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Keep an open ear for your sourroundings

by Supemum Cally
Friday 13th February 2015
Tags  Supermum Cally   |   Aftershokz Bluez 2   |   Aftershokz   |   Bluez 2   |   Bone conduction headphones   |   Headphones

Product review: Run247's Supermum Cally tests the Aftershokz Bluez 2 bone conduction headphones

If I run alone, I run with music. I’ve noticed a drop in my pace by up to one minute per mile on runs where I have decided not to take music or (even worse) where the battery on my ipod runs out.

In our health and safety conscious world, I have noticed more and more often that running races now ban the use of ‘personal music players’, even on courses that are closed to traffic. So that put me in a dilemma, do I start training without my musical accompaniment? Do I train with music and then go ‘cold turkey’ by ditching it for organized races?

Well, it seems that the Brighton Marathon might have the answer. Whilst they state that “iPods, MP3 Players or similar electronic music players must not be worn”, there is a concession, “However, we authorise the use of headphones that utilise bone conduction technology, which allow you to listen to music and be aware of your surroundings, such as those made by Aftershokz.”

I therefore jumped at the opportunity to review a set of Aftershokz Bluez 2 headphones.

The first challenge this presented me with was finding a Bluetooth compatible device to play the music. Luckily my phone has this capability, so after clearing off several hundred photos I had enough space to get a few of my favourite albums on my phone and pairing it with the headphones was done with the straightforward push of a button on the headset.

You place the wraparound headband behind your neck with the transducer resting on the bones in front of your ears, not on your ear. The fit was good for me, but there is an adjustable tension band if you feel it is not secure. I set off on my usual 5k route which does have a fair degree of traffic on it and my immediate thought was that the music was not loud enough and I turned it up to max. It still wasn’t loud though, I could hear the traffic, I could hear people in the high street talking to each other… well, I guess that is the point!

Once I got over not being in my usual 'sound booth', I started to appreciate the benefits of being able to hear the music and also the sounds around me. For example, I’ve been caught out before by cars pulling out of their driveways, surrounded by hedges. I am often only aware of the car when we are almost on top of each other. With the Bluez 2 on, I was able to hear the ambient noise and feel safe whilst keeping my pace up past the concealed driveways and also crossing roads.

The other benefit of the Bluez 2, paired with my phone, is that (should I wish to), I can receive (or decline) phone calls using the headset. Whilst this is not something I would generally do on a run, it’s a useful feature and with the sweat resistant design and the 6 hour battery life, this is a device you don’t have to limit to training runs and races.

I’m not sure I will replace my usual in ear headphones on pavement and trail based training runs as I do like to be enveloped in my music, but I think that for races or road training sessions, these headphones will be invaluable (and possibly the only way to avoid being disqualified in some cases or sued in others!).

Find out more at www.aftershokz.co.uk


About The Author

Supermum Cally

Run247 has got its very own Supermum joining the editorial team. Cally Shanley has just got back into running after a six year break, during which time she has had two girls (Amber, five and three quarter years old and Melody, one and three quarter years old) and started a new job

We are looking to get Supermum Cally to try out some of the latest products, review some of the races and generally tell us all about her journey back into the world of running.

You can follow Cally on Twitter @runsupermum


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