Aftershokz Xtrainerz swim headphones
Like listening to music when you swim? James Witts puts these bone-conducting swim headphones from Aftershokz to the test
AfterShokz lead the market in bone-conducting audio tech and have been around since 2011. But for those new to this U.S. company, bone-conducting pads nestle just in front of your ear holes and vibrate the big beats, which are picked up by your cochlea (hair cells) that convert the vibrations into electrical signals, and voila – you hear even if your hole’s blocked by the provided earplugs. The pads stay in place via a firm but flexible band that nestles over your ears.
It’s genius and the sound’s impressive (it’s good on dry land as well but not comparable to buds), as is the fit. It stays in place nicely, though we’d suggest a swim cap for foolproof clamping (goggles work well, too). Just remember, like this hirsute tester, hair needs to be swept out of the way for proficient conductivity. You can switch through songs and volume on the headphones, which is impressive for a swim-specific device, though it loses marks due to a lack of Bluetooth connectivity (you have to USB connect to your laptop and drag songs over). The 4GB memory holds 1,200 songs but it’s still limiting in this limitless world. Battery life is just under 8hrs, but it’s recommended you shouldn’t swim with them for more than 2hrs.
Verdict: Lacks Bluetooth but a technological marvel for swimming 86%
Buy from www.currys.co.uk
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