AfterShokz Aeropex Review – Are They Worth Your Money?
The Aeropex are an upgrade in every way compared to older bone conduction headphones with improved sound, battery, and water protection.
In this AfterShokz Aeropex review we look at the latest bone conducting headphones (released in 2019) from the popular AfterShokz brand.
In short, compared to the previous best model, Trekz Air, these come with:
- Better sound quality (with audio presets) that’s slightly more bassy
- Longer battery life (up to 8 hours)
- Lighter design that’s super comfortable
- An IP67 rating which protects them against dust and water (fully waterproof)
If you’re on the lookout for wireless sport headphones that give perfect awareness (since they don’t block the ears), then read on.
PROS & CONS
- Stable fit for all types of sports
- Perfect environment awareness due to open-ear design
- Lightweight (almost 30% lighter than Air)
- Waterproof and dustproof (IP67)
- Good battery life (8 hours)
- Improved bass response from previous models
- Vibrating transducers might be annoying
- Sound quality is suffering (compared to regular earphones)
- Lack of bass
We bought the bone conduction earphones, so we got a random model that was meant for consumers. No hand-picked samples that many receive for testing. You can expect a similar experience.
AfterShokz Aeropex made it into our selection of:
Type: Bone conduction technology
Connection: (Wireless Bluetooth
Driver: Bone conduction transducer
Frequency range: 20Hz – 20000Hz
Impedance: 8.5 Ohm
Weight: 0.9oz (26g)
Cable length: n/a
Microphone & Controls: Yes (built-in)
Water protection: IP67 (IPX7 – fully waterproof)
Warranty: 2 years
Battery life: Up to 8 hours
Standby time: Up to 10 days
Battery capacity: 145 mAh
Charging time: 2 hours
Active noise-cancelling: No
Charging cable: Proprietary with a magnet
Bluetooth codecs: SBC
Wireless range: 33ft (10m)
Multipoint: Yes (what is it?)
Type: Built-in mics (2 on the right side)
Mic design: n/a
What’s in the Box?
- AfterShokz Aeropex open ear headphones
- Carrying around the waist bag
- Soft, silicone protective bag
- 1 pair of earplugs in their own case
- 2 proprietary, magnetic charging cables
- User guide
Comfort & Fit – 4.5/5 Almost Perfect
How comfortable are they?
Since these are using bone-conducting transducers that sit on the temples of your head, they don’t block the ears at all. And, thanks to lightweight design you barely feel them wearing. These are super comfortable.
Compared to any workout in-ear earbuds (which are the alternative) these beat them in all aspects.
You can wear them for the whole day, and you won’t experience any ear fatigue. Actually, you soon forget you’re wearing them.
What about issues?
The only time you’ll feel them is when they move around. And that happens rarely.
If you look up a lot, then the headband might touch the back of your neck and move them a bit.
Otherwise, the fit is super stable, and you can sprint or lift weights without worry.
Nonetheless, these aren’t perfect for weight lifters. Since they have a headband that goes around the back of the head, if you do bench presses, you won’t be able to rest your head (headband gets in the way).
Plus, in case you have an extra small head, the headband might be a bit loose for you, but generally fits smaller women too (though you can’t adjust the size).
And one more thing, at higher volume the bone conducting transducers vibrate at a higher rate, so you can feel the vibration.
Some people are annoyed by vibration while others don’t mind it. In our tests, it wasn’t bothersome, and it seems they’ve minimized it compared to old models.
Noise Isolation (Awareness) – 4/5 Great
Noise isolation is non-existent since they’re open-air design. But open ears give perfect situational awareness which comes handy in many sports circumstances (like running in the city).
With open ear headphones, your ears are not obstructed or blocked in any way.
The headphones don’t actually come in contact with your ears as they sit on the sides of your head (temples).
When wearing bone conduction headphones, you can still hear perfectly well.
Now usually we measure how much ambient noise is blocked and give a higher score for more isolation.
But because the AfterShokz headphones aren’t made to block sound in the first place, we have to adjust the standards.
Without using the included earplugs, the headphones don’t block any background noise at all, so they’d get 1/5.
