The Garage Accessories

Save Dollars and Your Eardrums With a Deal on My Go-To Bone Conduction Headphones

Bone conduction headphones leave your ears open, so you can hear your spouse yelling at you to come in from the garage.

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I bought a set of Shokz OpenRun Pro Bluetooth headphones about 6 months ago, at full price I might add, and I’ve been impressed with them. If you’re unfamiliar with bone-conduction headphones, here’s the difference. Traditional headphones works by sending sound to your ear through the air in your ear canal to vibrate your eardrum. This vibrates three bones in your middle ear, which then moves fluid in the cochlea, that moves the stereocilia, which finally shocks the auditory nerve. Bone conduction headphones cut the eardrum out of the equation by sitting on your temples and sending vibrations through your cheekbones and into the cochlea. There’s nothing physically in your ears, so you can still hear what’s going on around you.

I use mine all the time and I’ve found the pros and cons. First, if you’re an audiophile, these don’t provide the sound quality of even mid-level in-ear headphones. They don’t the range or the clarity, but if you’re someone happy with the typical earbuds you get from Amazon for $30 or less, you probably won’t notice a huge difference. But, if you are willing to give up some sound quality so you can listen to music and still hear what’s going on, you will love these.

SHOKZ OpenRun Pro – Open-Ear Bluetooth Bone Conduction Sport Headphones

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I wear my OpenRun Pros while working in the garage so I can still hear if someone speaks to me and also, so I can hear what my tools are doing. The same goes with cooking, if I don’t want to fire up the stereo system. I don’t like them for exercising indoors when I want to tune out the world, but if I’m on my cycling or walking outside, these are ideal because I can still hear traffic. They also work great for phone calls, which surprised me since the mic is way up on your cheekbone. I can’t say how long the battery life is with any certainty, it’s rated at 10 hours. I’ve used them for maybe three hours in one sitting and was in the midrange of charge. The charging rate is claimed to be 1.5 hours of operation per 5 minutes of charging.

I wear mine with my prescription glasses with no interference. I also wear them with my bike helmet and sunglasses without issues. I don’t think you could comfortably get these inside a motorcycle or car helmet since the back strap sits off your head. The OpenRun Pro is normally $180 but they are currently on sale for $140.