This past January I came out of Orlando with an idea to do a “sort of” awards presentation based on my findings of various products at the show. At the time, I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to do it however. Nonetheless, The Teezy Awards were born and much to my surprise and delight they’ve been well-received.
Emerging the victor in the ‘Top Accessory” category was none other than AfterShokz (Trekz Air). The question is… What is Aftershokz and what makes them so special? Well, in case you aren’t familiar with the brand Aftershokz here is a little bit of a timeline that features some of their accomplishments and who they are.
Aftershokz was founded in 2011 and opened their headquarters in East Syracuse, NY. In 2012, the brand made their official launch at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The brand started initially with wired headphones and later in 2012 they won the “Consumer Electronics category in the 2012 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards, a recognition earned for the company’s potential to widely impact the CE industry and make a difference in people’s lives”. By the time 2013 came around Aftershokz had already introduced the first Bone Conduction Technology headphones at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show which also featured their trademarked Premium Pitch Technology. In November of 2014, “the world learns that AfterShokz bone conduction technology plays a key role in the prototype product Microsoft has been designing as part of their Cities Unlocked project, which aims to make the world’s landscape more accessible to persons with blindness”. In 2015, building on their previous successes and advancements an Indiegogo campaign was started to fund a new project of theirs. That project was Trekz Titanium which ultimately brings us to this review.
Bone Conduction Technology… it sounds fancy and scientific but what is it? In layman’s terms have you ever watched any military films or documentaries where the soldiers are listening and talking through headsets? Have you noticed that their ears were never encroached upon? That’s because, they were using Bone Conduction Technology. Essentially, sound is transmitted as soundwaves or vibrations. The soundwaves or vibrations are picked up by the inner ear through the bones of the skull. Because of this fact bone conduction transmission can be used with individuals with normal or impaired hearing.
Leading up to the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show I was in contact with Jayme Schwartz who handles the PR for AfterShokz. Prior to the show, I shared a press release from them and arranged a meeting. On the floor of the Orlando County Convention Center I met with Mary Garlatti who took the time to show me their two models of headphones. The Trekz Titanium and the Trekz Air. Initially, my main purpose for visiting the booth was primarily just to see what these headphones using Bone Conduction Technology sounded like. As they were placed on my head and music was turned on I was immediately impressed by the tone and all-around sound of these headphones. For those that don’t know, I love music am a musician from a very musically talented family and I’m a real stickler food good sound. These had the sound while allowing me to hear everything around me. Without fully understanding how full of features these headphones were I felt that I had the winner of “Top Accessory” for my Teezy Awards. At any rate, a long-term testing and review was arranged and waiting for me when I got home from Florida was a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones.
The AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones are completely wireless and Bluetooth enabled. Some of the features of the Trekz Air headphones include…
- 20% lighter than Trekz Titanium
- Complete wraparound titanium design provides a flexible fit for unnoticeable all-day comfort and stability
- 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
- LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage
Throughout my testing of these Trekz Air headphones from AfterShokz I’ve used them in every possible scenario. Indoor range sessions, on the golf course while playing, at the gym during my workouts (and tanning), out for long walks with my pup and last but not least while driving. In fact, there is only one place that comes to mind where I haven’t tried them where I would and that’s on an airplane.
The headphones themselves come in a very neat package. Inside of the packaging you will find everything that you need to make the Trekz Air headphones work. Inside is an easy to understand instruction manual, a black pouch (rubberized), a USB charging cable and last but not least a tiny case that houses to earplugs. When it’s safe to cut out all of the ambient noise in the background stick in the earplugs which in turn makes Trekz Air headphones “nearly noise-cancelling”.
To say that I’m impressed with the Trekz Air headphones is a huge understatement. There are noticeable advantages that these headphones have over earbuds or headphones f other designs. The first is pure practicality. Unlike earbuds, the Trekz Air don’t fall out of your ears. It’s a chronic problem that I have with earbuds. Secondly, because of their open frame construction the impact of the Trekz Air headphones from a safety standpoint is staggering. An example of this was my very first use. I was walking my dog at night and it was a night where there was a fog lingering. I was walking down the one street (on the sidewalk) and there are literally no street lights present. As we were about to leave that street I heard a car approach from behind. The car didn’t have any headlights on and as I stopped Muskoka he pulled in right in front of us. Had I been wearing earbuds… one of us likely gets hit. The driver got out of his vehicle and apologized for not seeing us. These headphones are safe… period!! In case you like to listen to music on the golf course but don’t want to have a Bluetooth speaker that disturbs others these headphones are perfect. You can both hear the music and continue conversations with your playing partners with Trekz Air.
Because the Trekz Air headphones feature a wraparound design… the headphones are always secured onto your head. Throughout the course of the golf swing the Trekz Air headphones do not become dislodged from your person. These headphones are simply there just for the ride so swing away. Or in the case of working out not only is there no wire hanging there but again the Trekz Air remain in place. Whether you’re doing abdominal crunches, rowing, spinning or any sort of lifting the Trekz Air do not fall off. Is there a little slippage where you might have to readjust a little bit? Yes, after all they aren’t duct-taped onto you. And they are light… to the point where you don’t realize that you’re wearing them.
I’ve worn the Trekz Air in a number of climate scenarios. I’ve worn them in a light rain, snow flurries and of course the gym and that’s a place that could simulate a jungle with my perspiration. Because the Trekz Air features an IP55 certification it’s sweat and dust repellent. This doesn’t mean that you could wear them during a monsoon. I’m not suggesting that you can’t. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t. That said, the repellent qualities certainly live up to their billing.
The Trekz Air headphones have multi-point pairing. In fact, up to 5 devices can be paired at one time. As it stands I’m currently running my cell phone and laptop as paired devices with my Trekz Air headphones. You can be totally hands-free using Trekz Air. For answering calls you click the Multi-Function Button once. If you’re listening to music or a movie and you want to change the Equalizer setting you can do that as well by simply holding down the +/- volume buttons at the same time for 3 seconds and presto… the sound has been changed. Speaking of the sound. The trademarked PremiumPitch+ sounds great. The tones are rich, crisp and pure. I found that the bass was even more impressive when the earplugs were in.
I love the “Audrey says” voice prompts which only brings out more of the user-friendly qualities of these headphones. In the past I’ve reviewed technological pieces that boasted a certain battery life which would later be heavily debunked. This is NOT the case with Trekz Air. AfterShokz says that you get 6 hours of continuous music and calls on a single charge. It delivers that 6 hours!!!
In closing, I feel like a genius for giving the AfterShokz Trekz Air the nod for the Teezy Award. I honestly, had no clue how good they truly were but I do now. The Trekz Air headphones retail for $179.95 USD. Before I drop money on a pair of Beats By Dre (or similar) I would save the money and purchase these Trekz Air. Safety, performance, sound and practicality that you can count on. The Trekz Air headphones are offered in three colors. Slate Grey, Forest Green and Midnight Blue. For more information please visit www.aftershokz.com
Until The Next Tee!!