Aftershokz Aeropex Headset review

As always this will be a down and dirty type of review. It will be based in real world terms, not fancy marketing hype. Ready or not, here we go.

Common background information: I work-out a lot, I sweat profusely and I have shorted out at least 4 dozen headsets in my pursuit of sweat-proof earphones/headsets to use while I run, lift, and bike. If you have read my previous reviews, you will remember that I reviewed other Aftershokz products. Well my friends, we find ourselves here again, another Aftershokz review. I am happy to say that I have found another great headset that I can recommend. Like their predecessors these are a bit different than standard headsets/earphones in that they are an open ear, bone conduction type of headset. That means they sit on your cheekbones and send sound to your inner ear, not like traditional headsets that go in your ear. So without further rambling, I present the Aftershokz Aeropex

If you are unfamiliar Aftershokz, read on and maybe find a new must have. Read my previous reviews of their products, or visit their website. If you’re a return Aftershokz fan, welcome back. When I first came across Aftershokz, I was looking for bone conductive headsets. I knew they were out there but hadn’t ever found any Bluetooth ones before. Anyone who knows me knows I HATE, and yes that is a strong word, but I absolutely hate wired headsets and earphones when I exercise. My gorilla arms tend to flail about and get tangled up in the wires and rip things off my head/out of my ears. I was happy to find that someone had stepped up and created a Bluetooth BCH and couldn’t wait to try them out.  I have never looked back and this headset is no exception to that rule.

Good:

Comfort: Like their predecessors, the Aeropex headset is ultra-comfortable. For these new headphones, the engineering wizards have once again managed to make them more comfortable than any other previous headset they have made, including the Air which are fantastic.  I cannot stress this point, enough, because they do not go in your ears, but rather sit on your cheek bones, they are extremely comfortable; and with the new vertical design, they almost disappear when you are wearing them. I have used this set for a total of about 10 hours and just like the previous model, I almost forgot they were there, except for the constant rhythm I had reverberating in my head. Amazingly these are even lighter than the Air model. the Airs weighed in at exactly 1 ounce (30 grams), these come in at an astounding 26 grams (.9 ounces). They are so light that you can literally forget that you are wearing them.

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As you can see from teh pictures, They are barely visible on my head

Fit: The Aeropex fit like, most other wrap behind headsets, but because of the titanium wire-frame design they have a naturally snug feeling. If you’re worried about them falling off while you work-out, you can stop, because they will stay on in even during the most vigorous of workouts. I know some of you out there are going to be like, “But I really workout hard/fast/violently/whatever…” Yeah I do too. In the course of my workout my head gets flung into many different positions, sometimes with a fair amount of force. Guess what, they stay in place just fine. They fit securely in front of your ears and follow the curve of the ear, to help ensure a good fit. The titanium band is very flexible and acts like a spring holding them snug to your head. They have stayed in place so far for me, in excess of 10 hours of workout time so far. If you’re wondering, YES, they are glasses and helmet friendly, I’ve worn them with both my sunglasses and my bike helmet simultaneously with no issues whatsoever.

 

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Sound Quality: As with all bone conduction headphones; if you’re looking for a headset that can be an audiophile’s wet dream, I’m going to ask you to kindly stop reading right here, as these are not the headphones you are looking for.  If, however you are looking for a headset that has great audio, phone capabilities, and decent battery life, I’m talking to you. I was surprised by the sound quality of the Aeropex, even though previous models had larger batteries, they have been going for 11 hours on their initial charge. They do a great job of reproducing the sounds that you would normally have going into your ears. The bass was bassy but not overbearing, the mids were plump and the treble was represented well. If you have them cranked all the way up you can hear the music coming out of them from a distance, but if you set them down on a hard surface they will shake and rattle all over the place, letting you know it’s vibration that you are hearing. They have once again improved on the “Leak Slayer” feature, which helps cut down on audio leakage, which was an issue for all previous models, and while you’ll never get rid of it completely these are once again a step further in the right direction. As far as call quality I have made a few calls with them, using various phone apps like messenger, skype, google voice, fongo, and the phone app of the phone and people say they can hear me clearly and I can hear them very well too. They have an additional microphone for noise reduction, and it appears to work as advertised.

