Do I Recommend Aeropex?
Recently, I've been feeling a little wary on my runs. Put it down to my recent true crime binge (don't talk to me about Ted Bundy right now), the fact that my morning runs are getting darker and darker as Summer wanes, or the all-too-frequent attacks on female runners we never seem to stop hearing about. It actually infuriates me that I have to be so cautious while simply pursuing a hobby, but that's the world we live in and another article for another time. Women who run have learned, out of necessity, to take their safety into their own hands. And the more I read about the small weapons female runners have started carrying, or the self-defense classes they take to protect themselves, the more I worry about one running habit I can't — and don't want to — get rid of.
I listen to music on my runs and, look, in the grand scheme of things, I get how insignificant that seems. Really, Maggie, how good can your playlist be that you're willing to be that much more vulnerable, all because you just had to turn it up on "Bye Bye Bye" by *NSYNC? OK, sure, but have you tried running a half marathon with nothing but the blood beating in your ears and all the thoughts you don't want to confront screaming circles around your head? Yeah, thanks, I'm good. I'm not willing to give up something that makes my runs easier, bearable, and better without looking for some kind of middle ground.
Turns out that middle ground might come in the form of a line of headphones called AfterShokz. It's a brand that produces "bone conduction" headphones, which sit outside your ears and transmit sound through your cheekbones to your inner ears, leaving your ear canals uncovered and unplugged. The premise is that you can hear both your music and your surroundings at the same time. For me, that meant not having to sacrifice my music — part of what makes running so fun — to feel safer.
For reasons that should be obvious by now, I was intrigued by AfterShokz's latest release, Aeropex, a set of Bluetooth headphones purported to be a lightweight, long-lasting (up to eight hours of battery life), high-sound-quality solution. AfterShokz sent me a pair to try and I've worn them on five runs so far. Here's what I thought.