Editor’s Choice: AfterShokz Sport Bone Conduction Headphones

AfterShokz isn’t the first company to create headphones that don’t have to go inside your ears, but they are the first ones I’ve seen to perfect them.

We receive the AfterShokz headphones a couple of weeks ago and after unboxing them and trying them out right on the Live show I promptly adopted them for my own! That’s right, after one listen I absconded with the goods. I’m not proud of it, but I did it and I’ll own up to it.

However, I have taken the opportunity to allow others to listen to “my” headphones, because after all these things don’t go in your ears! Or even on your ears. But instead, they sit right in front of your ears against the bone right above your jaw.

I know you might be thinking, “that sounds weird”. But actually, it sounds great!

AfterShokz are powered headphones that use their own rechargeable battery. If I had any complaint it would be that in order to recharge them you have to use their proprietary USB to headphone jack adapter. The benefit to doing so is that the battery is very small and light. But non-standard adapters are a high price to pay, so I think I’d prefer an inline AAA battery or something like that.

The headphones come with an inline controller that allows you to power them on and off as well as control volume. Other than that, the only other thing to know is how to actually put them on properly.

We’re all accustomed to putting earbuds in our ears, or muffs over them. But the AfterShokz wrap around the back of your head and sit on the flat area between your ears and eyes, just in front of your ears.

Once they’re on and you crank up the music, the strangest thing is that you can still hear what is going on around you – while you’re listening to the music! This really helps from a safety perspective if you’re doing other things, such as riding a bike or operating machinery.

The most frequent question I’m asked is, how is the bass response? It’s great! If you really crank it up with a heavy bass track the pads will almost get to hopping around on your head. Some people said this was a little strange, bordering on annoying. But personally I think its great and you’d get used to it.

We’re giving the AfterShokz a Geek Beat Editor’s Choice award for their unique design, excellent sound, and all around coolness factor. You can pick up a pair for yourself over on Amazon for $60 without mic, or $70 with a microphone.


  1. Robert says

    Great concept. Unfortunately poor quality. Mine lasted for 2 workouts. 10 mins. into the 3rd use, poof! they were gone. Actually one ear got a little fuzzy, then within about 3 mins. all sound just quit. Tried recharging them, etc., but there was no way to resurrect them.

    Very poor quality, now I have to hassle with returning them to Amazon, plus I lose the shipping fee I paid. Very bad taste in my mouth over this product.

  2. Gary says

    I use a “swim bag” to plug in waterproof earbuds to my mp3 player. I wonder if these are waterproof (would have to waterproof the control pod) and will stay put under a swim cap?

  3. Matt says

    What about wearing them with glasses? Anyone have a chance to see if those fit without putting permanent marks in the side of their heads (either from the Aftershokz or glasses)?

    • Profile photo of John P. says

      Hey Matt, I wear glasses so all of my experience was with using them. No additional pressure, and I don’t even remember them touching the glasses or disturbing them in any way.

  4. Jessica says

    As an FYI – these are not currently available on Amazon. However; BN.com has them in stock.

  5. Tom C. says

    Sounds interesting, but, do they fit major sized melons like mine? I have a set of the Motorola S10-HDs and they are just too small for my head.

    • Ross says

      I wear an average size hate and they fit me perfectly. I was surprised that the don’t seem to be adjustable though.

      • Tom C. says

        Ha! So Ross, just what is an average size hate?? ;-) Well, I don’t and that’s what I’m trying to find out, but, apparently nobody else on here has an larger than average melon. I was trying on hats at Cavender’s recently and could not find one large enough. The biggest they had on the shelf was 7 3/4.

  6. says

    Answered my question too! Thanks John/Macsessed.

    Meanwhile, if anyone finds a *good* source for the UK….

    Otherwise I may just break down and see if my sister can ship some over from the States.

  7. says

    Thanks for the additional info John! I tend to have my volume quite low, so it does sound like AfterShokz could work for me – I’m hoping to use them at work, where I need to be able to hear the phone and colleagues.


  8. says

    Thanks for the review John. The only thing that puts me off ordering a pair, apart from not being able to find them in the UK, is whether noise leakage is an issue – wouldn’t want to annoy people around me.

    • Profile photo of John P. says

      Understood. I was worried about that too. But it turns out they are only a little noisier than normal headphones.

      Example: I plugged them into my laptop in a quite office with Cali. At the lower volume settings, like up to 1/3 volume, she couldn’t hear them 5 feet from me. As I approached about 40% volume she began to hear them. By 50% she could hear them pretty well.

      By comparison, with earbuds she couldn’t even begin to hear them until they were around 50-60%. Having said that, the level was actually painful either way. At comfortable listening levels she could not hear them sitting right beside me.


      John P.

    • Ross says

      I just tried my pair today for the first time and I am a little disappointed by the noise leakage. I am not sure if I am doing something wrong, it is a defective set, or I just misunderstood how the things work. The experience I get is that I can’t even tell the bone conduction is working. It is like having little speakers positioned right next to the outside of my ear.

      The sound quality is good and I can hear them and ambient noise just fine but everyone around me can hear them just as well.

      I will keep experimenting and see if I can figure anything out but for now I am disappointed. Having said the above, these will work fine for biking which was the primary intended use but I will not use them in the gym what I had planned on doing.

  9. Melvyn Heard says

    This looks exactly like my Motorola S9 bluetooth headphones. The S9s have been great, I have used them for the past two years.

  10. Marcel says

    Thanks for the review. I was lucky enough to pick up three pairs during their 50% off promotion for CES, Unfortunately they dont ship to Canada so I had to ship to a US address and then eventually I’ll get them mailed here or pick them up on my next trip. It may take a few months for me to get them but I think it will be well worth it, I just can’t wait to try them out. Im always either biking or walking to work so for safety these are perfect for me. One other thing I find really great about them is that they have a lifetime warranty. So if that charger doesnt work anymore or the batteries crap out they shouldnt be a problem to get fixed or replaced for free.

  11. Rick Haseltine says

    Thanks for following up and completing this review.
    I dislike anything that are in or over my ears.
    Especially since I pre-ordered them as soon as i saw them on the Live show