly better and louder sound than Bluez 2S.
Both headphones have built-in mics.
|Headphones||Playtime (at 50% vol.)||IPX rating|
|AfterShokz Trekz Air||Up to 6 hours||IP55|
|AfterShokz Trekz Titanium||5-6 hours||IP55|
|Vidonn F1 Titanium||Up to 6 hours||IP55|
|Aftershokz Bluez 2S||5-6 hours||IP55|
AfterShokz Trekz Air is probably the best pair of bone conduction headphones on the market. They are definitely the most durable and the most comfortable bone conduction headphones, and if you need a pair of bone conduction headphones for sports, this is the best choice. If you don’t want to pay $150, Trekz Titanium is a great backup option, and if you need something even cheaper, you should try Vidonn F1 Titanium.
We should not forget that improving situational awareness is not the only purpose of bone conduction headphones. In fact, this is only their secondary purpose. The primary purpose of bone conduction headphones is to allow people with different types of hearing impairment to hear the music. For those people, bone conduction headphones are life-changing devices and can truly improve the quality of their lives. AfterShokz is the most reputable bone conduction headphone manufacturer and Trekz Air are their best headphones.
AfterShokz Enhancing Lives
Hello, my name is James Longman.
I’m a writer and editor at AudioReputation. I disassembled my first portable AM/FM radio when I was only 8. At the age of 11, I burned the circuit board on my old boombox cassette player. I’m not going to explain how but it was reckless and stupid.
Since then, I have become much more careful around radios, boomboxes, and other audio devices (at least, I like to think so) but I have never lost the passion for audio equipment. Throughout 20 years of my professional career, I’ve been working for various audio equipment manufacturers and even started building speakers on my own in my little workshop.
I love the work we do here at AudioReputation. Testing, comparing, and evaluating all kinds of audio devices (speakers, soundbars, headphones, home theater systems, etc.) is something I truly enjoy. I try to be unbiased and give you my honest opinion on every piece of equipment I test. Still, you should take my reviews with a pinch of salt and always be just a little bit skeptical. The fact that I liked some speaker or soundbar doesn’t mean that you are going to love it. If you have the opportunity, you should test it/hear it before buying it.