Aeropex might Shokz you (after)

Aftershokz (now Shokz) Aeropex bone conducting headphones (now discontinued, but the Shokz Openrun are similar) sit over the ear in contact with the skin and rather than sending audio into the ear canal like 'normal' headphones or earphones, they vibrate and use bones in the skull to send the audio into the ear itself.

The front portion contains the bone conducting technology and then a loop gives over the ear to another unit containing the batteries/electronics and Bluetooth and another loop goes behind the head to connect to the same setup on the other ear.

Aftershokz Aeropex

The headphones are very light weighing in at 26g, have an estimated 8 hour playback time and are rated IP67 (so good for sweat resistance, but not for swimming). There is a USB cable for charging with a magnetic connector to ensure it aligns with the 2 pin charging port (and cant be put on the wrong way around).

Charging port

Bone conducting technology is a bit of a Marmite® technology (i.e. you love it or hate it). When it works well, it can work very well, or it doesn't.

(After)Shokz are a premium brand and their headphones aren't the cheapest on the market, however they tend to work well and lot of Chinese clones that claim to offer similar technologies will disappoint. An easy test is to turn up the volume and if a buzzing is felt on the skin (like being tickled), then it's probably not a good buy. All bone conducting headphones can suffer this, but cheaper ones will do this at lower volumes

The Aeropex have titanium parts internally with a soft touch covering. There's a single multi-function button and volume control with an LED indicator (charging, Bluetooth). A full charge takes around 2 hours and they should last for about 10 days on standby. Bluetooth is version 5.0, supporting A2DP, AVRCP, HSP and HFP and up to 10 metres away from the audio source.

The claimed frequency response is 20Hz to 20KHz, however the lower frequencies don't tend to pass so well through bone conduction as they get lost on the device to skin. There are also dual microphones to pick up sound for calls etc.

The multi-function button performs the following: -

Play/pause music - click once - one beep
Next song - double click - one beep
Previous song - triple click - one beep
Answer call - click once - two beeps
End call - click once - one beep
Answer call waiting and end current call - press and hold for 2 seconds - one beep
Ignore a call - press and hold for 2 seconds - two beeps
Activate voice assistant - press and hold for 2 seconds - beeps
Redial last number - double click on standby - Redial last number

Power/Volume+/Volume- combinations: -

Power On - press and hold vol+ for 2 seconds - Welcome to Aftershokz
Power Off - press and hold vol+ for 3 seconds - Power Off
Mute - press and hold vol+/vol- for 2 seconds (on call) - mute on/off
Change EQ - press and hold vol+/vol- for 2 seconds (music playing) - EQ changed
Check battery status - click vol+ or vol- (music paused) - Battery high/medium/low/charge me
Just volume - vol- or vol- (music playing) - one beep

The LED indicates: -

Solid red - charging
Solid blue - charged
Flashes red/blue - pairing
Flashes blue - incoming call
Flashes red (every 2 minutes) - low battery

The moisture detector will indicate the headphones are wet if plugged into the charger and they should be dried. 

Bone conducting headphones do take getting used to as the audio goes straight into the back of the ear, while allowing the ears to hear normally. This can be extremely useful for things like cycling or running so you're aware of your surroundings and what's going on. Probably less useful for wearing in a busy office environment and trying to zone out. They are extremely light and as they don't sit in the ear (or cover the ears) there's no long discomfort per se.

The only slightly irritating issue is the vibration on the skin if the volume is too loud or the frequencies in that particular range, but that's really a petty issue.

Though the Aeropex have been discontinued they are still available from sports' shops, the replacement Openrun is directly available from the UK Shokz site for £129.95, they come in black/grey, blue/dark blue, dark grey/light grey and red/dark red.

There's now also the Openrun Pro and Openrun Pro mini, which are newer models supporting Bluetooth 5.1, rated IP55, 12 hours play time, larger multi-function button and enhanced base also from UK Shokz site for £159.95 though they are 3g heavier.

Shokz now also do swimming bone conduction MP3 players and UC headphones.