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AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

20 Sep

A few months ago I reviewed the AfterShokz Sportz M2 Open Ear Sport Headphones and declared it to be “the coolest gadget I’ve bought this year!” Shortly after the review was published the folks at AfterShockz sent me a note and suggested that I ought to try their new Bluetooth version of these headphones, the AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones. Once I found out there was a Bluetooth version available I immediately ordered a pair from Amazon.com and I am certainly glad I did!

AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Like the Sportz M2 wired headphone, the AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones uses bone conduction technology so you are listening through your cheekbones—the headphones sit in front of your ears, not in them. The sound quality is amazing and you can ride your bike while listening to your favorite music and still hear ambient noises. I use these headphones with an Apple iPhone 5, but they are also compatible with most other phones and Bluetooth devices.

AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

On/Off Switch and USB Charging Port

The AfterShockz Bluez are wireless headphones and they connect to your smartphone or iPod with Bluetooth technology—and you can still make or take phone calls while they are on. The unit is powered by a built-in rechargeable battery that provides about 10 to 12 hours of use between charges. You can recharge the battery by plugging the device into the USB port on your computer (a USB cord in included with the headphones).

AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

The Headphones Sit In Front Of Your Ears—Not In Them

The biggest questions most cyclists are going to have about this device is how they handle on off-road trails and if you can wear them with your helmet on. I’ve had no problems with these headphones staying in place on rough off-road trails, and I always wear my helmet and sunglasses when I ride.

AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

AfterShockz claims that the range on this device is about 33 feet (10 meters) and that has been my experience as well. While working on my bikes in the garage I usually wear the AfterShockz Bluez so I can walk around while I listen to music and still be able to make a phone call when needed. This unit is water-resistant, but not water-proof (you can probably safely ride your bike in the rain with these on, but don’t take them swimming).

While I dearly love this set of headphones they are not perfect. The first time I took them out on an off-road trail I rode for over 60 miles without any problem. However, the second time I tried them there was electrical interference that drove me crazy until I finally figured out that the problem was coming from the key fob for my Jeep Grand Cherokee (it uses Near Field Technology and obviously does not behave well when it is anywhere near the headphones). I’ve also had a problem a few times when I had to stop my bike at an intersection near to a traffic control box (electrical interference again).

The AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones retail for $120, but you can find them on Amazon.com for around $85.

I know what you are really asking yourself right now: What does the All Seasons Cyclist listen to when he is riding his bike? Well, I am decidedly old-school when it comes to music. My iPhone has an eclectic collection of over 5,000 songs that includes artists such as Johnny Cash, Air Supply, The Beatles, The Byrds, Clannad, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Elvis Presley, Loreena McKennit, Norah Jones, and Toby Keith—as well as the U.S. Army Band & Chorus and the United States Military Academy Cadet Glee Club. When I am racing against the clock I like to listen to cadences from the United States Marine Corps (courtesy of my sons). If you can’t reach your top speed with a Marine Corps Drill Instructor screaming in your ears, well, there is no hope for you!

 
30 Comments

Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Product Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

30 responses to “AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

  1. bgddyjim

    September 20, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    I listen to Prong, Dokken (Mr. Scary), and Drowning Pool (Let the Bodies Hit the Floor [LOL])… I never thought to listen to a DRILL INSTRUCTOR… That’s AWESOME! .

    There’s a market for that btw – get on it. Fitness Drill Instructor (CD, iTunes the works).

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 20, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      Haven’t you always wanted to meet the grandmother of a Marine Corps Drill Instructor? According to most DIs, their grandmother can shoot better, run faster and hit harder than any new recruit — they must be amazing women!

       
  2. Chatter

    September 20, 2013 at 7:01 AM

    I am still hesitant listening to anything besides wind when riding on roads, but the thought is intriguing. These might be worth a try if I can find them cheap enough.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 20, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      With this headphone you can still hear cars and other ambient noises without any problem.

       
  3. thehomeschoolingdoctor

    September 20, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    Those seem really nice. I don’t listen to music when I am out, but I sure do see a lot of walkers and runners who can’t hear me when I holler “on your left.” I’ll bet these would be great. I’m going to send the link to my sister, who rides the Nickel Plate Trail there south of Kokomo. Have you ridden the Nickel Plate Trail when venturing to “the old place?”

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 20, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      I never take my bike with me when going to “Stoplight City.” My father is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s disease and my mother is not much better off (both the result of poor dietary choices for too many years). However, my 91-year-old mother-in-law is still in great shape (mows her yard, shovels the snow, etc.). Of course, my mother-in-law (like her daughter) made far better dietary choices in her life (my wife’s only problem was her poor choice in picking a husband).

       
      • thehomeschoolingdoctor

        September 20, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        Thanks for the laugh out loud moment! “Stoplight City.” I can’t quit smiling about that. I’m sure your wife chose exactly right, and I am sad about your parents. Mine, too. But I plan to do better by me and my kids, if I can.

         
  4. Man_With_Bag

    September 21, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    I think I am really grateful for reading this as I really like the sound of these as there are times on longer rides when I am by myself and need a bit of a boost from putting on headphones.