However, when you use the earplugs (included in the package), you get above-average noise isolation, though that’s not the point of bone conducting headphones.
Hearing the environment is a good thing.
What about wind noise?
If you want to ride a bike or use it for other fast sports, you need to know that wind noise is minimal and you can enjoy your music in peace.
Bluetooth – 5/5 Fantastic
The wireless connection of the Aeropex uses the latest Bluetooth 5.0 and, in our tests, stayed strong and reliable even after going beyond the usual 33ft (10m) of range. Plus, it reliably worked over a wall without disruptions. It’s an exceptional wireless performance.
The way we test the Bluetooth connections is to see how it works at its limits.
You probably know that the range of Bluetooth is around 33ft (10m) after which is starts breaking.
But not the Aeropex, they work without problems even at max range.
Disclaimer: possibly, we bought an exceptionally reliable model, and your experience might be closer to average Bluetooth performance.
Nonetheless, these surprised as with super reliable wireless connection that can compare to best-in-class.
When testing the connection through 2 walls (which is where most wireless headphones fail), the music disrupted for half a second for a couple of times and then worked again.
Now, you still get an occasional disruption, but after you get long periods of uninterrupted music.
Plus, these support Multipoint, connecting 2 devices at the same time. There’s a step by step explanation of how to set it up.
All our tests show that the Aeropex earphones come with highly reliable Bluetooth.
Also, the connection is flawless during working out too. Not once we had any problems.
And, there is no delay in sound when watching videos.
These are perfect for avid YouTube users.
The only thing some might complain about is the lack of any better codecs. They come with the standard SBC only.
And to be frank, better codecs wouldn’t make any difference since the sound isn’t good enough (due to tech limitations).
Above all, the Bluetooth is fantastic and works better than you can expect from other 5.0 version headphones.
Battery – 4/5 Great
The battery life is the best to date in wireless bone conduction headphones with up to 8 hours of music per charge. You fill up the power with proprietary, magnetic charging cable which takes around 2 hours.
Compared to the AfterShokz Air, which used to be the flagship model, the Aeropex last at least 2 hours longer.
With up to 8 hours of battery life, these are competitive with the rest of the market (we got slightly more than that).
While it’s not a super long battery life, it’s good enough to justify the price and last you a couple of workouts, or a longer bike tour.
You get 2 charging cables which is useful, you can have one in the car and one at home.
We’re not fans of proprietary charging cables because that’s just one more cable to carry around (make them all USB-C).
But the cables that come in the box are well-built and thought-through.
The adapter jumps into the right position thanks to magnets, and it stays there.
It’s a pleasant user experience, but USB-C would be fine too.
Durability – 4.5/5 Almost Perfect
They are fully waterproof and dustproof (IP67), you can even submerge them underwater. Plus, the body is flexible and protected by a rubbery material that’s pleasant to the touch.
Headphone design speaks of high quality.
If you don’t know what the IP67 means, it’s an Ingres Protection rating which gives a score for security against dust and water.
The higher the IP numbers, the better the protection.
IP67 is equivalent to IPX7, which means you can dip them in water, wash them under tap, and rain or sweat won’t even “scratch their surface.”
The Aeropex are fully waterproof headphones for hardcore sport users.
We’ve put them in water, and left them submerged for a couple of minutes.
After a while, we took them out, wiped them and they worked like new. Water doesn’t create any problems at all.
They’ve no been skimping on materials either. They feel premium with soft, rubbery surfaces all over the headphones.
Plus, the flexibility of the headband and ear hooks is just perfect. They’re harder to crack when flexible.
Nonetheless, keep them stored in the provided carrying bag to prolong their life.
Clumsy accidents happen all the time, protect your investment.
Warranty: 2-year limited warranty.
Features – 4/5 Great
Features worth mentioning are moisture detect alert, changing EQ settings, built-in controls and mic, and multipoint connectivity, but no app.
What’s Moisture Detect Alert?
In case there is water near the charging port, the Aeropex headphones start beeping, and its light flashes blue and red to alert you about a problem.
