I have gone through a number of headphones over the years as I’ve either been interested in or required specific features, such as:
- Bluetooth connectivity (to use with my Lumia 1520),
- built-in microphone,
- software integration with other peripherals (i.e. keyboard and mouse).
My Logitech UE9000 headphones seemed to easily cover all of those features on paper but sorely let me down when it came to the microphone audio quality and then ultimately when it came to build quality. Six months is far too soon for any decent pair of headphones to fail.
Anyway, I had the UE9000 headphones replaced with the G930 gaming headset but that was only ever going to be useful at home on my desktop computer as that is where I game. This meant that I had lost my solution for audio consumption at work, at the gym and for my lunchtime walks during the week.
So the search began.
While I enjoyed closed ear headphones at the gym they inhibited my ability to hear other people or fire alarms at work (I have to pay attention as resident chief warden of my building). Plus, they aren’t terribly safe if I am out walking as you can’t readily hear the traffic or my surroundings. This meant I needed open ear headphones of some sort and then bone conduction headphones came on to my radar.
What is bone conduction?
In a nutshell, bone conduction headphones use a pair of transducers to vibrate the bones in your face (such as the cheek bones) sending sound to your inner ear without going via the ear drum. You don’t actually put these headphones on or in your ears, they just sit on top of your face in front of your ears. The basic concept is similar to that employed by Ludwig van Beethoven when he went deaf whilst persevering with his music (although he bit down on a metal bar connected to his piano to pick up sound via his teeth).
Bone conduction seemed to be the ticket in terms of the technology and fit with my requirements and after some research I settled on the Aftershokz AS500 Bluez 2 Open Ear Wireless Stereo Headphones. For $US99.95 it seemed to be a reasonable price to test it out and share my thoughts with you.
Anyway, here’s the unboxing video!
In the meantime, if you’ve got any questions about these headphones just pop your question below and I’ll do my best to answer them 🙂