Reviewed on Nov 28, 2019

AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
5.3
Mixed Usage
3.4
Neutral Sound
5.4
Commute/Travel
7.4
Sports/Fitness
5.2
Office
4.3
Wireless Gaming
4.1
Wired Gaming
5.4
Phone Call
Type : Bone Conduction
Enclosure : Open-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Bone Conduction

The AfterShokz Aeropex are Bluetooth bone conduction 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 the earbuds 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 or podcasts 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.

Test Results
Design 7.7
Isolation 2.2
Microphone 6.3
Active Features 6.3
Connectivity 3.4
Pros
  • Open design is good for exercising outdoors.
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • Sound reproduction varies significantly across users. Sensitive to positioning.
  • Leaks a lot of audio at higher volumes.
  • Poor bass response.
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

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7.7

Design

The AfterShokz Aeropex are a sports-oriented pair of headphones with a headband that goes around the back of your head and a unique earbud design. Unlike most earbuds that go inside your ear, the Aeropex earbuds sit on your temples and use bone conduction to create sound. They have three physical buttons, and the controls are easy to use and provide good feedback. They're made out of a silicone material and feel quite well-built, and are even rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, though this isn't something we currently test. They should be comfortable for most people, and they feel quite stable, though the headband may get snagged on hoods or sweaters.

Style

The AfterShokz Aeropex have a unique style that looks similar to other models by the company 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.

7.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.06 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.2 lbs

The AfterShokz Aeropex are very lightweight and are quite comfortable. Due to their design, they're far less noticeable on your ears than traditional over-ear or on-ear headphones. They apply a bit of pressure where your ears meet your head, though they're better than previous versions, which feels similar to wearing a pair of glasses. The headband sticks out less on the back of the head than the AfterShokz Trekz Air, but it still may get snagged on hoods or sweaters. Since you feel audio through vibrations, bass-heavy genres like dubstep may get irritating after long listening sessions, though this likely won't be an issue with other genres or podcasts.

8.4 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

The AfterShokz Aeropex's controls are great, and a big improvement over the AfterShokz Trekz Air. Two small buttons are positioned just behind your right ear that are used for volume up/down, power on/off, pairing, and to check your battery level when not listening to music. There's also a button on the left earbud for play/pause, track skip, and access the voice assistant. Overall, the buttons are easy-to-use and provide good feedback, and the volume control gives you audio cues.

10 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0 C

The AfterShokz Aeropex don't sit inside, on, or around your ears, so there's no trapped heat. In our tests, the recorded temperature difference was so low that it was below the margin of error for our testing rig. This makes these a good choice for sports, as they won't cause you to sweat more than usual.

7.1 Portability
L : 5.0 "
W : 3.8 "
H : 1.7 "
Volume : 32 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

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 sports 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.

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

They come with a small soft case to give your headphones a bit of extra protection. Unfortunately, it doesn't zip shut so it likely won't protect your headphones much from water, and its soft design won't help much against physical damage.

7.5 Build Quality

The AfterShokz Aeropex's build quality is good, and they don't feel like they'd 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 Stability

The AfterShokz Aeropex are decently stable thanks to their ear-hook design. They should be good enough for most sports and should only fall off during very strenuous workouts. Unfortunately, the headband sticks out a bit from the head and may get caught on hoods or sweaters.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

The AfterShokz Aeropex have no speakers and create sound only via vibrations. This means that our testing rig is unable to properly measure their frequency response, and our measurements likely don't correspond to real-life usage. That said, they produce a decent amount of tactile bass which can be 'heard' through vibrations on the temple. They also have a fairly well-balanced mid and treble range. They sound best in quiet environments; in louder situations, like on a subway train, you'll likely only hear the bass and some harsh higher frequencies. Overall, these headphones sound surprisingly decent considering they don't have speakers, though they may be better suited for more vocal-centric genres or content like audiobooks and podcasts, but bass-heavy music may get irritating due to the amount of vibration on the temples. Their design also makes them very inconsistent, and you'll get widely different results depending on how they sit on your head.

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
:
-19.22 db
Treble Amount
:
-1.02 db

Since the AfterShokz Aeropex have no speakers and use vibration to produce sound, our testing rig is unable to 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'll still likely be 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.

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

Due to these headphones' unique design, their frequency response consistency is poor and different users may experience different sound profiles depending on how the headphones fit on the head. You'll probably have to adjust the headphones on your head to get the best possible sound reproduction.

