Until about a year ago, during my runs I was still using my ipod mini (ancient history now) with my favourite Sennheiser yellow sports headphones that I had been renewing every few months. I trusted these headphones and would not change them for anything, even though it was getting more and more difficult to find a pair of them as they were such an old model. Sure, they needed lots of adjusting to stay in my ears, the sound wasn’t great, the long cord was moving all over the place and they broke down every 6 months, but they did the trick for me. You therefore know what they say, if its not broken, don’t change it. Last Christmas, my husband (loves gadgets) and dad (avid runner all his life) decided to look into getting me some wireless headphones to move me into a new era. I very reluctantly gave up my ipod mini (no Bluetooth connectivity) and old headphones in order to go out with my iphone and new headphones. Of course I never looked back! As boys love gadgets, for my birthday a few months later, I got a second pair of wireless headphones, the AFTERSHOKZ Trekz Titanium ones. They are different to anything I have ever tried on before as they don’t go into ones ears. Instead they use bone conduction to deliver music through the cheekbones. This way ears remain free and one can hear one’s surroundings, increasing safety for runners listening to music on the road. At least this is what their manufacturers say. So after a month of staring at them and avoiding trying them on (in case they jiggled around or in case I couldn’t work them while on the run) I finally put my new bright pink headphones to the test. So how did they cope with satisfying a runner’s demands?
Fit and stability around ears
The Trekz Titanium reminded me of some older headphones I owned that had a band behind the head and hooked over the ears so I didn’t expect them to be very comfortable or steady. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The Trekz Titanium hook behind the ears really easily and very lightly and stay there at all times without me even noticing them. The transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering amazing sound without plugging or covering them. For smaller heads there is the mini version of those headphones and the website offers a sizing tool that can help potential buyers decide whether they need the normal or smaller version. The headphones also arrive with some ‘fit bands’, which are supposed to make your headset smaller. I don’t really see how they work but I use them anyway and they seem to do the job. I have used the Trekz Titanium with my running sunglasses and they didn’t interfere with each other.
I have so far worn them on runs up to 1.40 minutes and had no problems with them rubbing my skin behind the ears.
Safety on the road
The Trekz Titanium manufacturers claim that these headphones are safer as the ears remain free to hear environmental and street sounds. I have to say I don’t see that. The difference between these headphones and traditional ones regarding being able to hear my surroundings while on a run is very small if any. It really depends on how loud my music is. I have been unable to hear what people running with me are saying to me and I can only hear a car approaching on a quiet road until it’s too close to me for comfort. So for me these headphones make no difference, if I am running off the pavement I will pause the music.
Easiness to operate (pause and skip through songs while on the run)
My biggest problem with my previous wireless headphones was that I could not pause or change song using the controls on the headset as the buttons were too small and I could not feel which one was which without looking at them. With the Trekz Titanium I can easily pause the music by pressing once a large enough, easily identifiable button on the left side of the headset and I can skip songs by pressing the same button twice. I had to get the hang of that though, as every time I wanted to skip a song I ended up pausing the music. I have now worked out how quickly I should do the clicks and it works fine. This button can also be used to answer calls if so desired and it can be identify even with gloves on. The volume control is on the other side of the headset but the buttons are too small, too close to each other and too flat to identify while on the run. But I don’t think this is important as I never change the volume of my music and I can use my apple watch to do so if I need to. One thing I would like to be able to do using my headset is to be able to skip back to songs as to just forward.
Very easy to connect and a voice lets you know this is done.
Good sound quality
The sound quality is fantastic and much better than any of my other running headphones. One can also adjust the equalizing settings to achieve the desired sound. Beware though, despite what the manufacturers say these headphone have big sound leakage, so
On the plane noise cancelling
No tried it yet.
The Trekz Titanium last 6 hours on a single charge so they would see one through a marathon.
Ability to withstand sweat/rain and durability
Trekz Titanium are supposed to repel dust, sweat and moisture. For me so far so good, but as they are still fairly new I will have to get back to you on durability in a little while.
Trekz Titanium come at a price of £99.99. Although they are not cheap they are a really good quality pair of headphones and they do a great job for me on my runs. If they turn out to also be durable (for me this would mean at least a year) I would say they are totally worth their money.
I love those headphones and would totally recommend them to any runner out there because of their comfort, easiness to operate while on the run, great sound quality, cool design and technology. Just not for safety on the run!