Home / Reviews / Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Bone Conducting Headphones – What’s that?!
Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Bone Conducting Headphones
AfterShokz Headphones | TechForDad.com

Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Bone Conducting Headphones – What’s that?!


What do you imagine when I say Aftershokz Trekz Titanium wireless bone conducting headphones?  I bet it sounds like some kind of futuristic implant where you stick some titanium gadget to some bone on your body allowing you to hear sound wirelessly.  Well, you aren’t too far off, actually.  If you skip the implant part you’ve pretty much nailed what this is.  They are headphones that instead of earbuds that go in your ears uses pads that vibrate the sound through your cheek bone and into your head.  Say what?!  Yes, exactly.  Let me break it down.

What is bone conduction?

Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Bone Conducting Headphones
Bone Conduction | Aftershokz.com

It’s not as unusual as you might think.  Sound currently gets into your head through your eardrum.  What you probably weren’t aware of is that sound is also traveling through your bones.  Remember, sound is just air vibrations.  If something can vibrate, it can conduct sound as it passes through it.

So what is AfterShokz doing with bone conduction?

AfterShokz decided to take the same bone conduction technology developed for military special ops and law enforcement by Voxtech in 2001, patent their renovated version of the technology, and incorporate it into general consumer headphones.  AfterShokz describes the end result as “headphones that deliver unrivaled situational awareness and comfort.”

Here are the three pieces of technology their headphones offer

  • PremiumPitch.  Through design of their own, AfterShokz has fine tuned bone conduction audio to a range that is suitable for both music and voice.  This means you’ll be able to listen to your favorite Backstreet Boys song (don’t deny it!) and also get the same great quality sound for listening to some standup comedy, audio book, or lecture that you’ve been meaning to catch up on.
  • Sweat Resistant.  To nobody’s surprise, their headphones are sweat resistant allowing you to listen to music during those intense workouts including running, bicycling, circuit training, and anything in-between.
  • LeakSlayer.  First of all, the name is awesome, right?!  Second of all, the name fits the technology spot on.  Earbuds, over-the-ear headphones, and even bone conduction headphones commonly suffer from sound leakage especially at high volume.  AfterShokz has incorporated a technology where sound from the transducers, the part that sends the sound through your bones, is released to cancel out the sound leaked from the housing, significantly reducing what others may hear around you compared to traditional earbuds or headphones. LEAKSLAYER!!!!

Let’s talk about their latest headphones the Treks Titanium

The Trekz Titanium are the latest iteration of their wireless bone conduction headphones.  With athletes in mind, these headphones are sweatproof, secure, and due to their open-ear concept are safer than wearing earbuds or over-the-ear headphones especially if jogging or bicycling near people or traffic.

The headphones are covered in rubber that are comfortable to wear and should be safe in many environments.  On the right side behind the ear there is a charging port, LED indicator light, a power/volume up button and a volume down button.  On the opposite side of the sound pad on the left side there is a multipurpose button that servers to switch songs, switch connected devices, take a phone call and other functions.

Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Bone Conducting Headphones
Right side of the AfterShokz Treks Titanium headphones | TechForDad.com

 

Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Bone Conducting Headphones
Left side of the AfterShokz Treks Titanium Headphones | TechForDad.com

 

Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Bone Conducting Headphones
Pads on the AfterShokz Treks Titanium Headphones | TechForDad.com

 

Here is a list of features as specified by their website

  • Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds
  • Titanium wraparound headband is lightweight and flexible for durability and portability
  • OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear
  • PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass
  • Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 connectivity and convenient multipoint pairing
  • LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage
  • IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust and moisture, from workouts to wicked weather
  • Enjoy six hours of continuous music + calls on a single charge
  • EQ presets boost bass and reduce vibration on the go
  • Dual noise canceling microphones exclude surrounding noise, effectively enhancing speech
  • Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, pair, play and talk
  • Hassle-free 2-year warranty

Here are technical specs about the Treks Titanium

  • Speaker type: bone conduction transducers
  • Frequency response: 20Hz~20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 100 ± 3dB
  • Microphone: -40dB ± 3dB
  • Bluetooth version: v4.1
  • Compatible profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
  • Wireless range: 33 ft (10m)
  • Battery: rechargeable lithium ion
  • Continuous play: 6 hours
  • Standby time: 10 days
  • Charge in: 1.5 hours
  • Weight: 1.27 oz (36g)




So what are the pros and cons of bone conduction headphones?

