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This latest review ticks all the boxes on our cool kit list. Alice has been spending time conducting the Shokz OpenSwim Review. Open-Ear Headphones design for swimmers. An amazing and innovative product designed for swimmers. Shokz were the pioneers in bone conduction technology for headphones and have developed this now for swimmers with the OpenSwim headphones. Shokz rebranded in 2022 from AfterShokz a brand you may be familiar with. When going through the rebrand their product line up was also refreshed. The AfterShokz Xtrainerz became the Shokz OpenSwim headphones.
Tested here by Alice. Alice is a long term member of the Trivelo test squad and has competed for many years in triathlon. As well as competing and coaching Alice has been an official sponsored athlete for a number of premium triathlon brands. Helping design and test new product launches across Europe.
Trivelo Rating – 4.5 / 5
Since first using the OpenSwim for this review I haven’t done a swim set without them. I’ve had no problems at all. The battery life is great. They’re easy to use. Easy to keep clean and just awesome. If you can load content onto them from your favoured source they are perfect. A real bonus to help make swimming laps much more enjoyable.
Put simply the Shokz OpenSwim open-ear headphones are the best choice possible for swimming and triathlons.
Pros and Cons
- Great quality sound when swimming
- Comfortable fit that will not interupt your swim sesssions
- Simple to use
- Loading music onto them can be complex as do not stream from a remote device
- Price is high but they are a premium product
First Impressions of the Shokz OpenSwim headphones
As with all Shokz products the OpenSwim headphones come beautifully presented. The box comes with the headphones themselves, a case, charging cable and some ear plugs. The open-ear headphones are sleek and pretty stylish. They may seem a little flimsy, but they definitely are not and when you have them on you can’t really feel them at all. They are totally unobtrusive when swimming.
Controls on the Shokz OpenSwim
The controls are all on the right hand side on a thicker part of the swimming headphones. They sit just behind the ear (On/Off, volume up and down and mode button). With these headphones you have the options of putting your music on shuffle or repeat using the Mode button. Alternatively you can hold down the volume up button to skip through your playlist. This is an upgrade on the Trekz Air headphones which does not have this function. Something that I love about these headphones.
Charging waterproof swimming headphones
The charging cable clips over the headphones and you charge them via a USB port. The battery life has been good from doing my review of the Shokz OpenSwim. I usually swim between 2 and 3hrs a week and have only had to charge them twice in the last 6 weeks. They also give you an update on the battery they have left each time you turn them on which is useful.
Installing music onto the Shokz OpenSwim headphones
How do you install music onto the Shokz OpenSwim? The headphones are not Bluetooth enabled. This means you download your music straight onto them via the charging cable. This was one of the only problems I had with the OpenSwim headphones while doing the review. I use a streaming app to listen to playlists. I couldn’t figure out how to download music from the streaming service onto the headphones. In the end I bought a load of songs in order to have access to the files to be able to transfer them across.
Of course this is not Shokz fault but it is something to be considered when thinking about purchasing the OpenSwim. This problem could very well just be because I know nothing about how these streaming apps work though.
First swim in the Shokz OpenSwim
It took a bit of fiddling around to figure out how best to wear the headphones. I wasn’t sure whether the whole headphone including the strap around the back of the neck needed to be underneath my swimming cap. When I did this they didn’t sit comfortably on my ears. I decided to leave this strap outside of the cap meaning only the top of the headphones were covered. This worked totally fine and the headphones were secure for the whole of my swimming session.
Read more from Alice with her review of the Form Goggles. Digital goggles that include a Heads Up Display of your pace and critical swim stats.
Sound quality while swimming
Initially I was worried about the sound quality of the OpenSwim headphones. When your head is not under the water it isn’t great. However, as soon as you start swimming is it awesome!!! Perfectly clear and I even had to turn the volume down because the bass was too loud. As far as I’m aware no one else in the pool could hear my music. It’s so nice to have something to listen to when swimming laps.
Comfort of the OpenSwim headphones while swimming
I was aware of the headphones to start off with as I kept hitting them with my arms on each stroke. This is because I swim with a very narrow arm stroke. It is something my coach is trying to change which means the headphones for me are dual purpose. Not only do they make swimming more fun, they remind me to work on my stroke technique! Win, Win! If I swim with good technique I have no idea I’ve got them on. They really are very comfortable in the water.
After the first hour of swimming with the Shokz OpenSwim I was totally in love with themAlice – Trivelo Test Associate
I have nothing bad to say about them. They make tough sets so much easier to get through when you can have some awesome music pushing you through!
Summary of the Shokz OpenSwim Review
Since first using the OpenSwim I haven’t done a swim set without them. I’ve had no problems at all. The battery life is great. They’re easy to use. Easy to keep clean and just awesome. I’ve let a few of my fellow swimmers at the local pool try them out as well and everyone’s feedback has been incredibly positive. None of us have had any problems with the way that they fit. The biggest comment I get is how clear the sound quality is. Last week we tried diving with them on and they stay put even then. Many people have mentioned that they would be really useful for longer open water swims. This is especially true as there is no fear of a lost connection given that they work with MP4’s rather than Bluetooth.
I honestly don’t think I can find anything bad to say about the Shokz OpenSwim headphones from my review.
“Everyone should have a pair!”
See the video review from Alice and hear more on her thoughts of the Shokz OpenSwim headphones.
Buy the Shokz OpenSwim now for £169 from Wiggle.
Alternatives to the Shokz OpenSwim to consider
Read more about Shokz headphones and our full review of the Aeropex headphones which we tested previously.