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AfterShokz OpenMove vs Air (2022): Which Bone Conduction Headphones Should You Get?

The AfterShokz OpenMove is the entry-level model in the brand’s lineup of bone conduction headphones, but it beats its more expensive counterpart the AfterShokz Air on some fronts. That doesn’t come as a surprise since it’s newer, but it’s impressive nevertheless considering the price gap between them.

In this AfterShokz comparison, we compare the two to highlight their differences and similarities. But put simply, the OpenMove is more fitting in today’s time with updated features and better audio quality. However, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s the best pick. After all, the Air isn’t exactly left behind in the dust in terms of performance, and it might even provide a better overall experience depending on the user’s preference.

AfterShokz OpenMove vs Air Comparison Chart

ModelAfterShokz OpenMoveAfterShokz Air
 Amazon productAmazon product
PriceAmazon productAmazon product
Bone Conduction Technology7th Generation5th Generation
Frequency Response20 Hz to 20 kHz20 Hz to 20 kHz
Audio VersionPremiumPitch 2.0PremiumPitch+
MicrophoneDual noise cancelingDual noise canceling
Band and FramePartial titaniumFull wraparound titanium
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 4.2
Multipoint PairingYesYes
Water and Dust ResistanceIP55IP55
Battery Life6 hours6 hours
Charging30 minutes for 2 hours of playback, 2 hours for full charge30 minutes for 2 hours of playback, 2 hours for full charge
PortUSB-CMicro USB
Warranty2 years2 years
ColorsSlate Grey, Alpine White, Elevation Blue, Himalayan PinkSlate Grey, Midnight Blue, Forest Green, Canyon Red

Design and Fit

The AfterShokz OpenMove may be the better looker, but the Air is more comfortable to wear.

AfterShokz OpenMove vs Air Design and Fit
Both the AfterShokz OpenMove (left) and Air (right) have a secure fit and are water resistant.

At their core, AfterShokz’s bone conduction headphones share similar form factors and functionality. But in this case, the OpenMove arguably looks better than the Air. Particularly, it has a sleeker and more streamlined design with less curvature. 

Thing is, that comes at a price. From the look of things, the company had to cut corners here and there to keep the OpenMove’s cost down. For one thing, it has a noticeably lower build quality, and it’s only partially made from titanium, sporting plastic ear hooks. Speaking of, it’s uncomfortable to wear for long periods, owing in part to said hooks. It does have magnets in its earpieces that let them snap firmly together, which is a neat solution when putting it away, so there’s that.

In comparison, the Air’s frame and band are completely made out of titanium, and all in all, it’s made with better quality. On top of that, its ear hooks have a silicone cover for comfort, making it easy to wear for hours on end.

At any rate, both stay in place even with vigorous head movements. They also have the same IP55 water and dust resistance. In other words, they’re perfect not only for everyday use but also for working out. Take note that the OpenMove might not be the best for exercises that take hours like long distance cycling or running because of the aforementioned comfort issue.

Sound Quality

The AfterShokz OpenMove has a richer sound than the Air.

AfterShokz OpenMove vs Air Sound Quality
The AfterShokz OpenMove (in photo) has PremiumPitch 2.0, which is better than the PremiumPitch+ of the Air (right).

Both headphones have the same dual noise-canceling microphones and frequency response range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. However, the OpenMove sounds better, featuring PremiumPitch 2.0 as opposed to the Air’s PremiumPitch+. That means it offers a rich audio quality similar to what the top-of-the-line Aeropex delivers but at a lower price point.

Moreover, the OpenMove has three EQ settings: Human Voice, Standard, and Earplug Mode. Standard doesn’t need an explanation, but for the uninitiated, Vocal Booster Mode emphasizes high frequencies for listening to audiobooks or podcasts. Meanwhile, Earplug Mode is designed to be used in conjunction with the included earplugs (both headsets come with them, for the record). Basically, it dials down the bass and volume to adjust to the noise-canceling effect of the earplugs.

On the other hand, the Air has two EQ settings. It goes without saying that the first one is the default configuration that’s tuned for open-ear listening. The other one is made to be used with earplugs, but unlike in the OpenMove’s case, it isn’t explicitly called Earplug Mode.

Click here for our AfterShokz OpenMove vs Aeropex comparison.

Battery Life and Connectivity

The AfterShokz OpenMove makes the Air look old with USB-C and Bluetooth 5.0.

AfterShokz OpenMove vs Air Battery Life and Connectivity
The AfterShokz OpenMove (in photo) has impressive features like USB-C and Bluetooth 5.0 for an entry-level headset.

When it comes to battery, the OpenMove and Air share a lot of similarities. For starters, they’re both rated to last up to 6 hours on a single charge. In addition, both can provide 2 hours’ worth of playback in 30 minutes, and they can be fully charged in 2 hours.

However, the charging port and connectivity are where the Air’s age starts to show. To be exact, it uses a micro USB port and Bluetooth 4.2. The OpenMove builds on its predecessor with USB-C for more universal compatibility and Bluetooth 5.0 for a more stable connection. And before anyone asks, both support multipoint pairing.


The AfterShokz OpenMove and Air each has its own advantages and suits different types of users.

Amazon product

Specs-wise, the AfterShokz OpenMove is better across the board. It boasts PremiumPitch 2.0 and better sound quality, Bluetooth 5.0, a USB-C port for charging, and more EQ settings. However, it has less-than-ideal comfort and build quality, and those are where the AfterShokz Air outshines it. That tilts the balance to its favor since it feels more premium and the ability to wear headphones for long periods is crucial, especially for workouts that take hours. Besides, it’s comparable for the most part, from battery life to water and dust resistance.

It’d be better to say that each one offers unique benefits instead of declaring an outright winner here. In short, the OpenMove is the better pick if you’re simply on a budget or planning on using it mainly for listening to music and podcasts. The Air is your best bet if you’re looking for a comfortable pair to wear and take out on, say, long runs.


📌 What’s the difference between the AfterShokz OpenMove and Air?

The main differences are that the AfterShokz OpenMove has better audio, more modern features like Bluetooth 5.0 and USB-C, more EQ settings, and a lower price tag. However, the Air is more comfortable to wear and has a better build quality with a titanium frame and band as compared to the OpenMove’s part-titanium and part-plastic construction.

📌 Which AfterShokz is best?

The AfterShokz Aeropex is considered as the best bone conduction headphones in the company’s lineup, but it’s not exactly the most affordable. However, the less expensive entry-level OpenMove sounds just as good, featuring the same frequency response range and PremiumPitch 2.0.

📌 Are AfterShokz good for running?

Yes, models like the AfterShokz OpenMove and Air have an IP55 water and dust resistance rating, and they have a secure fit. However, the former may not be the best for long runs because it can get uncomfortable to wear for long periods.

📌 Is the AfterShokz Air still worth getting?

Yes. Despite its age, the AfterShokz Air is still a decent buy because of its build, features, and comfortable fit, even though it only has a micro USB port and Bluetooth 4.2.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.