Pros

  • You can listen to music and still hear everything around you (like cars, people, your kids).
  • The materials of the Treks Titanium make the headphones ideal for exercising.
  • Gives people with certain categories of deafness an opportunity to still listen to music and make/take phone calls.
  • May be worn with glasses.  Just make sure to put on the headphones first, then your glasses.

Cons

  • Bone conduction is great for high range sounds.  Not so much for low range frequencies.
  • The only way to isolate outside sound  when wearing bone conduction headphones is to wear ear plugs.  I’m not a fan of ear plugs so that is why I put it as a con but not that big a deal.  Regardless of how you see it, AfterShokz includes ear plugs for your convenience.
  • A con about the Treks Titanium, not bone conduction, is that the part that wraps around the back of your head can lay so low that tilting your head back and sometimes even turning your head may cause them to shift around a little bit.  It’s a noticeable issue for me but I imagine the experience would be different based on ear-to-shoulder distance.
  • When you wear your Treks Titanium and place your glasses on top of them, the glasses will end up loose over your ears leaving potential for your glasses to shift around on your face.

Some tips when getting and using your new headphones

  • AfterShokz recently came out with the Treks Titanium Mini for people that may have smaller heads.  They provide a printout that you can use to measure your head to help determine which size to get.  You can get the print out here.  Just make sure your printer is scaled to 100% on a standard 8.5” x 11” page.
  • In case you want to connect your Treks Titanium to a non-bluetooth device like your desktop computer speakers or your television I recommend the TaoTronics Wireless Portable Bluetooth Transmitter.  As long as your device has a 3.5 mm jack, you connect this dongle to it, sync your Treks to the dongle via bluetooth and you’re all set.  It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to set up.  And because these are the first of their headphones that support multipoint syncing, you’ll be able to sync to both the transmitter and your phone.  You can use the multipurpose button on the headphones to switch between listening to music and taking a phone call.
  • Let’s say you are the outdoorsy type and decide to go camping.  The Treks are a great option because you can enjoy your music but still be aware of your surroundings.  Well, you’ll need to charge them at some point.  For that I recommend you get yourself a solar charger that will charge not just your headphones but your phone and other gadgets as well.  Check out my review of the SunJack Portable Solar Charger.

In conclusion…

AfterShokz has done a great job with taking bone conduction technology and incorporating it into headphones for the general consumer.  Perfect concept for joggers, bicyclists, hikers, parents, office workers, deaf people, etc.  I wouldn’t recommend them for audiophiles but if you need to be able to hear your surroundings while you listen to your favorite music, these headphones will fit the bill.  And with their innovative LEAKSLAYER technology you can wear them and not annoy people around you.

So what do you think?  Do you like this technology?  Will you be getting one for yourself? Do you already have them?  Leave a comment below.  I would love to hear from you.

15 comments

  1. I think the bone-conducting sound was developed for the handicapped people. It was built to help them hear.

    I never thought that it was from the military.

    Well, this headphone caught my attention. I was thinking about buying a good headphone that can cancel outside noise. This is definitely not it.

    But you make a great point with “hearing the ambient sounds”. This is important when you are doing outdoor running. Yes, you want to hear music but it is also important to hear the sound of incoming cars.

    Do you have other alternatives because you said that this headphone prone to move around?

    • Hi Arief,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. You are correct. According to Wikipedia “The first description, in 1923, of a bone conduction hearing aid was Hugo Gernsback’s “Osophone”,which he later elaborated on with his “Phonosone”. I modified my article to more clearly explain that AfterShokz patented their version of the bone conduction technology that was originally developed for the military. Thanks for catching that.

      If you’re looking to isolate outside noise AfterShoks provides earplugs. I find this solution annoying but understandable.

      I looked at the headphones a bit more closely. The reason they are prone to move is because of the angle they site on the back of your head. I believe they did this so that you can still wear a helmet. The key to solving this issue is to find headphones that are specifically meant for running/hiking and not for bicycling (aka where a helmet does not need to be considered). I’ll add this to my list of things to find. Keep an eye out for a future review on such headphones.

