Shokz OpenRun Pro review

Shokz OpenRun Pro Review

Shokz OpenRun Pro is the flagship product from the most prominent seller of bone conduction headphones. For the uninitiated, bone-conduction headphones allow wearers to hear music, podcasts, etc. without blocking the ear and limiting hearing. For those who need to hear everything around them, but who also want to bop along to some tunes, bone conduction is the way to go. So how do the Shokz OpenRun Pro stack up?

A shocking start

Shokz OpenRun Pro review

If you’ve never used bone-conduction headphones before, they can be pretty jarring to use at first. It’s not that they aren’t comfortable, as the OpenRun Pro neatly wraps around the user’s ears and back of the head, and is light enough to quickly become forgotten. No, it’s the actual way users hear music and podcasts that can take some getting used to.

Buy the Shokz OpenRun Pro on Amazon here.

It’s tough to explain, but the sound isn’t going through your ears like traditional earphones. Instead, the sound is sent using vibrations. The end result is audio that lacks the oomph and overall quality of a bassy pair of earphones, but can still be heard and enjoyed.

Volume boost

Shokz OpenRun Pro review

To get the Shokz OpenRun Pro to a level that I personally found best for running alongside busy main roads, I had to crank the volume to the maximum and adjust the dynamic range inside Spotify to “Loud.”

Volume has been a common issue with bone conduction earphones, but it’s definitely been improved in the OpenRun Pro. Hopefully Shokz can continue to work on giving both the volume and quality a bit of a boost in future products. With that said, when it comes to bone-conduction headphones, these are the best-sounding in my experience.

Safety first

Shokz OpenRun Pro review

The main advantage of bone conduction earphones is maintaining full awareness of the environment while consuming media. If someone behind me on a bike rings their bell to pass me on a narrow lane, I can easily hear them. This is just one of the many times where I’ve found hearing people (and vehicles) to be very useful.

Ultimately, I don’t mind having lower-quality audio being pumped into my ears, as the ability to hear my environment is much more important while out on longer runs.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs. OpenRun Shokz Pro

Shokz OpenRun Pro review

After using the Apple AirPods Pro 2 for a few runs, I was very disappointed with how the Transparency Mode worked. They simply don’t compare to having my ears fully open with bone-conduction headphones. When putting safety first on trails or roads without sidewalks, the OpenRun Pro is the clear best choice.

Big flagship features

Shokz OpenRun Pro review

Looking at the Shokz OpenRun Pro specifically, however, there are some features of this flagship that put it above the competition. The highlights include a 10-hour battery life, enhanced bass, and quick charge.

The main bonus for me is the quick charging. I often forget to put my earphones on charge and find them out of juice. With the OpenRun Pro, I can plop them on to charge for five minutes while I get my running gear on. When I take them off charge, they’ll be good for 90 minutes! Perfect for an easy 10K or longer.

Not just for running

Shokz OpenRun Pro review

Though they are primarily intended to be used while running, I’ve found the OpenRun Pro also come in handy at home. Being able to keep your ears available for a family member talking, a dog barking to go out, or a knock at the door is super useful. Yes, you even use them for gaming!

Final Verdict

At $179.95, these flagship bone conduction headphones come with a flagship price. Shokz clearly knows that it’s got the best product out there right now. For those big into running, who will be using these for many hours each week, the safety aspects and improved sound quality of the OpenRun Pro could be well worth it. Not to mention they also come in handy at the home and office!

Positives and Negatives

  • Safety aspects while running.
  • Sound quality is the best it's ever been.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • A number of awesome color options.
  • Mini version is great to see.
  • Great battery life and quick charge.
  • Volume and bass is better, but can still be lacking.


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