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Reviewed on Nov 07, 2018 , Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong, Jean-Simon Bonneterre

AfterShokz Trekz Air
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
4.9
Mixed Usage
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
4.1
Critical Listening
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
5.2
Commute/Travel
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.9
Sports/Fitness
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
5.2
Office
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
4.3
TV
Score components:
4.2
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Bone Conduction
Enclosure : Open-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Bone Conduction

The AfterShokz Trekz Air are unique headphones designed for outdoors sports like running, cycling and for people who want to hear everything around them. They are not your typical headphones that send music inside your ears, but they use bone conduction to send vibrations to the cheekbone, so you feel the bass instead of hearing it, which is why they don’t measure as well as they actually sound. These are very niche headphones for outside athletes who want to be able to monitor their surroundings, but still have background music while being physically active. They are mediocre for any other usage.

Test Results
Design 7.7
Sound 3.2
Isolation 1.6
Microphone 6.2
Active Features 5.9
Connectivity 2.9
Pros
  • Open design good for outdoor sports.
  • Stable and portable.
Cons
  • Bass and treble delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to positioning.
  • Mediocre-at-best sound.
  • High leakage.

Check Price

7.7

Design

Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air Design Picture

The Trekz Air are sports-oriented headphones that have over-ear hooks with a band that goes on the back of the head, which is different than a neckband like on the Bose QuietControl 30. Their design is more similar to the Plantronics BackBeat Fit, but with a more rigid band. However, they do not sit inside your ears like the BackBeat Fit since they use bone conduction. They are comfortable and stable enough for most sports and don’t make you sweat more since they do not cover your ears at all. Their build quality is good, and they are covered by a rubberized coating. Their control scheme is easy to use even with the small buttons, but it would have been nice to have them all on the same side.

Style
AfterShokz Trekz Air Design Picture 2

They have an unconventional style since they sit on your cheekbone, next to your wide-open ears. They have a rigid headband that goes behind the head but isn’t quite a neckband. The Trekz Air have over-ear hooks for stability during physical activity, and their overall look is quite low-profile.

7.5 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
AfterShokz Trekz Air Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.06 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.32 lbs

The AfterShokz Trekz Air are very lightweight headphones that have a comfortable build. Since they are not like your typical headphones that sit inside, on or around your ears, you don’t feel them too much. However, you feel bass through vibration, so bass-heavy genres like dubstep might get a bit annoying after long listening sessions, but this shouldn’t be too much of a problem for other music genres or podcasts. Also, depending on the thickness of your glasses, it might be harder to find a comfortable fit with two bands going over your ears.

7.2 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
AfterShokz Trekz Air Controls Picture
Ease of use : Average
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The control scheme of the Trekz Air is good, but it has its flaws. The feedback of the buttons is good, but the ease-of-use is average-at-best. The buttons are small and near each other. You get a volume rocker, a power button that is also for pairing and turning the volume up, and a multi-function button for play/pause, take/end calls, and to skip to the next song, but they don't have a multi-press action for going to the previous track, which is disappointing. Also, the volume rocker is behind your right ear, while the multi-purpose button is on the left earbud, making the control scheme awkward to use. Each action is confirmed by a beeping tone. On the upside, you have EQ presets that you can switch between by holding both volume buttons, but there is no way of knowing on which preset you are other than sound difference.

10 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0 C

These headphones do not sit inside, on or around your ears, so there is no heat trapped. This makes them a good choice for sports since you should not sweat more while using them.

7.7 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air Portability Picture
L : 5.0 "
W : 3.1 "
H : 1.1 "
Volume : 17 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The AfterShokz Trekz Air aren’t bulky, but they are not as portable as the similarly designed BackBeat Fit. The headband of the Trekz Air is more rigid and doesn’t allow them to fold into a more compact format. They are portable enough to fit into larger sports pants or shorts but aren’t foldable enough for your jeans. 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.

6.5 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
AfterShokz Trekz Air Case Picture
Type : Soft case
L : 5.0 "
W : 4.1 "
H : 1.2 "
Volume : 25 Cu. Inches

They come with a small soft case that should protect the headphones against scratches and very light water exposure. However, it will not protect the headphones as well as harder cases.

7.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
AfterShokz Trekz Air Build Quality Picture

The Trekz Air have good build quality, and they don’t feel like they would get too damaged after a few accidental drops. The headphones are mainly covered by a rubberized coating but are not waterproof. The earbuds are dense and should survive impacts. On the other hand, the headband that goes behind your head is thinner than the rest of the build but is quite flexible.

