Bone conduction

AfterShokz Aeropex Review

AfterShokz Aeropex Review & Full Guide

“I am so excited and I just can’t hide it”, a song that spontaneously popped up in my mind when receiving a big black box showcasing silver letters… AfterShokz! This one I had been looking forward too for several months and finally Fedex dropped it at my door. This tiny treasure contained the one and only AfterShokz Aeropex, the sensational (I hope so) successor of the AfterShokz Trekz Air. According to AfterShokz the Aeropex is the result of a long journey of enhancements, innovations, user review analyses and testing. Better sound quality, less sound leakage, lower weight, better wearing comfort… are a few of the enhancement areas AfterShokz is proudly presenting to all of us. So as usual… time to test these bone conduction headphones! Time to test if AfterShokz can make up to their vast array of promises. Our one and only complete AfterShokz Aeropex Review!

AfterShokz Aeropex Storage Bag

AfterShokz Aeropex Storage Bag

AfterShokz’ road to the Aeropex

The AfterShokz Aeropex isn’t the first milestone in AfterShokz history. The well-known brand has been producing bone conduction headphones and bone conduction sunglasses for about 7 years now. The company itself was founded in 2011 in Syracuse (New York). Their first bone conduction headphones were the Sportz M1. This wired bone conduction headset immediately hit the bull’s eye by winning the 2012 Wall Street Annual Tech Innovation Award. In 2013 the Bluez, the first wireless bone conduction headphone, and the Sportz M2 proved to be two headphones worthy of the AfterShokz name by winning the 2013 CES Tech Innovation Award and the Edison Award.

Although winning several awards, 2015 can be considered as the real breakthrough year!  The Bluez 2 came to the market and earned the US Industrial Design Excellence Award. The Bluez 2 was equipped with bone conduction technology which is still forming the basis of today’s technology. The next major step in AfterShokz’ road to the Aeropex was the introduction of the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium in 2016; The Trekz Titanium became the proud and well-deserved winner of the Red Dot Award and Good Design Award. Besides enhancing the sound, the plastic frame of the Bluez 2 was replaced by a more comfortable rubber frame and titanium was added to increase the headphones’ flexibility and durability. 2 years later the AfterShokz Trekz Air became the successor of the Trekz Titanium. This lightweight headset gave AfterShokz the international fame it deserved. Easy to use, extreme wearing comfort, good sound quality and ultimate durability have made these headphones the most popular bone conduction headphones on the market. Maybe up until now… 2019 should become a new milestone in the AfterShokz’s history. The product to make or break this objective: the AfterShokz Aeropex.

 

Get your Aeropex via the below link. Exclusive www.bone-conduction.com offer + free shipping on the bone-conduction.com orders. Price $159.95

UK visitors can buy their Aeropex via the below link

Buy the AfterShokz Aeropex Here (UK)

What is bone conduction?

For the ones who aren’t familiar yet with the technology called bone conduction, we are happy to define it once more. Bone conduction was primarily deployed in the military and medical fields for communications purposes. At that time, the technology was largely unknown to the wider market. It was developed so soldiers could receive instructions while still hearing their surroundings. Bone conduction is a sound technology whereby sound is not transmitted via your outer ear but via your skull and in this case your cheek bones. Tiny vibrations are sent by a transducer through your bones to your middle ear. The middle ear sends them to your inner ear and the inner ear to your brains where the vibrations are recognized as sound. It might seem a very innovative technology, but the same principle was even used by deaf composer and musician Beethoven some 300 years ago (read the history of bone conduction). Bone conduction has various benefits of which the security aspect is the most important one (read the benefits of bone conduction).

The fact that bone conduction headphones are open-ear makes them ideal for outdoor sports where athletes can hear the traffic around them. However, many failed products (some of which we have tested already) by various companies have ruined some of the bone conduction reputation. Unwavered by skepticism and doubts AfterShokz is one of the first companies which developed champion bone conduction sports headphones. It’s mainly thanks to their investigation and their focus groups of runners, swimmers, cyclists and outdoor lovers, bone conduction headphones have become a category of their own in retail channels. AfterShokz bone conduction headphones sales make up 37% of total electronics sales in running stores in the US. Just to give you an idea of their influence and success. Besides they are 1st and 7th wireless sports headphones for growth and sales in the US. In 2018 alone, 1.5 million units were sold.

