Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone-Conducting Headphones Review: Great Sound and Increased Safety

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The Lowdown

I’m impressed by the Shokz OpenRun Pro’s comfort and blown away by the sound quality; I think you will be too. With the warm weather finally here, you’ll be able to enjoy more music on the go and do so with an added measure of safety.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Decent battery life
  • Quick charge
  • Impressive sound

Cons

  • Proprietary charging cable, so don’t lose it!
Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone-Conducting Headphones Review: Great Sound and Increased Safety Listen to this article

For the past few months, I’ve been using the Shokz OpenComm bone-conducting earphones when I’m walking my dogs. And for the past two summers, I’ve used their OpenSwim version while doing laps in my pool. Most recently, I’ve been checking out the Shokz OpenRun Pro model. Their top-of-the-line offering, at $179.95, isn’t cheap, but I’m incredibly impressed.

Shokz OpenRun Pro retail packaging

As mentioned, I’ve been using the OpenSwim version of the company’s bone-conducting earphones for the past few summers; they have an MP3 player built into them rather than relying upon Bluetooth. That’s important when swimming since it means the wireless connection isn’t lost whenever they are submerged.

They work well, have enough capacity to keep a good variety of music on board, and they make the tedious process of doing laps far more enjoyable.

Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone-Conducting Headphones Review: Great Sound and Increased Safety

I’ve also been using the company’s OpenComm headphones. It relies upon a Bluetooth connection and adds a boom microphone for increased clarity when on calls or video chats. They work well and have been great for outdoor activities like walking the dogs and riding my bike.

But, while the boom microphone isn’t heavy, the added weight and bulk make them better positioned for use at my desk than when I am running around outside. That’s why I was eager to check out the company’s premium offering, the OpenRun Pro.

Shokz OpenRun Pro has the company’s 9th generation bone conduction, called Shokz TurboPitch Technology; it makes a huge difference!

Shokz OpenRun Pro headset

While the basic design employed by the company has not changed, the earpieces on the OpenRun Pro are about 20% smaller than previous models. But they still have the same signature, open-ear design, and are immediately recognizable as a Shokz product.

A titanium band wraps around the back of your head. Just behind each ear is a larger area that presumably houses the battery and electronics. Each of the bone conducting “speakers” sits in front of each ear and rests comfortably on each temple.

As is the case with all of the Shokz products, the design offers open ear comfort. That’s key for people who don’t love the feel of earbuds inside their ear canal. It also means you can hear everything going on around you while enjoying your music or podcast, which is great when running or riding in traffic and a huge safety issue when taking public transportation.

Woman wearing the Shokz OpenRun Pro

The Shokz OpenRun Pro has an IP55 water-resistant rating, and they deliver about 10 hours of music and calls per charge. There’s also a quick charge option that gives you up to an hour and a half of battery life with just a five-minute charge. That means you can get up and running without too much delay even if they’ve entirely run down.

Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone-Conducting Headphones Review: Great Sound and Increased Safety

And while these don’t have the boom microphone of the aforementioned Shokz OpenComm model, they do have a dual noise-canceling microphone so you can take calls even if you are mid-run. It works fine, but it isn’t something I would want to rely upon in a work headset; for that, I would recommend the OpenComm.

Shokz OpenRun Pro travel case

Inside the Shokz OpenRun Pro box, you get a convenient carrying case, a proprietary magnetic charging cable, and the headphones themselves.

I don’t love the fact that they use a proprietary charging system, but I can understand why they didn’t want to take up space and have the opening for a standard port.

At the same time, if you lose the charging cable, you’re out of luck until you can order a new one. I would love to see Shokz change this in future iterations.

Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone-Conducting Headphones Review: Great Sound and Increased Safety

On the left “microphone,” there is a large, easily accessible multifunction button.

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One press starts and pauses the audio. Two presses advance to the next track, while three quick presses repeat the current track. The button is large, and the placement makes it easy to access and control your music on the go.

Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone-Conducting Headphones Review: Great Sound and Increased Safety

The battery/electronics section that sits behind the right ear has two buttons. The button toward the front is the power/pairing button and increases the volume when consuming media.

The rear button decreases the volume. These aren’t as easy to access while on the move, but that’s really okay since you don’t need to change the volume mid-run too often.

Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone-Conducting Headphones Review: Great Sound and Increased Safety

Features:

  • Bluetooth 5.1: Gives the connection of up to 33 feet or 10 m
  • Turbo technology: Provides enhanced space and premium sound quality
  • Moisture detection alert: Helps you continue to keep the device safely charged
  • Battery life: 10 hours at 75% volume
  • Multipoint device pairing: Lets you have the headphones connected to more than one device at a time
  • Standby time: Up to 10 days, and then you can use a fast charge if the battery has run down
  • Weight: A mere 29 g

As previously noted, I’ve used the company’s products before. I tried an early version years ago and was incredibly disappointed. When Zek reconnected with Shokz and began reviewing their products, I had the opportunity to check one of their newer headsets out. I was impressed by how much the audio quality had improved over the years!

Nothing, however, comes close to these headphones.

While the other versions I have in hand get the job done, these headphones actually sound excellent. For the first time, I can honestly say you can now enjoy open-ear, bone conduction headphones without compromising the quality of the audio you get.

I’m sitting listening to an eclectic assortment of music while writing this review, and they sound fantastic.

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Add in the comfort that these featherweight headphones offer and the lack of pressure on my ears from trying to keep earbuds securely in place. All I can say is, “wow”!

Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone-Conducting Headphones Review: Great Sound and Increased Safety

The Shokz OpenRun Pro isn’t a new release; the blue and black versions have been available for a while. For this summer, Shokz has released them in two new colors, pink and beige.

Shokz sent me the OpenRun Pro in the new beige. I like the subtle, “summery” color, although I really don’t care much what they look like so long as they’re comfortable and sound good. — and they do.

Sadly, I won’t be enjoying these headphones for very long; I’ll explain why in a moment.

Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone-Conducting Headphones Review: Great Sound and Increased Safety

When I first unboxed the Shokz OpenRun Pro, I was blown away by the comfort and the quality of the sound. I brought them over to Raina to try out. She’s usually not all that interested or impressed by the headphones I get for review, but she played along and let me put them on her.

After listening for a few minutes, she turned to me and said, “These are fantastic. Can I have them for my commute?” She thought they sounded amazing, and she loved the idea of being able to listen to music or podcasts while also being completely aware of what was going on when she traveled into the city.

With an increase in violent crime in the public transit system in New York, I worry about Raina commuting. so how could I say no? (Let’s be honest, even if she weren’t commuting, if she expressed interest in something, how could I argue?)

So once this review is done, the OpenRun Pro will be hers. And that’s just fine with me.

Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone-Conducting Headphones Review: Great Sound and Increased Safety

I’m impressed by the Shokz OpenRun Pro’s comfort and blown away by the sound quality; I think you will be too. With the warm weather finally here, you’ll be able to enjoy more music on the go and do so with an added measure of safety.

The Shokz OpenRun Pro sells for $179.99; they are available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including Amazon.

Source: Manufacturer review sample of the Shokz OpenRun Pro

What I Like: Comfortable; Decent battery life; Quick charge; Impressive sound

What Needs Improvement: Proprietary charging cable, so don’t lose it!

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.