1.0 Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
15.52 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
130.71 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-27.03 dB
Mid-Bass
:
-12.95 dB
High-Bass
:
5.63 dB

The AfterShokz Aeropex's bass isn't very accurate. However, these bone conduction headphones produce sound via vibrations, which is why they have such a low score in our measurements. They do transmit an average amount of tactile bass through the temples, but even their tactile bass isn't very extended, and won't produce low-bass accurately. Overall, they should be able to provide a decent amount of kick for instruments but are lacking in very low-bass that you'd hear in dubstep or EDM.

2.4 Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
10.15 dB
Low-Mid
:
14.16 dB
Mid-Mid
:
6.89 dB
High-Mid
:
5.37 dB

The AfterShokz Aeropex's mid-range accuracy isn't at all accurate. Unlike the AfterShokz Trekz Air, which used speakers to produce mid and treble ranges, the Aeropex rely on vibration for all frequency ranges, 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 decent performance from the mid-range and be able to hear leads and vocals in good detail. Unfortunately, in louder situations like on a subway, the mid-range tends to get lost and you'll likely only 'hear' the tactile bass vibrations, and some harsher and sharp treble frequencies.

2.9 Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
8.3 dB
Low-Treble
:
8.19 dB
Mid-Treble
:
8.07 dB
High-Treble
:
5.02 dB

The AfterShokz Aeropex's treble-range accuracy isn't at all accurate. Unlike the AfterShokz Trekz Air, which used speakers to produce mid and treble ranges, the Aeropex rely on vibration for all frequency ranges, 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 actual listening, their treble range is decently well-balanced, though it may sound slightly sharp and piercing on sibilants (S and T sounds) at higher volumes.

4.8 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
3.86 db
Dips
:
2.8 db

Since these headphones produce sound via vibrations and don't have any speakers, our testing rig is unable to 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 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 bad. It's worth noting that since these headphones have no speakers and use vibration to produce sound, our testing rig is unable to accurately record these results. Therefore, our results here likely won't correlate to real-world situations.

5.7 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's measured soundstage is inadequate. It's worth noting, however, that since these headphones produce their sound via vibrations and not speakers, our testing rig is unable to accurately measure them. In real-world usage, the headphones are very open since they sit outside of the ear.

2.7 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 is unable to accurately measure them.

2.2

Isolation

The AfterShokz Aeropex's isolation performance is very bad, though this is by design. These headphones don't go in or cover your ears, and they're designed to allow you to listen to your music while still hearing ambient sounds. This makes them a good option for running outdoors, where you can hear music but still stay aware of your surroundings. Their leakage is surprisingly alright considering this design, and if you listen to music at a volume where you can still carry on a conversation with those around you, they shouldn't be able to hear what you're listening to.

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

By design, the AfterShokz Aeropex's noise isolation performance is very bad. This's because these headphones don't sit in or cover your ears, and instead provide audio while still allowing all outside sounds in. This makes them great if you want to hear background music while still carrying on conversations or staying aware of your surroundings, like during a jog outside.

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

While the recorded level of leakage on the AfterShokz Aeropex is disappointing, in the real world it depends on your usage. If you listen to your music at a quiet enough volume to still carry on conversations with people, they likely won't be able to hear what you're listening to. On the other hand, if you want to listen to music loud to block out background noises, they leak quite a bit and may bother those around you.

6.3

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The AfterShokz Aeropex's overall microphone performance is mediocre. Speech recorded or transmitted may sound slightly muffled, though it sounds quite a bit better than the AfterShokz Trekz Air. Noise handling isn't very good, and the person on the other end of the line likely won't be able to hear you in even moderately loud environments.

6.7 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

Recorded or transmitted speech from the AfterShokz Aeropex is decent. While the person you're speaking to on the phone should be able to understand you, your voice may sound fairly muffled and lacking in brightness and detail.

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

The AfterShokz Aeropex's noise handling is mediocre and it'll be hard for the person on the other end of the line to hear you in moderately loud environments. In very loud situations, like in a subway station, your voice gets lost entirely.

6.3

Active Features

The AfterShokz Aeropex are advertised as having an 8-hour battery life, though in our tests we found them to last almost 13 hours. This may vary depending on your usage, but overall it's good. They also have a standby mode to help you save even more battery life when you aren't using the headphones. Unfortunately, unlike previous versions, the Aeropex charge via a proprietary cable, though luckily they include two in the box. These headphones have no customization options, either, as there's no app available for them.

7.0 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
12.8 hrs
Additional Charges
:
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's battery is decent at just under 13 hours from a single charge. This is a lot longer than the 8 hours that is advertised and should likely last you a few days without needing to be charged. Unfortunately, unlike previous models, they no longer charge via micro-USB and now use a proprietary charging cable, which means you can't borrow a cable from a friend if your headphones die. Luckily, they provide you with two charging cables in the box.

