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Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: AfterShokz Sportz M2 Open Ear Headphones!


Geek-Grotto.com
We have had these on our heads for a few months now and enjoy them tremendously. Are they the most perfect sounding headsets on the market? Will they work for all people all the time? Are they worth your money?

Find out an more after the break!
Geek-Grotto.com
I use them when I run in the park!

First, how about some background from AfterShokz directly?

Powered by patent pending military special ops bone conduction technology, AfterShokz Bone Conduction Headphones offer consumers a more comfortable, healthier, and safer listening experience. Unlike conventional headphones and ear buds that use the eardrums to transmit sound, Aftershokz headphones sit comfortably in front of the ear and utilize bone conduction technology to deliver stereophonic sound through the listener’s cheekbones to the inner ear. This enables anyone participating in an activity – jogging, biking, skateboarding, hiking, gaming – to stay connected to both what they are listening to and the outside world.

Most of what we hear is due to sound waves traveling through the air to the eardrum, which then converts the sound waves to vibrations and transmits them to the inner ear. Sound waves can also get to the inner ear through direct vibration of the bones in the head, which carry the vibrations directly to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrums. This is how a person hears his or her own voice, and, also, how whales hear. This pathway of sound is known as bone conduction. 
Geek-Grotto.com
Switching tracks.  Gots to have my runnin music!

Now you may be skeptical about this, but it's true. There are no speakers, but transducers on the headphones. These transducers vibrate according to what you are listening to. You can hear the music clearly, and if you were crazy enough, use these directly over your ear canals, but then you wasted your money as it won't sound as good and well, you're doing it wrong! once placed correctly, you can not only hear the music clearly, but leave your ears free for listening to everything around you.

While mostly advertised for outside activities, they are also perfect for use in the office. Listen to your music while leaving still able to hear the office prankster sneak up behind you!



Geek-Grotto.com
The Geeky Guru called to tell me a joke. I laughed at him instead!

Unlike our previous headphone review, there are no real specs to give you as these do not have speakers. What I can tell you is that there is an inline mic for taking calls that also houses the volume control, answer/disconnect button, power switch and battery. Yes, since transducers are used, they need to be powered. The non-user replaceable battery is charged via a micro USB port right next to the power switch. Do not let that discourage you as you will get hours of music that varies based on the volume that you use.

Now you are wondering "How do they sound?"

The answer is pretty damn good. Similar to the Ultimate Ears 350, these are not bass heavy. So if you listen to Dubstep or any genre of music that drops heavy bass, you may not be happy with these. All other types of music will be reproduced clearly. Also, I have used them on various parts of my skull and neck and have been able to use them without fail.

Microphone quality is also clear, while it's not a bone conducting mic which would require it to be strapped to your neck. I have been able to answer calls with zero issues on my Nokia Lumia 900 and a Lumia 920 i had access to. Also, while using your phone as a music player, single, double and triple tapping the call button did work for pausing/unpausing, next and previous tracks.
Geek-Grotto.com
Using Frankie's equipment as a make shift bed! Running is HARD!

Also, what can be a downside to some, upon powering up the Sportz M2, the volume defaults to max, which can be VERY, VERY loud. 

Now I did have some negatives. On my Nokias, once plugged in, I lost stable access to the capacitive buttons on the phone. What made this stranger was that it i plugged the power into the headphones I could then use the capacitive buttons.

Another con is that when I first use them, or use them after a long break, I feel a bit strange during use. I don't have a headache or nausea, but my head does feel weird. Others have reported no issues, so this may just be me.

Other than that, these are a great pair of headphone and are worth the cost.

Our Score?
4 out of 5 Geegamons!
Also available from AfterShokz are the Sportz 2 (no mic variant) and the Bluez, a bluetooth variant.

Source: AfterShokz


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