Review: Shokz OpenMove – Bone Conduction Headphones

Quick Review: Quick Review: Shokz OpenMove headphones don’t go directly over your ears which allows you to be more aware of your surroundings. The sound is good enough for most people and they’re comfortable to wear.

Overall Rating

I like listening to music when going to the gym or cycling. One problem I’ve found with normal headphones and earbuds is that they shut you off from the rest of the world. I don’t always want to be in my own little world at the gym or cycling. Shokz bone conduction headphones allow me to listen to music while being aware of my surroundings.

What Are Bone Conduction Headphones

Simply put, bone conduction headphones do not go over or in your ears; they sit just in front. The sound is transmitted through your skull rather than directly into your ear drum. This means you can still hear other sounds, not just the music playing.

Below is a picture of me wearing a pair of Shokz OpenMove headphones.

Wearing Bone Conduction Headphones
Wearing Shokz OpenMove Headphones

The black bit in front of my ear is the speaker, and the black part behind my ear is the battery and the control buttons.

Information About Shokz OpenMove Headphones

The Shokz OpenMove headphones use Bluetooth to connect to devices. The Bluetooth pairing process is pretty simple. Once paired, the connection is stable.

They do not have a built-in music \ MP3 player, so you must connect them to another device like your phone or watch. I don’t like taking my phone to the gym, so I connect the OpenMove headphones to my Huawei Fit 2 smartwatch.

The music can be controlled using buttons on the OpenMove headphones; see the picture below.

OpenMove Buttons
Shokz OpenMove Controls

The Shokz OpenMove headphones are not waterproof, but they are sweat and rainproof.

Shokz claims that the headphones take 2 hours to fully charge and last for about 6 hours of playtime. I would more or less agree with the times. If you like your music loud, expect a shorter playtime.

The headphones have a standard USB C port, which can be charged using any current Android phone charger. I think Apple iPhones have or will soon use USB C to charge their devices as well.

The headphones have a built-in microphone to be used for phone calls. When I first got the headphones, I played about making a couple of phone calls, and they seemed to work ok. I’m not sure what the call quality would be like if you used them while exercising or out on a bike ride.

What’s In The Shokz OpenMove Box

  • OpenMove headphones
  • USB charging cable (no mains plug)
  • Pouch
  • Stickers (customise headphones)
Shokz OpenMove - What Is In The Box
Shokz OpenMove – What Is In The Box

Positives Of Shokz OpenMove Headphones

  1. Fantastic customer service – I had my first pair of Shokz OpenMove headphones for about nine months when the power button wouldn’t always work. I submitted a ticket to the  Shokz support website, and about three days later, I got a new pair.

    There were no dumb questions or unnecessarily complicated processes. I just entered my name, address, and headphones’ serial number and uploaded a copy of my invoice and a short description of the problem- that was it!

    The headphones come with a 2-year warranty, which includes the battery.

  2. You can hear other sounds around you while still being able to listen to music. This is probably the most significant advantage of bone-conduction headphones. If you turn the volume up high, it does block out other sounds, and you can only hear the music playing through them. Turn them down a few clicks, and you can get to a happy medium when you hear your music and external sounds.

  3. Great for sweaty people – I sweat quite a lot when exercising and in the past, when I used earbuds, I found they would pop out of my ears due to all the sweat. I also find it unpleasant to wear earbuds or headphones when sweating. I don’t get these problems with the Shokz OpenMove headphones.

  4. Comfortable and lightweight – The OpenMove headphones only weigh about 30 grams and gently squeeze against your skull. You hardly notice you’re wearing them. They stay in place when moving about, so you don’t need to adjust them constantly.

  5. Reasonable sound quality – I think most people will find the sound quality perfectly adequate. I mainly listen to pop and dance music, and I think both these genres sound fine.

Negatives Of Shokz OpenMove Headphones

  1. The band around the back of your head can get in the way. This is especially true when wearing a bicycle helmet, where I have to spend some time positioning the headphones.

  2. Sound quality – As mentioned previously, the sound quality is reasonable. If you’re an audiophile, these headphones are not designed for you.

  3. Vibrations – The headphones vibrate at high volume and with very bass-heavy music playing, causing a tingling sensation, which is a little annoying.

