I recently watched a video from Global Cycling Network (GCN) called ‘Can music make you cycle faster?’ It was posted on Instagram and caused a fair amount of debate as to whether you should use music to train at all. Of course, on the turbo is fine but out on the road you run the risk of not being able to hear the traffic around you, which is extremely dangerous.

I must admit, in the past I’ve been guilty of an earphone in the left ear for a bit of something to get me through a tough session. Always just the one ear though and always turned down low. That was before I got sent a set of AIR by Aftershokz and now I find myself using them more and more.

Let me start by saying I’m not getting paid for this post but I was sent a complimentary set of headphones to try out so I wanted to give you my honest thoughts and feedback on how I got on.

The Technology

Here’s what Aftershokz has to say about its product… ‘Bone conduction headphones that allow you to hear your music and the world around you’

We hear bone conduction sounds every day.

When we eat cookies, the cracking sound we hear is vibration travelling through our facial bones to our inner ears.

We hear bone conduction sound while eating, drinking and scratching our head, etc.  Also we hear ourselves talking partially through bone conduction, so that we perceive our own voice differently from what other people hear.

Taking advantage of this natural phenomenon, bone conduction transducers guide micro-vibration through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them.

Pros

  • For running, riding or the gym I think wireless is an absolute must and you can connect these headphones to any other wireless device (plus multiple devices). I’m connected to my iPad, Phone and Garmin music watch
  • They sit outside of your ear I hate putting things in my ear because they get sore. I don’t know, I must have weirdly small ears or something, but I could never use the standard earphones that come with phones etc.
  • The main benefit of the outside of your ear design is that you can still hear the world around you. I believe they are safe for riding outside and I felt confident that I could hear what was going on but of course that’s very much a personal choice.
  • They fit and sit really well with cycling helmet and glasses. I’ve also used them with a cap on and with my hair in a ponytail and I’m hardly aware I have them on they are so comfortable.
  • They simply don’t budge when you run! That includes treadmill and an off road canal path.
  • They are perfect for a hot and sweaty turbo or indoor trainer session. Before I got a pair I used beats by Dre headphones but within 5 minutes my ears were too warm and the sweat was literally pooling inside them!? These are light and airy.
  • The carry case is small and stylish and they are compact for travelling. I also have a set of Beats by Dre headphones and they are huge to carry about
  • I’m not really one for reading instructions which is why I had a few issues connecting to multiple devices but even without reading they are very simple to use and have minimal buttons.
  • You can make calls with them. When I’m sat at my laptop I connect so that can take calls and type. Plus the sound is perfect!

CONS

  • For personal choice I’d probably go for the midnight blue or slate grey colours
  • I should’ve read the instructions because it took me a while to work out how to connect to multiple devices so it’s well worth having a read and following the voice instructions.
  • I tried to use them in hospital to watch Netflix from my phone but because they go around the back on your head you can’t lie down with them on. I know they aren’t meant for lying down but same applies with lying down for stretching at the gym. Only a small thing but I thought id mention.

My verdict

I’ve been hugely impressed by the headphones and I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who enjoys having music to train with. I use them for strength work at the gym, running, walking, indoor turbo sessions, warming up at time trials/races and also outdoor rides.

Would I recommend them? Yes! My mum has just bought my dad a pair as he tried them and liked them so much!

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