AfterShokz Aeropex Mini Evaluation: A Fairly Huge Deal for One thing So Small

AfterShokz Aeropex Mini Evaluation: A Fairly Huge Deal for One thing So Small


Ranking:
9/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Scorching Rubbish
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Rubbish
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Professionals, Tons Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Sufficient to Purchase On Sale
  • 7 – Nice, However Not Greatest-In-Class
  • 8 – Incredible, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Cash
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Worth: $160
The Aftershokz Aeropex Mini on a desk with a phone in the foreground and Leatherface Pop in the background
Cameron Summerson

Precisely one lifetime in the past, in July of 2019, I proclaimed my love for the AfterShokz Air bone conduction headphones. I’ve been utilizing them on almost all exercises—indoors or out—since then. Nicely, till now. The newer, extra trendy, and (better of all) smaller Aeropex Mini, which had been initially introduced at CES 2020, have been on my cranium for the previous couple of weeks. And I really like them much more.

Here is What We Like

  • Glorious sound high quality for bone conduction
  • Nice battery life
  • Smaller match
  • IP67 rated

And What We Do not

  • Proprietary charger
  • Ambiguous EQ settings
  • Solely out there in black

What’s This “Mini” Enterprise?

Should you’ve researched bone conduction headphones within the final little bit, you’ve possible heard in regards to the Aeropex by AfterShokz. These have been the de facto normal for the most effective bone conduction headphone since they had been launched roughly one and one half years in the past. The Aeropex Mini are the identical headphones, simply smaller.

Nicely, the band is smaller. Like, that’s it—only a half-inch shorter band. The headphones themselves are the identical dimension. However the smaller band makes an even bigger affect in general match than you may understand. I’m a bald dude so I don’t have hair to fill the additional house left by my AfterShokz Air, which makes the Aeropex Mini an excellent alternative for me. The match is far “tighter.”

Aeroepex vs Aeropex Mini size comparison
AfterShokz

In fact, chances are you’ll be questioning what dimension it is best to get. Excellent news: AfterShokz has a guide to help you figure that out. You probably have a giant ol’ fats head or plenty of hair, you in all probability need the complete dimension. However when you have a smallerish head, not plenty of hair, are a baby, or desire a cosy match, the Mini is the jam.

Oh, there’s one different minor distinction: the Aeropex Mini are solely out there in black. The common Aeropex are available in pink, grey, blue, and black. That’s a bummer should you like colours and have a small head, however hey—can’t win ’em all.

In any other case, you get an ordinary and acquainted format right here: multifunction button (play/pause, reply/hangup, convey up Google Assistant, and extra) on the left pad, quantity +/- and charging port on the appropriate aspect behind the ear hook. That’s it. Not like most different AfterShokz, which cost over USB of some selection, the Aeropex makes use of a proprietary magnetic charger. I assume they went this path to get a greater seal and better IP ranking (IP67), but it surely is likely to be an annoyance to some. Simply don’t lose the cable!

Cool, So … Bone Conduction?

Aeropex Mini being worn to show where the conduction pad rests
Kori Summerson

Whereas our sister web site How-to Geek has a most excellent explainer on how bone conduction know-how works, I’ll provide the fast and soiled. Principally, they bypass the outer ear to pump sound on to the inside ear. How? Via your cheekbone. Virtually like they’re utilizing bones to conduct the sound.

It’s a cool, distinctive expertise, but it surely’s not jarring. It doesn’t take any getting used to. However utilizing bone conduction headphones can be in contrast to utilizing every other type of headphones they don’t go on or in your ear. This has a number of advantages, however principally it doesn’t block your listening to, so you’ve got full situational consciousness.

A closeup of the pad
The pad that rests in your cheekbone. Cameron Summerson

That makes these nice any time you want to hear what’s happening round you—like for biking or working. Or every other exercise the place you need music or a podcast however nonetheless want to have the ability to hear.

I typically liken utilizing bone conduction headphones to being in the identical room with a enjoying TV. If you’re watching it, it has your consideration and also you deal with the audio from the TV—however you may nonetheless hear different issues. If somebody begins to speak to you, the TV audio type of drifts into the background so you may deal with that individual’s voice. Bone conduction headphones do principally the identical factor. It’s unbelievable.

However Cam, How’s the Sound High quality?

I’m going to allow you to in on a bit of secret: bone conduction headphones don’t sound nearly as good as earbuds or headphones. However that additionally doesn’t imply they sound dangerous. And the Aeropex (Mini) sound higher than every other bone conduction headphones I’ve ever heard.

