It doesn’t seem long since I reviewed the AfterShokz Aeropex which are a must-have accessory on my training runs. So I was excited when AfterShokz kindly sent me their latest release, the Xtrainerz. These are their waterproof bone conduction MP3 headphones for swimmers.
I am, by no means a swimming pro, I fit more into the leisurely swimmer category. You’ll often catch me heading to the pool if I’ve got tired legs after a long run. I can manage a steady 30-40 lengths as recovery but it can get a little lonely and repetitive. So when the new Xtrainerz arrived I saw it as a great opportunity to dig out the cozzie and head to the leisure centre to see if music made my recovery swim a little less monotonous.
Included in the box are
- A pair of Xtrainerz
- A carry case
- A charger
- Foam earbuds
- A towel
- A swim cap
Appearance-wise they are very similar to the Aeropex. The first thing I noticed was the charging port. Rather than having a flap or a magnetic connection like on the other AfterShokz models the charger clips around the headphones so it is completely watertight. There is a slight speckled pattern on the band and the transducer (the speaker part) – which is really useful so I can easily identify them from my Aeropex. Again, they’re super light weighing in at only 30g.
The tech spec
- Designed for especially for Swimming. Compatible with swimming goggles, cap, and earplugs
- IP68 Waterproof.
- Plenty of bass and volume underwater with dedicated equalization
- 4GB Memory – supports MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, and FLAC audio formats.
- Eliminate painful experience caused by in-ear headphones
- Fit securely even with intensive body movement
- 8 hours playback time from a 2-hour charge
Putting them to the test
The big difference is these are not Bluetooth enabled so you have to upload your MP3 files first via the USB. This is a bit time consuming and means you don’t have the freedom of linking these headphones to the likes of Spotify. That said, there is 4GB of storage (around 1200 songs) so there is ample space for all your favourite tunes and it means you can work out phone free.
They fit securely on your head like the other Aftershokz headphones with the transducer sitting on your cheekbones. It felt strange walking into the pool area with them on. This is a council-run pool, so I did get a few funny looks (I wasn’t even wearing the swimming cap).
There is always the worry that technology will break when it gets wet, but these are IP68 waterproof, meaning they can be submerged for up to 2 hours in 2 metres of water! The deep end of my pool is 2.1 metres so I should be OK as long as I don’t drop them to the bottom. After a few lengths, I realised, to put these to the true test I would have to do what I hate – get my hair wet and go under the water.
At first, it seemed strange having headphones on underwater but they sounded even better. The bass and volume seem amplified and it felt strange to be able to listen to music that clearly underwater. I’d never experienced anything like it before. I was concerned that I may lose them down the deep end with the force of the water but they stayed put throughout my swim. They fit comfortably and are so light, I forgot I was wearing them. It wasn’t until I jumped in the shower post-swim that I realised I still had them on.
What’s the verdict?
You can use these for both running and swimming. So if you’re into tri sports then these would be perfect for you. As I am mainly a runner the swimming element is a little bit lost on me so, I would opt for their Aeropex model.
The Xtrainerz will certainly come in handy when I’m out running in a downpour. AfterShokz once again you’ve managed to amaze me – maybe one day I will take on a swimming challenge!
For more information or to purchase the AfterShokz Xtrainerz please click here
*As I am an ambassador of the brand these headphones were sent to me to review. All opinions and photographs are my own.