Sunday, May 28, 2017

be open: trekz titanium mini review

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

I need music while running. When I'm tired or bored with my run, I need that extra motivation or power song to keep me moving. What's not great about needing music? Finding the right pair of headphones. 

When I first started running, I used wired earbuds. It was hard to find a pair that would stay in my ear. And the dang wire was such a pain – I didn't love having to weave it under my shirt so that I didn't have to deal with the bouncing, and then worry about how my sweat will ruin them. Then there was the whole not being able to hear your surroundings as well as you'd like.

Eventually I had a good enough phone that allowed bluetooth headphones, but then I had similar problems – finding the right pair that would stay on my head or in my ears, but blocking my ears from surrounding noises. Being able to hear traffic, cyclists, other runners is an important part of safety on the run. It can help prevent accidents

In comes Aftershokz. They are a company that makes headphones using bone conduction technology with an open ear design, so you aren't blocking your ears from hearing your surroundings. Time to end the compromise of your safety while running with music.

A great example of needing these headphones: I ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile yesterday. Half of the race takes place on the Lake Front Path, which is open to the public; not just the race. It's a large race with maybe 10,000 runners. Which means a lot of people running on the left side of the path... blocking cyclists or other runners not racing. I heard a lot of cyclists saying 'Left' (which not all of them do), and saw most people move, except these two guys. They had on wired headphones, and apparently listening to music too loud to hear everyone shouting 'Left' (including runners trying to help the other runners move out of the way and prevent any accidents). I told my mom – they could really benefit from the Aftershokz headphones, because I heard all of the cyclists just fine (though I never run on the left except to pass others, but when I can I move right back over to the right, per running etiquette).

Anyway, these headphones are AMAZING. I wear them on every. single. run. I wrote about them last year and you can read my original review here or my review of the Pink campaign they ran last October (where they were donating parts of the proceeds of their Trekz Titanium Pink headphones + extra through social media hashtags being used).

Why did I want to try the Aftershokz Trekz Mini if I loved the originals so much? I have a small head. I can wear children sized hats better than adult sized. Most adult sized hats I have to snap at the smallest snap, which leaves a huge amount of that plastic part hanging out. Anyway, I thought it might be nice not to have so much of the headphone connecting part hanging in the back. It never bothered me too much, but sometimes when I wore my 1 bottle pack, the back part would hit the bottle or get caught if I moved my head a certain way.

I love the Mini size so much! They are perfect for my smaller head size, I get the same great sound, and I'm not compromising my safety by blocking my ears from the outside world. They are easy to pair out of the box. 

I was so excited to test them when they arrived I forgot to charge, and during my run they gave me a warning to charge. That's nice addition to have – a reminder when they need to be charged. If you've used out the battery, they take about 1.5 hour to fully charge back up. I think I charge mine twice a week – at the beginning and then before my long run. Probably more than it needs, but I like to be safe. If music stops during my run... so do I haha.

You can also see the battery life on your phone up in the right hand corner with all of your other stats (bluetooth connected, phone battery), and you can even press the volume button when no music is playing to see what level the battery is (high, medium, low). Changing songs is easy, just hit the left ear button twice, once to pause/play, and the volume controls are small buttons on the right side behind the ear. You can find user instructions here. They have a battery life of about 6 hours (I've gotten a little over 6 at about 6:15 or 6:30 myself, which was awesome for this slower marathoner). It doesn't drain my phone battery too much either. I am able to go 6+ hours using the headphones/music + sending texts and GPS apps on my phone and still have about 50% when I am done. Granted, I have a newer iPhone which has better battery life, but even with my older iPhone I never had problems with it dying on my long runs/races.

They are lightweight with no bounce and comfortable. I barely notice them when I'm running. I also wear sunglasses and hat/visors most runs. I put on the headphones, then the hat/visor then the sunglasses. I found this strategy to work well. 

They are water resistant, but not waterproof, so don't submerge them in water. If it's a light rain, you're good to go, but I'd say if it's a downpour and you'll get drenched, maybe leave them inside. Use your best judgement. I will say I am a sweaty runner, and have wore them in lighter rains and haven't had any problems.

You can check if the Afterhokz Trekz Mini or the original size would be a better fit for you using their Size Guide.

Aftershokz has great customer service along with a fun social media presence. Their twitter gif game is on point. They are very active and always responding to questions or celebrating you and your run. It's really cool.

The Aftershokz Trekz Mini come in pink or slate and cost $129.95. Well worth the price. Comparable to other bluetooth running headphones and they are safer to wear out and about because you can hear your surroundings. You can even get a free water bottle (those cool insulated ones) if you order through this link:

From the website:
The lightweight and comfortable Trekz Titanium wireless stereo headphones are the safest alternative to traditional sport headphones and earbuds. Bone conduction technology, an open ear design and a suite of convenient features deliver premium music play and crystal clear calling without compromise. Designed with athletes in mind, Trekz Titanium are sweatproof, secure, and will allow you to hear your surroundings - no matter where life takes you.

  • 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 noise canceling microphones exclude surrounding noise, effectively enhancing speech
  • Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, pair, play and talk
  • Hassle-free 2-year warranty

Speaker type: bone conduction transducers
Frequency response: 20Hz~20KHz
Sensitivity: 100 ± 3dB
Microphone: -40dB ± 3dB
Bluetooth version: v4.1
Compatible profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
Wireless range: 33 ft (10m)
Battery: rechargeable lithium ion
Continuous play: 6 hours
Standby time: 10 days
Charge in: 1.5 hours
Weight: 1.27 oz (36g)

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