How interesting it is to know that one can listen to music by mild vibrations sent to the bones via a device rather than placing earphones/headphones near their ear? Yes, the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium avoid shutting you off from the outside world by using a technology called “bone conduction”. This sends vibrations through your cheekbones, where the sound is then processed in your inner ear. It means your ears are still free to hear the outside world, such as that terrifying taxi hurtling by at 50mph in a 30mph zone.
It is this ability to retain situational awareness that makes the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium a considerably safer option if you must have music and audio while cycling or running – even if their actual sound quality is far from stellar.
On the surface, the Trekz Titanium resemble a normal pair of wireless neckband-style headphones. The neckband itself is made from a titanium alloy, hence their name. The rubber-coated titanium frame is lightweight and feels robust.
The headphones are rated to IP55, which equates to basic dust- and water-resistance. You shouldn’t have any problems wearing these in the rain, and they can happily cope with a bit of sweat. The Trekz Titanium are available in either blue, green or grey finishes.
It’s only on closer inspection, in particular where you’d normally find earbuds, that the difference between the Trekz Titanium and conventional earphones becomes apparent. Instead of having tips that are inserted into your ear canal, these sit in front of your ears, resting against the side of your skull.Behind your ear, towards the right bone conduction transducer, you’ll find a volume up button that also serves as a power button and a volume down button. Next to these sit a Micro USB port for charging the headphones.
On the outside of the right bone conduction transducer you’ll find the multi-function button. With it you can play and pause tracks, answer and reject calls, and activate Siri or Google Now voice commands.
You can also double-press it to skip a track – yet, confusingly, there’s no option to skip back a track with a triple-press, which is a standard inclusion on most headphones.There are dual noise-cancelling microphones for hands-free calling. These proved to work great.If you’re planning on wearing these whilst cycling, your experience might vary depending on what type of helmet you wear. You might find that your helmet straps get in the way, so the headphones may have to go on last.
In the box, along with the headphones, you get a transportation pouch and fitbands for adjusting the size. These will be necessary for anyone with a smaller head to ensure a tight enough fit for the bone conduction to work effectively.
AFTERSHOKZ TREKZ TITANIUM – BONE CONDUCTION AND SOUND QUALITY
Trying on a pair of bone conduction headphones for the first time can be a strange experience. With the volume cranked up, the sensation of vibrations against the side of your head are quite pronounced. I’ve given the Trekz Titanium to friends and acquaintances to try, and they all describe the initial experience as “like having the side of your head tickled”.
You’ll soon get used to it and forget about it – plus, it’s less pronounced at lower volumes. Having the audio produced inside your skull can also feel a little alien. There’s a sense of soundstage that you’re probably not used to, and the strange feeling that you can’t quite place where the music is coming from.
Eventually you just get used to it and the headphones will feel like any other.As for ambient sound, with your ear canal not obstructed, you’re free to hear everything around you – provided the volume of your audio isn’t turned all the way up.
A pair of conventional earplugs is included in the box, similar to the type you can purchase in the airport. These are for when you don’t want to hear ambient sound – but at this point I wouldn’t choose to wear the Trekz Titanium due to the sound quality and the leakage. For me, these headphones are purely for sporty endeavours and commuting.
The Trekz Titanium pair with your audio source over Bluetooth 4.1, and I didn’t encounter any problems with the wireless reliability. Range is rated at a standard 10 metres.
AFTERSHOKZ TREKZ TITANIUM – BATTERY LIFE
Battery life is rated at six hours of continuous listening, which is reasonable. Other bone conduction headphones on the market boast more, but they’re often heavier and more unwieldy in order to accommodate a bigger battery. In my opinion, six hours is a decent trade-off. There’s 10 days of battery standby time, too. Charging over micro-USB takes about an hour and a half.
That’s all we’ve got for you here and you can now order your Aftershockz in the link below: