High quality sound making everything from Central Cee to Slipknot clear and enjoyable when riding in all but the windiest conditions. A fast charge and incredible battery life makes these headphones almost perfect for cyclists.
10 hours of battery life means they stay charged for the longest of rides
High quality sound
Bone conduction means you'll stay aware of your surroundings while riding
Very windy conditions make quieter songs and podcasts harder to hear
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Bone conduction technology works by vibrating sound waves through your face into your eardrums. This differs from normal headphones which are essentially mini speakers placed in your ears. This makes them ideal for cyclists (and other outdoor sport enthusiasts) that want music or podcasts but need to remain aware of their surroundings, as it leaves your ears free to listen for cars.
The Shokz OpenRun Pro headphones are the ninth generation of bone conducting technology and it’s now refined to the point where there’s sound quality parity between bone conduction headphones and regular ones. Designed for a busy endurance athlete, with a long battery life and quick charging making these a high quality, low hassle product, we take a look at how these stack up against the best headphones for cycling with sound.
Shokz OpenRun Pro: construction
The charger of the OpenRun Pros is a magnetic one - this is different from previous models which have made use of USB-C. Normally, I rail against brands diverting from USB-C but in this case, the charger is partially behind the wonderful charging speed of the Shokz OpenRun Pros. Five minutes of charge delivers an hour and a half of battery life which is incredibly useful when you forget to charge your headphones. The downside of this switch, is if you lose the charging lead, you'll have to order a new cable rather than using a standard one from another device.
I found no issue with battery life. Generally speaking the headphones lasted an entire working day plus a turbo session in the evening. Shokz claim a battery life of 10 hours and I saw no evidence that this claim was inaccurate.
These headphones deliver excellent sound quality across a number of genres and pitches. Personally, I tend to listen to heavy metal while I’m out on the bike and these headphones have no issues handling heavily layered music. They sound brilliant, meaning you can enjoy your music while you ride.
Even with just an IP55 Sweatproof rating, there was no issue in dealing with wind, grit and torrential rain - these headphones handled everything the south coast of Britain in November, December and January could throw at them. They’re splash and grit proof too. If you get back from a muddy wet ride, simply wipe them down, let them dry and plug them in to charge.
The fit is secure, meaning they won’t become dislodged even when riding off road or running.
Shokz OpenRun Pro: the ride
The thing I loved most about the OpenRun Pros was the quick charge feature. An unintended annoying consequence of devices with huge battery life is that you often forget to charge them but for these headphones that was no issue. On multiple occasions per week I would go out having only charged my headphones for five or ten minutes and they were fine for the duration of the session. The sound quality was excellent and there were never any issues connecting or pairing with the device that was broadcasting the music.
The only issue is that on very windy days on the bike, which are common where I do most of my riding, the wind can overpower the music making some songs difficult to hear. This can also be a problem with podcasts. It can be solved with a pair of earplugs but this does defeat the point of the bone conduction tech allowing you to retain situational awareness.
Shokz OpenRun Pro: value and conclusion
At a listed price of $179.95 / £159.95 you expect no compromises on quality. And you don’t get any. These headphones are thoroughly excellent - you won’t need another pair.
The Shockz OpenRun Pros are cheaper than top-end ear bud options that have impressed us with their 'Adaptive Transparency' tech for allowing in the sounds of road traffic, such as Apple's Air Pod 2s which are priced at $249 / £249.
The OpenRun Pros are good for work calls, the sound quality is just as good in cafes as it is on the bike and they’re robust enough to take some abuse on rainy rides. Shokz has delivered an excellent product.
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