I have a hard time running without music. I don’t run as long. I don’t run as fast. I don’t stay as focused. Truly wireless headphones have been a saviour for me. But there’s a problem with them. You can’t hear anything around you.The Revvez sunglasses with built-in headphones solves the problem of having music while still being able to hear traffic, animals or kids. They send the music through the bones in your skull using bone conduction.
What is Bone Conduction?
Sound is just little vibrations caught by our eardrum. Most of what we hear gets funnelled into your ear which vibrates your eardrum. Have you ever noticed when you touch your head on the window of a car or plane? Those vibrations make it to your ears through the bones in your head and you can ‘hear’ it? That’s bone conduction.Sound vibrations don’t have to go in through your ear to hear them. They can go through the bones in your skull or the cartilage in your ears. It all ends up in the same place.
The OptiShokz Revvez sunglasses with bone conducting headphones
AfterShokz, the company that makes the successful Trekz series of headphones, have launched OptiShokz, a line of sunglasses with built-in bone conducting headphones. From the front, the Revvez sunglasses look like a normal pair of sporty sunglasses with slightly bulky arms.Hiding around the back are 2 little arms that flip down onto the back of your ears. These are the transducers, basically speakers that send vibrations through the cartilage.First, a few specs:
- 4 styles of lens available
- 6 hours play time, 10 days standby
- 48.5 grams
- Integrated microphone
- Premium Teijin lens
- 2H hardening treatment
- Moonstone grey polarized, Sapphire blue, Diamond Transparent, Amber Yellow lenses available
- Leakslayer tech reduces the sound leakage
- Bluetooth 5.0
Three buttons up underneath the right arm control everything. The multifunction button controls power, receives calls, skips songs, mute and change the equalization. The rubber buttons are raised off the arm and easy to find with one hand. Once I remembered that the multi function button was closer to the lens and spaced apart from the other two it’s easy to feel which is which.Charging is through a micro USB port just in front of the buttons on the underside of the arm. A small rubber cover keeps the sweat and rain out. It takes about 2 hours to charge the 180 mAh battery.The Revvez are water and dust resistant with an IP55 rating. For something that’s meant to touch your skin while you’re working out this is sort of required. The sweaty runs and rides I’ve done so far with them have been completely fine. I doubt you’ll be out in the rain with these headphones much as they’re also sunglasses. If I’m running and it starts to rain a bit, I usually just keep my sunglasses on though. They’re my headphones too, and I keep them on as long as I can.
How do they feel?
Picking up the Revvez they’re slightly heavier than other sunglasses but not much. With a battery and headphones attached, I thought they would feel much heavier but it barely amounts too much. Once they’re on your head, it’s not noticeable at all.The lenses have good coverage and are clear and nice to look out of. I got the Sapphire Blue lenses to test but there’s also grey polarized, clear and amber lenses. The nose piece is interchangeable.
How do they look?
Aside from having thicker arms, which some sunglasses do anyways, it’s hard to tell you have headphone sunglasses on. From the back you can see the transducers but they’re fairly discrete.
How do they sound?
The bone conduction is an interesting experience when you first try it. Your ears are open but there’s still sound there. What’s more interesting is that I tried putting the transducer on my forehead and it still sounded pretty good.The sound doesn’t have the bass that good in-ear headphones do but the clarity is very good. My favourite songs come through nice and clear. At very high volumes the transducers tickle the back of my ears a bit. At the normal volumes I use for running, I can’t feel it at all. When I’m near the road and want to hear traffic, I don’t want music too loud anyways.
The big question
The big question for me usually ends up being do I want to keep wearing the sunglasses when I’m not listening to tunes or a podcast. The transducers can flip on and off your ear and they just stay tucked beside your head so they’re very comfortable whether you are listening to tunes or not. Driving with them is easy and comfortable as well.When it’s sunny out I’m in sunglasses 100% of the time. And if I’m running I’ll always have headphones in too. It’s nice to have both in the same device without having to plug my ears to get the tunes.Find out more about the OptiShokz Revvez headphone sunglasses.