Unpacking the black box

My magic black box… standing there like a chest full of gold you have discovered during your treasure hunt. The black box is a reviewer’s box (so don’t expect the same) but then again it does prove AfterShokz’ eye for detail. Opening the black box, it contains a reviewer’s guide picturing all details and innovative features and functionalities. Nonetheless, AfterShokz emphasizes the fact they expect an honest and open review. Nowhere suggestions are made, or promises are offered for a good review. There is even a small black envelope added with a hand-written letter in it. The letter welcomes you as a reviewer and once again requests an honest review and all remarks to be shared with AfterShokz and the AfterShokz community (social media).

 

AfterShokz Aeropex Black Box

Magic Black Box

A box within the box is where the real magic starts. This is the true AfterShokz Aeropex packaging. Firm and solid like the AfterShokz Trekz Air one. It’s a white box that can be unfolded (different to the Trekz Air box) and which displays some wonderful running scenery. Hidden under the last layer is the AfterShokz Aeropex. The headphones are firmly attached to the box and look like a hidden gem against the white background. Removing the headphones, the box contains a hidden storage area in which you can find all accessories and the manual. (See accessory part)

AfterShokz Aeropex Unboxing

AfterShokz Aeropex Unboxing

So a bright and brilliant box… but that’s not what this AfterShokz Aeropex review is about of course… although it’s a promising start.

Accessories

The AfterShokz Aeropex is delivered with a standard set of accessories. For some reason I got two charging cables (no idea if this is standard business – I will check with AfterShokz).

  • Two charging cables
  • A manual / user guide
  • A warranty card offering two years of warranty
  • A small card providing info for a quick start-up + for charging
  • Two ear plugs in a little plastic box (for very noisy environment like construction sites and airports)
  • A rubber storage bag with a magnetic closure
AfterShokz Aeropex Accessories

AfterShokz Aeropex Accessories

The look and feel of the AfterShokz Aeropex

Taking the AfterShokz Aeropex out of the box, I immediately noticed the transducers which were rounded off. The Trekz Air has cube-like transducers. The new design has also no LeakSlayer holes anymore. It makes the Aeropex look a bit simpler but at the same time cooler, more streamlined and trendier.  The frame itself is similar to the Air one, except for the charging area.

Putting the AfterShokz Aeropex on the palm of my hand I was amazed by the weight. Aeropex is 30% smaller and 15% lighter… weighing only 26 grams. Putting them on my head, I experienced an incredible feeling of comfort. Stable and with a high wearing comfort. Read our ‘put to the real test’ chapter for our first user experiences whilst cycling and running. I will test them more extensively and for longer periods (up to 8 hours in a row) the coming weeks.

AfterShokz Aeropex weight reduction

size & weight reduction

Battery Life

I haven’t tested them during cycling for 8 hours in a row, but I did let them play music for as long as possible to test the battery life. Albeit the battery is smaller in size than before, the Aeropex transducer is more powerful and yet consuming less power. It also uses a new chip to reduce Bluetooth energy consumption. AfterShokz therefore promised an 8-hour playback time. My AfterShokz Aeropex was able to continuously play music 8 hours and 21 minutes! Test succeeded and promise fulfilled!

My Aeropex was fully charged again after 1 hour and 56 minutes (AfterShokz defines a 2 hour full charge in their manual).

Sound quality

There we go… Lea Rue with “I’ll be watching you” gets the honour to be my first Aeropex song. Wow, the sound is clear as crystal and where are the vibrations? The fact the AfterShokz Aeropex has a higher utilisation of the magnetic field, does have an impressive effect on the sound quality. My brother in law, who is a musician, gave it a test too last night. He felt vocal sound quality to be on par or even better than traditional earbuds. I will be modest and say on par… but then again, they do sound wonderful these headphones. The mid to high frequency range is now very smooth.

