The Good: Incredibly lightweight (especially for bone conduction technology), ability to hear ambient noise AND your tunes.
The Bad: Technology might take a week or two to get used to if you haven’t used it before.
The Workout Worthy: Bone conduction headphones are perfect for people working out outdoors (i.e. running, walking, biking) where they need to hear their surroundings as well as the song or podcast playing, and After Shokz Bluez 2s are currently the best.
We haven’t been able to test a new pair of bone conduction headphones in over a year now, but were thoroughly impressed with the improvements to the AfterShokz Bluez with the Bluez 2s.
We tested these headphones in the following ways (with an iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5):
- Home workout
- Riding in the car (to test a phone call)
We’ve tested several bone conduction headphones in the past and they often sacrifice a little bit of sound quality. However, we were really impressed by the clarity of these headphones.
At the loudest sound volume output (which you honestly shouldn’t be using anyways) the clarity does start to diminish some, and the vibration from the bone conduction is very noticeable.
We did multiple phone tests to see how the sound quality compared, and every time we got good results. The only complaint we received was the ambient noise was a little loud when we were outside (i.e. cars passing by, etc.).
One final thing to note is that in a quiet area, with the volume at moderately high levels, people within a few feet may be able to hear the sounds from your music. This may be a bit of a turn off if you plan using these predominately indoors.
Comfort and Fit
The Bluez 2s utilize a neckband and earhook style design. The headphone rests on top of your zygomatic arch (just below your temple) and uses subtle bone vibrations to transmit sound (as opposed to air conduction). As we mentioned above, the first time you use this tech the vibrations may seem a little weird, but after a few days you don’t even notice them.
Sometimes bone conduction headphones tend to be a little heavier because they have to carry an internal battery to provide the bone conduction, but these headphones were super light weight. They fit great.
They also include a tension band which can be quickly clipped in to provide a tighter fit for higher intensity activities.
The first thing to check out is always the IP Code (or International Protection Code). The Bluez 2s come in with an IP55 rating, which essentially mean they are dust protected and water resistant (not waterproof).
The next thing we look at is build quality. This headset is built with a pretty flexible frame, but doesn’t collapse. However, it’s one of the higher build qualities of headphones we’ve seen.
Unlike a lot of wireless headphones that put their controls just above the ear, the Bluez 2s controls sit on the underside of the neckband just behind the right ear (see picture below), and on the outside face of the headphone on the left ear (see picture above).
Behind left ear:
- Volume up/down
- Micro USB charging port
- Power on/off
On right ear:
- Answer/end calls
- Skip tracks forward/back
It takes about 2 hours to fully charge and according to AfterShokz the continuous play time is 6 hours.
What’s in the Box
As you can see above, the following items are included in the box:
- Bluez 2s headphones
- Carrying case
- Two (2) reflective strips
- USB charging cable
- Tension band
- Instruction manual
If you do most of your workouts outdoors then you should definitely consider a pair of bone conduction headphones. And as of writing this the AfterShokz Bluez 2s are far and away the best bone conduction headphones.