  4. No built-in MP3 \ music player – The OpenMove headphones aren’t particularly cheap, and I think that Shokz should include a built-in MP3 \ music player. The only Shokz headphones with a builtin MP3 \ music player are the expensive OpenSwim headphones

  5. No Adjustments – The OpenMove headphones do not have any adjustments. It’s one size fits all. They fit perfectly for me, but I imagine they may not fit well if you have a very small or very big head.

Shokz OpenMove Alternatives

Cheap Bone Conduction Headphones

 Before buying my Shokz OpenMove headphones, I started off with some cheaper, unbranded bone-conduction headphones. Which were not too bad considering they only cost £25. I used them regularly for about 2 months. Unfortunately, I lost the bespoke charging cable, which I was unable to get replaced.

Having had a reasonably good experience with my cheap bone conduction headphones, I splashed out on the OpenMove headphones, which are superior in most areas. The two areas in which the cheap bone conduction headphones outperformed the OpenMove headphones are that they had a built-in MP3 \ music player and were 100% waterproof.

Cheap Bone Conduction Headphones
Cheap Bone Conduction Headphones

Premium Bone Conduction Headphones
The OpenRun Pro headphones from Shokz are premium bone-conduction headphones. I don’t own a pair of OpenRun Pro headphones, but I borrowed a pair for a week. To be honest, I didn’t notice much improvement over the OpenMove headphones. The sound quality is better, but only slightly better. Considering the OpenRun Pro headphones cost over twice as much, I expected a big difference.

Personally, I’ll be sticking with the OpenMove headphones, which I think are a good middle ground.

Conclusion: Shokz OpenMove Headphones

Shokz headphones have been designed to allow you to hear sounds around you while still being able to listen to music. This is achieved by playing sounds through your skull (bone conduction) and not directly into your ear drum. This does mean that the audio quality is good, not amazing.

I’ve been using Shokz OpenMove headphones for about 18 months and won’t change them for the foreseeable future. They do what they are designed to do really well and, in my opinion, with no significant negatives.

FAQ: Shokz OpenMove Headphones



How to pair Shokz?

Pairing Shokz headphones involves a simple process. The steps described below are for the OpenMove Headphones, but steps are the same for most other Shokz headphones

Turn on Bluetooth on Your Device

Ensure that Bluetooth is enabled on your device (smartphone, computer etc) and is detecting new devices.

Put Your Shokz Headphones in Pairing Mode

To do this, start with your headphones turned off. Then, press and hold down the power button for 5-7 seconds until the LED flashes red and blue.

Select Your Shokz Headphones on Your Device

Go to the Bluetooth settings on your device. You should see your Shokz headphones listed under available devices. The name might vary depending on your model but generally starts with “Shokz.” Tap on the name to pair.

How does bone conduction technology work in Shokz OpenMove?

Bone conduction technology bypasses the eardrums and transmits sound directly to the inner ear through vibrations in the cheekbones. This allows you to hear ambient sounds while still hearing the audio from the headphones.

What is the purpose of open-ear design in Shokz OpenMove?

The open-ear design of Shokz OpenMove allows you to stay aware of your surroundings during activities such as running, cycling, or walking etc, enhancing safety.

Is Shokz OpenMove suitable for sports and outdoor activities?

Yes, Shokz OpenMove headphones are designed for active people. They’re sweat-resistant, making them suitable for various sports and outdoor activities. 

Are Shokz OpenMove headphones wireless?

Yes, Shokz OpenMove headphones are wireless, using Bluetooth technology to connect to devices like smartphones, smartwatches, and other compatible devices.

What is Shokz OpenMove’s battery life?

The battery life may vary, but Shokz OpenMove, in my experience, typically provide about 6 hours of playback time on a single charge. 

Can Shokz OpenMove be used for phone calls?

Yes, the headphones have a built-in microphone, allowing hands-free phone calls.

Are Shokz OpenMove headphones adjustable for different head sizes?

No, there are no adjustments. It’s one size fits all.

Can Shokz OpenMove be used with glasses?

The design of Shokz OpenMove allows them to be worn with glasses.



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