AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones review

ByNiki Jones 2019-11-23 1383

AfterShokz recently introduced another update to its product line - the Aeropex headset, which at the start was dubbed “a breakthrough in bone-conduction sound technology.” At a minimum, the new headphones are lighter and more compact than all their predecessors, and also have a number of interesting design features. We’ll talk about all this in today's review.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

AfterShokz Aeropex Headphones: Specifications

Declared frequency range

20 - 20 000 Hz

Bluetooth version

5.0

Codec support

SBC

Profiles

A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP

Microphone sensitivity

−38 ± 3 dB

Battery life

up to 8 hours

Battery capacity

145 mAh

Charging time

2:00

Dust / Waterproof

IP67

Weight

26 g

recommended price

13 thousand rubles

AfterShokz Aeropex Headphones: Packaging and equipment

The headphones are packed in a cardboard box with an excellent design, unusual design and high-quality printing. Thanks to this, the unpacking process AfterShokz Aeropex delivers just a lot of fun. A large illustration has been taken out to the front of the package, in which you can immediately see how the headphones look on the head. And once again make sure that they do not cover their ears. On the back, a list of basic technical specifications, manufacturer information and other information is traditionally given.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

Having removed the top of the package, the user discovers a “box-book” with a hinged cover and a drop-down inside. On its surfaces are also painted colorful illustrations, plus the slogan "Be open." Inside the headphones are fixed with a plastic lodgement.

The delivery set is relatively small, but very interesting. In addition to the headset itself, it includes printed materials - instructions, warranty card, and so on. There is nothing particularly original or interesting. But about the other accessories, let's say a few words separately.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

The headset does not close the ears, but in some situations you may want to isolate yourself from external noise. For this case, the kit includes earplugs made of foam material that come with a plastic case.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

The headphone charging port is proprietary - its magnetic mount helps ensure water resistance. Accordingly, cable loss in this case is extremely undesirable, it will be difficult to replace it. Because there are two cables in the kit, for which AfterShokz has a separate respect - this approach is now extremely rare. There is no charger in the kit, but it’s for the best: almost everyone has them today, there’s no point in overpaying for one more thing.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

Also included is a silicone case with a magnetic valve lock. Its size at first may seem too small, but the headset is very flexible - it fits without problems.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

AfterShokz Aeropex Headphones: Design and constructiont

The new Aeropex managed to make 15% lighter and 30% less than their predecessors, and owners of the previous Trekz Air model will certainly appreciate it. All parts of the body - from the rim to the piezo emitters and buttons - are rubberized. There are four colors on sale: black, blue, gray and red. We got a blue version for testing.

On the outside of the left emitter is a control button. On the right you can see a small hole in the microphone.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

The inner part of the emitters is smooth, the edges are rounded in shape, which ensures the required level of wearing comfort.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

On both sides of the arc are thickenings where the “filling” of the device is located.

 

On the bottom of the right of them you can find a connector for connecting the charger, plus volume control buttons, one of which also performs the function of turning the device on and off. On the side surface in front of the AfterShokz sign is an LED indicator that is almost invisible when turned off.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

AfterShokz Aeropex Headphones: Connection

To activate the pairing mode, you need to hold the power button (it is the volume up button) for a little more than 5 seconds. After that, the indicator starts flashing blue and red, it remains to find the headset in the corresponding menu of the gadget and connect without entering a password. The battery charge level is correctly transmitted to the connected device - its change can be observed in online mode.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

The headphones are informed about the connection in a pleasant voice in English. By the way, most of the events are voiced - some with voice messages, the rest with various signals.

AfterShokz Aeropex Headphones: Exploitation

A couple of words have already been said about headset management a little higher, therefore, we just note a number of points. Most of the functions of the button located on the outside of the left emitter. She is responsible for playing and pausing, answering a call, calling a voice assistant and scrolling through playing tracks. The instructions for some reason say that to go to the previous song, you need to click on it twice. In fact, the control is implemented in the same way as in most headsets: two times - the next composition, three times - the previous one.

