Bone-conduction headphones for sports activities – Shokz OpenRun review

Shokz offers a sporty bone-conduction headphone with the OpenRun model. With a slim design, the OpenRun model sits on the head. Bone-conduction headphones differ from earbuds in that the sound is transmitted to the auditory bone as a vibration. The sound waves can be perceived without the ear canal being occupied by earphones. Thus, bone-conduction headphones are useful if the ears are to remain free.

Video is in german

Shokz OpenRun

During sports activities, many athletes do not want to miss out on music. It’s a pleasure to listen to an energizing song while sprinting, or to quiet tones to get into yourself. If you participate in public traffic, things get hectic, especially in the city. The ears provide additional orientation to perceive things that you can’t see with the eye. This is where bone-conduction headphones, like the Shokz OpenRun offer something from both worlds. Environmental perceptibility and music in the ears.

Wearing comfort

I have worn the Shokz OpenRun on the road bike and while mountain biking. The headband runs over the ear. The sound output module thus sits directly in front of the ear. The headphones can be worn unexcited and sit wobble-free. The Shokz OpenRun were additionally fixed under my helmet straps. Thus, these sit well even in rough trail sections. Even after hours on the bike, the headphones can be worn without pressure exerted against the head. When using a hooded jacket and a backpack, it led to the silicone bracket on the back being pressed upwards. This can limit head mobility. Downhill, the bone-conduction headphones sit solidly and do not jiggle around.


When it comes to sound, you can tell that compromises are being made in sound quality with these headphones. Instead of forming an isolated room in the ear canal, the Shokz OpenRun has to share the perceptibility with the environment. The audible spectrum, completely subjective without test equipment, is more limited than with earphones. Especially low frequencies are hardly audible. The music lacks the resonating bass line. The mid and high frequencies, on the other hand, are reproduced relatively well. If you turn up the volume of the music, stronger vibrations are transmitted to the ear bones and the sound spectrum expands somewhat. During sports, the focus is also on the activity to be performed. The lack of bass on the ears is sometimes not even noticed, especially when it gets intense

I have not completely exhausted the battery runtime yet. Shokz specifies it with 8 hours. The connection via Bluetooth works flawlessly and even over several meters away from the playback device without audible quality losses. The Shokz OpenRun do not turn off automatically after some time unused. Thus, it sometimes happens that you turn on the bone-conduction headphones and are greeted with a “power off”. Otherwise, the operation is simple and the most necessary buttons are present on the device. I will definitely continue to wear the OpenRun during sports activities. The environment is well perceptible, although you listen to music.

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Eike Kopsch

Hauptberuflich als Videoproduzent tätig und hobbymäßig immer auf dem Bike unterwegs. Am liebsten fahre ich auf meinem Downhill- oder Endurobike flowige Trails runter. Zudem bin ich Co-Producer auf dem YouTube Kanal TrailTouch.