Aftershokz has been in the headset game for a few years and, at that time, had a goal; build an open headset that allows you to run, pedal and exercise, all without completely blocking the world around you. It’s all rooted in bone conduction technology, incorporated into a design over the neck to do that. With its most recent, Aeropex, managed to transform this technology into something thinner and more durable, while adding new bone conduction technology to improve sound quality. This is our Aftershokz Aeropex Review.
They are more expensive than Trekz Air headphones, launched in 2017. For runners, in particular, Aftershokz has quickly become the preferred option, as more racing is banning the use of closed and in-ear headphones due to security considerations. With very little competition in that sports space for open headphones, Aeropex seems to have cemented Aftershokz’s place once again as the number one choice for fitness enthusiasts.
Review of Aftershokz’s Aeropex: Design
With each new iteration, Aftershokz has managed to reduce a significant amount of the frame weight and vital parts of his headphones, making them lighter and less noticeable when you’re on the move. Place the Aeropex next to the Trekz Air and you can see how much thinner it gets here. Aftershokz says they are 30% compact and 13% lighter, and although they look like numbers, the difference is apparent as soon as you pick them up.
These are considerably lighter than the previous generation. It is still the same style of neck band, but has significantly reduced the size of the arms just in front of the ears. The frame is also thin. The durability has been increased from an IP55 water resistance rating to an IP67 value. This means that you have something equipped to be immersed in water for 30 minutes at a depth of one meter. In reality, this classification is to repel sweat and increase the chances of a run in the rain and perhaps throw them in a puddle on the way, instead of taking them out for a swim.
Bluetooth and water don’t mix, so there’s no reason to use them in the pool. We managed to use them in the storm and we sweated for some indoor cycling and rowing sessions, and we are happy to report that they survived to live another day. The slender and twisted structure made us doubt its durability. The long-term robustness of Aftershokz headphones has always been questioned, and we have paused in the past as well.
Fortunately, this was not the case with Aeropex and there were no worrying signs of wear. For peace of mind, we suggest putting them in the suitcase instead of just throwing them in the sports bag to make sure they stay away. With regard to on-board controls, there are two physical buttons attached to the bottom of one side of the frame, next to the loading door. They are mainly used to connect headphones and adjust the volume.
When you turn these buttons, they still feel a little too close; therefore, rotating them up and down quickly can make some attempts. More could be done to distinguish between the two. The charging port has changed from the covered USB port we entered into the air to something that now belongs. While this means that you now need to maintain the charging cable (there are two in the box), the change has enabled Aftershokz to provide this increased waterproofing to give Aeropex that increased durability.
Aftershokz Aeropex Review: audio quality
As we said, bone conduction technology remains at the heart of the way the Aftershokz delivers audio in a way that does not completely distract you from the world around you. The way bone conduction technology works has not changed for Aeropex, which uses transducers to guide through vibrations in the cheekbones and ears to produce sound without having anything directly in the ears. What has changed is what Aftershokz calls “PremiumPitch 2.0”.
This time, he uses the transducers to channel the vibrations that are at an angle to better sit on the cheek, which promises to provide the sound that has more bass, less vibration and less noise leakage. In the first generation of Aftershokz, these things were very prominent. You didn’t get much energy, they vibrated at higher volumes and they also leaked a lot. At Aeropex, there has certainly been progress on some points, but not on all aspects.
You don’t get the kind of results you expect from in-ear headphones, but there are some improvements with very smooth bass boost, enhanced details and a general sound quality update. These improvements are more prominent at moderate volume. Going out to the gym or running with them, and these improvements are excellent. Unlike previous models, there is a better balance between allowing you to hear the real world and playing music or podcasts with a more satisfying sound.
Undeniably, there is enough room to improve when this bone conduction technique improves, both in low and clarity. Still, the differences between Trekz Air and Aeropex are striking. Interestingly, ear plugs are also included, which you can use to improve the sound quality. It is identical to what Aftershokz does with its waterproof headphones and really has the desired effect of being a little more valuable. You just need to be willing to close your ears, which goes against the purpose of an open headset.
If you want to interrupt your workouts when a call comes in on the phone, there are two noise-canceling microphones to record your voice. You should have no problem answering these calls, although you don’t expect exceptional levels of clarity here. You will still feel some of this vibrating sensation at higher volumes, although it is slightly distorted and never feels uncomfortable or even at a level where you would like to stop using it. They also seem to leak much less at more moderate volumes, although this is still the case if you push things up to the limit.
There is a promise of longer battery life here with the Aftershokz Aeropex. You now have eight hours of music playback and talk time, that is two hours more than Airs. It also takes just an hour and a half compared to two hours to fully charge. Now you also get an hour of music playback with a fast charge of 15 minutes. When you turn on your headphones for the first time and touch the buttons, you receive a status update on battery life to know when it’s time to cast a spell on the charger.
If you are at the gym for an hour a day or running the same amount of time, the battery is enough to play all week and that’s what we found. Aftershokz headphones have had a little battery life in the past, but they look much better and more reliable on Aeropex. This quick charge option is also an excellent addition if you, like us, continue to forget to charge them when they are exhausted.
AfterShokz Aeropex is now available directly on the company’s website and at a large number of online retailers, including Amazon. They cost $ 159.95, making them the most expensive option in the Aftershokz family. As already mentioned, it is US $ 50 more than Trekz Air and US $ 20 more than Aftershokz Xtrainerz, which is a waterproof headset that offers a built-in music player, but without Bluetooth transmission.
Review of Aftershokz Aeropex: Conclusion
If you’re looking for headphones ready to sweat and don’t want to drown the world, the Aftershokz Aeropex is your best option right now. From the design, significant steps were taken in the air and in the first generation Aftershokz headphones. They feel more comfortable to use, and the shrinkage in size makes a difference from the point of view of comfort. As far as sound quality is concerned, Aeropex does not go beyond its predecessors, although they present some subtle improvements, especially in terms of clarity and bass.
At the moment, Aftershokz owns this space, because there is nothing to compete for. Fortunately, this will change in the future, as there is undoubtedly an opportunity for others to further stimulate the bone conduction technique. That’s it for our Aftershokz Aeropex Review.
The 10 best sports headphones
9 Total score
The Aftershokz Aeropex are the best sportless driving headphones you can buy now. They are more expensive than previous models and offer an impressive, albeit slight increase in sound quality.
- Thinner and lighter design
- Better battery life
- Improved waterproof rating
- Small sound improvements
- Buttons very close to each other