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We've recently released our Test Bench 1.7 update for Headphones! Read the Noise isolation R&D Article to learn more.

Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Review updated Sep 21, 2023 at 02:17 pm
Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction Picture
Neutral Sound
Wireless Gaming
Wired Gaming
Phone Calls

The Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction are the next generation of the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction. Unlike most traditional sports-oriented headphones, they produce sound by sending vibrations from your cheekbones to your inner ear instead of directly playing audio from speakers. As a result, they don't enter your ear at all, allowing you to stay aware of your surroundings, which is handy if you're running outdoors. Their IP67 rating also means they're fully dust, sweat, and waterproof, making them suitable for even the most intense workouts.

Our Verdict

5.3 Neutral Sound

The Shokz OpenRun are disappointing for neutral sound. Our testing rig can't adequately measure their performance because they use vibrations to reproduce audio. In real-life use, they struggle to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, which results in a somewhat flat sound. They have very smooth and accurate mids, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear, present, and detailed. Sibilants like cymbals are also bright but not piercing. However, their bass and treble delivery vary, so it's important to take the time to adjust their fit and positioning to ensure a more consistent sound. Wearing earplugs will greatly increase their sound quality but won't let you hear around you as well. That said, these headphones weren't designed with neutral sound in mind and will be adequate for soundtracking daily activities.

  • Comfortable, stable fit.
  • Really lack bass.
  • Audio delivery depends on the headphones' fit and positioning.
5.5 Commute/Travel

The Shokz OpenRun are sub-par for commute and travel. By design, they don't enter or cover your ears, so you hear all the noise from bus engines and commuter chit-chat. They also leak audio at high volumes. However, if you don't mind this, they have a comfortable fit and are well-built. They also have 13 hours of continuous battery life, which will last through long days on the go. Their low latency on iOS and Android devices makes them a suitable choice if you like streaming videos during your trip.

  • Comfortable, stable fit.
  • 13-hour continuous battery life.
  • Leak a lot of audio at high volumes.
  • Audio delivery depends on the headphones' fit and positioning.
7.3 Sports/Fitness

The Shokz OpenRun are decent for sports and fitness. Since they don't cover your ears, you can listen to your favorite audio while still hearing sounds around you, which is ideal if you're running outdoors. They have a comfortable and stable fit, are well-built, and are rated IP67 for dust and water resistance. Their neckband won't fit into your pockets, but you can wear them on your head or around your neck when you're not using them.

  • Comfortable, stable fit.
  • Well-built and rated IP67 for dust and water resistance.
  • 13-hour continuous battery life.
  • Audio delivery depends on the headphones' fit and positioning.
5.7 Office

The Shokz OpenRun can be a suitable choice at the office if you want to listen to audio while still monitoring what's going on around you. Due to their bone conduction design, their transducers sit on your cheekbones rather than in your ears. As a result, they won't block out any sounds around you. They also leak a lot of audio at high volumes. They have a comfortable design, roughly 13 hours of continuous playback time, and are well-built. They also support multi-device pairing, meaning you can simultaneously stay connected to your laptop and smartphone.

  • Supports multi-device pairing.
  • Comfortable, stable fit.
  • 13-hour continuous battery life.
  • Leak a lot of audio at high volumes.
4.9 Wireless Gaming

The Shokz OpenRun are Bluetooth-only headphones. They're compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, but their latency is too high for gaming.

4.7 Wired Gaming

The Shokz OpenRun are Bluetooth-only headphones; you can't use them wired.

5.9 Phone Calls

The Shokz OpenRun are sub-par for phone calls. They have an integrated mic that does a decent job recording your voice, ensuring it sounds clear and natural. However, the mic has some trouble separating your voice from moderate ambient noise, so if you're taking a call from a busy street, your voice can be drowned out. Since these headphones don't go into or sit around the ear, they also don't block out ambient sound. If you're taking a call from a noisy office, you can have a hard time hearing your call well.