Pressing both volume buttons simultaneously changes the settings of the built-in equalizer, about which the user receives a corresponding voice message. There is no details about the operation of this function, and the changes in the sound that are happening can hardly be called positive - by default the headset sounds significantly better. So we will not dwell on the built-in equalizer in detail.

Judging by the specifications, the headset frame is made of titanium and is characterized by impressive flexibility - AfterShokz Aeropex can be knotted without any exaggeration. It provides a fairly reliable, but at the same time comfortable fit - a slight pressure in the place where the emitters fit to the head is felt only in the first minutes of wearing, you quickly get used to it. Headphones remain in place at various activities - from jogging to high-intensity circular training.

If you look at the picture from the promotional materials below, you will notice that, ideally, the headphone emitters are located near the ear tragus itself, and there is a small distance between the neck and the back of the frame. When performing exercises on the bench, it may interfere a little, but finding a comfortable position of the head is not difficult - just slightly lighten the back of the head. But even with a negative tilt of the bench and twisting, the headphones remain in place.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

The headset also behaves very well during strength training. It is no secret that in the process of lifting weights, not only the target muscles, but also the facial muscles are strained - the facial expression during exercises with “iron” turns out to be very peculiar. At this point, the in-ear headphones strive to fall out of their ears. Here, of course, there is no such problem. About the greater hygiene of the open auditory canals during training, we already spoke in the introduction.

Communicating with others while playing loud music will still be difficult. Headphones easily “shout” surrounding sounds, although they allow you to keep the situation under control: you can easily hear the noise of a car, but it’s already difficult to understand the speech. In this case, you can always lower the volume to a level at which it will be comfortable to talk, leaving the music to sound in the background. At the same time, the interlocutor sees that your ears are free - all propriety is respected.

The quality of the built-in microphone makes it possible not only to quickly answer the call while jogging, but also to talk quite comfortably for a long time - none of the “test interlocutors” complained about the quality of voice transmission. Well, a few words about the stability of wireless communication with the device - the source of sound. She is at a confident average level. It’s quite possible to put the phone in your trouser pocket, the headset will continue to sound, but cover it with a couple of layers of outerwear is no longer worth it. Everything is fine in the room, leaving the phone at one end of the gym while doing exercises at the other is not a problem.

AfterShokz Aeropex Headphones: Water resistance

In the characteristics of the headphones, it is stated that they are protected according to the IP67 standard - that is, they are completely dustproof and can withstand short-term immersion in water to a depth of 1 meter. Accordingly, sweat protection is guaranteed - they will definitely withstand any workouts. Jogging in the rain or snow should not be a problem either. But then the fun begins.

The first thing, of course, was curious if the headphones could withstand really intense rain. There was no significant rainfall during the tests, but there is always a shower, where after a workout it’s nice to continue listening to music. No problems are predictable with this - the headset worked stably both during and after taking a shower. But we did not stop there. AfterShokz Aeropex instructions include the following phrase: “The headphones are waterproof, but DO NOT waterproof. DO NOT submerge them in water. ” That's it - in capital letters.

But the IP67 standard implies protection against short-term immersion in water. In general, I wasn’t, we are trying to go with a headset to the pool. We strongly advise against repeating this experience, especially since the result is already known. The headphones easily survived a dozen dives in water for a few seconds. Another thing is that there is little sense in this - under water they instantly lose touch with the sound source. For swimming, AfterShokz has a special XTrainerz model with a built-in player that allows you to play music without using an external source. Plus, it can withstand prolonged immersion in water to a depth of 2 meters.

AfterShokz Aeropex Headphones: Charging and battery life

In past AfterShokz models, to protect against moisture, the charging connector was covered with a plastic plug; Aeropex uses a more effective and convenient magnetic mount in this regard. There are no questions about its quality - the cable is fixed easily and very reliably. The device has a built-in alarm system about the presence of moisture in the charging connector - a light signal and a flashing indicator indicate the need to dry it. To trigger an alert, there should be enough water in the connector; if it’s just wet, the device is charging normally.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

At the beginning of the charging process, the indicator lights up in red, after its completion - in blue. The claimed charging time for a fully discharged battery is 2 hours, during the tests it turned out even a little faster - about 1 hour 50 minutes. Battery life, according to the characteristics of the device, reaches 8 hours. But this is at a volume level of around 50 percent. With a volume increase of up to 70 percent, the runtime was approximately 6 hours 40 minutes. This is a very good result, especially considering the light weight of the headset.

