AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Mar 18, 2021 at 04:58 pm
AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction Picture
5.6
Mixed Usage
4.6
Neutral Sound
5.5
Commute/Travel
7.4
Sports/Fitness
5.4
Office
4.7
Wireless Gaming
4.5
Wired Gaming
5.6
Phone Calls
Type Bone Conduction
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Bone Conduction

The AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction are Bluetooth headphones. Due to their unique design, which uses vibrations instead of speakers to produce sound, they don't go on or inside the ear in any way, and they simply rest on your temples. Due to this, they don't block any ambient noise, making them a good choice if you like to always have background music playing while still being able to carry on conversations, or if you run outdoors and want to stay aware of your surroundings. Overall, they're a unique pair of headphones that won't be for everyone, but for specific uses, they may be exactly what you're looking for.

Our Verdict

5.6 Mixed Usage

The AfterShokz Aeropex are sub-par for mixed usage. Their unique design isn't for everyone, but people who exercise outdoors may appreciate that they allow you to hear your surroundings. They don't reproduce sound very accurately, but how they sound depends on how they fit you, so your real-world experience may vary. Most people should find them comfortable and stable. These are good if you want to always have music or podcasts playing while still being able to communicate with those around you.

Pros
  • Open design is good for exercising outdoors.
  • Comfortable and stable.
Cons
  • Sound varies depending on fit and positioning.
  • Leak a lot of audio at higher volumes.
  • No app support or EQ.
4.6 Neutral Sound

The AfterShokz Aeropex are bad for neutral sound. Since they have no speakers and produce sound via vibrations, our testing rig was unable to properly chart their frequency performance. Therefore real-world usage should likely produce better results than our scores show. That being said, they produce sound uniquely and aren't ideal for people looking for a more neutral sound.

Pros
  • Comfortable and stable.
Cons
  • Sound varies depending on fit and positioning.
  • No app support or EQ.
5.5 Commute/Travel

The AfterShokz Aeropex are sub-par for commuting and travel. They're portable and breathable, but by design, they don't block any ambient noise. While some people may like that they allow you to stay aware of your surroundings, they leak quite a bit of sound at high volumes, which isn't ideal if you need to crank them up to hear your music over the rumble of a bus or plane engine. On the upside, they have a comfortable fit that feels like wearing a pair of glasses, which is nice during a long trip.

Pros
  • 13-hour battery life.
Cons
  • Leak a lot of audio at higher volumes.
  • Bone conduction design doesn't block any noise.
7.4 Sports/Fitness

The AfterShokz Aeropex are decent for sports and fitness. They have a comfortable and lightweight design that feels just like wearing a pair of glasses and don't put any pressure on your ear. They're stable and extremely breathable since they don't go in or cover the ear, so you won't sweat more than usual. They're particularly well-suited for outdoor workouts since their design means they don't block out any ambient sound, which helps you stay aware of your surroundings. They even have an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, although we don't test it currently.

Pros
  • Open design is good for exercising outdoors.
Cons
  • Sound varies depending on fit and positioning.
5.4 Office

The AfterShokz Aeropex are poor for office use. They don't block out any background noise and leak quite a bit of audio when you listen at a high volume, which could bother your co-workers. However, they're comfortable, and they allow you to listen to music while still paying attention to your surroundings or carrying on a conversation, which could be ideal for some jobs.

Pros
  • 13-hour battery life.
Cons
  • Leak a lot of audio at higher volumes.
  • Bone conduction design doesn't block any noise.
4.7 Wireless Gaming

The AfterShokz Aeropex are Bluetooth-only headphones. They're compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, but their latency is too high to be recommended for gaming.

4.5 Wired Gaming

The AfterShokz Aeropex are Bluetooth-only headphones that can't be used wired.

5.6 Phone Calls

The AfterShokz Aeropex are sub-par for phone calls. Their microphone performance is mediocre, as it makes your voice sound muffled and doesn't do a very good job of separating it from background noise, which makes it harder for the person on the other end to hear you. Also, since they sit outside of your ears, they don't isolate you from background noise, so it may be hard for you to hear the person you're speaking with as well.