    I say “think” because I now need to revisit next months budget.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 21, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      I hope you find a place in your budget for them — you won’t regret it!

       
  5. Must Ride Bikes (@MustRideBikes)

    September 21, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    These look awesome, I had a pair of bluetooth headphones that died over the winter after one too many sweaty sessions on the turbo trainer. Thanks for the great review, just in time to add these to my Christmas list! 🙂

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 21, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      Christmas could come early this year — talk nice to Santa!

       
  6. Sandra

    September 22, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Great idea. This would be nice for really long rides. . . I was tempted to get one of those speaker units for my handlebars, but I don’t like bothering people around me. I am like Chatter, I like listening to everything around me. But these seem like a really good idea–now that I’m back on my bike! Going to hit the path today!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 22, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      These are wonderful for long rides! And, on behalf of cyclists everywhere, thank you for not attaching a speaker unit to your bike.

       
      • Sandra

        September 22, 2013 at 5:01 PM

        You are most welcome. I hate hearing them, why would I inflict that on others? 🙂

         
  7. isaac976

    September 26, 2013 at 3:43 AM

    If I knew you were looking for a bluetooth headset, I would have introduce you another brand instead, have recommended to my colleague and they love it tons. but anyway as always great review.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 26, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      Please feel free to mention the name of the other brand — I always like to hear about new products!

       
      • isaac976

        September 27, 2013 at 1:37 AM

        I have been looking at the Plantronics for the longest time, I introduced it and my colleague bought it, he loved it and has no complains on it.

        Just browsed BestBuy and they have Ver2 for $79.99

         
  8. JennyO

    September 26, 2013 at 6:27 AM

    The Army has two old ladies that kick butt too 😉 Love my cadence for runs. Not all the time. These ear phones sound great, I can’t wear any while in uniform which is lately when I do most my runs but worth the look for future plans of *gasp* adding a bike to our workout.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 26, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      I do have a lot of Army cadences as well (thanks to another son). However, since I am far from being “politically correct” I enjoy the Marine Corps cadences a lot more. 🙂

       
      • JennyO

        September 26, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        LOL I take it you never heard the “old school” Lord feel like I’m already starting, “IN MY DAY” 😀 hehe you should have heard some of the cadence. The ones now adays are “cute” 😉

         
  9. kurtbredeson

    September 26, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I read your other review on the wired version and put it on my amazon wishlist. Do you think the bluetooth is worth the price premium (like $20) given the interferences you’ve experienced? I haven’t ridden with headphones in at least four years, so I forgot what it feels like to just crank it and ride fast. I’m just not sure if the bluetooth is worth it. Thoughts?

     
    • kurtbredeson

      September 26, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      Follow up Q: The difference between the M2 Sportz phones and the Bluez seems to not only be the wireless bluetooth, but the Sportz ones are water resistant for sports and the bluetooth seem to be general purpose. Some online reviews complained about sweat getting into the bluez. Have you had any problems yet, compared to the wired Sportz model you were using before? Thanks!

      I think it would be awesome to leave your phone on the counter/living room and listen to music/take calls while doing dishes or just walking around.

      I wear glasses too, but I think you mentioned that you don’t. Do you know of anyone who’ve used these with glasses?

       
      • All Seasons Cyclist

        September 26, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        I hadn’t noticed the difference concerning the Sportz model being water resistant — thanks for pointing that out. On the other hand, when I ride in the rain I would NEVER try to listen to music anyway. As for glasses: I don’t wear prescription glasses, but I always have on cycling glasses when riding and the headphones are no problem at all.

         
        • kurtbredeson

          September 26, 2013 at 4:01 PM

          Thanks! Great review! I might have to put these headphones on my Christmas list (cuz my B-day’s in spring, hehe).
          Looking forward to reading your winter bike posts too; just don’t have that much time to read right now.

           
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 26, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      Having ridden with both of them for a LOT of miles I can say that I can’t tell the difference between them when I am riding! The cord doesn’t really bother me since I keep my phone in the middle jersey pocket anyway.

       
  10. sevencyclist

    November 3, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    It seems like the only place you can get this is direct from aftershokz … They mention it was available at Office Depot … nope. It was on Amazon, but they were all sold out Eventually, I ordered from the aftershokz web site. I just got a note that it shipped … I can’t wait to try it out.

    I’m actually surprised that no sporting goods, or cycling retail stores are offering this, considering the big emphasis on safety, and the large influx of bike commuters these days. I’ll definitely post a blog with a review, and post the heck out of it on G+, Twitter, Facebook … hopefully they will get busy, because I really like this concept.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 4, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      It is surprising that these are not available in sporting goods stores! They seem to have a lot of low-end garbage, but not the quality stuff that most athletes prefer.

       
      • sevencyclist

        November 5, 2013 at 6:47 AM

        I goofed on my order with Aftershokz … I thought I ordered the Bluetooth version but I got the wired one instead. Seems really difficult to get the Bluetooth version …

         
        • All Seasons Cyclist

          November 5, 2013 at 7:42 PM

          The wired version is still pretty cool (and has great audio quality as well).

           

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