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SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones

SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones

16.10.23 08:24 3Text: NoPain (translated by AI)Photos: Erwin HaidenReview of the latest Shokz (formerly AfterShokz) headphones with patented bone conduction technology for open ears during training and leisure.16.10.23 08:24 131

SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones

16.10.23 08:24 131 NoPain (translated by AI) Erwin Haiden
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Review of the latest Shokz (formerly AfterShokz) headphones with patented bone conduction technology for open ears during training and leisure.16.10.23 08:24 131

The word "Innovation" is often used in our circles, frequently to the point of inflation. However, in the case of the OpenRun Pro by Shokz, this designation is undoubtedly justified, as the now 9th generation of patented bone conduction technology impresses with improved sound, sophisticated design, a more comfortable fit, extremely high environmental awareness, and a 10-hour battery life with quick charge function.

Although the new flagship of the Shokz sports headphones still cannot compete with high-quality over-ear or in-ear headphones in terms of sound and the completely open design significantly impairs music or podcast enjoyment in the presence of loud street noises, it can undoubtedly be a real gamechanger for certain types of athletes with the appropriate expectations.

Bone conduction technology

Detailansicht

Shokz headphones keep the ears open by transmitting the sound vibration not through the air into the ear canal and the middle ear, but through the skull bones into the inner ear. For this purpose, there are so-called transducer capsules located just in front of the ear on the left and right at the temples.

Due to the open design without earbuds or ear cushions, all ambient sounds, including shouts, ringing, and honking, reach the ear unhindered and can be well localized. This feature is not only of great use with various means of transportation but also allows in the office to hear colleagues speaking without them having to raise their voice.

  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones

Features of the Shokz OpenRun Pro

1. Open Comfort: With proprietary bone conduction technology and an open-ear design that does not block the ear canals, the OpenRun Pro offers all-day comfort - even during intense workouts. Includes ergonomic fit at a light weight of 29 grams.
2. Unrestricted Freedom of Movement for More Safety: Ambient sounds are not drowned out at normal volume, which ensures greater safety when listening to music on public roads - whether you are cycling, running, or just wandering around.
3. Freedom of Movement: Without annoying cables, you can move freely without getting caught or having to constantly untangle them.
4. Secure Fit: A wrap-around titanium band ensures that the headphones stay in place during every workout, run, or competition.
5. Shokz Turbopitch Technology for Enhanced Bass: Two bass amplifiers are located inside the sound transducers and ensure that not only accentuated sounds in the mid and high frequency range are delivered, but also stronger bass than before. However, the lows leave something to be desired.
6. High Battery Performance: The OpenRun Pro offers 10 hours of music and calls.
7. Versatility: The wireless sports headphones with dual microphone including noise cancellation can also be used for calls and voice commands.
8. Mobility: The compact headphones are easy to store, transport, or simply "wrap" around the neck.
9. Pairing: The OpenRun Pro are quickly and easily paired with Bluetooth devices and connect automatically upon powering on. Includes firmware updates or optional configuration via smartphone app.
10. Fast Charging: The OpenRun Pro features Quick Charge. A 5-minute quick charge offers 1.5 hours of listening time.

The OpenRun Pro feature an enlarged button shape for intuitive control, as well as a new position of the charging port, and are sweat and water resistant according to the IP55 protection class.

 Unmatched sound quality?
NOT. 

With the claim "Premium sports headphones with unmatched sound quality," the Shokz copywriters have probably gone a bit overboard.
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones

Shokz OpenRun Pro

Model S810
Colors Pink, Black, Blue, Beige
Speaker Type Bone-Conduction Transducer, 8.5ohm±20%
Frequency 20Hz~20KHz
Bluetooth Version 5.1
Transmission Frequency 2400MHz-2483.5MHz
Range 10 Meters
Built-in Microphone Yes, -38dB±3dB
Weight 29 Grams
Protection Class IP55
Battery Type Lithium-Ion
Battery Capacity 140 mAh
Charging Time 1 Hour
Fast Charging Function Yes, 5 minutes for 1.5 hours
Charging Cable USB with proprietary connector, 5V±5%
Playtime / Stand-by Time Up to 10 Hours / 10 Days
Scope of Delivery OpenRun Pro Headphones, Magnetic Charging Cable, Transport Case
RRP € 189.95 RRP

 Bone Conduction Headphones for Open Ears 

  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones

In practice while cycling

The Shokz headphones are characterized by their "Open-Ear-Form", making them ideal for sporting activities - especially while moving in traffic. Their patented bone conduction technology allows for listening to music, podcasts, or making phone calls while simultaneously being aware of ambient sounds.