  • Comfortable, stable fit.
  • Decent recording quality.
  • 5.3 Neutral Sound
  • 5.5 Commute/Travel
  • 7.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.7 Office
  • 4.9 Wireless Gaming
  • 4.7 Wired Gaming
  • 5.9 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Sep 21, 2023: We've updated this review's text to ensure accuracy and clarity.
  2. Updated Aug 15, 2023: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Shokz OpenFit True Wireless in App Support.
  3. Updated Feb 07, 2023: Per user interest, we retested these headphones' sound profile while our testing rig was wearing earplugs. While we had trouble achieving accurate measurements due to current test methods, subjective listening tests indicated increased bass and treble volume. As such, we've updated our text in the Neutral Sound verdict and the Sound Profile and Bass Accuracy boxes.
  4. Updated Feb 21, 2022: Review published.
  5. Updated Feb 14, 2022: Early access published.
  6. Updated Jan 21, 2022: Our testers have started testing this product.
  7. Updated Jan 19, 2022: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  8. Updated Jan 15, 2022: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Shokz OpenRun come in four color variants: 'Black', 'Blue', 'Grey', and 'Red'. We tested the 'Grey' variant; you can see our model's label here. Older models of these headphones might come bearing the "AfterShokz" name and logo, but the company has since changed its name to "Shokz".

These headphones also come in a mini size, with a neckband about one inch smaller than the original standard model. However, the mini variant is only available in 'Black'. We expect the mini version to perform similarly to the regular-size variant we tested. If you encounter another variant, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Shokz OpenRun are bone conduction headphones replacing the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction. Unlike traditional sports earbuds like the Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless, their design doesn't block out any background noise, allowing you to hear ambient sounds around you, whether you're running outdoors or working in a collaborative office. In this sense, they're similar to open-back sports headphones like the Bose Sport Open Earbuds and Shokz OpenFit Pro, which differ in that they reproduce sound through speakers that sit outside of your ear canal.

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

Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone Conduction

The Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone Conduction are the upgraded variant of the Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction. While both headphones are comfortable, the Pro come with a better hard case to protect the headphones when you're not using them. They also reproduce a bit more bass, though it's likely not enough if you like thumpy genres like EDM and hip-hop. That said, their companion app offers a couple of EQ presets to help you adjust their sound. The original OpenRun have a higher IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.

Shokz OpenFit True Wireless

The Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction and the Shokz OpenFit True Wireless are sporty headphones with differing forms of sound reproduction. The OpenRun use vibrations on your bones to produce sound and have a headband, making them a bit bulkier than their truly wireless counterpart. Their IP rating is different, too, and they can survive water immersion, which can be handy if you want to run in the rain. They also have a longer continuous playback time, and you can pair them with up to two devices simultaneously. On the flip side, the OpenFit sit just outside your ear canal and use speakers to play your audio. They have a more stable fit, deliver more bass, and are customizable, thanks to their companion app support.

AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction

The Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction are the next generation of the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction. While both are otherwise the same in terms of build quality, comfort, and sound quality, the OpenRun have a quick charge feature, and they support Bluetooth 5.1. The Aeropex come with two charging cables instead of one, and their soft case is better than the OpenRun's drawstring pouch.

Sony Float Run Wireless

The Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction are better headphones than the Sony Float Run Wireless. The Shokz are more comfortable, better built, and have longer continuous battery life. Both headphones are matched in stability performance and have very similar sound profiles. That said, both of these sports headphones do a terrible job delivering any bass-range audio and sound very thin.

AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction

The Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction are slightly better headphones than the AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction. While both headphones are bone conduction headphones with an ear hook design, the OpenRun have a longer-lasting continuous battery life, and their mic has a better recording quality. They also support Bluetooth 5.1.

TOZO T6 Truly Wireless

The TOZO T6 Truly Wireless and the Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction have different strengths, and you may prefer one over the other. The TOZO are budget-friendly in-ears with a more bass-heavy sound profile suitable for genres like EDM and hip-hop. They can also block out a good amount of ambient noise passively. However, the Shokz are bone conduction headphones that allow you to monitor your surroundings while listening to audio. They support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them with two devices simultaneously. They have a longer continuous battery life, and they're more comfortable.

Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless

Depending on your preferences, you may prefer either the Jaybird Vista 2 Truly Wireless or the Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction. The Shokz are bone conduction headphones, and they produce sound via vibrations. They don't cover your ears at all, allowing you to listen to audio while still allowing you to monitor your surroundings if you're running outdoors. They lack thumpy bass but can reproduce vocals and lead instruments clearly. However, if you're looking to block out background sounds, the Jaybird are in-ears with active noise cancelling. Although they struggle to block out background noise, they can reduce ambient chatter. They also feel better built and have a more stable fit. Their companion app allows you to customize their well-balanced sound to your liking.

