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Previously known as AfterShokz, the Shokz OpenRun Wireless Bone Conduction Sport Headphones are slim, comfy, and come with a handy fast-charge option so you'll never have to leave for a ride without some music motivation. Plus, with the open-ear design you'll be able to stay well aware of your surroundings on the road.
The OpenRun model is the quick-charge version of Shokz's Aeropex bone conduction headphones which provide a buds-free listening experience. The point of its open-ear design is that it allows you to listen to music and traffic at the same time so you don't have to compromise on safety while staying motivated as you ride outdoors.
The PremiumPitch 2.0+ audio technology included in this model is claimed to deliver 'the widest dynamic stereo sound that bone conduction technology can offer', with a deeper bass, less vibration and louder volume than previous iterations.
How do they cope with the demands of cycling?
Although the sound quality of the OpenRuns still doesn't quite compare with standard earphones, it's certainly good enough to keep you motivated at times on a ride, while benefiting from being able to stay aware on the roads.
Nevertheless, I did find that in strong winds the maximum volume simply can't cope, and then if you're deep into the city, all the traffic noise can really drown out the music. This is something that is comparable with another bone-conduction model I've been testing, Mojawa's Mojo 1.
With the OpenRuns, overall the sound quality is very impressive across all volumes, although I have found that they can't do bass as well as the Mojo 1s.
The OpenRuns have two EQs (equalization modes) to choose from: the first is Standard Mode for listening to music, the other is Vocal Booster Mode, for clearer audio for podcasts and audiobooks. These modes do have subtle differences which provide a better experience for the different forms of listening. To change, press and hold both the + and - volume buttons.
The headphones are rated to the IP67 water-resistant standard which means they'll work for at least half an hour in up to a metre of water. These are fully sweatproof so will cover you for intense workouts and have also worked completely fine after I was stuck in some prolonged rain on an outdoor ride. You should have no concerns wearing them in any cycling scenario; the only activity Shokz says these aren't suitable for outside of cycling is swimming.
The wraparound titanium frame with a full silicone outer is incredibly comfy to wear and stable when riding. It's a very slim and lightweight design (just 25g), that sits out of the way below your helmet's retention system.
As well as for listening to music and podcasts, the OpenRuns have two microphones on the right side which can be used for phone calls.
The multifunction button on the left side deals with most of the controls. Press down to play and pause the music, change between songs as well as answer and end calls. The button is fairly small but I've found it to be very responsive and so works well.
The wireless headphones pair with your phone, tablet or laptop via Bluetooth 5.1, which provides a very fast and perfectly stable connection in my experience – I've not had any dropout issues.
It also has a range of up to 10m, which isn't really necessary for bike rides – my phone stays with me in my jersey pocket at all times. But I did find this range was useful for off-the-bike scenarios such as going about day to day tasks in the house, grabbing my third coffee of the day while connected up to a laptop.
Shokz has added a 10-minute quick-charge which is said to guarantee you one and a half hours of listening time. In practice, I found it provided over an hour and 45 minutes, but not quite reaching the two-hour mark.
I write all about being prepared for bike rides to guarantee that you'll get a workout in, so I know the theory, but sometimes I just can't get around my forgetfulness. I have left the house many a time without charged headphones for this reason. I found those 10 minutes a really handy amount of time for gathering the rest of my gear, putting it on and going to the toilet just before picking these up on the way out the door with enough charge for a quick spin.
If you've managed to set aside enough time to charge these fully, the OpenRuns last up to around eight hours of continuous use, which is great as it'll easily cover most steady endurance rides.
Their charging cable attaches via a magnetic clip, which is quicker and easier than attaching a USB-C cable, but you do have to keep track of the proprietary cable.
As well as the Solar Red model I have on test, the OpenRuns are available in Cosmic Black, Blue Eclipse and Lunar Grey.
The OpenRuns cost £129.95 and come with a two-year warranty, and although a little more expensive than quite a lot of the competition, they are a comfy, lightweight and reliable opton.
Naenka's Bone Conduction Runner Pro Wireless Waterproof Headphones are a little cheaper at around £111, but the sound quality and volume are too weak to be effective at all on the bike, and the battery life is lower too.
The Mojawa Mojo 1s are a little cheaper than the OpenRuns at £115.79, although they only come with a one-year warranty. I've been reviewing these too (with my full report on the way soon), and found they have a comparable battery life to the OpenRuns, while handling bass a lot better.
Overall, if you're looking for headphones that'll let you hear what's going on around you while riding, the OpenRuns are a secure and comfy high quality option that come with a very handy fast-charging feature. You'll certainly be happy with these, even though you can get a similar battery life and better bass production for a little less.
Lightweight, comfy open-ear headphones with a handy fast 10-minute charge providing just under two hours of riding motivation
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Shokz OpenRun Wireless Bone Conduction Sport Headphones
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Shokz says: 'Our top-selling wireless sport headphones formerly known as Aeropex now come with new packaging, a quick-charge feature, and a new name. OpenRun are our lightest headphones to date and are engineered with outstanding sound, a long-lasting battery, and Quick Charge to keep you aware and motivated while you power through any workout."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
8th generation bone conduction technology
IP67 waterproof (not for swimming)
Lightweight and comfortable
8-hour battery life and quick charge
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The bass isn't class-leading, and there's a fair amount of sound leakage, but aside from that, these are a high-quality, reliable option for staying well aware of your surroundings on the road while being able to listen to music.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The 10-minute fast charge is so helpful if you've forgotten to charge up before starting to get ready for a ride.
They're also very comfy, even if you are using them for the length of time the battery life covers you for (that's eight hours btw!)
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Bass is not as good as it can be on bone conduction headphones – the Mojawa Mojo 1s outperform the OpenRuns in this area.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Shokz is a premium brand; you can certainly get bone conduction headphones for a little less, but not that much. Mojawa's Mojo 1s are excellent and cost a little less at £115.79 (review coming soon).
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if on a slight discount.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The OpenRuns are an incredibly slim and comfy open-ear headphone option which have a very good battery life that'll cover endurance rides of up to eight hours. They also come with a handy fast 10-minute charge, so even on those days when you're not prepared you don't have to wait long to head out listening to music for a reasonably long spin. The bass isn't class-leading, and there's a fair amount of sound leakage, but aside from that these are a high-quality, reliable option for staying well aware of your surroundings on the road while being able to listen to music.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track