Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Shokz opens listening for fitness, swimming in OpenFit, OpenSwim

Earphones you can use while swimming and running that don’t go in your ear are a real deal, as Shokz readies new gear.

We love headphones and earphones, but not everyone digs the feeling of either.

Things that go in your ears, things that go on your ears, and things that go around your ears are all largely the norm. Respectively, that’s intra-aural, supra-aural, and circumaural, and there are even models that do two of those at the same time: Nura’s original Nuraphones, we’re looking at you.

But if you’re something who doesn’t like either of those, and struggles with portable sound, there could be another reason. It might be excess sweat or a comfort issue, headband tightness, or a bunch of other possibilities, with the result largely being portable sound causes struggles for you.

If you find yourself in that category, you might want to look at some fitness earphones in the way from Shokz, which is this week expanding on what it offers in Australia.

Born from what used to be the Aftershokz brand, it’s a company that build bone conduction earphones, utilising technology that uses the bone in your skull to transmit sound to your ears, without necessarily needing something in or on them. Bass is typically lacking with them, but the technology can be ideal for people who hate both headphones and earphones alike.

And they have other purposes, too, as Shokz’s latest show.

Announced earlier in the year, the company’s OpenSwim Pro are a pair designed for both on-land and underwater audio, supporting IP68 water resistance and support for two types of music playback: Bluetooth and MP3s on internal storage.

For the former, the OpenSwim Pro relies on standard Bluetooth wireless sound, but that doesn’t always work when it comes to swimming. Depending on how close you are to the source — for instance, if you go swimming quite far — the OpenSwim Pro’s internal 32GB storage can hold and play up to 8000 songs, allowing music to keep going while you’re away from a device.

Playback technology uses Shokz’ “PremiumPitch”, an evolution of bone conduction that uses skin and the bone in the inner ear to get sound to your ear, while keeping a secure fit.

It’s slightly different from the company’s “DirectPitch”, which uses a similar design, but more speaker-like sound wave direction to get audio to the ear without wearing them.

DirectPitch is in the OpenFit Air, a pair that lacks the same level of water resistance, but is made to get sound to the ears without covering or going inside of them.

Both pairs are on the way to stores soon, with the OpenFit Air priced at $199 in Australia, while the Shokz OpenSwim Pro will land in stores from July 5 for $299.

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