7.5 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
AfterShokz Trekz Air Stability Picture

Thanks to their over-ear hook design, they are stable enough for most sports and should not fall to the ground. However, the ear pieces move around toward your ears, especially when running. You might need to re-adjust the fit of the headphones on your head a few times when working out.

Cable
AfterShokz Trekz Air Cable Picture
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

They come with a USB to micro-USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
3.2

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
AfterShokz Trekz Air Frequency Response

The Aftershokz Trekz Air are a poor sounding pair of bone conduction headphones. The bass is almost entirely tactile with an average amount of punch that is felt through the cheekbones. However, it lacks sub-bass thump and rumble. They also have an uneven and overpowering mid-range which makes vocals and lead instruments sound muddy and cluttered. Their treble is also uneven and quite bright sounding. Overall, their sound is not heavy in bass and is rather mid-rangy. Also, their soundstage is open but doesn't feel very large, natural or speaker-like. This makes them suitable for listening to podcasts, audiobooks, or music that is not very bass-heavy, but they won't be ideal for fans of extended and heavy bass or vocal-centric music.

Note: We measured the bass of these headphones using regular microphones, since at the moment we don't have a method for measuring the tactile bass created by bone conduction headphones. The overall sound of these headphones may be better than shown here but will still not be ideal for listening to music. Also, using them with the provided earplugs tends to muffle the treble and intensify the bass.

0.9 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
15.66 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
118.15 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-26.57 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-14.73 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
8.05 dB

The bass of the Trekz Air is lacking. These bone conduction headphones don't produce much bass by creating sound pressure, which is why they have such a low score in our measurements. However, they do transmit an average amount of tactile bass through the cheekbones, but even their tactile bass isn't very extended. So overall they do produce an average amount of punch on the kick drums, but won't produce any thump or rumble in the sub-bass range. We have plans for measuring the tactile bass of headphones/speakers in the future in order to assess the bass of bone conduction headphones better. Also, their bass delivery varies significantly across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.

3.9 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
8.19 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
11.22 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
6.52 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.65 dB

The mid-range is poor. The overall response of these headphones in the mid-range is rather uneven, overpowering, and with a 10dB tilt favoring lower frequencies. This somewhat compensates for the lack of bass on these headphones but will be at the expense of making the mix, especially vocals and lead instruments, sound muddy and cluttered.

1.9 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
10.04 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
10.83 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
7.47 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
7.66 dB

The treble of the Trekz Air is sub-par. The overall response throughout the treble range is uneven and overemphasized. This makes the overall sound of these headphones noticeably bright, especially when combined with their lacking bass. Also, their treble delivery varies noticeably across users. The response here represents the average response and your experience may vary.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
5.4 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air Consistency L AfterShokz Trekz Air Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.03 dB

The frequency response consistency is poor. The bass and treble delivery of these headphones was surprisingly inconsistent across our 5 human subjects. We measured more than 15dB of variation in bass and 6dB in the treble range. This seemed to be mostly affected by placement and tightness of the headphones on the cheekbones. It should be noted that we measured the bass of these headphones using microphones placed in the ears of our humans subjects, since at the moment we don't have a method for measuring the tactile bass created by bone conduction headphones. The tactile bass of these headphones may be more consistent across multiple users.

3.3 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
AfterShokz Trekz Air Group Delay AfterShokz Trekz Air Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.28
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.48
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
5.31
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
116.42

The imaging performance is sub-par. The GD graph shows that the high group delay only happens in the bass range, where these headphones don't produce much sound pressure. Most of the bass is tactile and transmitted through the cheekbones. So the actual experience of their bass isn't as bad. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were decently matched in amplitude, but showed a big mismatch in phase and frequency response which results in a stereo image that is highly sensitive to positioning of the headphones and could easily get skewed. It should be noted that we measured the bass of these headphones using microphones positioned in the ear canal of our dummy head, since at the moment we don't have a method for measuring the tactile bass created by bone conduction headphones. We have plans to develop methods for measuring the tactile bass created by such headphones in the future.

6.1 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
AfterShokz Trekz Air PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.14 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
-0.22 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
10.39 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
9.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
7.7
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage is mediocre. Due to the fact that the drivers are positioned on the cheekbones, they get very high scores for openness and acoustic space excitation. However, they didn't perform very good in the PRTF tests, probably due to them interacting mostly with the cheekbones. They show very little pinna interaction/activation, but a decent 10KHz notch. Overall the soundstage is open, but doesn't feel very large, natural or speaker-like.

