4GB of MP3 Storage (Up to 1200 songs) – NO BLUETOOTH
8 Hour Battery Life (up to 10 days standby)
Weight – 30g
IP68 Waterproof (for swimming)
Available from Aftershokz at https://aftershokz.co.uk/products/xtrainerz for £139.95
Before I begin the review, Aftershokz have very kindly offered all Running Bible Community members a 10% discount off the Aeropex and Xtrainerz. 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 Xtrainerz headphones.
A silicone zipped carry case.
Swimming silicone earplugs.
A USB charging cable.
For those that are not familiar with this brand, Aftershokz is a company which 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 free 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.
Aftershokz have a range of models which are primarily used for sports on dry land. Sitting alongside them are the Xtrainerz.
The Xtrainerz have been designed specifically with water sports in mind. Now, I may have mentioned in the community that I am just beginning my first triathlon training journey, so being asked to try these was perfect timing as I am about to spend a lot of time in the water.
These, unlike any of the others in the range, are IP68 water resistant in salt water up to six feet. This means that they are fine for swimming.
Much like the Aeropex, I found that the unboxing of the Xtrainerz had a nice premium feel to it. They came in almost identical packaging which is a winner in my books.
The XTrainerz are very similar looking to the Aeropex. They come in two colours, which is black with silver speckles or blue.
The charging process is very different on this model. You need to clip the charging case around the pogo pin charge point on the headphones. This encases the charge point and charges the unit. They take around two hours to charge from flat and have eight-hours playback.
Much the same as the magnetic silicone case included with the Aeropex, the Xtrainerz have a very similar case, only zipped.
The headphones are largely the same as the Aeropex, and at 30g they are only very marginally heavier. Nothing that you would notice, especially in the water.
They are very comfortable and sit in the same position as the rest of the range. I haven’t noticed any discomfort from wearing them, not even with a swimming cap on. They feel just as strong as the Aeropex.
My first stumbling block with these is that they are not Bluetooth. I mean, it makes perfect sense as to why they are not, however I cannot remember the last time I downloaded some music and owned the physical/digital file. I, like a lot of people, use streaming services these days and have done for years.
Thankfully I located some of my old DJ demos and installed them onto the headphones.
The transfer was nice and easy. Connect the charge cable to your PC/laptop, open the file explorer and drag and drop the tunes into the folder. Simple.
The Xtrainerz accept the following file formats:
Operating the XTrainerz is nice and easy too. You press and hold the play button to switch them on and the MP3 file begins to play.
As these are MP3 headphones and not Bluetooth, there is no ability or need to pair them to anything. Just press play and away you go.
You have volume up and down buttons along with a play/pause multifunction button. You can use the same button to skip a track by pressing it twice and three times to go back a track. Unlike the Aeropex, there is an extra button on the back of the right-hand section where the other buttons are located. This is a randomiser button which will come in useful if you have a large quantity of music and just want a random playlist rather than just allowing it to play in order.
You have to 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, even in water.
Aftershokz do supply you with a pair of silicone ear plugs to pop in your ears which make a dramatic improvement to the sound quality. I tend to absorb half the pool in my ear canal when swimming, so these earplugs came in handy for this alone, however they worked incredibly well for the sound quality too. So much so that this is the only way I use them now. I struggle to hear much when I am swimming in the water anyway, so I was not bothered about blocking any sound (and water) from entering my ears. The earplugs are very comfortable, however, I cannot help but feel that they are just going to come out and float away. They haven’t even come out of my ear once, but I am often conscious of this until I get into the zone.
If you use these in the water without the earplugs then when your head goes in and out of the water with your strokes, you will get an interrupted flow of music. You can hear it, but it doesn’t sound great due to the water going in and out of your ears. If you are keeping your head above the water, then you will not get this issue. The same if your head is fully submerged.
I have spent a lot of time in the pool wearing these and several visits to my local outdoor swimming quarry and these have not missed a beat (no pun intended). I was initially very concerned about wearing them in the quarry in case they came off, as if they did, there was no chance I was getting them back unless I found a friendly diver to go and fetch it for me.
That said, I have not had one problem. Not one! They fit much like you’d expect them to, as they’re the same titanium-based band as the rest of the range. I wore them on the outside of my swim cap so that they were not squashed down, but you hardly even notice that you are wearing them.
Before now, I have never thought about having music to swim to. Now, I would not be without the Xtrainerz. Pool swimming can get very repetitive and boring. Quickly, however these really help keep you going. Just crank up the volume and swim away to your favourite tunes.
Much like the Aeropex, these are not cheap. That said, if you are a keen swimmer, enjoy your tunes and often spend a lot of time in the water then the Afterhokz XTrainerz will be a very welcome addition to your kitbag.
Author – Rob Beazley
Disclaimer – While Aftershokz supplied the XTrainerz 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.