Aftershokz Aeropex Headphones Reviews | Cycling news
Listening to music while cycling on the road is a controversial topic because not being able to hear what is going on in your surroundings is an obvious drawback. As earphone and headphone manufacturers strive to increase isolation from the outside world in an effort to provide the best audio experience, listening to music while cycling has resigned itself to the applications of ‘Off-road or indoor training without traffic.
Aftershokz Aeropex headphones use bone conduction technology to produce audio rather than air conduction like normal headphones. Bone conduction works by transmitting vibrations through the cheekbones into the cochlea. By not filling in or covering your ears, you are fully aware of your surroundings. We use the Aeropex on and off road and believe this could be the best wireless headphones for cycling.
Design and performance
Often the biggest issue with regular headphones is comfort, because everyone’s ears are shaped differently, it can be difficult to find a secure and comfortable fit. Since the Aeropex does not need to be pressed into your ear canals, there is an immediate benefit in terms of comfort. The Aeropex rests lightly behind the ears and the pads rest gently under the temples. There is no adjustment in the headband, but there have been no sizing issues in our range of tester heads. The Aeropex are still pristine after months of daily use, the soft-touch rubber finish wipes clean easily and has an IP67 water resistance rating if the ride gets wet and dirty. Traditional headphones can often require some handling and readjustment to be correct and even the best fitting headphones can present a risk of leakage on rough surfaces, being a single unit eliminates this and there is no noticeable movement. when driving. We’ve tested everything on everything from road to enduro MTB tracks and they stay put.
There was an initial concern of incompatibility with some helmet or sunglasses combos, but after using them with a range of road and deep open-face mountain bike helmets, there is no still had problem. The rear band is also fairly low, allowing easy access to the helmet retention dials.
There is a multi-function button on the front of the left pad that controls music and activates your phone’s smart assistant and is easy to locate even when wearing winter gloves. There are two more buttons behind the right ear that control the volume, turn the headphones on and off, and activate pairing mode. Charging takes two hours and uses a neat magnetic cable that is easy to connect and disconnect, Aftershokz includes two in the box. The headphones connect quickly and reliably to my phone when turned on and the bluetooth signal is strong, so there is no dropout – even if I walk around the house without my phone after the ride.
Manufacturers’ claims of battery life should generally be taken with a pinch of salt, but from experience Aftershokz appears to have sold short, playing time easily equaled the claimed eight hours. and easily lasts a full day’s work. The wait time is also very impressive, long enough to wear them on during group walks if you are not with the group and want to start playing music quickly.
The Aeropex are Aftershokz’s premium earphones and have been refined to deliver the best sound quality in its range. Bone conduction is known to struggle with bass, but the Aeropex does a decent job of reproducing the full sound spectrum of a song. There may be a touch of vibration against the head at high volumes, but it’s not uncomfortable or annoying. There is also very little noise leakage, so no one will be able to hear you blowing up your secret driving pleasure playlist.
In environments with a lot of ambient noise, outside sound may start to drown out the sound, although other than driving on busy roads or when the wind noise was unusually loud, this was not a problem. In these situations, music is much better while podcasts or audiobooks are better kept for a quieter environment.
While the main benefit of bone conductor technology is the ability to listen without blocking out everyday noise. However, from time to time you will probably want to disassociate yourself from the surroundings – for example when using them off the bike or for your indoor cycling efforts. For this, Aftershokz includes a set of earplugs in the box if you need them.
Not being isolated from the world means you can still hear the bike, the nature around you, and be able to spontaneously chat with people without clumsily struggling to pause music or remove an earpiece. I never really recognized how much sound helps control the bike and being able to hear what the tires or gears are doing can make a noticeable difference when riding.
Call quality is reasonable for both parties and Aeropex features but like all other headphones I’ve tried, the quality depends a lot on the amount of wind and surrounding noise.
It should also be noted that because Aeropex does not use air conduction, it may still be possible to listen to music if you have a damaged eardrum. Of course, it depends on each individual’s condition, Aftershokz offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if purchased directly from their website so you can try and come back if needed.
Some riders want to hear nothing more than the rumble of the tires as they ride while others like to listen to music. I prefer to listen to music or podcasts and the Aftershokz Aeropex has become something I will never take a ride without. The fit and forgetting comfort allows them to be worn without irritation even on very long rides or when not in use.
Likewise, the Aeropex can have a hard time in busy traffic where there is a lot of noise, but this is when listening to your surroundings is most important. Once free of congestion the sound quality is impressive, even if you are an audiophile they won’t compete with the high end in-ear options. However, being able to hear the sound of the bike alongside your favorite songs makes the music a soundtrack for your ride and becomes a much more immersive and enjoyable experience.
Technical specification: Aftershokz Aeropex
- Price: £ 150.00 / $ 159.95 / € 169.95
- Trial period: Four months
- Colors: four
- Connectivity: bluetooth
- Weight: 26g (real)