Trekz Air - how bone conduction headphones actually sound

    Autumn hello to habrovchanam!

    In life I am a music lover, and spend an unforgivably long time with music - 8-12 hours a day. A large audio library replenishes thanks to streaming services. I keep everything intimate on the player using headphones with a large number of emitters: TBA04, NuForce Primo8, ProPhile8 (rarely).

    My setup sounds good, but it is not always appropriate: on the street, “Vushniki” jam their surroundings - the chance to take part in an accident increases, and the rustling of the leaves is not audible. In the gym QLS360 - almost a simulator and a means of self-defense, and intra-channel - a catalyst for cyclopean serotdeleniya.

    I've been familiar with Aftershokz guys for a long time: I tested the Titanium model. The company, in general, is not about sound at all, but on the other hand, it’s still headphones, the manufacturer promises something “digestible”, the ears are open, there are no wires, and a fundamentally new type of radiator is interesting.

    The experience with Trekz Titanium was small and not entirely successful. The main complaints are: poor intelligibility on fast tracks, a sluggish range of 90-200 Hz with strong vibrations, and the other person did not always hear me.

    Today, there is Aftershokz Air, and they allegedly fixed everything, fixed it.
    This is what we will check now.

    Design features

    About constructive written to me a lot .

    In short: there is a magnet with a coil, a plastic membrane (range> 10 kHz), several metal disks “for low frequencies”, and a vibrating plate that improves the transmission of vibrations to the bones of the skull.

    Differences from the previous model

    Trekz Air is in many ways similar to its fellow - from technology to exterior. The bow has become lighter and thinner, the corners are smoother, and the sound-absorbing connectors on the case are not arranged in a row, but in a single line.

    The rest of the differences are greater:

    • The other person hears you always. With Trekz Titanium it was not always possible to achieve acceptable hearing.
    • Less vibrations.
    • The ears have become more comfortable - the weight is 6g less than its predecessor, a different weight distribution, almost no pressure on the cheekbones. They keep firmly on their heads: jumps, jogging - easily.

    How bad is it?

    There is a new technology - prejudices appear. However, not so new - bone conduction was known at the time of Eustachius (1510 - 1574). And the Italian mathematician Gerolamo Cardano , according to some information, first described how to get sound by eating a wooden stick between his teeth.

    Today, devices with bone conduction are shown in bilateral atresia of the external passage, postoperative open mastodial cavities and other cases. Consultation audiologist while required.

    Speaking of non-invasive methods (Trekz Air - just one of these), there may be headaches due to the pressure of the headphones on the scalp. Itself did not face it - all individually.

    As for science, there have been no separate studies showing the harmful effects of bone-conductive headphones on hearing.

    However, the prolonged effect of high volume with headphones of any form factor leads to degradation of hearing. Everything is good in moderation.

    Lovers of “classics”

    Aftershokz Air’s conventional “plugs” are worse for several reasons:

    • Little subbasa, due to the design features.
    • Bone-conductive headphones vibrate. Trekz Air has even fewer vibrations than its predecessor. At first, ignoring the "shiver" still does not come out, but you get used to it.
      We listen to “Enigma” - rattling a little. With Metallica, the opposite is true.
    • There is a sound leak. Here the ears are close to the inserts. Special openings in the body, from which the sound comes out in antiphase, save the owner from “compromising”, but not completely.
    • Sounds are perceived differently. If in “plugs” with sufficient isolation it is easy to distinguish music from a city, then in Trekz Air they merge together. In general, I often look around - sometimes due to illusory threats.

    Subjective sound description

    It is worth noting that Aftershokz never positioned their headphones as a device for audiophiles and are designed to solve completely different problems.

    In addition, Air - wireless, which imposes certain restrictions on the possibility of sound reproduction due to the endless search for a balance between sound quality and autonomy.

    This means that the owners of all kinds QLS360, like me, in terms of sound ears will not be interesting.

    With an unpretentious listener - a music lover, everything is completely different. The task of “music in the background” Aftershokz Air is solved no worse than the range of inexpensive plugs, and more is not needed from them - other features.

    I will describe the sound from the position of a music lover, without going into subtle matters, taking the conventional TBA04 as a reference in conjunction with a telephone.
    In complete silence there is a problem with the reproduction of high frequencies.
    There are shoals and at the edges of the range.

    Frequencies below 90 Hz are heard weakly, their lack is compensated by the vibration of the headphones on the cheekbones and some midbass hypertrophy in individual works.

    The ears can be attributed to the “center-oriented”, and the sound paradigm is closer to the inserts (pic) .