 

Packaging/Accessories: when most companies are trying to give you as little as possible when you buy their products, it’s refreshing to see one going a bit better. Like the previous models, the Aeropex are packaged well in a nice box. Inside that box is a soft touch rubber carrying case with a magnetic closure, a pair of charging cables, a warranty card, a quick start guide, a multi lingual instruction sheet and the ear plugs (for when you are on a plane or train, and can block out all noise). Unlike some of the other brands that give you throw away packaging and the headset, it’s nice to get the little extra touches with these.

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Controls: Like their older sibling the Aeropex use the same simplified button set, consisting of just three buttons. They are: power on/volume up, volume down, and a multi-function button. The power and volume buttons are rubber coated/booted physical buttons. They work as intended and are easy to use, though they are bit more cramped as compared to the Trekz Titantiums, however they are a bit more spacious than the Air model. To answer a call you press the multi-function button on the left “ear” piece (when you are wearing them), this will pause any media you have running. To end the call you press the button again. To make a call a double press of the button gets you into the dialog for that. To play/pause your music you single press the multi-function button. Dead simple.

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Battery: They claim a 6-8 hour battery life. I am at 11 hours as of this writing, and they just started telling me to charge them. The first couple of hours were at about 70-80% volume, while the rest has been at 50-75%. I’m not sure what volume they have their number spec’ed for but, as always, your mileage may vary.

Multipoint Connectivity: Like the Airs, multi-point connectivity is present on this model as well. Unfamiliar with the term? It means the headset can be paired to more than one device at a time. Previous models could only be paired to one, like your phone. If wanted to use it for your computer or tablet as well you had to go through the pairing process every time you switched devices.

USB connector: In order to maintain the Water resistance/Sweat Proof-ness they have made a radical shift in the connector for the Aeropex. Previous models had a little flap over a micro USB port. This model adopts a new (and proprietary) connector that is both magnetic, and liquid sensing. This means no fumbling around trying to determine the orientation for the connector and they will not charge if the connection senses liquid, so no shorting out.

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Waterproofing: The Aeropex have upped the waterproof rating to IP67 this time around.  IP is the name of the standard that was drawn up by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to determine how resistant an electrical device is to fresh water and common raw materials – like dirt, dust and sand.

The first digit after IP is the rating the IEC assigned a unit for its resistance to solids. In this case, it’s six – which means no “harmful” dust or dirt seeped into the unit after being in direct contact with the matter eight-hours.

Solid Protection
IP Code Protection
1 Protection from contact with any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
2 Protection from fingers or similar objects
3 Protection from tools, thick wires or similar objects
4 Protection from most wires, screws or similar objects
5 Partial protection from contact with harmful dust
6 Protection from contact with harmful dust

Next, we have the water resistance rating.

There are two leading ratings at present – seven and eight, with the former meaning that the device can be submerged in up to one meter of fresh water for half an hour, and the latter up to 1.5 meters for half an hour.

Moisture Protection
IP Code Protection
1 Protection against vertically dripping water
2 Protection against vertically dripping water when device is tilted at an angle up to 15 degrees
3 Protection against direct sprays of water when device is tilted at an angle up to 60 degrees
4 Protection from sprays and splashing of water in all directions.
5 Protection from low-pressure water projected from a nozzle with a 6.3mm diameter opening in any direction
6 Protection from water projected in powerful jets from a nozzle with a 12.5mm diameter opening in any direction
7 Protected from immersion in water with a depth of up to 1 meter (or 3.3 feet) for up to 30 mins
8 Protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter (manufacturer must specify exact depth)

And that’s how IP ratings are formed.

To recap: IP67 means the unit can be dropped into a body of water up to a meter deep for half an hour. Let’s be clear here: the rating the International Electrotechnical Commission assigns is strictly for fresh water. That means it doesn’t guarantee protection from submersion in other liquids – beer, coffee, salt water and soda, to name but a few and you shouldn’t go around submerging them just because. Basically you can run in pretty much any conditions and not worry about them dying on you.

