Review: Aftershokz OpenMove Bone Conduction Earphones

Aftershokz OpenMove Bone Conduction Earphones


The first time I tried on the Aftershokz Air in an airport shop years ago pre-COVID when international travel was still a thing, I remember being very impressed by the quality of these strange earphones that transmit sound in an unconventional way. On top of listening to music, these earphones made me ‘feel’ the music quite literally with the little tingles it transmitted. I was intrigued, but not convinced that I needed them.


Fast forward to post-COVID life stuck on a sunny island called Singapore with a newly bought bicycle like hundreds of others. While coasting down a long breezy stretch on the rail corridor, I was craving to be accompanied with some fine music and finally saw a need for these Aftershokz bone conduction earphones.


Aftershokz OpenMove

There are various models by Aftershokz and the Aftershokz OpenMove is labelled as an entry level. In the box, it comes with a pouch for storage, charging wire and a pair of ear plugs (presumably for when you don’t actually want to hear ambient sounds?).

Aftershokz OpenMove Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
Aftershokz OpenMove Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones

The Aftershokz OpenMove comes in 4 different colours and has a smooth matte finish on the body. There are just two basic buttons for on/off, Bluetooth connectivity and controlling of volume. I do wish the buttons could control switching to the next song too.

Controls on the Aftershokz OpenMove
Controls on the Aftershokz OpenMove

7th gen bone conduction technology

The current version is already in the 7th gen of its technology – which means the sound quality is really not too shabby! Disclaimer that I’m a very average music consumer with not much knowledge on sound quality, so I will not go deep into that. I would just say that while it definitely pales in comparison to your airpods and the likes, to me it is quite sufficient for the purpose to provide some anthem during my sports sesh. Being bone conducting, it does give one a tingling sensation but I got used it very quickly.


Be aware of your surroundings while listening to music

The wonderful thing about these Aftershokz OpenMove headphones is that it allows you to be engrossed in your private world of music whilst keeping you aware of your surroundings – very important for safety! This quality is not only useful for cycling but also for various other sports such as running, climbing, trekking and even Zoom workout sessions.


With that said, don’t expect to be able to have a full-on conversation with your buddy while running and on these headphones. I was initially concerned about whether others are able to hear my music. I would say that while some sound will be picked up by people in close vicinity, it is not quite enough for them to judge your trashy playlist.


6-hour battery life

After a couple of months of owning the Aftershokz OpenMove, I’ve only had to charge this a couple of times. Very decent battery life for usage frequency of 1-2 times a week. I appreciate that it charges via a USB-C port which makes it convenient for charging.


Fit

At 29g of weight, these headphones are very lightweight. One thing I would love to be improved would definitely be the fit. These come only in one size and being a female with a smaller head circumference, they are not the most form-fitting. They don’t slide off, but the titanium band does hang loose. It would be fantastic if the band is adjustable.

Aftershokz OpenMove
Aftershokz OpenMove

Connectivity

The Aftershokz OpenMove earphones connect via Bluetooth 5.0 to your device. In my experience, the connection skips at times when connected to my phone on Spotify. That does not happen often enough to annoy me. For some reason, the connection seems to drop more frequently when connected to my laptop for Zoom yoga sessions. I’m not quite sure why it happens but whenever I’m on Zoom, the sound gets disconnected every few minutes or so. Does not seem to happen any other time though (Note: We are not sure if this is an issue with the Aftershokz OpenMove or the laptop or the Zoom platform itself). These would be perfect for virtual workouts in the morning if not for the jumpy connection.

Aftershokz OpenMove Bluetooth Connection Instructions
Aftershokz OpenMove Bluetooth Connection Instructions

Conclusion

While they are not the best earphones, they provide a decent and affordable option as earphones for cycling, running, climbing – times when being aware to ambient sounds is important for safety. The fit is secure even for smaller headsizes but would be even better if it is adjustable. With that said it is well-built with sufficient battery life – no regrets having gotten one.


At the time of writing it is available on Lazada and Shopee for S$119. It comes with 2 years of warranty.


Aftershokz Aeropex Headphones

Those with larger budgets may want to consider getting the higher-end model Aftershoz Aeropex which offers even better sound quality and longer battery life. It is also available on Lazada and Shopee at S$249 at time of writing.