Thursday, April 14, 2016

don't compromise your safety: aftershokz trek titanium review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Titanium to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!


I think you all know it. I'm headphones fanatic. A hoarder. A snob, some might say. I'm a modern day, grown up Goldilocks looking for the perfect pair of headphones. This pair is too tight. This pair doesn't stay in. This pair is uncomfortable. This pair has wires. This pair is juuuuuuust right.

While I have found a great pair that are super comfy and work wonderfully at the gym, I'm always a little nervous wearing them when running outside. Music has to be very low so I can hear my surroundings. Safety is a major concern, of course. I run trails, and sometimes there are coyote and deer spottings. I'd like to be able to hear any brustling that might occur around me.


The Aftershokz Trekz Titanium wireless stereo headphones are perfect for just this setting. You see, they don't go IN your ear! They use bone conduction technology and an open ear design that allows you to be aware of your surroundings. They were designed with athletes in mind, so they are sweat proof (IP55 certified), secure, and allows you to hear your surroundings — no matter where life takes you.


Trekz Titanium are lightweight, comfortable, and are the safest alternative to traditional sport headphones and earbuds. The longest I've worn them for is 3.5 hours, but I think that's plenty long to know if they're comfortable or not. They didn't cause me any discomfort and I barely noticed them there (except for being able to hear my music, of course). They are wireless and connect to your phone using bluetooth — that might go without saying, but figured I'd mention it any way.


Red light means charging. Blue light means they are ready to go!

I've loved having them for races — so far I've done three in them (Chicago Quarter Marathon, Shamrock Shuffle, and Chi Town Half Marathon). It's great to be able to hear the announcements before/after the race and on course if there are any. It's also great because I do most races with my mom, and with these headphones it's easy to chat/listen to her without having to pause my music or take out an earbud. I can set the volume so I can hear the music when there's a lull, but also hear her if she's speaking. It's awesome.


Apparently I really liked this pose haha.

They're also great for use around the house or for doing yard work. I can listen to music, but if my husband is calling for me for whatever reason, I can still hear him. Boom.


Some Features of the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium:
• Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds
• Titanium wraparound headband is lightweight and flexible for durability and portability
• OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear
• PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass
• Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 connectivity and convenient multipoint pairing
• LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage
• IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust, and moisture—from workouts to wicked weather
• Enjoy six hours of continuous music + calls on a single charge
• EQ presets boost bass and reduce vibration on the go
• Dual voice canceling microphones exclude surrounding noise, effectively enhancing 
• Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, pair, play, and talk
• Hassle-free 2-year warranty

Check out this short video that talks about the technology and design:




When I received them (the Ivy color), I immediately took out of the box to charge. The light is red when charging, and blue when charging is complete. This took about 30 minutes, though if you've used them so much they've died, it's about an 1.5 to charge (not bad at all!). 

Once they were charge, I turned them on and did the pairing to my phone. This was super easy to do – I didn't even have to put them in pair mode (though according to the instructions you'll want to hold down the power for 5 seconds... I guess I did that automatically haha), just turning them on and going to my Bluetooth settings on my phone, the phone had already found the device to pair them up. I haven't had any issues connecting to my phone in all the times I've used them, which is a lot.


Flat Heather for the Chicago Quarter Marathon.

I know you can answer/end calls from them as well, but I don't really make or receive many phone calls, so can't really speak to how well that worked, though it seems easy enough.

They also came with silicon rubber bands that provide adjustability to accommodate smaller head sizes. I have a smaller head (and by small, I mean most adjustable hats can't be pulled tight enough), but haven't found a need for the bands.


I figured out the best way to get on my BUFF along with my headphones.
 Gotta keep my ears warm.

Also in the box is a pair of earplugs. Why? So you can use your headphones in environments where it is safe to block out ambient noise, such as an airplane or train.


While running I don't notice any bouncing and rarely have to adjust the headphones. They've been fantastic. I'd say my only problem with them was when it was cold out and I needed to wear a hat. I couldn't quite figure out how to wear them and still be able to cover my ears, because I couldn't fit the band under a fitted hat. Well, I finally figured out a way to wear my BUFF so the headphones would still work and fit properly, and eventually the smarts on how to wear my fitted winter hat came out too. Problem solved with a bit of quick maneuvering to get the hat or BUFF in the right spots and to headphones underneath. With the hat, I ended up just putting the headphones on over them and I could still hear the music perfectly. 


Because of the back part, I couldn't get them inside my
fitted winter hat, but worked just find on the outside!

I generally had no issues with the music cutting in and out, like I have with other headphones. The rare times it had, it was brief and not annoying (I've had some headphones that for an entire run went in and out and it drove me bonkers). I do wear my Orange Mud HydraQuiver VP1 on most runs, in which I put my phone in the front chest pocket, so maybe the nearness to the headphones is partly why it's always been so awesome. When I went on walks my phone was in a jacket pocket, and they worked fine then too. 


I've worn them on super windy days – can still hear just fine. I would recommend you have the volume all the way up on your phone when connected, and then you adjust the music volume on the headphones from there. If you have the volume low on your phone, then the headphones can only go up so much. That being said, I usually am able to run with them on maybe the third from the lowest setting and it's perfect (for me). I usually run where there isn't a ton of traffic or on the trails, so don't need them super high, but sometimes I up it if I'm near a busy road. 

The volume is very easy to adjust while on the run - the volume buttons are on the right side, near the ear. The play/pause button is on the part that goes on you ear bone. Again, easy to use. You can also skip songs by double tapping this same button.



Aftershokz has been very active on social media, so I know if I had a question they would answer promptly. They've interacted with me a few times, and it's always appreciated when companies take the time for customer service.

They Trekz Titanium come in three colors - Ocean (blue/black), Ivy (green/black), and Slate (grey/black). They cost $129.99. Here's the user guide.


Great news! I also have a discount to share with you! Save 20% on your purchase using code BIBCHAT (updated code as of 4/19)! 

Aftershokz is sponsoring #BibChat this upcoming Tuesday, April 19. Come join in on an hour of fun and some fun prizes! 

Also, The United Relay of America, in association with Aftershokz, needs runners! Check out my post here to learn more about it, and see if any of the routes are near you! Not interested in running? You can donate to my fundraising efforts for All Out. There is no donation too small - every penny is greatly appreciated!

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Check out what the others Pros had to say:
Rachel | Frank | Amy | Christine

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