I recall two criticisms some people expressed using previous models: lack of bass and tiny vibrations. Since bass is causing vibrations, AfterShokz limited the bass to reduce the vibrations to a comfortable level. Since I am used wearing different types of bone conduction headphones it was the first thing I noticed when wearing the AfterShokz Aeropex: it has more bass but less vibration?!? Since my feeling might sometimes be wrong (who am I), my wife tried them on. She immediately confirmed my feeling (lucky me we are at least on the same feeling level 😊. I deepdived into the Aeropex innovations and found a remarkable transducer enhancement. AfterShokz has changed the position of the transducers (the parts that transmits the actual vibrations/sound). They are tilted against the face at a 30 degrees angle while before they were almost touching your skin. This tiny change makes a big difference. There is more room to vibrate so more room to produce bass whilst still causing a reduced sensation of vibration. Well done!

Transducer Position

Transducer Position

So far, I haven’t had in ear buds producing a similar sound quality. Nevertheless, I have not tested them all. So sound quality wise I can only say they hit the bull’s eye.

P.s.: Before I forget to mention… even at the highest volume there is barely sound leakage. It seems AfterShokz was indeed able to reduce sound leakage by 50%!

 

AfterShokz Aeropex Waterproof Test

AfterShokz Aeropex Waterproof Test

Is it really waterproof?

This part of the review I am always a bit hesitant about. It’s like when I first submerged my Huawei P20 pro… at first sight these devices are not made for swimming but then again; they are categorized as being waterproof. So you gotta do what you gotta do. I filled our sink and the AfterShokz Aeropex took his first dive. 45 minutes later I took it out again and turned on the music. Perfect sound, no issues. Charging also went fine.

Put to the real test

At the moment my AfterShokz Aeropex is ‘almost’ brand new because… we have already been able to put it to two reals tests in practice. I have used it during one of my cycling trainings (3 hours in a row) ad my wife has used it for running 15 kilometres (9.3 miles).

Both of us have tested about 10 bone conduction headphones in the past and both of us are extremely excited about the AfterShokz Aeropex. (brands & models we have tested so far are the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium, the AfterShokz Trekz Air, the AfterShokz Bluez 2, the AfterShokz Sportz Titanium, the Vidonn F1, the conduit motion, the VocalSkull Beyond 5, the Bonetalker Adder, the LF-19 and the Panasonic RPHGS-10). No doubt, this is currently the best bone conduction headset on the market.

These headphones go hand in glove with your bike helmet. At no point they felt annoying or bumped into the back of the helmet. I am also always wearing cycling glasses with straight legs and they didn’t interfere with the wearing comfort. Once again AfterShokz managed to develop an extremely stable device. It sits on the head and stays on the head without moving an inch. Even when trail running (my wife’s hobby) or cycling cobbled streets (me).

AfterShokz Aeropex specifications

  • Part Number: AS800s
  • Speaker Type: Bone conduction transducer
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz~20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 105 +/- 3dB
  • Microphone: -38 dB +/- 3dB
  • Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth v5.0
  • Compatible profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
  • Speaker Impedence: 8.50hm +/-20%
  • Frequency band: 2402MHz~2480MHz
  • Wireless Range: 33  ft (10 m)
  • Battery: Li-Polymer Battery
  • Continuous Play: Up to 8 hours
  • Standby time: Up to 10 days
  • Charge time: 2 hours
  • Weight: 26 g
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Sweat resistance: IP67
  • Battery capacity: 145 mAh

Where to buy and the AfterShokz Aeropex price

Get your Aeropex via the below link. Exclusive www.bone-conduction.com offer + free shipping on the bone-conduction.com orders. Price $159.95

 

UK visitors can buy their Aeropex via the below link

Buy the AfterShokz Aeropex Here (UK)

 

It will come in 4 colors: Lunar Grey, Cosmic Black, Blue Eclipse and Solar Red.

aftershokz aeropex colors

aftershokz aeropex colors

Pros vs Cons

No AfterShokz Aeropex review without a quick pros vs cons overview:

Pros:

  • Super light!
  • Small but durable and flexible
  • Very clear and dynamic sound
  • Open ear technology (bone conduction)
  • Wireless
  • Bluetooth v5.0
  • Almost no sound leakage
  • 8 hours of continuous playback time
  • IP67 Waterproof

Cons:

  • We expect the headphones to be in the high range price category: the AfterShokz is already for sale for about £149.95 (so about 166 euros / $169). A high price but a wonderful device which is worth the money!
  • My wife likes the storage bag of the Air more.

