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AfterShokz OpenMove vs Aeropex (2021): Comparing Bone Conduction Headphones

If you’re not a fan of intrusive earbuds and earphones, then a comfortable alternative would be bone conduction headphones. While gimmicky to some and intimidating to others, this breed of specialized headphones has gained traction with the technology’s improvement. AfterShokz is arguably one of the top brands when it comes to these audio wearables.

The AfterShokz Aeropex, for instance, is a flagship device that boasts 8th generation bone conduction technology. On the other hand, the AfterShokz OpenMove is an entry-level model that should appeal to those on a budget. But at nearly half the price of the Aeropex, where does the brand cut corners with the OpenMove? Which AfterZhokz is best for most people? Read our AfterShokz comparison to find out.

AfterShokz OpenMove vs Aeropex Headphones Comparison Chart

ModelAfterShokz OpenMoveAfterShokz Aeropex
 Amazon productAmazon product
PriceAmazon productAmazon product
Size AvailabilityOne size fits allTwo sizes (mini, standard)
ColorsGrey, white, blue, pinkBlack, blue, red, grey
Bone Conduction Technology7th gen8th gen
Noise Cancelling MicYesYes
Command ControlsYesYes
Moisture DetectorNoYes
Wireless Range33 ft.33 ft.
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
Water RatingWater-resistant, IP55Waterproof, IP67
Battery Life6 hours8 hours
Charging Time2 hours2 hours
Weight29g26g

Design

The AfterShokz Aeropex is sleeker and lighter than the AfterShokz OpenMove.

AfterShokz OpenMove vs Aeropex Design Comparison
Here’s a view of the OpenMove and Aeropex color variants and design features.

Like most bone conduction headphones, the AfterShokz OpenMove and Aeropex brandish an open-ear design anchored on wraparound bands. They’re typically worn like backward sunglasses, with loops at the end of the frames offering a snug fit over the ear. With the Aeropex, however, you’re getting a full titanium frame that makes it more secure to wear. The entry-level OpenMove, on the other hand, offers a partial titanium fit. Although both are featherweight at under 30 grams, the Aeropex is lighter than the OpenMove.

In terms of aesthetic, AfterShokz’ flagship headphone looks sleeker. Its frame has a streamlined finish that seamlessly continues to its prominent loop. Meanwhile, the AfterShokz OpenMove sports a dual-tone design with the wraparound band in one color and the earhooks in another. This translates to a retro-ish look complimented by subtle ridges on the OpenMove’s earpiece.

Despite their unconventional design, these open-ear headphones stay put even when you’re moving around. But chances are the Aeropex offers a better fit since it’s available in two sizes. With OpenMove, it’s a one-size-fits-all situation. The Aeropex is also waterproof and comes with an IP67 rating, while the OpenMove is water-resistant. This means you can wear them even while training or working out. AfterShokz’ flagship headphone, however, adds moisture detection so you know if your Aeoropex is still wet before charging.

Features

AfterShokz’ OpenMove and Aeropex have the same setup process and control buttons.

AfterShokz OpenMove vs Aeropex Features Comparison
Innovative and unique, these AfterShokz headphones offer an alternative to traditional earphones.

With the AfterShokz OpenMove and Aeropex, you’re getting wireless headphones with a range of 33 ft. Both devices also enjoy multipoint pairing courtesy of Bluetooth 5.0. The OpenMove and Aeropex primarily work with Android and iOS devices. But they’re also compatible with tablet computers, laptops, and desktop PCs. To use these headphones, simply pair them with your chosen device. A voice assistant named Audrey will then guide you with the setup process.

Controlling your playlist is relatively easy with these devices. Whether it’s the AfterShokz OpenMove or Aeropex, you’re getting an intuitive multifunction button on the side of the left ear. It’s easy to reach and can be used to pause music, skip tracks, or end and answer calls. The location of the power button and volume controls, however, aren’t as user-friendly. Placed underneath the right earhook, it takes practice and muscle memory to get used to its placement.

