“Music is the soundtrack of your life.” – Dick Clark
Mobile listening devices have become ubiquitous with workouts and training over the last couple of years. This could be because wireless technology has finally evolved to meet our expectations and needs or maybe because the stigma of wearing such devices has finally turned the cultural corner from silly to stylish. Either way they’re here to stay and they’re going to become more widespread.
It always seems that as soon as one type of product becomes popular there’s a flood of innovation and attention and marketing to that niche. This one is no different. Today you can find ear buds, air pods, head phones and bone conduction headphones among others. In essence, if you can dream it then someone’s built it. Unfortunately, along with this innovation comes an explosion of mediocre products. Fortunately, there is also an abundance of good products that can help us all do what we want, which is to live the soundtrack of our lives!
I’m like many of you. I wanted to listen to music and podcasts when I’m riding but I was having trouble finding the right thing for the job. I used ear buds back in the day because that’s all there was. But my general finding was that things you stick in your ear all have similar shortcomings. Plugging your ears to sounds of the outside world has no positive life impacting benefits. I live in California and California Vehicle Code 27400 states that no person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may wear earphones, earplugs or a headset that covers, rests in or is inserted in both ears.However, there is no prohibition on headsets in many states. That said, the spirit for California law should be seen as safety based and as a vulnerable road user (bicycling) the thought of restricting 20% of your senses only raises the chances of being hit by an inattentive driver that much more.
Next, air pods and ear buds all stay in your ear by use of friction with the ear canal. That’s not always the most comfortable thing and longevity of wearing something like that is limited at best for me. Furthermore, once my workouts get into rhythm I start sweating. When I sweat it always gets into my ears. I only know this because every ear plugging sound device I’ve ever tried has always fallen out. Annoying to say the least.
Then one day through the magic of the internet I stumbled across After Shokz and their Aeropex headphones. I read way too much about them and was ready to buy. Then I happened upon the Pure Gravel website and noticed that some good people were selling them on their site and BAM! I have a fresh set of Aeropex headphones.
Obviously, the easy stuff is easy to answer.
The difference is in the style and format.
Bone conduction is something that’s been mainstream in the audiology world for years. The premise is that sound from the outside world and normal headphones or air pods sends vibrations (sound waves) through the air. That sound is collected and funneled towards your eardrum by your ear. It vibrates the eardrum which transmits the vibrations through your inner ear bones to your cochlea which is where you really “hear” sound.
Bone conduction bypasses the air portion of the process and vibrates the bones in your skull which in turn vibrate the bones in your inner ear and so on. If you’re looking for a fun explanation of how that all works check out the “Story Bots: How do Ears Hear?” (the pilot episode features Snoop Dog so you know it’s cool). The headphones of After Shokz utilize bone conduction to deliver sound to you while also allowing all the wonderful noises of the outside worldin. It’s a tried-and-true concept.
As an added bonus the headphones stay on you! No more ear plugs falling out mid-ride. This is done with a snug fit and looping over the ears. They don’t come off. Ever.
At the end of the day, you’ll have to try them for yourself. I think you’ll find that they are more than enough to keep you moving to the soundtrack of your life.
Editor’s Note: The whole crew at Pure Gravel has fallen in love with Aeropex. We love them so much that we started to carrying them in our store.
About the Author:
Adam Mills has raced at the elite level since 2002 and graduated with a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kansas in 2005. His true talent comes with his ability to combine his vast experience with his knowledge of sport. He is indeed a student of science, sport, athletic performance, strategy, and tactics. He continuously educates himself by keeping up to date with current research trends and methods in sport and his clients have reaped the benefits from this work with over 19 national championships in 11 disciplines on two continents. Adam is able to incorporate these attributes on a daily basis to help his clients reach and exceed their goals whether they are a beginner or a seasoned professional.Learn more about Adam and Source Endurance here.
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