Pros
  • 13-hour battery life.
Cons
  • Mediocre microphone performance.
  • 5.6 Mixed Usage
  • 4.6 Neutral Sound
  • 5.5 Commute/Travel
  • 7.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.4 Office
  • 4.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 4.5 Wired Gaming
  • 5.6 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Mar 18, 2021: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  2. Updated Mar 02, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The AfterShokz Aeropex have a unique style that looks similar to other models by the manufacturer but are unlike most other headphones on the market. Unlike traditional earbuds, these headphones don't go into your ear, but instead, sit on top of your temples. They have a headband that goes around the back of your head, and ear-hooks to help keep the headphones on your ears. You can purchase them in a few different colors, including 'Cosmic Black', 'Solar Red', 'Lunar Grey' and 'Blue Eclipse'.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.06 lbs
Clamping Force
0.2 lbs

The AfterShokz Aeropex are comfortable headphones. They don't weigh very much, and you don't feel them as much as over-ear or on-ear headphones. They apply a bit of pressure where they sit above your ears, which feels similar to wearing a pair of glasses. The headband doesn't stick out as much at the back as the AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction but can still get caught on clothing like hooks and sweaters. Also, since the audio is delivered via vibrations, bass-heavy music like EDM or hip-hip may become annoying if you're listening for a long time. This shouldn't be an issue with other genres or content like audiobooks, though.

6.8
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The AfterShokz Aeropex's controls are okay and a big improvement over the AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction. There are two small buttons just behind your right ear that are for turning the headphones on and off, volume control, pairing, and checking the battery status when you're not listening to music. There's also a button on the left earbud for play/pause, track skipping, and accessing the voice assistant. Overall, the buttons are easy to use. There are voice prompts for power on/off, battery level, and pairing, and the volume control gives audio cues.

10
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0 C

The AfterShokz Aeropex are exceptionally breathable. Since they don't sit inside or on your ears, they don't trap any heat there. This makes them a good choice for sports, as they won't cause you to sweat more than usual.

7.1
Design
Portability
L 5.0 "
W 3.8 "
H 1.7 "
Volume 32 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

The AfterShokz Aeropex are decently portable. They aren't that bulky, though their rigid headband means they can't be folded into a more compact format. They're portable enough to slide into a bag or larger pockets in pants or shorts but won't fit in most jean pockets. On the upside, they come with a small soft case to protect them and to help with traveling, but it does add a bit of bulk. If you're looking for more portable open-ear headphones, consider the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless.

6.0
Design
Case
Type Soft case
L 4.7 "
W 4.0 "
H 1.5 "
Volume 28 Cu. Inches

These AfterShokz Aeropex come with a mediocre case. It's soft, so while it should protect against scratches, it likely won't prevent physical damage from dropping or banging the headphones. Also, it doesn't zip shut, so it doesn't protect much against water and other liquids.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The AfterShokz Aeropex have a good build quality. They feel fairly solid and shouldn't get too damaged from a few accidental drops or bumps. They're made of a silicone material and are rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Unfortunately, the headband is thin and is likely the weakest point, though it's quite flexible.

7.5
Design
Stability

The AfterShokz Aeropex have good stability. Thanks to their ear-hook design, they should stay in place, even during vigorous workouts. Unfortunately, their headband sticks out a bit at the back and may get caught on hoods and other clothing.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • AfterShokz Aeropex headphones
  • Soft carrying pouch
  • 2x Proprietary charging cables
  • Foam earplugs (not pictured)
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-19.62 db
Treble Amount
-1.39 db

Since the AfterShokz Aeropex have no speakers and use vibration to produce sound, our testing rig can't accurately record these results. Therefore, our frequency response graph doesn't portray the actual sound as it would be perceived by your ear. Overall, the sound produced by these headphones is better suited for most vocal-centric content, like podcasts or audiobooks. However, they're likely decent for most genres of music, and provide surprisingly decent bass response, though they won't give you the same kind of thumping bass as traditional headphones. Their companion app also gives you access to an EQ, so you can tweak their sound.

5.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.78 dB

The AfterShokz Aeropex have poor frequency response consistency. Due to their unique bone conductor transducer, they deliver audio very inconsistently as they're sensitive to fit and positioning. You may experience different sound profiles depending on how they're placed on your head.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
1.0
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
19.39 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
144.62 Hz
Low-Bass
-33.75 dB
Mid-Bass
-18.52 dB
High-Bass
0.9 dB

The AfterShokz Aeropex's bass accuracy is bad, but it's because they're bone conduction headphones that produce sound through vibrations. Their mid and low-bass ranges are underemphasized, so mixes lack thump, rumble, and punch. However, the high-bass range is somewhat overemphasized, so instruments sound full and a bit boomy.