Sony LinkBuds Truly Wireless

The Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction and the Sony LinkBuds Truly Wireless have different strengths. Both headphones are designed to let you hear ambient sound, but the Shokz have a much more comfortable, stable fit. Their continuous battery life is also significantly longer. On the other hand, if you can get a good fit with the Sony headphones, you may prefer their smaller design. Their companion app offers more features like an EQ for sound customization and virtual surround sound.

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds Truly Wireless

The Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction headset is a different solution to environmental awareness than the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds Truly Wireless. The Shokz uses a titanium frame covered in silicone that bypasses the ear canal. It has a higher IP rating with more dedicated buttons for each function. Its size is larger, and these headphones use a proprietary charging cable. The sound profile has less low-end and more peaks and dips with a less consistent frequency response. The Bose clip on your ears with a smaller case. They use one button for all the controls on each bud. Their battery life is shorter unless you include the case's recharges. Unlike the Shokz, you get a companion app for virtual surround sound, EQ, and updates. They use a standard USB-C to charge up.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Type Bone Conduction
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless Yes
Transducer Bone Conduction

The Shokz OpenRun look nearly identical to the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction. They have a band that goes around the back of your head, and the ear hooks help the headphones rest on your cheekbones. They come in four different colors: 'Black', 'Grey', 'Red', and 'Blue'. They also come in a mini version, which has a shorter band. However, this variant only comes in 'Black'.

Weight 0.06 lbs
Clamping Force
0.3 lbs

The Shokz OpenRun are comfortable headphones. Like the Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone Conduction, they don't weigh very much, and since they're bone-conduction headphones, they don't enter your ear. However, they put a small amount of pressure on the top of your ears, which feels similar to wearing glasses. If you're wearing glasses and these headphones at the same time, it can be uncomfortable.

OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
Noise Cancelling Control No
Additional Controls Presets + Voice Assistant

The Shokz OpenRun have controls that are decently easy to use. The three buttons are easy to use and are very clicky. On the left side is a multi-function that controls most audio-related playback. The right side has a power plus volume up ('+') button and a volume down button ('-'). There are lots of voice prompts to let you know when you've registered a command. That said, remembering the commands for some controls can be a little tricky.

Plus '+' button:

  • Single press: Volume up.
  • Press when not connected to device: Hear battery life.

Minus '-' button:

  • Single press: Volume down.

Multi-function button:

  • Single press: Plays and pauses audio. Also answers calls.
  • Double press: Skips to the next track when you're listening to audio. If you're pairing the headphones, this switches the language of the voice prompts.
  • Triple press: Skips to the previous track when you're listening to audio.
  • Press and hold: Activates voice assistant when the headphones are on standby mode.

Button Combinations:

  • Multi-function and Plus (+) Buttons: While in pairing mode, press and hold both buttons to enable multi-point connection.
  • Plus (+) and Minus (-) Buttons: While listening to music, press and hold both buttons to switch to EQ mode.

L 5.2" (13.1 cm)
W 3.9" (9.8 cm)
H 1.7" (4.3 cm)
Volume 33.69 inยณ (552.00 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

The Shokz OpenRun are decently portable. Like the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction, their rigid headband can't fold into a more compact form, making it difficult to store them in your pants or jacket pocket. On the upside, they come with a small soft pouch to help protect them when you're on the go. They're also very light and portable when they're on your ears or around your neck if you're not using them.

Type Pouch
Volume N/A

The Shokz OpenRun come with a sub-par pouch. It's a nylon-like material, but it doesn't feel like it can protect the headphones from accidental drops or water damage. Even though it has drawstrings, the pouch doesn't fully close.

Build Quality

The Shokz OpenRun have a good build quality. They're mostly silicone, making them feel sturdy and solid. Thanks to their IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, they're a solid choice for hard workouts or runs in the park, as they're dust-tight and can handle immersion in water. However, the neckband is a bit thin and feels like a weak point.


