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Shokz OpenRun Pro review: With music in the here and now

Shokz OpenRun Pro review: With music in the here and now

Shokz has launched new sports headphones. The special feature: the headphones transmit music via the cheekbones to the inner ear. You can find out in our xiaomist test whether the OpenRun Pro are suitable as sports headphones, how they feel and, above all, how they sound.

The Shokz (formerly AfterShokz) brand is known for sports headphones that have been on the market since 2012. 10 years later the OpenRun Pro is now available, which works with the patented bone conduction technology . The headphones don't rest on the ears, but on the cheekbones and transmit the sound of the music, podcast or whatever you're listening to via vibrations to the inner ear.

We took a closer look at the sports headphones, took them on the road and tried out different situations. You can find out in our xiaomist test how we liked the headphones and what it feels like to listen to music with headphones that rest on your cheeks .

Shokz OpenRun Pro in the test: conclusion

xiaomist rating: 6.6 / 10

When I heard the first tones from the OpenRun Pro, I was fascinated: listening to music and at the same time being able to perceive the surroundings almost unclouded left me amazed for a moment. The sports headphones sit very comfortably and securely on the head and impress with sufficient battery life and fast charging.

But no matter how well the headphones fit, the design takes some getting used to, even after a test lasting several days: the protruding cable at the back of my head not only makes me look a bit too futuristic , it also slightly impairs my head movements. In this regard, the operation is also not intuitive, I keep checking the OpenRun Pro for the volume buttons.

If you are looking for new Bluetooth headphones to enjoy music for the sake of music or to comfortably enjoy an episode of your favorite series in bed in the evening, the new Shokz model is the wrong choice. However, if you are looking for a practical companion for the daily jog or a visit to the gym, the OpenRun Pro does a really good job.

Although the OpenRun Pro doesn't set any new standards in terms of sound quality , it's just fun to be on the go with the headphones. For less than 200 euros you get a slightly different listening experience, precisely because Shokz doesn't let you forget your surroundings.

Advantages:

More intensive perception of surroundings Multipoint Bluetooth Fast battery charging Dustproof and waterproof according to IP55 Comfortable to wear, but ...

Disadvantage:

... Impractical design Weak bass sound No intuitive operation Packaging not up-to-date

The first impression

The packaging

When a new device arrives, the packaging makes the first impression. Shokz hasn't held back much : the OpenRun Pro arrives in a carrying case, which is encased in a plastic sleeve and stowed in a sealed cardboard box. The box was re-sealed in plastic.

It is therefore not only difficult to get to the headphones at all, but also a lot of packaging waste accumulates, which is superfluous from the outset. The charging cable is also in the carrying case, double wrapped in plastic. A suitable power adapter is not included, but as a manufacturer you can assume that the buyers usually have one.

The manufacturer states that the battery can be charged quickly. 5 minutes are enough to listen to music for an hour and a half with the headphones. The battery only needs an hour to fully charge in the test, and then according to the manufacturer it should last for 10 hours - so nothing stands in the way of a half marathon.

As small as the Bluetooth headphones are, a lot of packaging waste accumulates (Image source: xiaomist). setup and features

You don't have to charge the Shokz OpenRun Pro before wearing it for the first time. It arrives with half the battery charge, which in the end lasted more than 6 hours for me. The headphones are therefore immediately ready for use.

To pair via Bluetooth, all you have to do is hold down the standby button until it flashes red- blue and you can connect your smartphone or laptop to the headphones.

The standby button also increases the volume at the same time , the minus button to turn down the music is right next to it. Since the volume buttons are not directly on the earphones, but installed behind them, I had to keep looking for something during the test until I found the respective buttons.

On the left earphone you will find a multifunction button with which you can either pause and start music or accept and hang up calls. The Shokz also offer an integrated microphone.

You can control the sports headphones with a total of 3 buttons (image source: xiaomist). The Shokz app

If the link between the headphones and the smartphone does not work directly, you can use the Shokz app. There the coupling is explained again step by step, as well as multipairing (also called multipoint), i.e. how you can connect the OpenRun Pro to 2 different devices at the same time. You can also do multipairing manually on the headphones, you can find instructions on how to do this in the manual (on the manufacturer's website).

While you can only find the user manual in English on the Internet, you can read it in German in the app. Audrey, the female voice that answers as soon as you turn on the headphones, also only speaks English - a change is not possible.

Another function via the app is the EQ mode: According to the manufacturer, the 'Standard' setting is suitable for listening to music and 'Conversation' for (surprise!) conversations, such as calls, or to hear voices in podcasts more concisely. In a direct comparison, however, I could not find any difference in music or podcasts. You can also change modes manually by pressing both volume buttons at the same time. Audrey then announces the respective mode.

Precisely because you can make all settings manually, the Shokz app is more of a nice addition that simplifies individual functions. However, the app is not mandatory.

Are you still looking for a Bluetooth speaker? In our xiaomist video we have some tips for you:

comfort and support

Admittedly, the sports headphones from Shokz take some getting used to in terms of their design. However, due to its not so attractive but ergonomic shape, it immediately finds its correct fit on the head - although it is initially irritating that the headphones rest on the cheekbones. Despite this, there are no other problems during wearing: nothing presses, even when I wear glasses, and the headphones do not slip with different head movements.

