16 October 2020

Aeropex AfterShokz Review

There is no such thing as the perfect audio listening device. What you want for your listening experience largely depends on the context. For a rock concert, you would want large speakers - something that will never fit in the house - in an outdoor stadium blasting your music, with concert goers singing and screaming to the melody and beat. At the other extreme end, when you want privacy of your music from others, headphones or earphones help to secure your personal listening pleasure.

My husband got a pair of Aeropex AfterShokz bone conduction headphones which we have been using for months. They weigh an incredible weight of just 26g, not much heavier than a "Fun Size" Mars bar. You hardly notice the weight when you wear it and since it rests on the cheekbone rather than over or on the ears with headphones or inserted into the ears with earbuds, they offer relief from heat, discomfort and ear pain associated with typical headphones or earbuds. And most importantly, it doesn't slip off from my ears like earphones. 

Bone conduction technology uses the cheekbone to transfer sound without using the eardrum something we are accustomed. This technology actually helps those with hearing issues. Since bone conduction technology does not need the Aeropex to cover the ears, there is minimal loss of surrounding awareness.

This increases the safety factor for outdoor use for running, cycling or leisure walking. I find that the Aeropex has an additional advantage it allows me to listen to music without intrusion in my ongoing thoughts. When I make calls or listen to online tutorials, being able to think along with tutorials played is a big productivity plus point.

Comfortably hidden behind my hair

The Aeropex is completely wireless using Bluetooth 5.0. Pairing was a breeze, taking less than 2 seconds to complete. Aeropex boasts an impressive continous playtime of up to 8 hours and has a range up to 10 meters for something so light. With the work from home reality brought about by Covid-19, the Aeropex wears almost like part of your head and cheekbone, allowing you to take a call while cooking in the kitchen, pace aroung while you talk or engage in another conversation while listening to music on headphones for a the period of a full working day, without a need to take them off for a re-charge. The mic quality works fairly well for me and it does not pick up much background noise. Charging time is around 2 hours which means the Aeropex will be fully charged after dinner, before you go to sleep.

It comes with IP67 rating making them fully sweat and waterproof, great for intense workouts, extreme weather or long hours of use. I tried walking and running with the Aeropex, and it wore surprisingly well without any concern of it falling off. I cannot say the same for some of the true wireless earbuds which can drop with shake of the head. The audio controls are on the side of the phones and not overly complicated to use.
While audio resolution is often criticized to be compromised for bone conduction headphones, I found the audio quality loss to be a very acceptable tradeoff for the other benefits the Aeropex offers.

The Aeropex offers a forward soundstage with mid-range being its strength. It does have reasonably good bass, though not a deep one, in spite of being just 26 gram in weight. The vocals are sufficient clear. This makes for good pop, R&B or Jazz listening. For those who may want better audio resolution from the Aeropex sometimes, a set of ear plugs provided helps isolate external sound when in use. I never found the need to use ear plugs.

The build quality is good and there has not been much stain or discoloration even after months of use. The proprietary USB charging cables are very neat as the magnetic charging tip clicks snuggly to the Aeropex without any effort for insertion.

In summary, the Aeropex is not a smart headphone nor does it provide ultra high audio resolution for audiophiles. But the Aeropex does a pretty good job to facilitate multitasking while allowing for long hours of usage with discomfort or loss of awareness. S$ 236 is a good buy considering the light weight and slim form factor which comes with a neat silicone pouch. Nonetheless, the Aeropex as a productivity enabling headphone meant for indoors or outdoors extended use makes a strong value proposition. I love this thoughtful tool from my hubby!

1 October 2020

Mid-Autumn Festival2020


Happy to see kids playing with their lanterns in my hood. Their laughter brighten the evening merrily along with the moon. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!