The Shokz OpenRun have good stability. Since the headphones hook over your ears, they don't move around much, even during more intense physical movement. There's space between your head and the neckband, meaning the band can get caught on clothing like a hood.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
In The Box

  • Shokz OpenRun headphones
  • Soft carrying pouch
  • Proprietary charging cable
  • Elastic band
  • Manuals

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-28 dB
Treble Amount
2.9 dB

The Shokz OpenRun use vibration to produce sound, and our testing rig can't accurately measure these results. The frequency response graph doesn't portray sound as a human ear hears it. They have a bright sound profile that struggles to reproduce any bass frequencies. Vocals and lead instruments sound clear, present, and detailed. However, they can't reproduce thumpy low-bass, so genres like EDM and hip-hop sound flat. If you prefer a different sound, they have two EQ presets built-in: 'Standard', which is their default preset, and 'Vocal Booster', which improves vocal clarity.

We've received user interest in testing the headphones while the ear canal is obstructed. You may wear earplugs to block background noise or use a hearing aid but still want good sound delivery. Due to issues with our test rig and these headphones, we couldn't get accurate measurements for the new test. Our results indicate a drop off in treble range delivery, but when subjectively listening, the high-end frequencies are rather more present and detailed. You also definitely feel the bass frequencies to be louder and get more thump out of them.

Note: Headphones are normally tested at 90dB and 100dB. However, the Shokz OpenRun can't reach these volumes on the testing dummy head. Even when we use the headphones on our own heads and measure their volume using in-ear microphones, they can't reach 90dB. Their max sound is 85dB, so we conducted testing at 75dB and 85dB. Their max volume is still very loud, and using them at this volume is still fairly uncomfortable as they vibrate a lot, which can numb your cheekbones during long listening sessions.

Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.01 dB

These headphones have sub-par frequency response consistency. They're prone to bass and treble delivery inconsistencies due to their bone conduction design. As they're very sensitive to fit and positioning, it's important to take the time to achieve a good fit.

Raw Frequency Response
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
30.2 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
293.44 Hz
-47.52 dB
-33.91 dB
-11.64 dB

The Shokz OpenRun lack a lot of bass. Since they produce sound using vibrations, they struggle to reproduce a rumbly low-bass. Electronic songs with a thumpy beat, like Territory by The Blaze, sound thin and lacking in body. That said, there's some high-bass present so that mixes don't totally lack fullness. It won't be enough for more bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop, but it suffices for content like classical or podcasts that don't rely so heavily on this range. If you want to get more bass out of these headphones, wearing earplugs will help your inner ear focus strictly on the audio generated by the OpenRun. It's an extra step, but it can greatly increase the amount of bass delivered, as you can see here.

Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.3 dB
-0.73 dB
0.18 dB
0.04 dB

These headphones have great mid accuracy. Voices sound clear, detailed, and present, which is nice if you like to listen to podcasts or audiobooks. That said, more musical genres sound great, too. If you're listening to the second verse of the song Sanctuary by Joji, his voice sounds lush and fairly transparent.

Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.25 dB
1.12 dB
2.73 dB
-4.32 dB

The Shokz OpenRun have excellent treble accuracy. The upper harmonics of vocals and lead instruments are clear, present, and detailed. Sibilants like S and T sounds are a little bright but not too sharp. If you wear these headphones with earplugs in, the treble range may sound louder and more present.

3.56 dB
3.23 dB

The Shokz OpenRun produce sound via vibrations on your bones, and our testing rig can't properly measure their frequency response. That said, as these headphones struggle to reproduce bass, it doesn't seem like there are many peaks and dips in this range. The exception is a large peak in the high-bass and low-mids that gives bass instruments, like kick drums and bass guitars, some more emphasized presence. There's also a peak in the mid-treble range, making sibilants like cymbals piercing.

Weighted Group Delay
Weighted Phase Mismatch
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
Weighted Frequency Mismatch

The Shokz OpenRun are bone-conducting headphones, and our testing rig isn't designed to test them. Therefore, the graphs and score for imaging aren't as accurate compared to other headphones we've tested. Although our results indicate a significant deviation in the group delay in the bass range, it's not audible as these headphones can't produce these frequencies. Since they use vibrations to reproduce sound, the fit has a major impact on how you perceive their imaging performance. Overall, the L/R drivers seem well-matched in frequency, although the left driver outputs a slightly higher volume than the right. It's not very noticeable with real-life content, though. That said, imaging can vary between units and can indicate a manufacturer's quality control and ergonomics.

Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.54 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
-2.03 dB
PRTF Distance
6.82 dB
Acoustic Space Excitation

Our testing rig can't accurately measure the Shokz OpenRun's passive soundstage. By design, their transducers sit outside and away from your ear. They also produce sound via vibrations that travel along your cheekbones to your inner ear. Their soundstage seems open as a result, but sound seems to be coming from inside your head rather than from speakers in the room around you.

Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
Speaker Modeling
Room Ambience
Head Tracking
Virtual Surround
No App
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
WHD @ 100

These headphones have a poor weighted harmonic distortion performance. At high volumes, they vibrate a lot, which is very uncomfortable and can numb your cheekbones. However, they aren't meant for use at very high volumes as they add background audio to your normal sound environment. It's unlikely that you'll use these headphones at a very high volume, but if you do, you may experience facial discomfort and distorted audio reproduction.

Test Settings
Bluetooth 5.0
SBC, 16-bit, 44.1kHz

These are the settings used to test the Shokz OpenRun. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.

Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-0.64 dB
Noise Cancelling No
-0.17 dB
-0.72 dB
-1.09 dB

The Shokz OpenRun have a bad noise isolation performance. They don't block out any background noise as they don't cover or enter your ear. This design can be helpful if you want to stay aware of your surroundings while you're exercising outside. That said, they don't cut down any of the low rumble of bus engines, ambient chatter, or the high-pitched hum of AC units. Commuters who want to be isolated from these external noises will prefer the performance of in-ear headphones or those with ANC. That said, the Shokz are still a good choice for commuting if you want to be aware of what's happening around you while traveling.

Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
43.93 dB

The Shokz OpenRun have a mediocre leakage performance. They leak a lot of audio at high volumes, which can disturb others around you, even if you're listening to audio in a moderately noisy environment.

Microphone Style
Detachable Boom
Mic Yes
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
302.04 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.22 dB
3,225.4 Hz
Weighted THD
7.04 dB

When connected to a PC, these headphones' integrated mic has a decent recording quality. Your voice sounds clear and natural, although lacking in body. The mic's recording quality when you're connected via your phone is also quite similar in performance.

Noise Handling
18.56 dB
Noise Gate
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The integrated mic has a mediocre noise handling performance. When connected to a PC, moderate background noise coming from a busy street can drown out your voice. If you're using your phone, they do a similarly okay job of separating your voice from pink noise. While the mic does a marginally better job of separating your voice from subway noise when using your phone, it's still difficult to hear your voice clearly if surrounded by loud noise.

Active Features
Active Features
Battery Type
Continuous Battery Life
13 hrs
Additional Charges
Total Battery Life
13 hrs
Charge Time
1.2 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
Passive Playback
Charging Port Proprietary

The Shokz OpenRun have a decent battery performance. The manufacturer advertises them as having eight hours of playtime, and we measured roughly 13 hours. This aligns with other Shokz (Aftershokz) headphones that we've tested. Unlike the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction, they have a quick charge feature, which can help replenish their battery when you're pressed on time. They also have a standby mode that helps conserve battery life when you're not using them. That said, they use a proprietary charging cable, so if you lose or misplace it, you'll need to purchase a new one to recharge them again.

Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
ANC Control
Mic Control No
Room Effects
Playback Control
Button Mapping No
Surround Support

These headphones don't have companion app support, but if sound customization and an open-ear fit are important to you, try the Shokz OpenFit True Wireless instead.

Bluetooth Version
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
Line Of Sight Range
263.45 ft (80.30 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
229 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
PC Latency (aptX HD)
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
iOS Latency
58 ms
Android Latency
118 ms

These headphones have great Bluetooth connectivity. They support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them to your smartphone and laptop at the same time. They also have low latency on iOS and Android devices, ensuring your audio and visuals stay in sync when streaming video. That said, they have higher latency on PCs, so we don't recommend them for streaming video or playing video games on this device. However, some apps and devices compensate for latency, so your experience can vary.

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

These are Bluetooth-only headphones; you can't use them wired. They come with a proprietary charging cable.

PC Compatibility
Wired USB
Non-BT Wireless

The Shokz OpenRun can connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs with full audio compatibility. However, you can't connect them to your PC in any other way.

PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
PS4 Wired USB
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
PS5 Analog
PS5 Wired USB
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Xbox One Wired USB
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No Base/Dock
USB Input
Line In
Line Out
Optical Input
RCA Input
Dock Charging
Power Supply
No Base/Dock