To wear them, you hang them over the ears - the actual speakers are placed in front of the ears, leaving the ear canal itself open. Although there is a light, balanced pressure on the ears, the hygienic and overall comfortable fit always ensures a firm and secure position without creating any pressure in the ear. Additionally, no heat builds up around the ear in the summer, which is often a problem with closed headphones.

With various bike helmets and glasses, there was no space issue for two reviewers despite the surrounding titanium frame - depending on the model of glasses, however, a frame collision could possibly occur. This is definitely something to try out and possibly opt for cycling glasses with as straight a frame as possible.

  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones

In the review, we had to - despite the manufacturer's big promises - notice that the sound quality was not comparable to conventional headphones. I would describe the sound as muffled and thin, with hardly noticeable bass, which is due to the transmission via skin and bones. Moreover, from certain wind speeds or with particularly loud ambient noises, it was almost impossible to listen to music, let alone follow the content of podcasts. Their big safety advantage, not drowning out ambient sounds at normal volume, became their biggest disadvantage in this case. At high volume, vibrations on the speakers also began to irritate.

The same applies to making phone calls: under normal conditions, this worked excellently, although the built-in microphone did not deliver crystal-clear quality; from a certain point (approx. 30 km/h riding speed, strong wind, or on the train) the conversation had to be terminated.

The control of the Shoks worked excellently in return. Turn on/off right behind the ear, as well as louder, quieter, forward and back (using two buttons on the bottom), and a large, easily accessible button left in front of the ear for play/pause as well as answering/ending calls. One quickly got used to the minimal pressure of the 29 grams lightweight headphones and so I found myself repeatedly walking around with the Shokz turned on and connected for hours while cycling or on foot - with a standby time of 10 days, fortunately no problem at all.

Shokz App

The Shokz app (Google Play and Apple App Store) assists with setup, updating the firmware, and multi-point pairing. Additionally, it allows for customization of the listening experience and choosing between two EQ settings (Standard or Vocal Booster).

  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones

Important Information: "Cycling with Headphones in Austria.

In Austria, there is no legal regulation that explicitly prohibits listening to music through headphones while cycling, but from the perspective of traffic safety, it is rather advised against. Hearing ambient sounds is important to perceive potential dangers such as passing vehicles, honking, or other cyclists or pedestrians. Therefore, it is recommended to always keep the volume at a reasonable level.

Furthermore, the traffic regulations stipulate that a vehicle may only be steered by someone who is in such a physical and mental condition that they can control a vehicle and comply with the legal regulations to be observed while steering a vehicle. If one listens to music through headphones so loudly that they can no longer perceive their surroundings acoustically or if the perception is impaired, the required condition is no longer met and penalties may occur. In the event of an accident, contributory negligence could also be attributed under certain circumstances.

  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones
  • SHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports HeadphonesSHOKZ Openrun Pro Sports Headphones

Conclusion

Shokz OpenRun Pro
Model Year: 2023
Review Duration: 1 Month
Price: € 189.95 RRP
+ Secure fit, high comfort
+ Excellent ambient awareness
+ Communication with others possible despite headphones
+ Unobtrusive design
+ Long battery life
o Microphone quality
- Sound quality
- Difficult to understand in high noise levels
- Vibrations at high volume
- Frame bothers in some situations (e.g., while lying down)
BB-Verdict: A game changer for many applications, but certainly not for all.


The Shokz bone conduction headphones offer an innovative alternative for athletes who want to enjoy music while engaging in their hobbies, without losing sight or sound of their surroundings. However, it must be noted that their sound quality cannot compete with traditional headphones. The OpenRun Pro, although the best sounding among all Shokz headphones, still have a comparatively dull and thin sound profile.

For me personally, safety while cycling takes precedence over the total sound experience, and in this respect, the Shokz headphones definitely provide added value. They deliberately integrate the outside world into the sound experience, which is particularly advantageous for perceiving ambient noises and reacting quickly to them.

The OpenRun Pro offer good wearing comfort, can be well integrated into daily life, and have an impressive battery life of around ten hours. Those who are willing to compromise on sound quality and briefly pause at a certain noise level will find these headphones a reliable companion for their cycling adventures. Additionally, the open design does not create pressure in the ear, does not trap heat, and avoids problems that people prone to middle ear or eardrum inflammations might experience.