Shokz OpenRun Review: Open Ears, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose
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1 oz. (28 g)
IP67 water resistant
Up to 8 hours
SETH: We live in a fast-paced world full of moving vehicles, terrible drivers, and other distractions — so audio devices like earbuds and headphones block your ability to hear, which can prove quite risky and dangerous. Is bumping that new Drake album really worth the risk of being trampled by an 18-wheeler? Probably not. But I, and many others, risk it every day.
Thankfully, there may just be a solution to avoid or minimize risk allowing you to jam out and still hear everything around you. These are the Shokz OpenRun bone conduction headphones.
Bone conduction is when sound travels through the bones in your skull to reach your inner ear, allowing you to hear crisp, clear audio without blocking your ear canal.
The fact that I can jam out and remain aware of my surroundings is awesome, but is this a quality product worth more than a Benjamin to pick up? Well, that decision will be up to you. I can, of course, offer a little guidance along the way, so let’s dig into everything you ever wanted to know about the Shokz OpenRun headphones.
SETH: Let’s say your Shokz OpenRun are dead because you haven’t charged them in a week and your buddy invites you to go workout. He says he’ll be at your house in 20 minutes, what do you do? Well, don’t worry because 15 minutes on the charger is enough to juice your OpenRun headphones for a full 60-minute workout. If you have a fast-paced lifestyle, or you’re just too lazy to charge your headphones before bed (that’s me), you’ll love the quick charging.
The Shokz OpenRun also fit pretty much perfectly. I’ve had trouble in the past with earbuds that didn’t quite fit my ear canal or just weren’t secure enough over the course of a run. The over-ear design of the OpenRun pretty much knocks that worry out of the question. You just loop each earbud — for lack of a better term — over your ear, and the slight curve of the band holds them tight to your head.
One area that traditional earbuds tend to shine, however, is by getting your tunes directly into your ears. They block out the outside world, letting you just enjoy whatever it is that helps to pass your run. I honestly questioned how the open-ear design would affect the sound quality of the Shokz but found myself pleasantly surprised. Tones come through crisp and clear, especially when listening to the human voice.
You can also tap into the super convenient audio control features (skip, pause, pairing, and volume) and the fact that the Shokz OpenRun headphones are waterproof. I’ve never had any worries about running in the pouring rain.Shop Shokz Shop Shokz Mini
SETH: The Shokz OpenRun headphones are pretty cool, but there are a few things you should probably consider before you smash the Add to Cart button. For starters, the microphone. It’s fine in quiet areas like an apartment, but once you get into a noisy gym or step into a breezy afternoon, the quality goes out the window. Sounds come out distorted like you’re on a call in the middle of a tornado… and we’re not in Kansas anymore.
I also have some concerns with the volume output from the Shokz OpenRun. Yes, sound quality is great, but I find that I can’t make it louder than the ambient noise of running by a major highway or an active construction site. Even if I max the volume out, I still hear jackhammers instead of Jack White. My headphones are my savior on brutal long runs, and I just can’t handle the outside sounds.
Despite the Shokz offering fast charging for a quick pick-me-up, the battery life could be a bit better. Eight hours is more than enough for a workout or a run, but you might want more if you’re powering through an ultramarathon or you have a long shift at work. Additionally, you have to remember to shut off your headphones in order to preserve that idle charge — not something that AirPods have to contend with.
One final issue — the Shokz OpenRun charger. It’s a proprietary design, which means you’ll have to order a new one if you lose it rather than using a charger from an iPhone or Android.Shop Shokz Shop Shokz Mini
SETH: I’ve really enjoyed the Shokz OpenRun in my day-to-day life. The headphones are quick, easy, and convenient. I place them around my neck when heading out the door, whether I know I’ll need them or not. That said, if you’re looking for a premium pair of headphones to immerse yourself in the audio dimension or take phone calls all the time, the OpenRun probably isn’t for you.
I’d still recommend a pair for travel days and whatever other times you need to be mostly aware but still want to listen to your favorite playlist. Whether you’re in an Uber, walking through an airport, or waiting on a pizza in the oven while cleaning your house, there’s always something you need to hear.
The Shokz OpenRun offers decent battery life, good sound quality, and premium durability to go along with a sense of safety while out and about. If you’re one who loves listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks while needing to hear the world around you, the OpenRun is right up your alley.
You can pick up the Shokz OpenRun for $129 at Running Warehouse (featuring free two-day shipping and 90-day returns) using the shop links below.
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Seth Epley is an ultramarathoner and avid outdoorsman. After graduating high school, Seth struggled with drinking and was ultimately unhappy with the way he was living. Running became a remedy, and 3 years later he ran his first 200-mile race and has maintained a 100% sober lifestyle. In addition to running, he enjoys archery, videography, photography, and all things outdoors.More from Seth
Totally agree with this review. Had many issues with other earphones which are falling from my ears while running (jabra, AirPods and more).
These are super stable and the fact it provides more safety.
The cons are the volume, very annoying while it’s a little loud and also the unique charging cable. Also need to be recharged quite often (other earphones have their charging case).
Good only for runs, for other cases will use m’y AirPods Pro.