5.6
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.93 dB
Low-Mid
8.51 dB
Mid-Mid
1.1 dB
High-Mid
-0.21 dB

The AfterShokz Aeropex's mid-range accuracy is sub-par. These headphones deliver sound via bone conduction, making them difficult to accurately measure with our current testing rig. Therefore, these results likely won't match what you'd hear in real-world usage. In quiet environments, you should get a decent performance from the mid-range and be able to hear lead instruments and vocals in good detail. Unfortunately, in louder situations like on a train or bus, the mid-range tends to get lost, and you may only get the thump and rumble of low bass that is felt rather than heard, as well as some harsher and sharper treble frequencies.

7.1
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.89 dB
Low-Treble
2.14 dB
Mid-Treble
2.71 dB
High-Treble
-5.07 dB

The AfterShokz Aeropex's treble-range accuracy is decent. Because they deliver sound via bone conduction instead of speakers, they're difficult to accurately measure with our current testing rig. Therefore, these results may not match what you'd hear in real-world usage. Their treble range is decently well-balanced, though sibilants like S and T sounds may be sharp and piercing at high volumes.

4.5
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
4.1 db
Dips
2.88 db

The AfterShokz Aeropex produce sound via vibrations and don't have any speakers, so our testing rig can't properly measure their frequency response. That being said, in real-world usage, there's a peak in high-treble that causes cymbals and sibilants (S and T sounds) to sound sharp and piercing.

3.4
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
2.14
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.44
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
5.08
Weighted Phase Mismatch
143.85

The AfterShokz Aeropex's imaging is poor. It's worth noting that since these headphones have no speakers and use vibration to produce sound, our testing rig can't accurately record these results. Therefore, our results here likely won't correlate to real-world situations.

5.6
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.2 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
-0.7 dB
PRTF Distance
8.94 dB
Openness
9.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.7

The AfterShokz Aeropex have a disappointing passive soundstage. Because they sit outside your ears, it sounds open and spacious, but since they don't interact with your outer ear, sound seems to be coming from inside your head instead of from all around you. It's worth noting, however, that since these headphones produce their sound via vibrations and not speakers, our testing rig can't accurately measure them.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
2.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
1.135
WHD @ 100
7.283

The AfterShokz Aeropex's measured weighted harmonic distortion is bad. It's worth noting, however, that since these headphones produce their sound via vibrations and don't have speakers, our testing rig can't accurately measure them.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings we used to test the AfterShokz Aeropex. Our results are only valid when using these settings.

Isolation
0.4
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-0.24 dB
Bass
-0.12 dB
Mid
-0.09 dB
Treble
-0.5 dB

The AfterShokz Aeropex are very bad at noise isolation, but it's by design. They don't go into your ears or cover them and deliver audio while still letting in ambient sound. This is great for outdoor runners, cyclists, and anyone else who wants to listen to music while staying aware of their surroundings.

Note:They come with a pair of foam earplugs intended to be worn with the headphones when you're commuting and traveling and want to block out some background noise. While we haven't tested these headphones' noise isolation capabilities when also wearing the earplugs, they should improve the headphones' isolation performance and help create an experience closer to using in-ears, which passively block some noise because they sit inside your ears.

5.9
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
45.56 dB

The AfterShokz Aeropex have a disappointing leakage performance. They leak quite a bit of audio, although it depends on your usage. If you're listening at quiet enough volumes that you can still carry on a conversation with someone, they shouldn't be able to hear your music. However, if you crank up the volume, a lot of sound escapes, and it's likely to bother people around you.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
6.7
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
320.0 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.15 dB
HFE
3225.4 Hz
Weighted THD
0.332
Gain
-3.83 dB

These headphones' microphone has an okay recording quality. If you're on the phone with someone, they should be able to understand you, but your voice sounds muffled and lacks detail and fullness.

6.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
11.75 dB

The AfterShokz Aeropex have a mediocre noise handling performance. If you're on the phone in a moderately noisy environment, it's hard for the person on the other end to hear you. In a loud place like a busy subway station, your voice may be drowned out entirely.

Active Features
7.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
12.8 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
12.8 hrs
Charge Time
2.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port Proprietary

The AfterShokz Aeropex have a decent battery performance. They last for nearly 13 hours of continuous use from a single charge. This is a lot longer than the advertised battery life of eight hours, and most people should be able to go a few days without recharging them. There's also a standby mode that you can use to prevent the battery from draining when you're not using them. It should be noted that battery life can vary with real-life usage, so your experience may be different.

