REVIEW: Expensive Jabra Or The New AfterShokz Bone Conduction Business Headset
When you work at the blunt end of the consumer electronics industry and you are seeing hundreds of products a year, occasionally a product comes along that is a real standout.
For me that product is the new $249 Aftershokz Open Comm, bone conduction headset that has a microphone built into the design making communication easy especially when on a video call.
Bone conduction technology bypasses the ear canal and passes audio directly through your cheekbones to the inner ear.
These new devices have Bluetooth 5.0 with an 11-metre range, NFC pairing is also available.
The boom mic on the left side rotates about 270 degrees and is very flexible.
The magnetic USB charger is also a clever feature with the cable snapping into place easily of its own accord.
Right now, we are swimming in Companies sending us buds, there are Apple Buds, Samsung buds and those from just about every audio product on the planet, but if you are like me and you spend hours on a mobile phone, buds can become a massive irritant in the ear especially after long periods of use.
These new Aftershokz bone conduction headset have just been released in Australia.
They were delayed because of their popularity in the US especially among business executives and power workers who are on the phone all day long.
I’ve been a big fan of open-ear style bone conduction headsets because the sound is excellent, and they are highly functional. The new Open Comm headphones are significantly superior to a $550 pair of Jabra Evolve or their Jabra Engage business headsets.
The Aftershokz headphones are extremely light and comfortable to wear and can be easily stuffed into a pocket if you ever take them off.
The boom mic and its DSP noise-cancelling are up there with more expensive options with the added benefit that these headphones are still excellent if all you want to do is listen to music.
The built-in lithium polymer battery gives you around 16 hours of talk time can be fully recharged in 60 minutes, and a standby charge lasts for up to 14 days.
The company claims you can get two hours of talk time after only five minutes of quick charging.
The Aftershokz transducers rest on the side of your head with a relatively light touch, rated IP55,these headphones are more tailored to work-related communications than leisure. They are practical, well designed and come with its own case which is very bulky.
I am packing my Open Comm headphones into the case that came with the original Aftershokz headphones.
The difference with the original headphones and the new $249 Aftershokz Open Comm model is that there’s a slight dip in decibel sensitivity.
While the Aftershokz Open COMM are still very niche at this stage I am tipping that they could become mainstream because of their quality functionality and the fact that they work outside of the ear.