There are clearly two types of runners.
I’m not thinking of elites and everyday runners. Nor I am referring to road and trail runners. Short distance and long distance? Nope.
The two types are those who run with headphones and those without. As long as I have been a runner, listening to something has always been a staple. I started out with music exclusively, dabbled in an audio book or two but now regularly listen to one of the couple dozen podcasts to which I subscribe. (Here are my top 10 recommended podcasts for runners.)
When it comes to races, I have a music playlist that I use when I want to get an adrenaline rush.
Not only has my preferred audio content changed throughout my running journey, so too has my choice of headphones.
When I started out running, I used earbuds connected through a long wire that was attached to either my armband, or later, a small iPod on my waist. In time, I graduated to a Bluetooth set, which allowed me to free myself from the wires. That was a huge benefit not only for the actual run but when it came time to travel too. Frequently, getting my earbuds out of my backpack required a Houdini-like escape thanks to the wire wrapping itself around anything it could find in the small pocket.
While I liked the first wireless earbuds I tried, I felt there could be even better options.
My validation came when I discovered AfterShokz.
I recently received my fourth pair of AfterShokz, the Aeropex. Like others in the AfterShokz line, the Aeropex uses bone-conduction technology that allows users to hear their surroundings — regardless of whether they are an elite or everyday runner, trail runner or road runner.
Regardless of your speed, preferred place to run or distance of choice, AfterShokz earbuds deliver safety and sound quality that is top of the line.
Additionally, the headphones easily pair with one’s phone and hold a significant charge. They offer play/pause/skip, voice dial and volume adjustment at the touch of a button for control on-the-go.
It was not until I used the Aeropex that I had an issue that required me to contact customer service. During some of my runs, I found that the earbuds stopped playing even though my phone indicated the connection was intact and the podcast player was on. It’s a rare occurrence but fortunately AfterShokz had an easy-to-perform fix on their website.
Unfortunately for me, even after multiple resets, my original pair of Aeropex continued the annoying shutoff.
But the story does have a happy ending. AfterShokz sent me a new pair, which has performed well the vast majority of the time. I have noticed that if I turn my head in such a way that my running jacket or hat brush the right side of the Aeropex, it will shut off.
But everything else works perfectly. So I am going to use my Aeropex regularly though I will be more cognizant when I am running with them while wearing layers. When warmer weather arrives, I will not only shed my layers, I will lose my concerns about the Aeropex and gladly bring them on outdoor adventures without hesitation.
That minor inconvenience aside, I still believe AfterShokz is the best option for runners in terms of safety, sound quality, customer service and more — regardless of what style of runner you are.