You’re supposed to wipe the water off with a cloth and then continue charging.
The reason for the new magnetic charger is improved water resistance, but if moisture is present during charging, it’s not a good thing.
Changing EQ settings…
By pressing and holding the + and – volume buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds, the voice prompt lady says, “EQ changed” and the sound signature changes.
The same feature is in the AfterShokz Air, but it only has 2 presets, here we found at least 5.
Additionally, you can connect the AfterShokz headphones to 2 devices at the same time.
The feature is called Multipoint (already mentioned under Bluetooth), so you can be listening to music on one device and answer calls on the other.
While we can argue about the utility of apps, it’s a fact most wireless headphones in this price range come with one.
The Aeropex don’t have any app you could use for equalizing, finding more user information, locating it or other usual app functions.
3-button controls are built-in the body.
Pressing the buttons gives solid feedback, so you always know when you’ve pressed a button.
With the combination of the 3 multifunction buttons, that work as the volume rocker, power button, and song selector you can use all the features.
It’s pretty straightforward and easy to use. We won’t go deeper into this.
Moreover, with 2 built-in microphones on the right side, you can make phone calls in relative quality, similar to other wireless headphones.
- 2 charging cables instead of 1
- Soft, silicone carrying case for storage
- A pair of earplugs in a plastic case
- A sport belt for convenience during activity
The addition of a charging cable will probably come handy to a lot of people. That way you can keep them at 2 different places.
Also, the sport belt is useful for runners and cyclists who’ll want a convenient way to store the headphones when not in use.
It has a zipper and is worn around the waist.
Sound – 3/5 Good
Sound quality is their weakest point, though it’s the best to date of all bone conduction headphones. But it lacks bass, precision in treble and often sounds muffled.
Now to get one thing clear, the Aeropex sound better than the older Trekz Air or Trekz Titanium.
They come with newer PremiumPitch 2.0+ transducers which are compact yet louder (louder than Air and Trekz Titanium).
If you put in the earplugs, they’re uncomfortably loud.
As for the audio quality, you get to choose from more EQ presets than before, but generally it suffers from the same flaws as before.
The bone conduction technology just doesn’t produce the same sonic fidelity as regular headphones.
The bass is subdued and lacking, vocals are quite good, and the highs are pretty clear but generally they sound worse than regular headphones.
It’s often hollow and lacking spark, but that’s the fault of technology.
Compared to other bone conduction headphones, we’d say these sound the best yet.
While the point of these headphones is open-air design and perfect awareness, if you put in the earplugs, the bass amplifies.
It can get really deep, even “boomy” and muddy. Of course, it depends on what EQ preset you use, but bass is noticeably improved.
You can use the ear plugs during a commute when you want good noise isolation.
However, you’ll most likely use these without, so you’ll have to forget about the punchy, deep bass.
Also, the soundstage is pretty average, similar to most in-ear headphones. Most of the sounds come from inside your head.
How’s the sound leakage?
One thing bone conducting headphones are known for is sound leakage.
At higher volumes, a considerable amount of sound vibrations is audible to people around you.
But it has noticeably improved from older versions (AfterShokz Titanium & Air). At medium volume noise leaks less than before, almost inaudible.
If you’re running, lifting weights or working out in a noisy gym, that won’t be a problem. But don’t take them to the library or a quiet office.
The price of perfect situational awareness is the slightly worse sound quality, and for sports situations, that sacrifice is more than worth it.
Summary – 4.1/5 points
Why Buy AfterShokz Aeropex?
Because they are the best bone conduction headphones to date (August 2019). They’re are a fantastic choice for many sports situations where you need awareness.
With the price tag of around $160, they aren’t cheap but priced similarly to other high-end workout headphones.
These are perfect for serious athletes who need a quality pair of headphones that fit, are fully waterproof, work when needed without problems, and offer awareness. And, are enjoyable for listening to music of course.
If you’re in the market for a pair with these needs, then the Aeropex are the best choice you can make right now.
See reviews of other wireless sports headphones:
- Our own research and testing of headphones
- Official website: https://aftershokz.com/products/aeropex