Technology time and time again has been pioneered for military use and then trickled down to the public for consumer purchases. Bone conduction technology is one of those technologies and Aftershokz has developed headphones using the same technology for the regular consumers.
Aftershokz’s Sportz M2 headphones are designed for the person that needs or wants to hear noise around them while listening to music at the same time. With bone conduction technology makes it possible, if you aren’t familiar with this technology here is the quick rundown. Instead of a traditional speaker that fits over your ear, bone conduction vibrates through the cheekbone to send the sound waves to your ear. So with nothing covering your ears, you can hear noise around you more clearly keeping you from audio deprivation that other headphones will cause.
The sound quality of the Sportz M2 are okay. It should be understood that this is an early adopter of a technology that will be used more in the future and likely become much better. These aren’t made for sound quality, they are made for a safer listening experience. The bass tones are not clear, the mid-range is clear enough but not as crisp as one would hope. However high tones are quite clear and cause a bit of an imbalance in sound quality. It seems like you have a tiny speaker sitting just in front of your ears, which appears to be the case. At high volumes people around you can clearly hear what you are listening too.
Unlike sound quality the construction of these headphones are wonderful. They are lightweight, and can handle a good drop without much fear. They are sweat proof, and water resistant, and even though sweat will get between the speaker and your cheekbone it doesn’t seem to affect sound quality.
The M2’s have a built battery for power, inline microphone, answer/end button and volume controls. The volume of the M2’s works independently of the phone, so the volume of your phone never changes just the volume of the headset itself. This works well enough but it’ll take some fiddling with to find the right volume on your phone so you can use just the inline controls. This combination does offer a greater range of volume levels so this maybe the reason it was developed this way. The microphone is ok, though in testing the person being called described sound from the microphone as slightly muffled.
These headphones are not big head friendly. While they can fit on someone with a bigger head and rest where they needed. If that person moves their head the headphones slip right on top of the ear. They feel a bit tight as well but loosen up well enough to not cause discomfort. The M2’s don’t offer any customization in size, so if you don’t have a normal size head these will likely not be the headphones you’ll want to buy.
Overall the Aftershokz Sportz M2 headphones are a solid product using a new emerging consumer technology. If you don’t mind isolating outside noise, there are many other headphones cheaper than the M2, that offer better quality. For those looking to hear noise around them while enjoying music without disturbing those around you or for the safety of hearing everything around you while outside exercising these are a perfect fit for you.
You can purchase the Aftershokz Sportz M2 at a local Office Depot, at an Online retailer such as Amazon.com or on Aftershokz website here. http://www.aftershokz.com/