First Look: Aftershokz Bone Conduction Headphones

By Joseph Holder on 11 Jan 2012 01:59 am EST

It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to headphones. Noise-cancelling headphones are great; Bluetooth wireless headphones are cool, too. But they're really just improvements on older designs. Aftershokz Bone Conduction Headphones are different; they don't even go in your ears.

Aftershokz uses a bone conduction technology that allows the "earpiece" (for lack of a better word) to actually rest in front of the ear and uses the bones of the skull to send a sound to the inner ear via vibrations. Since your ears aren't covered or plugged up with earbuds, it's easy to carry on a conversation with others and hear the world around you. Anyone who jogs or walks while listening to music knows the importance of being able to hear cars and other hazards.

Bone conduction technology was originally developed for military use, where there's a real need to have private communication while still being able to hear what's happening in the surrounding area. Aftershokz brings that ability to consumer market. With three models - a sport, a mobile version (with in-line mic), and a gaming version - there are plenty of options to choose from.

Most importantly, these headphones sound great. Vocals and high notes come through crystal clear and you can literally feel the base notes. Best of all, the headphones work perfectly with my BlackBerry. Check out the video above for our one-on-one interview, and keep it tuned to CrackBerry for more CES2012 coverage.

Reader comments

First Look: Aftershokz Bone Conduction Headphones


IMO, this will be a great product for the functions mentioned above. However for enjoying music in a noisy environment, a traditional in-ear earphone might work better.

I'm not a fan of earphone with a band as they can be troublesome to store in bags without breaking or bending them. same for earhooks as it feels uncomfortable for me, especially wearing glasses. That will be the limitation of this earphone imo. since it has to sit outside of the ear, you need a band or earhooks to keep it in place.

The beauty of this kind of technology is you can actually put ear plugs in your ear canal while having these things on and hearing everything crystal clear. I used to work at a power plant (you can imagine the level of noise when a 50,000 hp jet turbine begins spinning)and the plant operators would have these things on with full ear plugs in. They could "hear" the CB radio just fine.

Thats seriously interesting. 70 dollars is about what any decent head set would cost, it looks like its worth a look.

these interest me becuase my ears hate earbuds....I can only have them in for short durrations, (15 min or so) before my ears are so sore I have to remove them :(

These may be a solution to that if only I could demo them B4 spending $70 on something that I may, or may not like....

These look pretty cool to me. My thinking is wait till summer when the bluetooth ones come out and then hopefully the wired version will have a price drop. :) Not crazy about having another battery to charge, but hey ya know might play nicer with preserving batt life of my BB if its self powered.

what would seal the deal for me, is a gamer version with a throat mic inculded, that would be the two best tech combined then imo

Yeah it seems cool, my ears hates earbudds, they never stay put and they hurt after a while, so that may be a good idea. Shipping is free to canada on top of that.

ah i wasnt prepared to give them my email simply to find out if they ship to my country, whats wrong with a good ol fashioned list of where ya service lol

Placed an order after watching the video. My hearing is hampered by Meniere's Disease. I think bypassing the eardrum and going directly to the inner ear is an excellent idea. I will be sure to leave my opinion after receiving.

Glad to hear...Looks like they must have given it out at the show and I found it looking around just before checkout. Saved $35 bucks.

wowwww k would love a pair of these, now the technology is out for consumers imagine the possibilities. A bone conductive Blackberry WOWWWW

There was another company back in the day called Bone Phones, I dont know if they are still around. I'll have to goog it. But I always liked the idea. Like other innovations, maybe technology finally caught up with concept. Would enjoy trying out a pair. Please include me to the party!

albee 1

Ok, I gotta have this Bone, the Aftershokz look amazing, I could only imagine the sound coming from them.. I am an avid music lover, my Torch 9810 is jammed pack of music and I even go running with them and the Aftershokz Bone seems like my headset Forever... Let me have them.Wow.
Bone Baby Bone.

This is one contest I'd really like to end my losing streak on. These are just exactly what I need...fingers crossed.