Audio brand Shokz is best known for its bone-conduction headphones but for its new OpenFit wireless earbuds, the company is doing something different: air conduction.
One of the problems with bone-conduction headphones is the audio they output isn’t as good quality as a traditional pair of headphones. The sound reproduction isn’t quite the same. Seemingly because of this discrepancy, Shokz is equipping the OpenFit with DirectPitch, a feature that will gauge both the “distance and angle between” the earbuds and a person’s ear in order to deliver high-quality audio. It's the air being vibrated; not the inner ear. The company claims the tech introduces a sound “that perfectly balances bold highs, clear mids, and [a] surging bass".
Additionally, Shokz is throwing in some of its proprietary tech to improve the output even more. You have the OpenBass algorithm to direct “low-frequency vibrations” into the ear canal for better bass, and Dynamic Range Control for automatically adjusting the equalizer “in real-time”. Each bud will also include a lightweight, “18x11mm customized dynamic driver”.
Like with other Shokz products, the OpenFit has an open-ear design so people can still hear the world around them even with the volume cranked up. The company also added a flexible ear hook made out of a “dual-layered liquid silicone” to ensure user comfort. Admittedly, not everyone is a fan of open-ear headphones as audio can leak out. However, it looks like Shokz has a solution. Thanks to DirectPitch, the devices will push the sound pressure towards the ear canal allowing listeners “to hear sounds clearly". This also helps reduce sound leakage and ensures privacy.
Other notable features include AI Noise Cancellation for phone calls, a water resistance rating of IP54 so they can survive splashes of water and dust (just don’t go into the pool with them), as well as a battery life (with the charging case) of up to 28 hours. Shokz states “a quick five-minute charge provides one hour of listening time”.
Available in black and beige, you can purchase the OpenFit earbuds from either Shokz’s website or Amazon for $179.95. It’s unknown if they’ll be available globally. We checked the UK and Australian versions of Amazon, but didn’t find any listings apart from the older OpenRun Pro. We asked Shokz if it plans on releasing the OpenFit model outside the United States. This story will be updated at a later time.
In the meantime, check out TechRadar’s recently updated list of the best bone-conduction headphones for 2023.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.