By Alexander Wong | 23 Comments
One of the biggest problems when it comes to listening to your music on the go is that your ears become unfortunately occupied; making it difficult to be aware of your surroundings. But what if you could still listen to your music but keep your ears free? The Aftershokz Trekz Titanium bone conducting headphones aims to make that possible.
The result of a successful crowd-funding campaign, the Trekz Titanium is just one of many similar bone conduction headphones produced by the brand. How bone conduction actually works is that it bypasses your outer ear (which is usually occupied by regular headphones) and shoots music directly to your inner ears via vibration. That’s right, it rumbles music through your skull to get to your ears.
The idea here is to allow you to listen to music while still being fully aware of your surroundings, hence the open-ear design.
Flexible and stealthy
Design wise, we like that the Trekz Titanium is really low profile, only consisting of a flexible band, the earpieces and a bunch of buttons to control it. It doesn’t get in the way of your glasses either, and if you have long hair, the headset practically disappears. Also, due to its rather extreme flexibility and gentle clamp, its pretty comfortable to wear, even for long hours.
It runs on Bluetooth so you already are doing away with the cable, and like many Bluetooth headsets, is capable of answering calls. The band is also home to three buttons, a multipurpose button on the right side, with the volume control and power button on a small control panel on the right side as well. A microUSB port present as well, to charge the device.
You also get a small carrying case and a pair of squishy foam earplugs, on top of the necessary cables for charging up the Trekz Titanium. The earplugs are for when you want to listen to music more immersively with the headset, which we feel defeats the purpose if you’re using these headphones to keep aware in the first place.
Another gripe we have about it is that you can’t use it while you’re lying down; it tends to move out of position and thus renders listening almost impossible. It also makes your ears tickle a bit when you are listening to speech, we suppose it’s because higher pitches cause the hairs in your ear to vibrate at a frequency that could be irritating to some people.
It sounds pretty decent
The headset actually does work, and pretty well at that, but it’s not entirely as good as it could be.
Audio is decent, but we feel that the quality probably wouldn’t match that of a good pair of regular earphones. It is still fairly nice to listen to, just you don’t get extra rumbly bass or super rich tones. Of course, you don’t really benefit from any form of noise cancellation either.
The Trekz Titanium does have some quirks though.
For starters, if the volume is too high, you won’t be able to listen to much that’s going on around you, and it’s the same if the environment is simply too noisy; it cancels out your music instead. We suppose it’s fine if you’re using it while you’re indoors, but it probably isn’t that great to use in say, a busy, noisy mall or outdoors, where it can sometimes sound hollow.
At the end of the day
All in, the headset mostly does what it says on the tin, though not as effectively as advertised. Yes, we do like the fact that it actually allows your ears to be free but even then, if you’re the sort that likes your music loud, this won’t do it for you.
The Trekz Titanium is not particularly cheap either, coming in at RM 499 for the set. Personally, I would prefer to use a regular headset that has a pass-through function as opposed to actually keeping my ears open because it simply feels simpler that way.
Still, it’s a very novel concept and it does score points in terms of cool factor, but we think its a matter of preference whether you truly will love this headset or not.