Shokz OpenFit Review
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If you’ve used AfterShokz (now known as Shokz) bone conduction headphones in the past, you’ve probably noticed that while the sound quality is good, and it allows you to hear what is going on around you, they always struggled to bring a good bass response.
The new Shokz OpenFit headphones continue Shokz’s tradition of letting you enjoy your music while still being aware of your surroundings, but now you can get that with stronger bass.
The Shokz OpenFit headphones somewhat resemble Beats’ PowerBeats headphones in that they are two separate earpieces that “wrap” around your ear. These are similar in style to the OpenRock Pro earbuds we recently reviewed.
Each earpiece is very lightweight (only 8.3 grams), soft, and flexible, so they are comfortable to wear for long runs and walks. However, my ears do get “tired” of them after a few hours, so I don’t know if I could wear these for a whole work day.
The Shokz Open Fit headphones don’t actually use bone conduction. The earpieces have tiny speakers on them that are directed towards your ear canal.
By doing so, the sound is more well-rounded and bass is greatly enhanced compared to traditional bone conduction headphones, while still keeping your ears open to the outside world. I’m still able to easily hear cars approaching or dogs barking while enjoying my music during runs. They also work great for podcasts, but are less useful in noisy environments such as public transportation or airplanes, where you actually do need to block outside sounds.
Since the speakers are outside your ear, someone else could potentially hear your music or phone calls if you were in a totally quiet room and someone was sitting uncomfortably close to you. But since the tiny speakers are aimed towards your ear, in most environments, it is not possible for someone else to hear what you hear.
The OpenFit earbuds are also great for phone calls as they feature AI Call Noise Cancellation technology, which aids the microphones in eliminating background sounds, so your callers can more easily hear you. I did some test recordings with white noise playing in the background, and the microphones effectively filtered them out. However, it would still sometimes pick up sounds directly in front of me, such as typing on a keyboard.
- IP54 water resistance: While the Shokz OpenFit can resist splashes and sweat, they cannot be submerged in water. Workouts are ok, but taking them in the pool is a no-no.
- Single earbud use: You can use either earbud independently while keeping the other in the charging case.
- AI Noise Cancellation for mics: Since these are open-ear headphones, there is no noise cancellation for listening to music. However, if you make phone calls with the earbuds, the mics will help filter out background noise, so your caller can hear you better.
- Controls: A double-tap on either earbud will play and pause your music. To skip to the next track, hold the touch sensor on the right earbud for 3 seconds. To rewind a track, hold the left earbud for 3 seconds. Unfortunately, you cannot adjust the volume directly on the earbuds; you would need to use your phone for that.
- App connectivity: You can download the Shokz app to adjust the sound equalizer and install firmware updates.
The OpenFit earpieces can last up to 7 hours on a single charge, with the charging case providing up to 28 hours of listening time total. Shokz also notes that a quick 5 minute charge can last up to 1 hour.
The Shokz OpenFit earbuds provide better sound (and bass!) than traditional bone conduction earbuds while still giving you the advantage of open ear sound, so you can hear your surroundings while running outside. They are lightweight, soft and stay comfortable for long walks or runs.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Able to hear approaching vehicles and other sounds
- Very good sound quality
- No volume controls on earbuds
- Multipoint connections not supported