Bluetooth 5.0 (Connectivity up to 10m)
8 Hour Battery Life (up to 10 days standby)
IP67 Waterproof (rain/sweat)
Premium Pitch 2.0 Stereo Sound
Available from Aftershokz at https://aftershokz.co.uk/products/aeropex for £149.95
Before I begin the review, Aftershokz have very kindly offered all Running Bible Community members a 10% discount off their products. All you need to do is to enter the code ‘BEAZLEY10OFF’ at the checkout and is valid for the Aeropex or XTrainer headphones.
What do you get in the box?
The Aeropex headphones.
A silicone carry case with magnetic fastening.
Magnetic charging cable.
For those that are not familiar with this brand, Aftershokz is a company that specialise in sports audio wear. They have a wide range of Bluetooth headphones which instead of going in or over your ear, sit on your jawbone and use bone conduction technology. What this means is that it leaves your ears clear to hear what is going on around you, making them a much safer alternative to the noise cancelling head/earphones on the market. They are incredibly light, reliable and comfortable.
Now, I am no stranger to the Aftershokz. Seven years ago I tried a pair on at the Paris Marathon Expo and was very impressed. I was kindly given a pair of Trekz Titanium (which was the flagship model at the time) for Christmas that year and have been a huge fan since.
I can honestly say that for me, they were game changers. I used them all the time. They are lightweight, much safer to wear than my earphones, they sounded good (considering they are not in the ear), they held their charge really well and were generally just really reliable.
My Trekz Titanium’s were fantastic the entire time I owned them. Unfortunately, they came to the end of their life recently and just stopped working after six years.
Coincidentally I was contacted by Aftershokz a week later to see if I would like to test their flagship headphones. Of course, I jumped at the chance.
I’ll be honest, I hadn’t once considered upgrading the Trekz Titanium as they were so good. My hand was forced in this instance but the differences I’ve noticed in these two pairs is huge. I will compare them both throughout the review.
Let’s start with the basics. Upon unboxing the Aeropex I immediately noticed the upgraded packaging. The old packaging had much more plastic. This has now been reduced. Aftershokz have also improved the look and feel of the box. From the magnetic fastening to the little details such as how the Aeropex are held in the box before you remove them. It feels as it should do, like you are opening a high-quality product.
The first thing I noticed about these is the weight. They are super light. The band is nearly half the width of the Trekz Titanium. They’re clearly strong, but they feel very light and springy.
One of the biggest upgrades that have been made is the size and weight of the units. The Trekz didn’t ever feel heavy, however it is very noticeable when you compare the two:
Trekz – 38g
Aeropex – 26g
Like the Trekz, the Aeropex are made with a Titanium wraparound band, which ensures a secure fit and keeps them safely in place throughout your training. While these feel a little flimsier than the Trekz, they also feel like a big upgrade in terms of quality. They have a lot more flex than the Trekz and feel like a more expensive product.
The speaker pads are now a different shape than they were before. They weren’t uncomfortable before, however they do feel nicer to wear now. The speaker holes are not even visible on the Aeropex, unlike on the Trekz.
The next thing I noticed was the size of the side plates which sit just behind the ear. Again, these are around half the size of the Trekz.
All the above lead to a very comfortable fit. I am not even slightly exaggerating, they are so comfortable. There have been a number of times where I have arrived home from training or finished a call, and an hour later I remember that I am still wearing them.
I don’t just wear them for running. I have worn them multiple times when cycling, including a 60 mile ride. They were under the helmet straps for over 4 hours and I was barely even aware that they were there.
10/10 on the comfort scale. I honestly don’t know if there can ever improve on this! They really don’t need to.
The charging port is different on the Aeropex. It used to be a little plastic flap which you would need to open in order to plug in the Micro USB charger. The Aeropex used a smart magnetic charger which just clips itself into place on the two charge points on the headphones. They take two hours to charge fully from flat and have eight hours playback.