AfterShokz Aeropex Headphones: Sound

Judging by the specification, the AfterShokz Aeropex model has got a fresh Qualcomm QCC3024 Audio SoC , which theoretically should provide support for the AAC codec. But in practice, when connected, the headset only reports the presence of SBC. Tested on multiple devices with the same result. 

Another question is what is hard to call bad news. AAC support in this case could be needed only to please the part of customers who are eager to see the treasured letters on the package - just “so that they are”. By the way, we did not find any mention of AAC support in the instructions - everything is honest here. In general, the "advanced" codecs are unlikely to pay off because of the nature of the sound of the headset, due to the method of sound transmission.

To begin with, the headset uses piezoelectric emitters with a number of specific features. In particular, they do not really “succeed” in low frequencies. Although the manufacturer claims a frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. And what’s most interesting, it may well be true. That's just the perception of sound by the listener in this case is not at all the same as in "traditional" headphones - simply due to the fact that sound waves in solids propagate differently than in air.

Absolutely all bone conduction headphones have a number of sound features. The task of the manufacturer is to reduce the influence of unpleasant effects and expand the capabilities of the headphones where it is real. AfterShokz Aeropex developers did a great job with it. Let's start with the most noticeable difference, which all beginners pay attention to for the first time trying this type of headphones - the lack of "deep bass". Hearing it will not work, but feeling it is quite.

Low frequencies are perceived as headphone vibration transmitted at the point of contact with the listener's head. In the previous Trekz Air model, this effect was too pronounced and quickly tired. In the new Aeropex, engineers tilted the emitters at an angle of 30 degrees to the user's face, which allowed them to slightly increase the dynamic range of the bass and reduce the feeling of vibration.

Now the vibration can be perceived as a kind of “chip” of the device: in jazz compositions with a pronounced part of the double bass it is still out of place, but the straight barrel in dance compositions gives an additional “charge of vivacity” during training.

AfterShokz Aeropex Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones 

At the same time, the middle frequencies were worked out unexpectedly well, the vocals are perfectly readable - everything is wonderful here. In comparison with previous models, the work on the high-frequency range has also improved, but in general, headphones with bone conduction have been and remain focused on the middle.

The Aeropex developers managed to overcome one more of their unpleasant features - the so-called sound leak. She is still present: in silence, others will be aware of what you are listening to, and even be able to distinguish between the words of the songs. But compared with previous models, the situation is much better: in an office environment (and even more so in a gym), you can’t even remember the leak.

In general, the sound of the heroine of this review can be compared with inexpensive in-ear headphones. They quite successfully cope with background music during training or walking, but you should not expect more from them - their advantages lie not in sound, but in the nuances of the operation process, which we talked about above.

Summary

Headphones AfterShokz Aeropex is difficult and not always correctly compared with other devices that we have tested. The use of bone conduction gives them a number of advantages, but leaves a noticeable imprint on the sound. It is unlikely that they will become for someone the only headphones in the collection for all occasions: in a feast, and in the world, and in good people. Listening to your favorite jazz songs in them is not a good idea, but pop music can deliver a lot of pleasant emotions.

At the same time, they are convenient, reliable and show excellent performance during various activities - from strength training to jogging, cycling, just walking around the city. And designed for people who want to listen to headphones, but do not want to cover their ears. The reasons for this may be many: maintaining hygiene of the ear canal, a desire to listen to music and keep in touch with colleagues in the office, ensuring safety during sports in the fresh air, and so on. AfterShokz once again made a very interesting device for this audience, which clearly claims to be a leader in its class.


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