    Remembering the sound of Trekz Titanium, there are improvements - it is less vibration at higher volume, and a better study of the high-frequency range.

    However, the main problems remained - poor audibility after 9 kHz, the lack of a subwoofer (which, in fact, is problematic to get in this form factor), and insufficient intelligibility in complex compositions.

    In general, everything is “listenable” (as are the liners with which I often compare them), the question is different - is this kind of material necessary and how well does it fit with the audio library.

    We turn on Extatum Et Oratum from Powerwolf (power heavy metal) - a lot of instruments playing at the same time, fast tempo and not the best mastering. Not every source can cope with such compositions, and Trekz Air is no exception. The motive is recognizable, but I didn’t have enough for a long time - screamingly buzzing porridge of sounds is a dubious pleasure.

    Another Thing Axel Thesleff - Bad Karma. Tropic monotonous, seasoned with ethnic motifs. At the beginning of the composition there is a long synth introduction, but in Trekz Air the first sounds are heard much later - at the moment when the voice appears. The main theme and instrumental parts are distinguishable, but many of the “ambient sounds” and low-order details are reproduced very quietly — the features of the radiator are reflected.

    Far Places - In My Head and here it sounds very heartfelt (at least, the voice in Trekz Air is always audible well), and the bass part pleasantly massages the scalp. The claims, perhaps, are the same - the lack of “atmospheric buzz” and the length of some instruments are fading away too quickly.

    Known in narrow circles Nakaido Reichi, known in Russia for the TV series Experiments Lain, is probably familiar to Habr's readers.

    A surprise awaits here - apart from the voice of the soloist (Duvet song), which sometimes seems overly expressive, and the lack of a midbass component, the entire collection (especially: Family Portrait, Working Man's Theme and Mist of a Different Dimension) is listenable and stands on my back.

    Foreshadowing questions about Lo-Fi / Hip-Hop, Champloo (who is a samurai), and other meditation, I'm broadcasting: everything also lacks background sounds, but if the ambient noise does not exceed 25 dB (I have about 45 dB at work) do without raising the volume. Individual features of the hearing, in general, also has not been canceled.

    Still, the headphones, which are the descendants of military and medical devices, despite all the efforts of the manufacturer - this is not about hi-res listening, whatever that word would mean.

    Trekz Air is, first of all, about training, about sports, about safety.
    The motifs of the compositions are recognizable if you run near the highway, turning on the headphones at maximum volume.

    In this case, of course, the greatest losses will be in the low and high frequency ranges.

    You can improve sound insulation using foam earplugs, but then we lose the main headphone chip.

    I move the headset towards the eyes, away from the ear (not like in the photo). By leveling the “honky effect” (it turns out if you make a “horn” out of the palms near the mouth), we get a subjectively more equal achh, less shrillness, less vibrations.

    Headphones do not put much pressure on the cheekbones with a fairly wide head.

    The battery lasts for 4 hours of continuous sound reproduction. This is the result I got when listening to music paired with the HTC U11. The manufacturer claims a longer lifespan.

    For a run - just enough. In standby mode - at least 24 hours (the manufacturer promises up to 20 days of battery life).
    I like to use them as a headset much more.

    Trekz Air is especially comfortable in the hall: the headphones will not fall out of the ears, there will be no increased clogging of the sound guide, just like the discomfort from bursting of the ear.

    And Trekz Air has improved the situation with the microphone. In the old version it happened that I could hear the interlocutor, but he didn’t hear me. Here the problem is completely eliminated.


    Anyway, the new leader of the company did not become a device for audiophiles, and even did not approach them. The main obstacle to the developers is still the constructive emitter.

    Nevertheless, the model has become better, both in sound and in usability. The new flagship - Trekz Air, is truly a flagship and truly new. Aftershokz came close to some liners, surpassing them in usage scenarios - they withstand any operating conditions and are always on the head. Trekz Air does not need to be corrected while jogging, you cannot listen to the child with them at night In addition, it is easy to answer calls on the road, while remaining in contact with the outside world.

    For their tasks and students, the Aftershokz team once again released a suitable piece, which, moreover, can save a lot of human pedestrians.

    If you decide to buy, then when you buy headphones in the Medgadgets on the coupon AIR20 there will be a 20% discount . Coupon valid until the end of February.


    • Emitter type: piezo dynamics
    • Frequency range: 20Hz ~ 20KHz
    • Sensitivity: 100 ± 3dB
    • Microphone: -40dB ± 3dB
    • Bluetooth: v4.2
    • Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
    • Work range: up to 10 meters.
    • Standby mode: up to 20 days
    • Continuous playback: up to 6 hours
    • Charged in 2 hours
    • Weight: 30g

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