The carry case has also had a nice upgrade too. It has changed from a leatheresque zipped case to a nice silicone magnetic case
This is a very simple process. You press and hold the power (volume up) button and you are greeted by ‘Audrey’ the voice of Aftershokz. If you continue to hold the button in for a few more seconds Audrey will announce that you are now in pairing mode.
You then go to the Bluetooth section on your phone and connect to them. Easy.
You must remember that this is bone conduction technology, not in or over ear speakers. You will never replicate the sound quality of that type of headphone in this form. If that is the sort of sound that you are after, then these may not be for you. That said, I am not saying that the quality here is bad. Far from it in fact. I am actually very impressed with the sound quality. The Trekz were almost too loud and would sometimes give you this really odd tickle in the ear if they went too loud. Aftershokz seem to have resolved that problem in this model. It seems a touch quieter, but that is still plenty loud enough.
Aftershokz do supply you with a pair of foam ear plugs to pop in your ears which make a dramatic improvement to the sound quality, however if you use these you lose the ability to hear what is going on around you. They do still have their place though.
There are three available colours to choose from, Solar Red, Lunar Grey and Blue Eclipse.
Are They Waterproof?
I thought it was important to mention this in my review as I for one thought that these would be suitable for general swimming. They are not!
I have read multiple questions from people using well known online retailers regarding this. Some even saying that they do use them for swimming, however I wouldn’t recommend it. They aren’t cheap and you run the risk of ruining them from using them swimming. Bluetooth is also very unreliable in water.
So, why are Aftershokz stating that they are IP54 Waterproof? I think it is better to answer this by first asking ‘what is an IP rating?’
An IP rating is a certification proving a product meets a certain standard of water and dustproofing/resistance.
Each classification requires a company to build its product to meet a standard set by the authority and submit it for inspection. The specific requirements depend on the code that is being targeted.
The process requires the manufacturer to pay for the classification/tests to be done, which is why many companies choose to not submit some products. In this case, Aftershokz have built these to the IP54 specifications.
It’s worth noting that there’s a difference between being waterproof and water-resistant. Waterproof means a product is impervious to water regardless of how long it is submerged, water-resistant means a product can stop water entering it to some degree, but not entirely.
So, what this means is that you will be fine if you are out in the rain, however if you decide to jump in some water, you are at risk of damaging your headphones.
Aftershokz have designed a separate pair of headphones specifically for swimming, the XTrainerz. I have been supplied a pair of these for review too. You can read this review here.
I have been wearing these headphones for weeks now. I have used them for running, cycling, gym work, general walks and also to take calls at work and I have to say that I am very impressed. I have had little to no trouble at all.
The only problem I have faced is the odd connection issue when I was on my bike. The headphones beeped to let me know there was an issue with the connection, but they kicked right back into life without any intervention from me. I think at this point that it is worth pointing out that I am currently still using a Huawei P30 Pro, which uses Bluetooth 5.0. My phone was positioned on my waist in a belt, and I also had live track connected via Bluetooth which may have applied extra strain on the connection.
I discussed this with an Aftershokz rep at the National Running Show South and they confirmed my theory, and that was that there was just too much ‘me’ for the signal to pass through. The position I was in on the bike was blocking the signal. While this has now happened several times, I cannot say that it is enough to put me off using them. I am due a phone upgrade so I will test it again when that arrives.
My watch also has the ability to download and use Spotify capabilities. I have done this and used them seamlessly. The pairing process with the watch is the same as it is on the phone, so it took seconds to sort.
All in all, these get a huge thumbs up from me. I have been recommending Aftershokz for years now and I have no intention of changing that. If anything, I am now even more likely to recommend them. I love letting people that have never used them before try mine out. The look of surprise on their face never gets old! Top work, Aftershokz! Keep up the great work.
Author – Rob Beazley
Disclaimer – While Aftershokz supplied the Aeropex to The Running Bible free of charge, the review and opinions about are that of our own. We have not been influenced in our review of the product nor will they see this review before it goes live.