The use of headphones while cycling is not recommended. Generally speaking, most cyclists in the city, especially those who ride in the city, wear in-ear or over-ear cans instead of helmets when they ride their bikes.
Using headphones does not allow you to be aware of what’s happening around you, so they are not a good idea. For the similar reason, some runners choose to use headphones that do not block their ears.
Aftershokz titanium mini headphones use a technology known as bone conduction to avoid isolating you from the surrounding environment. By sending vibrations along your cheekbones, the inner ear processes the sound and sends it to your brain for processing. You will be able to hear in your surroundings, such as the frightening taxi hurtling sound at 50 mph in a 30 mph zone.
Even though the actual sound quality of the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headphones is not stellar, the ability to maintain situational awareness significantly enhances the device’s safety if you are cycling or running while listening to music. Let’s talk in detail about the headphones’ design, sound quality, and battery life in this AfterShokz titanium mini review.
Aftershokz Titanium Mini – Design and Comfort
|Ear Placement||Open Ear|
|Item Weight||10.8 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||5.3 x 2.6 x 6.5 inches|
At first glance, the aftershokz titanium mini seems to be a typical wireless headphone. The neckband is built from an alloy of titanium metal, which is why it is called aftershokz titanium mini. There is a titanium frame with rubber coating that feels lightweight and robust.
With the headphones, you will receive a travel pouch and fit bands that will allow you to adjust the size according to your needs. It will be necessary to wear these if you have a smaller head to ensure that bone conduction will work.
After wearing it for some time, my first impression of this product is that I did not like the rigid neckband. Specifically, the part covering the ears and against the back of your head could be softer. The type of head you have could make a difference in the quality of your experience.
It comes with a standard dust and water resistance rating of IP55. If you wear these in the rain, there should be no problem if you sweat a bit during the day. Three finishes are available for the AfterShokz titanium mini: blue, green, and gray.
The AfterShokz titanium mini can be distinguished from conventional earphones by taking a closer look at the earbuds, especially where they would normally be found in traditional earphones. In contrast to ear canal tips placed inside your ears, these are placed against the side of your skull in front of your ears.
In the back of your ear, you will find a button that you can use to turn up the volume, as well as a button for power and volume reduction. In addition to these, a Micro USB port can be used to charge the headphones.
It is my personal opinion that the charging point should be placed on the left side of the device because the right side seems cluttered to me. A rubber flap covers the Micro USB port, which feels the same as the volume buttons when you’re blindly trying to locate them.
The multi-function button for the bone conduction transducer can be found on the right side of the device. Using this, it is possible to play and pause tracks, answer and reject calls, and activate Siri or Google Now. The track can also be skipped with a double-press, but there is no option to go back using a triple-press, which is a standard feature of most headphones.
Due to the dual noise-canceling microphones, you can make and receive hands-free calls. I found these to be very effective. The callers clearly heard me while I was cycling, and they were able to hear them loud and clear as well.
If you plan to wear a helmet while cycling, your experiences may differ according to the helmet you choose.
Aftershokz Titanium Mini – Sound Quality
The first time you try on bone conduction headphones, it may seem a bit strange. There is quite a lot of vibration on the side of your head when the volume is turned up, which is quite noticeable. After having given the AfterShokz titanium mini to a number of friends and acquaintances who have tried it, they have all described the initial experience as “like having your side of the head tickled.”
Eventually, you will become adjusted and will forget about it; plus, when the volume is lower, it is less noticeable. In addition, the audio produced inside the skull may also seem strange to you. You’ll notice that there’s a sense of a soundstage that you are unfamiliar with, and you can’t place the source of the music.
In this case, if you haven’t blocked your ear canal, you’ll be able to hear everything around you as long as the volume of your audio set is not too high.
I had no trouble hearing traffic while cycling, running, or walking down the city streets, whether biking, running, or walking. The double-decker bus was easily audible as it approached me from behind and passed alongside me. It was very easy to hear all the conversations and the crunching of food from colleagues while seated in an office.
If you’re going to be cycling or running, you will have to deal with some wind noise, but in my experience, I haven’t found it too distracting.
The treble can be thin, the bass can be floppy, and there is little energy or drive to the sound produced. I find it to be a little uninspiring and a little flat as a whole. Wearing these headphones on a regular basis will not be a good idea.
Aftershokz Titanium Mini – Battery Life
In terms of battery life, this device is rated to have an average of six hours of continuous listening time. Other bone conduction headphones available on the market have more features, but they’re often heavier and more unwieldy because they have to accommodate a larger battery. Six hours is a decent trade-off, in my opinion. In addition, the battery has a standby time of 10 days. It takes about an hour and a half to charge over micro-USB.
Should You Buy the Aftershokz Titanium Mini?
Regarding safety, the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium is an excellent option if your primary priority is safety rather than sound quality. I would not recommend headphones to cyclists, but bone conduction headphones seem to work nicely in limited conditions. This is an incredibly liberating feeling when you are cycling, and you can listen to music or a podcast without feeling like you are not compromising your safety.
Why Should You Not Buy Aftershokz Titanium Mini
Sound leakage is sometimes a problem associated with Aftershokz titanium mini. This still happens despite Aftershokz claim that its “LeakSlayer” technology can eliminate leaks. Having the volume turned up will allow those around you to hear the music you’re listening to.