But as comfortable as the headphones are to wear, they still get a minus point for their design. The cable that connects the left and right earphones sticks out quite a bit on my own. If I look up, it pushes the headphones forward – if I wear a scarf, this increases. In addition, the protruding cable just doesn't look nice and gives me a cyborg feeling . Sure, the headphones have more of a practical purpose than an aesthetic one, but they should still fulfill the latter.

Even with glasses, the Bluetooth headphones from Shokz do not interfere (Image source: xiaomist).

The sound

The Shokz Bluetooth headphones have speakers on both earphones on the front, back and bottom, which should make the sound sound fuller. But the OpenRun Pro is and remains primarily a pair of sports headphones. You don't get an overwhelming sound experience , the headphones do not convince with a strong bass in Shirin David's "Babsi Bars", nor does the delicate electronic voice of Imogen Heap in "Hide and Seek" particularly stand out.

In terms of volume, you can turn up the headphones properly without hurting your ears. What is immediately noticeable: the higher the volume, the more the OpenRun Pro vibrates - in my opinion, a lack of insulation on the part of the device.

Another note on the volume: Because the Bluetooth headphones do not transmit the sound directly into the ears, the sounds escape. The louder the music, the more the surroundings can hear it - although of course it depends on the ambient volume. But if you never listen to the music at full volume anyway, you don't have to worry. Rather, it's fascinating how Shokz manages that you usually only hear the music yourself, even though the sound is directed outwards.

Listen to music and still don't forget the environment

How does the OpenRun Pro fare in sports?

Since the OpenRun Pro is intended for sports, I took the headphones with me on my jog. But even after I had thrown on my sports clothes, I was faced with the problem of the headphone shape. It was 10 degrees outside, so I couldn't do without a jacket and hat. Packed like this, it actually becomes more difficult to move your head back and forth without the headphones slipping at least slightly.

Luckily, jogging isn't a sport that requires you to move like crazy, so the OpenRun Pro stayed put relatively well. Even during a small workout with various exercises, some of them jumpy, I rarely had to adjust the headphones again. Using the Bluetooth headphones for the gym should therefore work without any problems. However, I would advise against the final relaxation in yoga together with the shokz, for example, as it then becomes really uncomfortable.

By the way: According to the IP55 certification, the headphones from Shokz are protected against dust and water : So if you get caught in a rain shower with the headphones, it shouldn't be dramatic. Going swimming with the OpenRun Pro, on the other hand, doesn't work.

The sports headphones from Shokz are very flexible (Image source: xiaomist). More safety and awareness of the environment

With bone conduction technology, Shokz not only wants to stand out from the competition in terms of design, but also to ensure more safety and awareness : By keeping your ears free, you perceive your surroundings more clearly, even though you are listening to music. On several occasions during my jog, I caught myself pausing because it was just too beautiful a moment to hear my motivational playlist along with birdsong.

I noticed the same thing while shopping: While I'm usually busy with my Earbuds 2 Lite from Honor (see Amazon) stopping the music at the checkout or at least turning it down, I didn't have to fiddle with the OpenRun Pro . I was able to have a normal conversation with the seller while listening to non-stop music. It really surprised me how intensely I perceive my surroundings, how I can talk to people and still not have to go without music.

Talking and listening to music at the same time? No problem at all with the Bluetooth headphones from Shokz (Image source: xiaomist). With sports headphones in the office

Even if the OpenRun Pro is primarily intended for sporty situations, there is nothing wrong with wearing the Bluetooth headphones in the office. At first I was a bit concerned that because the music wasn't completely muted, others might be bothered by it. However, the ambient noise in the office did the rest and the colleagues were more busy trying out the Bluetooth headphones one after the other.

Since the OpenRun Pro has an integrated microphone, as already mentioned, it is not only suitable for telephone calls, but also for online meetings. While my colleague's voice is more reminiscent of a headset voice due to the Shokz, my speech intelligibility was praised as 'quite decent' .

models and prices

The OpenRun Pro is available in different colors. I had a black model for the test, but you also have the option of buying the Bluetooth headphones in blue, beige or pink . The latter two colors have only been announced so far, so you currently only have the choice between black and blue.

The price of just under 200 euros remains the same for each model. In the scope of delivery you will (of course) find the headphones, the charging cable and the carrying case .

The Shokz Bluetooth headphones are smaller than you think. In comparison you can see a 2-euro coin (image source: xiaomist).

Ratings and technical data

xiaomist test rating in detail: Shokz OpenRun Pro category rating (max. 10) Sustainability 4 Sound 7 Comfort 8 Hardware, design & functions 6 Battery 8 Total 6.6 Specifications: Shokz OpenRun Pro Type Headphones with bone conduction technology Weight 29 g Battery life up to 10 hours (per charge) Features Fast charging (5 minutes of charging for 1.5 hours of playback time), water-resistant (IP55) Test environment This headphone was tested by us on Android 10, 12 and Windows 10 Pro, together with the Shokz app (version 2.3. 7)

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