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02nd Sep 2023

REVIEW: Shokz OpenFit are a must for safety-first music lovers

Rory Cashin


The new OpenFit headphones are the perfect fit for specific users.

If you’ve never experienced them before, then the Shokz OpenFit headphones might come as a bit of a surprise to you. Through the years, I have exclusively only worn the two types of headphones available to me: the in-ear earbuds type, and the on-ear cans type.

The OpenFit, which are the first wireless headphones by Shokz, are neither of these. Instead, they are an open-ear design, built to sit on the ear without actually entering the ear canal, a la the usual in-ear earbuds.

As Shokz describes it, “Using new acoustic technology, DirectPitch, sound waves are sent into the ear through air conduction, without having to push in an ear-bud. Instead of the inner ear being vibrated, it is the air.”

We can testify that it does sound great and very clear on the air, but is unique in the way that it also doesn’t block out the sound from the world around you. In a time when “noise-cancelling headphones” are all the rage, it is interesting to see some tech heading in the opposite direction. This effectively leaves the inner-ear open to still pick up the sounds surround you, allowing you to safely remain aware of the world around you even as you’re enjoying your music/podcast/etc.

The ear-buds themselves are incredibly light and comfortable, moulded to fit most ear types, while the over-ear hooks and the buds themselves remain in place even in the face of vigorous movement, and they’re designed to withstand sweat and moisture (but are not suitable for swimming, obvs).

Admittedly, it does take some getting used to wearing, as anyone specifically used to wearing in-ears will, at first, constantly feel like the OpenFit are falling off, and the ever-so-slightly finnicky nature of the touch controls means you’ll be stopping and starting your songs while initially trying to readjust their positioning.

Also, they’re described as possessing DirectPitch, which “pushes sound pressure towards the ear canal, so listeners can hear the sound clearly and maintain privacy”. While on a busy bus or street, the sound won’t travel, we did use them in a quiet room and others could clearly hear the music we were playing.

As for the audio quality itself, it was very good but not amazing but maybe that is to be expected when you’re allowing for the sounds of the outside world to still bleed in.

On constant use, the battery lasted for seven hours, while the sturdy recharge holder held an additional three full charges, meaning you could get 28 hours listening in total from a single full charge. Shokz also claims that a five-minute charge will give a full hour of listening, which is nifty for those in a hurry but still wanting their tunes.

Shokz OpenFit are available to order via the Shokz website for £179/€210. All imagery via Shokz.

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