1.3 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
13950.555
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
45357.428

The harmonic distortion performance of the Aftershokz Trekz Air is poor. These headphones produced one of the highest amounts of THD we have measured so far. Although they don't sound clean at all, the extremely high distortion readings could be due to our testing procedure not being compatible with bone conduction transducers. We will look further into this in future test bench update and will improve our tests if possible.

1.6

Isolation

Score components:

The AfterShokz Trekz Air don’t isolate noise by design since there is nothing that covers your ears. The buds rest on your cheekbones, so the ears are wide open. They do leak quite a lot and are definitively not a good option for daily commuting or office work. They were designed as sports headphones to be able to monitor your surroundings while still being physically active. However, they come with foam earplugs in the box, so if you want to cancel out more ambient noise and use the Trekz Air as more regular headphones, you can. Sound quality is slightly affected when using the earplugs. It feels like the bass is louder but the treble more muffled. 

0.9 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-0.03 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.02 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.09 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-0.2 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
20.43 dB

The isolation performance is poor. Since these headphones do not cover the ears, it is normal for them to provide no isolation. However, this is by design since and they are supposed to allow you to be fully aware of your surroundings. However, they come with foam earplugs in the box, so if you want to cancel out more ambient noise and use the Trekz Air as more regular headphones, you can. Sound quality is slightly affected when using the earplugs. It feels like the bass is louder but the treble more muffled.

3.1 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
57.65 dB

The Trekz Air, despite their bone conduction design, have a poor leakage performance. The significant portion of the leakage sits between 700Hz and 20KHz which is a broad range. The overall level of leakage is also loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 58dB SPL and peaks at 79dB SPL, which is significantly louder than the noise floor of an average office.

6.2

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The AfterShokz Trekz Air have a mediocre microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound thin, muffled and lacking in detail. In noisy situations, they are able to separate speech from background noise in moderately loud environments like a busy street, but will struggle in louder places.

5.9 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
397.39 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
3.11 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3368.2 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
19.139
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
40.01 dB

The AfterShokz Trekz Air have a sub-par recording quality. The LFE of 397Hz results in a recorded/transmitted speech that is relatively thin. The HFE of 3.4KHz suggests a speech that is muffled and lacks detail. Also, the response between the LFE and HFE points is rather uneven which could negatively affect the intelligibility of speech.

6.6 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
AfterShokz Trekz Air SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
18.19 dB

The noise handling of the Trekz Air's microphone is average. It achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 18dB in our SpNR test, indicating that it is able to separate speech from ambient noise to a decent degree in moderately loud environments. However, it will struggle to do so in louder situations.

5.9

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The AfterShokz Trekz Air have a decent battery life but do not have any app support. They offer around 7 hours of playback at moderate volumes which might be short for some more intense users but should be fine for people who only train a few hours per day. They also have a standby mode to save battery life. However, they do not have a compatible app to modify the sound profile to your liking. There are still some EQ presets that you can switch with the controls scheme for a bit of customization, but that’s it. There’s also no way to know which EQ preset you are listening to other than to listen to the sound difference.

6.6 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
7.2 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
1.9 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

They have a decent battery life that should last you long enough for your daily workouts, but you might have to charge them daily or on every other day. They take about 2 hours to charge fully and you can’t use the headphones while they are charging. They can also go into standby mode and last for about 20 days according to AfterShokz's specs sheet.

0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
N/A
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
N/A
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

The AfterShokz Trekz Air do not have a compatible app for customization options.

2.9

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The AfterShokz Trekz Air are wireless Bluetooth-only headphones that do not have any wired connection if the battery dies. You also can’t use them with console controllers. They can't connect simultaneously to 2 devices which is useful if you want to switch between your PC and your phone. On the upside, they have amazing wireless range, the greatest obstructed range we've measured so far, but like most Bluetooth headphones, they have too much latency for video content and gaming.

6.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

They support Bluetooth version 4.2 and can't connect to simultaneously to 2 devices which would be useful if you wanted to switch between your PC and your phone. Their pairing procedure is easy, but they do not have NFC.

0 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : N/A
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

They do not have a wired connection.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

The AfterShokz Trekz Air do not have a dock, like most open sports-oriented headphones.

9.6 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
72 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
189 ft

The wireless range of the Trekz Air is remarkable. We measured an amazing distance of 72 feet before hearing clear audio cuts when the source was obstructed by walls and a range of 189 feet while in direct line of sight. This makes them versatile if you need to move around and leave your audio source in one place.

0.8 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
231 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

Like most Bluetooth headphones, the Trekz Air have too much latency for video content or gaming.