As I mentioned earlier, I wore the AfterShokz Air almost each time I used to be on the bike for properly over a 12 months. The sound high quality on these is ok—in any case, I’m extra enthusiastic about simply having music for my exercises than getting the most effective sound high quality—however the Aeropex (Mini) is on a distinct degree. The place the Air can sound type of muddy or muffled, the Aeropex sound alive—crisp and sharp. Articulate.

In fact, it’s important to preserve your expectations in examine right here—you’re not going to get outlined low finish from a set of bone conduction, for instance. They are typically heavier on the midrange, which gives the broadest frequency protection. You already know, probably the most “bang to your buck” so to talk.

A closeup of the multifunction button
The Multifunction button Cameron Summerson

That mentioned, each set of AfterShokz additionally comes with a pair of earplugs, which dramatically modifications the general audio expertise. The Aeropex Mini function two EQ settings in consequence—the default profile is designed for open-ear use, so it pumps as a lot bass into them as they will deal with. With earplugs in, nonetheless, it appears like pure mud. Switching over the opposite EQ profile by urgent and holding each quantity buttons for 3 seconds dramatically cuts the bass in order that they sound higher. However in actuality you should utilize both EQ everytime you need. It’s all about what sounds higher to you.

However that additionally brings up my greatest situation with the Aeropex (and Air, for that matter): while you change between the 2 settings, the voice response says “EQ modified” with no indication of which profile you’re on. I gave this a go on the Air over a 12 months in the past, however I figured that AfterShokz had absolutely mounted this on the newer fashions. Nope. I want it responded with “EQ 1” and “EQ 2” on the very least. In truth, that is precisely the way it works on the OpenMove—they’ve three audio profiles, and it proclaims every one (normal, vocal booster, earplug mode) after they’re activated).

A closeup of The proprietary charger and volume buttons, Leatherface Pop and Google Nest Hub in the background
The proprietary charger and quantity buttons Cameron Summerson

However, fact be advised, I all the time use my AfterShokz as open-ear headphones, so I actually by no means change audio profiles. However that’s me—you might have considered trying one pair of headphones for all makes use of and like the concept of pairing earplugs with bone conduction. In that case, the OpenMove may be a better option for you. Simply bear in mind these are “way of life” headphones, in order that they’re not as strong (IP55 vs. IP67) and don’t final as lengthy (6 hours vs. 8 hours of battery life).

Lastly, I need to contact on name and communication high quality. I lately did a 4 and a half hour indoor biking occasion utilizing TrainerRoad’s group exercises function (which helps video and audio), and the Aeropex Mini had been wonderful. They sounded nice and everybody might hear me completely. That’s an enormous win for anybody in search of a method to discuss on the telephone with out clogging their ears.

If telephone calls and voice chats are you main concern, nonetheless, you is likely to be extra within the OpenComm, which seems to be just like Aerpoex, but it surely encompasses a increase mic for higher name high quality.

Conclusion: The Greatest Bone Conduction Expertise, Solely Smaller

The AfterShokz Aeropex Mini with a focus on the pads
Cameron Summerson

The entire time I had the Air, I solely used them on the bike. However since I’ve been testing the Aeropex Mini, I discover myself reaching for them fairly recurrently—each on the bike and off. I put on them round the home. I put on them whereas I’m working. I put on them to the shop. I wore them whereas I used to be strolling round downtown taking pics for the iPhone 12 Mini review.

Positive, earbuds or common headphones sound higher. However the advantages of the Aeropex Mini outweigh the (only a few) cons. They’re gentle, final all day, are extremely comfy, and keep out of my manner. They’re shortly changing into my go-to headphones for almost all makes use of.

That mentioned, I additionally understand there’s a $160 price of entry (they’re on sale for $125 on the time of writing) to get a set of Aeropex or Aeropex Mini in your dome. Should you’re in search of one thing to work out in and wish them to final all day, then they’re your greatest guess. And between the Aeropex or smaller Aeropex Mini, they’re out there for a spread of head sizes. However should you’re nonetheless not completely bought on the utility to your life, then one thing just like the extra inexpensive OpenMove is likely to be a better option, regardless of solely coming in a single dimension.

Ranking: 9/10
Worth: $160

Right here’s What We Like

  • Glorious sound high quality for bone conduction
  • Nice battery life
  • Smaller match
  • IP67 rated

And What We Do not

  • Proprietary charger
  • Ambiguous EQ settings
  • Solely out there in black



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