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AfterShokz Sportz M2 Open Ear Sport Headphones with Microphone

Listen up ladies and gentlemen—I am going to tell you about the coolest gadget I’ve bought this year! I love listening to music when I am riding my bike, especially on long rides. However, wearing headphones in both ears while riding on the road is banned in most states. A few years ago I bought a new pair of Apple EarBuds and cut off one of the ear pieces so I could ride legally (obviously, I kept the side that has the microphone on it). While the modified Earbuds worked, they were far from perfect—the sound quality wasn’t all that great. A few months ago I bought a pair of AfterShokz Sportz M2 Open Ear Sport Headphones and they are simply awesome—now I can ride my bike, listen to my music and still hear ambient noises.

AfterShokz Sportz M2 Open Ear Sport Headphones

AfterShokz Sportz M2 Open Ear Sport Headphones

AfterShokz Sportz M2 Open Ear Sport Headphones sit in front of your ears, not in them. They use bone conduction technology so you are basically listening through your cheekbones! The sound quality is better than any headphone I’ve ever tried before and since there is nothing in your ears you can still hear ambient noises (cars, horns, motorcycles, rabid dogs and riding partners).

AfterShokz Sportz M2 Open Ear Sport Headphones

Wear the unit in front of your ears

These headphones also have an in-line microphone that allows your to take or make phone calls—and the sound quality here is also flawless. The microphone is contained in small box (2″ x .75″ x .5″) that can easily clip onto your jacket or cycling jersey. The microphone box also houses the on/off switch, volume control, call button and a micro-USB port for charging the built-in lithium battery. You can charge this unit by plugging it into the USB port on almost any computer, or by connecting it to the same charger you use for your iPhone or iPod (or most other USB chargers).

AfterShokz Sportz M2 Open Ear Sport Headphones

Control box with microphone, volume buttons, call button and charging port

The headphone unit comes with a sturdy carrying case, USB charging cables, instruction manual, and a 5mm connector (which you probably won’t need unless your phone case has a high-profile). I am able to get about 10 to 12 hours of use between charges. 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). This headphone is also great for skateboarding, hiking, and skiing. I’ve not had any problems using this headphone, even when wearing sunglasses and a bike helmet.

AfterShokz Sportz M2 Open Ear Sport Headphones

Comes with a carrying case, charging cord, extension cord and instruction manual

The AfterShokz Sportz M2 AS321 Open Ear Sport Headphones with Microphone retail for around $80 ($60 on Amazon.com) and they are one of the best investments you can make if you like riding your bike while listening to music. AfterShokz has recently introduced a Bluetooth pair of headphones, the AfterShokz Bluez Open Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones. The Bluetooth model retails for around $120 and the microphone is positioned near the left transducer. I have ordered a pair of the Bluetooth headphones from an Amazon.com retailer, but they have not yet arrived (I will post a review of them later).

 

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BiKASE Handy Andy Handelbar Phone Case For iPhone and Android

I take my Apple iPhone with me on every bike ride—and every time Apple comes out with a new model I have to buy a new case as well. I own an OtterBox Defender case for my iPhone, and while it offers a great deal of protection I never it because it is a royal pain to install and remove (when I am working I wear dress pants and the OtterBox Defender is just too bulky to keep in my front pocket). I was at the local bike shop the other day and saw an inexpensive iPhone case for cyclists and liked it enough buy one to try out.

BiKASE Handy Andy Handelbar Phone Case

BiKASE Handy Andy Handlebar Phone Case

The BiKase Handy Andy Smartphone Case will fit an Apple iPhone 5 with room to spare (as well as most other smartphones). Unlike most other phone cases for cyclists, this unit is soft which means it will absorb road bumps a lot better—hard cases usually transfer every bump and vibration directly to the phone (not good for any piece of electronic gear).

BiKASE Handy Andy Handelbar Phone Case

Mounted on the handlebars

The BiKase Handy Andy case has two large Velcro straps on the back of the case so you can attach it to your bike frame—you can put it on the top tube, stem or handlebars with ease. Most other phone cases for cyclists take a bit of effort to install, but this one takes about three seconds! This case closes with two zippers and seems to be well constructed.

BiKASE Handy Andy Handelbar Phone Case

Large Velcro straps

The biggest drawback on the case is the PVC cover. While the cover is clear, it is also very wrinkled which means that it is very difficult to see through due to the glare (just look at the first two photos). As a result, I will be returning this product to the bike shop and go back to using the JerseyBin Waterproof Cycling Pouch until I find something better (JerseyBin makes great products for protecting your phone from water damage).

The BiKase Handy Andy case retails for $20 and you should be able to get it through your local bike shop. If all else fails you can always find it on Amazon.com (but please try your local bike shop first).

 
24 Comments

Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Product Reviews

 

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