AfterShokz Aeropex review conclusion

It’s only a first test and a first impression of course and the coming weeks and months will be an AfterShokz Aeropex adventure. We will take you on our journey and adventure by sharing regular updates. This way, we will soon share additional review information concerning the battery life, use in extreme (read rainy) circumstances, a short swim session test and so on. A lot to explore and a lot to discover. So far though we are impressed and happily surprised by these headphones. Are they worth the money? We do believe so since the security aspect, which has always been the first and main bone conduction focus, is now merged with a clear high-quality aspect. Sound and comfort have clearly become additional core areas of focus.

The AfterShokz Aeropex might be tens of Dollars more expensive than some Asian headphones like Vidonn, VocalSkull and the Bonetalker but honestly… they are tens of times better too. Therefore, Vidonn F1, VocalSkull and the BoneTalker Adder are good bone conduction headphones worth their money, but quality wise the AfterShokz Aeropex excels. Up to you if you want good bone conduction headphones and pay less or brilliant headphones and pay more. Feel free to read out other reviews to get the full picture and we hope you have enjoyed our AfterShokz Aeropex Review.

P.s.: AfterShokz is currently the only bone conduction headphones brand offering 2 years of warranty. An important plus we believe.

AfterShokz Aeropex 2 year warranty

2 year warranty

 

 

Frequently asked questions

  • Is the AfterShokz Aeropex waterproof?

The AfterShokz Aeropex are IP67 bone conduction headphones. This means they are waterproof (submersion of max 1 meter depth – max 30 minutes). It is not advisable to use them for swimming though. For fully waterproof headphones (for swimming) we would recommend the AfterShokz Xtrainerz.

  • What are the differences between the Trekz Air and the Trekz Aeropex?

I have written an extended AfterShokz Aeropex vs AfterShokz Trekz Air article: https://www.bone-conduction.com/en/aftershokz-aeropex-vs-aftershokz-trekz-air

  • What’s the current price of the AfterShokz Aeropex?

The AfterShokz Aeropex is currently for sale at $159.95 or £149.95

  • Has the Aeropex a lot of sound leakage?

The Aeropex has the lowest sound leakage of all bone conduction headphones. At the highest volume you can still hear some noise but at around 80% of the max volume there is barely no sound leakage anymore.

 

12 Comments

  1. Joe

    2 July 2019 at 22:27

    I purchased a pair of Aftershokz Airs and found them to be too small of frame to fit my, apparently, large head. In your review you mention that the Aeropex are smaller and lighter, I presume that refers to the transducers, not the actual frame? Is the Aeropex larger than or the same size as the Air, or is there any kind of adjustment? I’m looking for a set of good headphones for biking and, to my wife’s excitement, the Airs were too small.

    1. Admin

      6 July 2019 at 09:14

      Hi Joe, thanks for your message. Interesting question since me and my wife haven’t had any issues so far with the size of the frame. It even fits us much better than the larger Titanium. Much more stable and not bumping anymore to the collar of my shirt. Anyways, I have put the two headphones on top of each other (AfterShokz Air vs AfterShokz Aeropex) and at first sight the length of the frame looks exactly the same. In my article I was referring to the size of the transducers (apologies for the confusion). I will double check with someone from AfterShokz for confirmation about the frame size and let you know the answer on Monday. Have a nice weekend, Wim

      1. Admin

        13 July 2019 at 18:27

        Hi Joe, a bit later than planned. My apologies. I got confirmation that the frame size of the Air is exactly the same as the frame size of the Aeropex. Regards, Wim

  2. Joshua

    22 July 2019 at 19:59

    I look forward to trying these. I liked the Trekz Air, but balked at the price. After trying the minis and finding the fit to be poor, I decided to go ahead with the Air… until I heard these were coming.