Unfortunately, unlike the AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction, they use a proprietary charging cable, which means you can't borrow a cable from a friend if the battery dies. Luckily, there are two cables included in the box.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No
Connectivity
8.4
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
258 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
237 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
74 ms
Android Latency
124 ms

The AfterShokz Aeropex have great Bluetooth connectivity. They support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them to both your phone and laptop at the same time instead of switching back and forth between the two, which is nice. They have fairly low latency on Android and iOS but high latency on PCs, so they aren't recommended for playing games or watching videos on your computer. That said, some apps seem to compensate for audio lag, so you may have a different experience.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth-only and can't be used wired. They charge via a proprietary magnetic charging cable, and the headphones come with two cables included.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These are Bluetooth-only wireless headphones that aren't compatible with PS4. They can connect to a Bluetooth-enabled PC but aren't recommended for gaming due to their high latency.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction headphones are available in four different color variants: 'Cosmic Black', 'Solar Red', 'Lunar Grey', and 'Blue Eclipse'. We tested the 'Cosmic Black' variant and expect the other colors to perform similarly to our unit. These headphones are also available in another size, 'Mini', with a shorter headband. However, we haven't tested that variant, and our results are only valid for the 'Standard' size. If you come across another variant or your headphones are different, please let us know in the discussions below so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

Comparison picture

The AfterShokz Aeropex are headphones intended for sports that use bone conduction instead of speakers to produce sound. They have a comfortable and stable fit and don't block out any background noise, which is ideal for people who want to listen to music while running or cycling outside while still staying aware of their surroundings. They have a longer battery life than the similarly-designed AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction, and unlike that model, they're rated IP67 for water and dust resistance, although we don't currently test for that.

See our recommendations for the best headphones for working out, the best wireless earbuds for running, and the best Bluetooth earbuds.

AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction

The AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction are an upgrade over the AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction. They're both bone conduction headphones, but the Aeropex have a much better control scheme, a longer battery life, and are rated IP67 for dust and water resistance. On the other hand, the Trekz Air use a standard micro-USB charging cable as opposed to the Aeropex's proprietary cable.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction and the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are very different headphones. While the Apple are more traditional truly wireless in-ears, the AfterShokz use bone conduction to create sound and don't actually go inside your ears. The AfterShokz are a good choice if you want to be able to hear your music but still stay aware of your surroundings. Meanwhile, the Apple have a great ANC feature and are excellent for blocking out background sound.

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless

The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless and the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction are both sports-oriented headphones with different features, so depending on your preferences, you may prefer one over the other. The Bose in-ear headphones are more versatile. They leak less audio, so they're better-suited for uses like office work and have a semi-open design that doesn't block a lot of ambient noise, which is great for people who exercise outside. They also deliver sound more consistently and have a more neutral sound profile, which some listeners may prefer. The AfterShokz, on the other hand, are more comfortable if you don't like the fit of in-ears, have much better controls and block even less external noise than the Bose because they sit outside of your ears. They also have an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test it. 

Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless

The AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction and the Bose Sport Open Earbuds are both headphones designed for outdoor use. The AfterShokz have a bone conduction transducer that uses vibrations on your temples to produce audio, and they don't go into your ear at all, which helps keep you aware of your surroundings. They're more comfortable, have a longer continuous battery life, and support multi-device pairing. However, the Bose sit outside of your ear, also leaving it completely open so that you can hear what's going on around you. They're more comfortable, better-built, stable, and have a more neutral sound profile.

Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019

The Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019 and the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction are very differently-designed headphones, and which you may prefer depends on your needs. The Apple are more conventional in-ears and leak much less audio. Their truly wireless design and compact charging case makes them much more portable as well. On the other hand, the AfterShokz deliver sound via bone induction and sit outside your ears. Because of their design, they don't block any ambient noise, which is great for people who exercise outdoors. They also have an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, although we don't test for it currently. 

Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless

While the Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless and the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction look similar, the Plantronics have a more traditional earbud design that goes inside of your ear. The AfterShokz, however, are more comfortable, have better controls, and a better battery life. On the other hand, the Plantronics block more ambient noise and have a more neutral sound profile, which some may prefer. Some may also prefer that they have a more conventional earbud design, as opposed to the Aeropex, which deliver sound via bone conduction and sit outside your ears. 

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