      Great feedback. Thanks!

  2. hi nice website and an interesting subject, i have to say that i was just reading a book by an author called napoleon hill, your may have heard of him he wrote the book “THINK RICH GROW RICH” well his son blair hill was born with no ears. but later in life was given an hearing aid one of the first ever if i remember, anyway as he had no ears he put the device on top of his head an voila he could hear and it was the bone vibrations that made him able to hear. i guess you already know this.
    many thanks.

    • Hi David,

      I hadn’t heard of THINK RICH GROW RICH. Even though it’s from 1937, it has great ratings on Amazon! I’ll check it out. Very interesting story about Mr. Hill’s son Blair. I love good feel stories. In fact when I realized that bone conduction headphones allow deaf people hear, I was even more excited to write about it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hang on…so I can hear my music and the rest of the world at the same time, but nobody else can hear my music? That’s kinda my dream come true. I’m a little confused as to where they sit on the face though, is it the part right up high, just in front of the ears?

    • Hi Shirley,
      When I heard about bone conduction headphones I had a similar reaction. I was like “you mean I can walk into a room and play my own theme song…in my head?!” “You mean I can listen to my music and pretend to be listening to my wife and kids?!” LOL. Kidding about that last part but, yeah, pretty awesome tech.
      I believe you got it right as to the position. The pads sit on the flat part of your face between your sideburn and the ear. Hope that makes sense. Who knew that part of your face could be useful! 🙂

  4. Hi Juan!
    Great article. I never knew that sound could be transmitted through our bones! Crazy. How do they work for people with fuller faces or facial hair?

    • Hi Steve,

      Yeah! This technology is definitely impressive. While I don’t have definitive answers for you I can offer you my opinion. The cheek bone right by your ears I believe are just as accessible whether you have a thin or full face. I don’t think it changes and therefore will not be a problem. Facial hair should also not be problem. If you look at people’s sideburns, there is always a gap of exposed skin between the ear and the sideburn. That is where the headphone pads will sit. FYI, I was curious as to what AfterShokz would say about this so I emailed them these questions. I’ll post their response when I get one. Good questions. Thanks!

      • First of all, let me say that AfterShokz has great customer service. I sent them an inquiry using their online form in the middle of the night last night and I had an answer early today! Great job guys!

        So here’s what they said about your inquiries, Steve.

        The Treks Titanium were designed specifically for athletes including cyclists. If the headband hangs to low, here are the suggested alternatives:

        The Trek’s Titanium Mini. They have the exact same features as the regular Treks Titanium’s but the headband is one inch shorter allowing for a more comfortable option for those with smaller heads. I think this may be what I need.

        The Bluez 2S model. Also wireless but lacks multipoint pairing, has a nylon vs titanium frame, and weights 1.45 oz (0.18 oz more than the Treks Titanium). AfterShokz says these do sit higher on the head.

        How do they work for people with fuller faces or facial hair?
        AfterShokz kept it short and simple so I’ll share their direct response. “The vibrations sent through the transducers are strong enough that they can still be used by users with fuller faces and beards.”

        There you go! If you go out and get any of these, please use my provided links and help support future reviews on TechForDad. Thanks!

  5. The site looks great!

    Great information!

    The draw back for me are having to wear the ear plugs. I was considering purchasing a set up until I read that. That’s my opinion, so, if you don’t mind the ear plugs, I’d say give it a try!

    The pros out beats the cons by along shot!

    Becky

    • Hi Becky,

      Thanks for checking out my review. Just to be clear, you don’t NEED to wear the earplugs to enjoy the music from these bone conduction headphones. That’s what’s great about these headphones, you can hear your music AND your surrounds. Only if you wish to isolate yourself to the music do you need earplugs. I guess if you really wanted an alternative to using earplugs for isolation they could create noise cancellation earmuffs of sort that attach to the headphones. Just a thought. Thanks again!

  6. Could you show device to charge battery?
    How about their specification.

    • Hi Ppattarap,

      Yes, I’ll make sure to update the post with that information. Good point! For now I’ll mention that the cable that comes with the headphones is a regular USB to micro-USB cable. Thanks!

  7. Thank you for your helpful site which deals with new tecknology

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