If you haven't tried bone conduction headphones for running, you're missing out

Shokz OpenRun Pro
(Image credit: Shokz)

I love running, and I always run with a pair of headphones. However, it's not often music piping through them: for long periods of monotonous endurance exercise, I use podcasts and audiobooks to keep me entertained. As a massive Lord of the Rings geek, I've slowly, mile by mile, been working my way through a new set of audiobooks recorded by Andy Serkis.

Consequently, I've been keeping an eye on the Prime Day deals in an attempt to pick up a set of the best bone conduction headphones, namely the Shokz OpenRun or Shokz OpenMove. You can check out the deals on those below, in both the US and the UK: 

Amazon Prime Day US Bone Conduction Headphones deals

AfterShokz OpenMove wireless bone conduction headphones | $79.95 now $55.95 at Amazon

AfterShokz OpenMove wireless bone conduction headphones | <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8428&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2Fdp%2FB08BZDTBGZ%3Fth%3D1%26tag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank">$79.95 now $55.95 at Amazon
Save $25 on these bone conduction headphones from Shokz (formerly AfterShokz) which leave your ears open to the wider world while blasting out the tunes through bone conduction technology. Essential to keep your ears out for traffic when running.

AfterShokz Aeropex wireless bone conduction headphones | $129.95 now $89.95 at Amazon

AfterShokz Aeropex wireless bone conduction headphones | <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8428&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2Fdp%2FB07RQLTFJ5%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank">$129.95 now $89.95 at Amazon
An improvement on the OpenMove, with two extra hours of battery life and increased water resistance. It sports the same great design leaving your ears open to the world, and comes bundled with a handy sports belt to keep your phone or mid-run snacks handy. 

Amazon Prime Day bone conduction headphones deals in the UK

Shoks OpenRun | was £129.95 now £103.96 at Amazon
Save £24 -

Shoks OpenRun | was £129.95 <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8428&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.co.uk%2FConduction-Headphones-Bluetooth-Earphones-Waterproof-Blue%2Fdp%2FB09BW1T7X2%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-21%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-21" data-link-merchant="Amazon UK"" target="_blank">now £103.96 at Amazon
Save £24 -
The same bone conduction headphones available in the US, the Shokz OpenRun are the cream of the crop.

AfterShoks Aeroprex | was £149.95 now £95.96 at Amazon Save £54 -

AfterShoks Aeroprex | was £149.95<a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8428&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.co.uk%2FAfterShokz-Open-Ear-Waterproof-Conduction-Headphones-Blue-Eclipse%2Fdp%2FB07RQLTFJ5%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-21%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-21" data-link-merchant="Amazon UK""> now £95.96 at Amazon Save £54 - AfterShokz (now Shokz)'s premium bone conduction headphones is heavily discounted here, and even comes bundled with thee sports belt like its US deal counterpart.

I'm planning on keeping my current earbuds for gym work, where I enjoy listening to more powerful-sounding rock and metal to get me through a tough weightlifting workout. So why does music in the gym, and listening to Gollum himself read me The Return Of The King while I run, merit two different sets of headphones?

The answer lies in the unique properties of bone conduction headphones. Bone conduction headphones sit directly above the ear and send vibrations, not through the air between the headphone and your eardrum, but through the bones in your skull. All sound is vibration, so it's just a different way to transport those vibrations to your inner ear.

Of course, this different form of vibration means that some of the nuances you're used to hearing with the best workout headphones might get lost in translation. You'd be hard-pressed to get a real audiophile to recommend bone conduction headphones over a pair of over-ear cans. 

However, bone conduction headphones do excel by transmitting audio while leaving your ears open to the outside world. If you're running, this means you're able to hear important things like traffic, other people, and wild animals. Nobody wants to be running in a national park and not hear the bear in the woods.

The best waterproof headphones

(Image credit: Sony)

In the water, you can pop a pair of earplugs in, creating a tight seal to keep the water out, and still listen to your favorite tunes. Many of the best waterproof headphones offer bone conduction technology, and one of our entries, the Finis Duo, is on offer at Amazon right now:

FINIS Duo Underwater Music MP3 Player | $160 now $115.49 at Amazon US | £103 in the UK
Save $45 -

FINIS Duo Underwater Music MP3 Player | $160 <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8428&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2FFINIS-Underwater-Bone-Conduction-Player%2Fdp%2FB0169RSNPG%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"">now $115.49 at Amazon US | <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8428&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.co.uk%2Fgp%2Fslredirect%2FpicassoRedirect.html%2Fref%3Dpa_sp_atf_aps_sr_pg1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26adId%3DA04767471WDLERNWNMAYW%26url%3D%252FFINIS-Underwater-Bone-Conduction-Player%252Fdp%252FB0169RSNPG%252Fref%253Dsr_1_1_sspa%253Fcrid%253D3NNRBTDGW9V8J%2526keywords%253Dfinis%252Bduo%2526qid%253D1657740723%2526sprefix%253Dfinis%252Bduo%25252Caps%25252C151%2526sr%253D8-1-spons%2526psc%253D1%26qualifier%3D1657740723%26id%3D691262257374916%26widgetName%3Dsp_atf%26tag%3Dhawk-future-21%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-21" data-link-merchant="Amazon UK"" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank">£103 in the UK
Save $45 -
One of our top waterproof headphones picks, this underwater music player uses bone conduction audio, and the sound is actually clearest when submerged.

One thing you do need to bear in mind when wearing bone conduction is the volume limiter on your phone. As you're sending the vibrations into your bones, you can turn up the volume if things are quiet, especially on busy roads or in the water. If your bone conduction headphones are sounding quiet, especially with podcasts and audiobooks rather than music, you should look at turning things up a notch and disabling or bypassing that volume limiter.

Either way, I've been hawkish in my search for late-stage Prime Day discounts on bone conduction headphones. If you're a swimmer, or a runner, and you're sick of buds that tend to fall from your ears or you want to hear the world around you while listening to podcasts or audiobooks, bone conduction are a must-buy.

More bone conduction headphones in your region

Matt Evans
Fitness, Wellness, and Wearables Editor

Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.

Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.