In the future, we may listen to music through our bones. Manufacturer AfterShokz has given us an exciting glimpse into this vision with the Trekz Titanium. High quality sound vibrates its way through the bones rather than through traditional earplugs, keeping the ears open and making sure the wearer can still hear the world around them. The Trekz have been designed specifically with athletes in mind, and it really shows.
The headphones use Bluetooth 4.1 technology that sips tiny amounts of power. It lasts a ridiculously long time. They’re supposed to play music for six hours, but that’s actually playing music. You can leave them switched on inactive for days on end. Holding down the plus button switches them on and off, but it’s not really necessary.
The device has two other buttons. A minus button, which along with the plus button controls volume, and a voice control button. Push it for simple play and pause controls, or hold it down to activate Siri. The volume buttons are tucked behind the ear and are a tad fiddly to push, but on the plus side it means they’re less susceptible to random inputs.
I like to think of them as the “anti-noise cancelling” headphones, letting in as much ambient noise as possible. In fact, the Trekz do come with noise cancelling - in this case, it means nearby speech is boosted and background noise drowned out. I couldn’t really tell if it was working, but I could hear other people absolutely. A check for Trekz.
The sound quality itself is good, but there is something strange about the way the sound feels. It’s as if somebody is playing music through a speaker nearby, rather than listening to the music in your ears. It feels surreal, and might appeal to people who aren’t fans of traditional headphones.
The audio has a high quality sound to it considering the size of the device, and the bass is surprisingly good. A co-worker pointed out to me that the bass sounded better when you put your fingers in your ears, but that's wildly impractical for obvious reasons.
Silly as it may seem, it feels like living in the future. This is a titanium band that wraps around your head, pumping sound through your bones. It seems almost privileged to start criticizing something that feels like a gadget plucked straight out of a sci-fi film, but there are definite reasons why they won’t appeal to some.
The thing is, they do feel slightly awkward in the wrong situations. It’s cold in New York City right now, and I wear a hat. It’s kind of hard to find a way to place them so that they’ll stay still, comfortable and don’t move around too much. Some sort of foam to provide better friction and comfort might have worked well here.
These have been specifically designed to work well for cyclists, runners, and others who need to stay aware of oncoming traffic. Their IP55 waterproofing rating repels against sweat and moisture, making them ideal for these circumstances. The frame is rugged and sure to withstand a real beating.
These are fantastic for sports, but those looking to use Trekz Titanium in multiple situations may want to reconsider. When you’re trying to listen to a podcast on a morning commute with a subway train roaring in your ear, you do get the sense that you’re probably not using them the way they were intended.
The Trekz Titaniums are a great pair of headphones that’ll suit health fanatics perfectly. At $129, they’re not cheap, but for listening to high quality music while keeping aware of your surroundings, they’re a top choice. They're available at the Trekz website and Amazon.