In this Shokz OpenRun Pro review, we take a close look at these specialized headphones designed for runners. Shokz, formerly known as Aftershokz, is renowned for its bone conduction technology and open-ear design, which allows runners to enjoy their favorite tunes while staying aware of their surroundings. But are the OpenRun Pro headphones truly the best choice for outdoor runs and indoor treadmill sessions?
SHOKZ OpenRun Pro – Open-Ear Bluetooth
- Svelte and lightweight headphones tailored for physical activity.
- Employing rapid charging technology to ensure minimal downtime.
- Capable of seamless multipoint pairing, enhancing versatility.
- Regrettably, the augmented bass output does not extend to outdoor environments.
- Dependent on a proprietary charging cable, which may pose compatibility concerns.
- Possessing a distinct waterproof rating compared to the OpenRun model necessitates consideration.
The OpenRun Pro headphones retain the slim and lightweight design that Shokz headphones are known for. In appearance, they closely resemble the standard OpenRun model, available in sleek black and vibrant blue options. These headphones feature a wraparound headband-style titanium frame, weighing in at a mere 29g – slightly heavier than the OpenRun’s 26g. According to Shokz, they are 20% smaller than their previous models, but in practice, there’s not a significant difference in how they feel when worn during exercise. These headphones are so light that you don’t even notice them, and they remain put.
Controls are intuitive and conveniently placed. There are two physical buttons on the right side of the frame for turning on the headphones and changing the volume. The left arm features a multifunction button for play/pause, track skipping, activating your smartphone’s assistant, and handling calls. Dual-cancelling microphones ensure clear call quality. An LED light indicates battery and pairing status and a port is available for the magnetic conduction cable – although some may find the cable a bit flimsy.
The OpenRun Pro headphones are rated at IP55 for water resistance, making them suitable for handling sweat, light rain, and dust. It’s worth noting that this is a slightly lower water resistance rating compared to the cheaper OpenRun headphones, an interesting choice by Shokz.
Battery life is impressive, with Shokz claiming up to 10 hours of usage on a full charge and a quick charging feature that provides 1.5 hours of listening time with just a 5-minute charge. In real-world testing during three hours of outdoor running at high volume, the battery dropped from 100% to 60%. You should expect roughly 5 hours of battery life depending on your use and volume settings. Shokz conducted its testing at 75% volume, so reducing the volume could extend the battery life.
For those who prefer to connect their headphones to multiple devices, the OpenRun Pro offers multipoint pairing, allowing you to pair two devices simultaneously and seamlessly switch between them.
Shokz has equipped the OpenRun Pro with its latest 9th-generation bone conduction technology, known as TurboPitch. This technology incorporates two bass enhancers for “enhanced bass and premium sound quality.” However, the challenge with bone conduction technology is achieving rich, deep sound.
The OpenRun Pro provides two EQ modes that you can toggle between using the headphones or the Shokz app, available in the US and Canada. One mode is designed for music, offering a standard frequency, while the other is a vocal booster for audiobooks and podcasts. In practice, the vocal mode emphasizes clarity, while the standard mode aims for a punchier sound. Unfortunately, this emphasis on bass seems to compromise clarity, resulting in noticeable vibrations in an effort to deliver a more substantial sound.
The slight boost in bass is more apparent indoors than outdoors, where the headphones struggle to make a significant difference. During runs, the sound profile doesn’t feel notably bass-heavy, and the headphones still struggle to contend with wind noise, even at maximum volume.
Call quality follows a similar pattern, performing better indoors than in noisy outdoor environments. If you anticipate taking important calls during your runs, you may find the call quality underwhelming when faced with significant external noise.
The Shokz OpenRun Pro headphones offer a lightweight and comfortable design with impressive battery life. While they aim to deliver enhanced bass and sound quality, the bone conduction technology still has its limitations in achieving a truly immersive audio experience, especially in outdoor settings.
The Shokz OpenRun Pro headphones offer a sleek and lightweight design, rapid charging capabilities, and the convenience of multipoint pairing. However, their attempt to boost bass through bone conduction technology results in a compromise on clarity, particularly in noisy outdoor settings. If your priority is exceptional sound quality and deep bass, you might want to explore alternative headphone options. Nevertheless, for those who value situational awareness and a secure fit during workouts, it is a good practice to verify the latest details from the manufacturer