Warranty: They come with a 2-year warranty, that covers defects in workmanship and sweat damage. As a side note, they truly stand behind their products. I destroyed 12 pairs of the original Bluez, about that many of the Bluez 2 headsets, 8-10 pairs of the Titanium, and 4 of the Air models with my overactive sweat glands. They happily replaced them no questions, no qualms. They even interviewed me about my experience with their customer service. This is a company that I can say honestly, really cares about their customers. The customer service staff that I have worked with have all been great. Always courteous, always genuine, and always eager to help me get my issue resolved.

Neutral:

Sound Quality: I know I just said this was in the good column, but there is something I need to tell you about that is neither Good nor Bad when it come to the sound quality. Remember these are an Open Ear style headset. That means you can still hear outside sounds/noise when you use them. For me this is a good thing, I often run along roads and busy streets, and being able to hear approaching traffic is always good. Also being able to hear your breathing and your foot falls while running can aid in your training efforts. While I enjoy the solitude that my in-ear headsets give me, the safety factor takes precedence when running outside. Being able to hear ambient noises can be a strange experience at first, but you’ll adjust quickly. Also I use an App called Zombies, Run! which is an immersive audio based running game, having the ambient sounds of the outside world adds to the realism of the experience. Having said all that I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that these do have the best over all frequency response of any headset they have made to date.

 

Price: The Aeropex have a MSRP of $159.95 USD/209.95 CAD. The price point is not too outrageous for a Bluetooth stereo headset of this quality, but I know not everyone can shell out this kind of money for a headset.  To date these are the highest quality Bone Conduction Headset I have had, eclipsing even the Airs, which were my favorites. You can determine what your budget will allow, but the old adage of “You get what you pay for” is generally true for things like this.

BAD:

Comfort: Again, I know I just said this was in the good column, just hear me out. I had no discomfort with the Aeropex but the following goes out to anyone who is new to bone conduction headsets. You will likely have no discomfort while wearing/using them. You may notice a strange sensation when you take them off. After being on your head for a long time, you may notice a weird tingling sensation on your face (no doubt from being subject to vibration for an extended amount of time.) and you will also likely notice a sense of relief when you take them off. Because they put pressure on your face, it apparently builds up after a while. I only noticed it after taking them off and only the first few times I ever wore them. These days I am so accustomed to them that I never have any discomfort or after effects.

Conclusion:

 

TL;DR:

  • Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds.
  • Lightest bone conduction headphones to-date, weighing less than 1 ounce (26g).
  • 8-hour battery life for music, calls, audiobooks and podcasts, or 10 days of standby time.
  • Complete wraparound titanium design provides a flexible fit for unnoticeable all-day comfort and stability.
  • Fully waterproof (IP67 rated) to welcome intense workouts and extreme weather conditions.
  • Bluetooth v5.0 offers reliable connectivity for up to 33 ft (10m).
  • PremiumPitch 2.0+ delivers wide dynamic stereo sound and louder volume.
  • Re-angled transducers with significantly reduced vibration and enhanced sound quality.
  • OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear.
  • Dual noise-canceling mics minimize surrounding noise, effectively enhancing speech for the call recipient.
  • Charge fully in 2 hours with magnetic charging cable. Moisture detection alert included for safe charging.
  • Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, pair, play and talk.
  • Hassle-free 2-year warranty included.
  • Speaker type: bone conduction transducers
  • Frequency response: 20Hz~20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 105 ± 3dB
  • Microphone: -38dB ± 3dB
  • Bluetooth version: v5.0
  • Compatible profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
  • Wireless range: 33 ft (10m)
  • Battery: lithium polymer
  • Continuous play: 8 hours
  • Standby time: 10 days
  • Charge time: 2 hours
  • Weight: 0.92 oz (26g)

Conclusion: The Aeropex are a good buy, even at full retail price. They have performed well for me so far and will be my daily driver (replacing the Air model) for working out and running, assuming I don’t destroy them with my over abundant sweat. If you are in the market for an open ear headset, (and you really should be if you exercise anywhere that situational awareness is a factor) give these a try. If the price point is outside your budget, there are several models available that are less expensive.

 

US Readers can use the following link and code to get a discount on previous models:

https://bit.ly/2UPYV2f

The discount code is SHOKZSTAR55

Canadian Readers can do the same here:

https://glnk.io/4w4/rowald

The code is: ROB65

 

 

 

 

 

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