Sound Quality

The sound quality on the OpenMove and Aeropex is decent at best. Both headphones make up for it with excellent noise-canceling mics.

AfterShokz OpenMove vs Aeropex Sound Quality
AfterShokz shares that its headphones deliver a dynamic stereo sound for music but its strong suit is in calls.

One of the biggest gripes about bone conduction headphones is sound quality. Since they rest on your cheekbones, they don’t insulate your eardrums. This translates to sound quality that’s often not as clear or accurate as with in-ear options. AfterShokz tries to remedy this with Premium Pitch. It’s essentially a technology that custom tunes the audio for bone conduction. The company claims it should deliver dynamic bass and louder volume even without a seal.

On paper, the technology sounds promising. In practice, however, the AfterShokz sound quality is decent at best. Both the Aeropex and OpenMove are loud and clear, but their bass suffers from the open-ear design. If you’re listening to music, it’s not going to be rich or bass-heavy as you’d want it to be. For podcasts and calls, these headphones will fare a little better.

Between the two models, the Aeropex does have the edge. It comes with 30-degree angled transducers and two micro magnets to deliver sound via conduction. Even when it gets loud, it vibrates less than the AfterShokz OpenMove โ€” another issue with bone conduction headphones. Fortunately, the mic quality on the OpenMove and Aeropex is excellent. With noise-canceling mics, calls are clear with little ambient noise.

Battery, Accessories, and Warranty

The AfterShokz Aeropex has a longer battery life and more premium accessories than the OpenMove headphones.

AfterShokz OpenMove vs Aeropex Other Features
Here’s a look at what you get from the AfterShokz OpenMove (left) and Aeropex (right).

When talking about wireless headphones, battery life is always an important discussion. Here, the AfterShokz OpenMove and Aeropex are pretty average. Most Bluetooth headsets, after all, will last you about 6-12 hours. On a single charge, the OpenMove gives you a modest six hours, while the Aeropex offers about eight hours. AfterShokz’ flagship device uses magnetic charging cables, too, as opposed to the USB-C option on the OpenMove.

Being the more expensive model of the two, the Areopex comes with more premium albeit fewer accessories. Out of the box, you get two chargers, earplugs, and a fancy silicone carrying case. If you opt for the OpenMove, you also get earplugs, one USB charger, and a regular carrying bag. Both headphones carry a two-year warranty.

Click here to read our Bose Sport Open Earbuds vs SoundSport Free review.

Verdict

If you’re in the market for a bone conduction headphone, you’ll find the AfterShokz Aeropex is better than the OpenMove.

Amazon product

Bone conduction headphones are not for everyone. Audiophiles, for instance, will be quick to dismiss the technology. But the open-ear design of these unique audio wearables has a market. For instance, users who need to be aware of their surroundings or people hard of hearing will find bone conduction headphones beneficial. If you’re in the market for one, then AfterShokz is the brand to consider.

In its catalog, however, the AfterShokz Aeropex is a better device than the OpenMove. The Aeropex features a sleek, full titanium frame design that’s also waterproof. It delivers a longer battery life, too, along with a more acceptable sound quality. For those on a budget, the AfterShokz OpenMove is a good start. But if you’re spending nearly $80 for a bone conduction headphone, you’re better off investing in the Aeropex.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Are AfterShokz worth it?

Bone conduction headphones are not for everyone. Most people are better off with regular headphones. Those hard of hearing, however, will find the AfterShokz a good alternative. The open-ear design allows users with hearing aids to keep them on while listening to tracks on the headphones.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the key difference between the AfterShokz Aeropex and OpenMove?

The AfterShokz Aeropex is a flagship model that features a full titanium frame. On the OpenMove, the titanium material is only used on the earhooks. The Aeropex also has better sound quality and longer battery life compared to the OpenMove.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the standby time on the AfterShokz OpenMove?

The AfterShokz OpenMove headphones have a standby time of up to ten days.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can I use the AfterShokz Aeropex while swimming?

While the Aeropex is IP67 rated and waterproof, it is not recommended for swimming.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.