Lots of things to consider when looking for good headphones

Lots of things to consider when looking for good headphones

Even Jimmy John’s fails at delivery when the product is intimate sound.

The smooth line of the bass. The swift, electric crackle of applause. Seamless, noise-silencing quiet. When you’re using over-ear headphones, you want your audio experience to be completely enveloping.

Highlights

  • AfterShokz specializes in “wireless bone-conduction headphones.” This means vibrating your skull rather than your eardrums to stimulate the nerves of your inner ear.

  • Headphone manufacturers strive for the best technology to privately feed sound to your brain. From the first Koss true stereo headphones 60 years ago until today, the goal remains to fill your mind with music without disturbing others.

The AfterShokz headphones come closer to true bone conduction. It markets four Bluetooth models from $80 to $160. I chose the least expensive OpenMove model. It’s an ultra-lightweight model with a rubbery wire headband modestly bulging on both sides, incorporating the electronics and battery.

Back at the dawn of the Walkman, a different company promoted its “BoneFone,” a pair of speakers worn like a horse collar that supposedly vibrated your clavicle. In reality, your ears picked up the sound from the speakers, not from your bones.

Right-angle bends contain the two plastic covered transducers that do the vibrating. You can wear them atop or on the back of your head so that they rest on the area of your skull adjacent to your ears. When not in use, they can hang around your neck.

The design offers a few advantages over conventional headphones. They don’’t block ambient sound, which is a great plus for bicyclists and joggers. AfterShokz actually supplies earplugs in the box for those desiring to reduce external noise.