In the box

AfterShokz Trekz Air In the box Picture

  • Trekz Air headphones
  • Soft carrying pouch
  • USB to micro-USB charging cable
  • Foam earplugs
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

AfterShokz Trekz Air Compare Picture

The AfterShokz Trekz Air are decent sports headphones with a unique design that uses bone conduction to make you feel the bass instead of hearing it. Their build is comfortable and stable enough for most sports but might need a few adjustments from time to time. They are designed for outdoor use so you can have background music while running or cycling and still be aware of what is going on around you. They are a very niche pair of headphones, and when compared to other sports headphones below, the Trekz Air are the only one with bone conduction. See our recommendations for the best earbuds for running and working out.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit

If you compare the BackBeat Fit to the Trekz Air, the Fit are better typical headphones, especially sound-wise, but this is due to them being in-ears and not bone-conducting like the Trekz Air. They are more stable than the AfterShokz, more portable thanks to the flexible band and they isolate more sound. But if you’re looking for openness and want to stay aware of your surrounding while training with background music, the Trekz Air might be the better choice. They are also more comfortable and use a more recent version of Bluetooth.

Bose SoundSport Wireless

The Bose SoundSport wireless are better sports headphones than the Trekz Air. They are more typical headphones with in-ears drivers and they also have an open design which doesn’t isolate noise. They have a neutral and even sound profile. They won’t be as open as the bone-conducting design of the Trekz Air, but you should be able to monitor your surrounding with the Boses aswell. On the other hand, the Trekz Air have better build quality with rubberized coating and they also have better soundstage and battery life.

Jaybird Freedom 2

The Freedom 2 are better typical and versatile headphones than the Trekz Air. They are more portable and since they are closed-back in-ears, they isolate ambient noise and don’t leak much. However, the Trekz Air are designed for runners and cyclists who want to hear what’s going on around them. With their bone-conducting design, they have a better soundstage and act more like background music while you train. They also have better battery life than the Freedom 2.

Anker SoundBuds Curve

The Anker Sounbuds Curve are better and a cheaper alternative for typical sports headphones, but if you really want to hear everything around you while training, the bone-conducting AfterShokz might be a better choice. The Trekz Air also have better build quality with thicker cables and rubberized coating. On the other hand, the Soundbuds Curve are more portable and come with a good hard case. They also have a longer battery life.

Apple AirPods

The Airpods are also open headphones that don’t isolate much noise and are more versatile than the AfterShokz Trekz Air. Their sound quality is better and the case gives you up to 5 charges, for a total of around 25 hours for battery life. On the other hand, the around the head design with over-ear hooks of the Trekz Air is more stable for sports and they also have more on-the-go controls on the headphones. The Airpods are a lot more portable but have worse wireless range.

+ Show more

Conclusion

4.9Mixed Usage
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Poor for mixed-usage. The AfterShokz Trekz Air were designed as sports headphones, and their unique bone conduction technology and openness make them a bad choice for office work and commuting. Their sound profile is actually better than what it measures, but they are not meant to be critical listening headphones. They also have too much latency for TV and gaming uses.
4.1Critical Listening
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Bad for critical listening. Without having sound directed into the ear canal and using bone conduction, you don’t hear the bass, you feel it. Our measurements aren’t accurate for now because they were our first bone-conducting pair and didn't measure as typical headphones. They sound better than what the scores reflect, but overall, their sound quality is not good enough to be considered critical listening headphones.
5.2Commute/Travel
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Inadequate for commuting and traveling. By design, they don’t isolate any noise, so you’ll hear everything from engine rumbles to ambient chatter in public transports. They are also open and leak a lot, which will be annoying for people around you since they can hear what you are listening to.
6.9Sports/Fitness
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Decent for sports. They are very breathable since there’s nothing covering your ears and their design also makes them stable for most activities. They are very lightweight and decently portable. If you’re a runner or cyclist who’s concerned about cars in the streets, their bone-conducting design will be a good fit for you since they don’t isolate noise but allows you to have background music while training.
5.2Office
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Poor for office use. Their design doesn’t block any noise, so if you’re looking for headphones to help you concentrate on your work, these are not it. They also leak quite a lot, so your coworkers will be able to hear your music.
4.3TV
Score components:
Bad for TV. Even if their wireless range is great and they are comfortable, these headphones have too much latency for video content.
4.2Gaming
Score components:
Bad for gaming. The microphone is mediocre, and they don’t isolate any sound if you want to feel immersed in your game. The AfterShokz Trekz Air also have too much latency to be suitable for gaming since what you’ll hear won’t match what’s on the screen. They also can’t be used wired with console controllers.

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