The recaps continue. Audio is a big part of our lives, but just like everyone else, we can only see so many headphones before it gets a bit boring. Sure, quality is a big factor, and so many people have yet to experience high quality headphones and speakers, but we’re here to bring you coverage on things that are unique, in one way or another. That being said, here is our recap on a CES two-timer for us, Aftershokz:Aftershokz has come a long way since CES 2012. I remember going to their booth and meeting with their head guy, full of enthusiasm on their product. Aftershokz makes headphones that transmit audio through your bones, so you can still be aware of the things that happen around you. This is especially good for runners, or anyone that wants to know what is happening around them. While their first set of headphones was good, the sound quality could use improvement. At CES 2013 Aftershokz debuted their Sportz 2, M2 and Bluez products.
The Sportz 2 is an improvement over last year’s model. It is smaller overall and the sound quality has been improved. You may figure this is hard to tell when there is still ambient sound, but it is still noticeable in the short time I tried them. They also now charge through Micro USB, so the USB charging dongle from before is now gone. You also now have an on/off switch, volume controls, and a better middle controller with a built-in clip for easier attachment to your clothes. The improvements are welcome, and promise to make the Sportz 2 a better option for runners and gym rats. The M2 is the same thing as the 2, but it has a built-in mic. The Sportz 2 is available now for $69.95, and the M2 will set you back $79.95.
The Bluez is their first Bluetooth product, and it’s light, comfortable and still uses the same technology as their Sportz line. Having a wireless version of these headphones is great, as it makes it the most unobtrusive option for runners since now you can listen to your surroundings and still be comfortable with no wires. Quality in my short time with them was better than their first Sportz line, and the headset was comfortable enough to the point that I don’t feel it would be a nuisance in a long workout. All the controls are built-in to the headset, and they are well placed so that they are easy to reach in a pinch. I haven’t had a chance to try to put them through a tough workout(I mostly weight lift but I use machines as well as benches), but I can’t wait to have an extended try with them. The Bluez are currently available for pre-order at the discounted price of $99.99.