0 App Support
App Name : No App
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
macOS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones don't have a dedicated companion app for customization options.

3.4

Connectivity

The AfterShokz Aeropex are Bluetooth wireless headphones that support multi-device pairing which makes it much easier to switch between two devices, like your laptop and phone. Unfortunately, unlike the AfterShokz Trekz Air, these headphones charge using a proprietary magnetic charging cable, which may make it more difficult to replace should it get damaged; luckily two are included in the box. They also have high latency, which means they aren't recommended for mobile gaming or watching videos, though some apps may compensate for this.

8.6 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
:
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
:
No
Line of Sight Range
:
258 ft
Default Latency
:
237 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

The AfterShokz Aeropex are Bluetooth wireless headphones. They support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them to both your phone and laptop at the same time to easily switch between the two, which is nice. Unfortunately, like most Bluetooth headphones, they have rather high latency, so they aren't recommended for watching videos, though this may not be noticeable to everyone.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth-only.

0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A
Wired Latency
:
N/A

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

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're able to connect to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, but aren't recommended for gaming due to their high latency.

Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
No
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No

These are Bluetooth-only wireless headphones that aren't compatible with Xbox One.

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A

The AfterShokz Aeropex don't have a base or dock.

In the box

  • AfterShokz Aeropex headphones
  • Soft carrying pouch
  • 2x Proprietary charging cable
  • Foam earplugs
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The AfterShokz Aeropex are decent sports headphones with a unique design that uses bone conduction as opposed to speakers to produce sound. Their build is comfortable and stable enough for most sports but might need a few adjustments from time to time. They're designed for outdoor use so you can have background music while running or cycling and still be aware of your surroundings. They're very unique headphones, and their bone conduction style makes them different from most other sports headphones we've tested. 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
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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 2 Truly Wireless 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019 are more traditional truly wireless earbud headphones than the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction. While they don't go deep into the ear canal, they still enter the ear more than the Aeropex, which simply sit on your temples. The Aeropex have much better controls, a much longer single battery charge, and an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. The Apple, on the other hand, are much more portable thanks to their truly wireless design and charging case.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

While the Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless and the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction look similar, the BackBeat have a more traditional earbud design that goes inside of your ear. The Aeropex are more comfortable, have better controls, and a better battery life. On the other hand, the BackBeat Fit will block out much more ambient noise and will deliver more traditional sound reproduction, as they aren't bone conduction headphones.

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are more traditional truly wireless Bluetooth in-ears than the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction. They'll do a much better job at blocking out background noise, and will deliver a more traditional sound as they don't use bone conduction. The Aeropex, on the other hand, will be more comfortable if you don't like the fit of in-ears, have much better controls, and don't block any external noise if you want to stay aware of your surroundings.

5.3 Mixed Usage

The AfterShokz Aeropex aren't recommended for mixed usage. Due to the unique design of these headphones, they may not be for everyone. Their recorded sound frequency results aren't good, though in real-world scenarios they should sound better. Most people should find them comfortable, but don't block background noise. These are good if you want to always have music or podcasts playing while still being able to communicate with those around you.

3.4 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 accurately produced sound.

5.4 Commute/Travel

The AfterShokz Aeropex aren't recommended for commuting or travel since they don't block outside sound. This is by design, however, and they may be good if you want to be able to hear music or podcasts while still staying aware of your surroundings. On the upside, they're quite comfortable, and you likely won't notice them even on long flights.

7.4 Sports/Fitness

The AfterShokz Aeropex are pretty good for sports. They have a comfortable and lightweight design which feels just like wearing a pair of glasses, and put no pressure on the ear. They're extremely breathable since they don't go in or cover the ear, meaning you won't sweat more than usual. They're also good for running outdoors as you'll be able to stay aware of your surroundings.

5.2 Office

The AfterShokz Aeropex aren't ideal for office use since they don't block out any background noise and leak at higher volumes. That being said, if you work in an office where you need to always be able to communicate, but want to have background music at a quiet volume, they'll likely be a great choice.

4.3 Wireless Gaming

The AfterShokz Aeropex aren't good for wireless gaming. They're Bluetooth-only headphones, meaning they won't connect to PS4 or Xbox One, and they have high latency.

4.1 Wired Gaming

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

5.4 Phone Call

The AfterShokz Aeropex are disappointing for phone calls due to their mediocre microphone performance. They also don't block out any background noise, meaning it may be hard for you to hear the person you're speaking to if you're in a loud environment.

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