    I have to say, I’m skeptical about the sound leakage claims, could you expand upon that? With the Air, my wife could hear leakage from approx 4-6 feet away. My perception of leakage may be skewed as I wear a bone conduction hearing device – that thing connects to a titanium abutment actually embedded in my skull, so the sound generating technology is different than what companies like Aftershokz are doing (and necessarily so lol). I would be intrigued if you could give more detail regarding that aspect. Thanks so much!

    1. Admin

      22 July 2019 at 21:00

      Hi Joshua,

      Thanks for your reaction. Overall I must say AfterShokz did manage to improve on the sound leakage. But let me expand on the sound leakage matter. I did a test for you with my wife sitting next to me at about 3 feet / +/- 1 meter distance. At 80% of the max volume she started to hear something. At 90% of the max volume she could hear a buzzing sound from the Aeropex. At the max volume she could hear a song playing but she couldn’t tell me which song exactly. Fact is also that the sound leakage decreases when wearing the headphones. It looks like the vibrations are better absorbed by your skull / bones when wearing the Aeropex and this reduces the sound leakage too. Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Wim

  3. Melch

    24 July 2019 at 20:40

    Hi Wim,

    Nice review!
    Do you know how can I get Aeropex around Asia-Pacific?

    1. Admin

      27 July 2019 at 11:21

      Hi Melch,

      I am checking for you about the sales info for Asia (Pacific- with my AfterShokz contact persons. I will let you know asap when the Aeropex will become available for Asia-Pacific and where it can be bought then.

      Regards,
      Wim

  4. Jane

    27 July 2019 at 19:15

    Love your reviews, Wim. Great job!
    I enjoy listening to ‘The Economist’ newspaper /talking books. I have Bose in-ear buds, of which I only use one so that I can hear cars, etc) during 3-8 hour cycle rides. I wear progressive glasses- sunglasses are not available with this prescription. A Bell helmet with a photochromic visor does a good job.
    I got excited when I saw the Coros Omni Helmet with bone conduction. Coros helmets also have an integrated safety rear light. Really cool. However, no photochromic visor. So the Aeropex looks like a good alternative. Ideally I will try them (in Switzerland?) before purchasing. Until then I am interested in your thoughts as to whether the Aeroplex will allow me to listen to books, even when there is wind. Thanks again and keep the reviews coming!

    1. Admin

      28 July 2019 at 19:43

      Hi Jane,

      Thanks for the compliment… that’s highly appreciated.
      I have been on holiday the past 3 weeks in France and I haven’t used the Aeropex for listening to audio books but I did use it to listen to music and some podcasts during my cycle trips. I have cycled about 1300 kilometers (= 805 miles) in the mountains past weeks so let’s say I have got some experience so far with similar situations like the one you are referring to 🙂 At the top of some mountains it was sometimes quite windy but I haven’t experienced any difficulties listening to the podcasts to be honest. Most of the the time I put the volume at around 75% to 80% of the maximum volume possible.

      A few months ago I requested a Coros Omni Helmet with bone conduction by the way. Since Coros newest helmet doesn’t use bone conduction anymore there was some doubt if it would still add value. I will pick it up again and maybe produce a Coros review in the near future then 🙂 I don’t understand though why there aren’t more helmet brands using this technology. It’s a real pity…

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Wim

  5. Ramesh

    10 August 2019 at 06:57

    Hi there….I just purchased the aeropex whilst on a business trip in Shanghai and when I came home I realise the language is in mandarin….how do I change the language to English

    Thanks

    1. Reviewer Wim Styleman

      14 August 2019 at 21:26

      Hi Ramesh,

      This is indeed something which is not explained in the user guide. To change the language on the Aeropex try the following:

      – Turn off the Aeropex
      – Press and hold the volume + button until you hear ‘pairing’ and the LED starts flashing red and blue.
      – Then double-click the multifunction button (= the button you also use to answer calls on the side of your transducer)

      Let me know if this works.

      Regards,
      Wim

  6. Richard schenkman

    16 November 2019 at 19:57

    Thanks-finally got English. After getting red and blue flashing, keep double clicking the left side button until you get English, then turn off.

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