Disclosure: I received a pair of Aftershokz for testing purposes because I am a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews. It’s a great way to help race directors see what is working and what needs improvement, and to help other runners find out what a race is really like.
During September and October, Aftershokz has a limited edition Trekz Titanium in Pink! Building on their brand's signature feature–headphones with uncompromising sound quality that allow you to remain aware when running–Aftershokz has partnered with Bright Pink. If you haven't heard of Bright Pink, they are a nonprofit with a great mission.
Bright Pink is on a mission to save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively at a young age.
We now know enough about cancer to know that even young women in their 20s can develop breast and ovarian cancers, yet doctors and society still see these cancers as diseases relevant to older women only. Bright Pink wants to change that. Not only is early detection the key to surviving cancer, young women can reduce their risk of developing these cancers through an active lifestyle and proactive measures (such as quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke). You need to know your risk to do what you can to reduce it, so Bright Pink has a risk assessment tool on the website. But let's get back to Aftershokz for a moment.
The first time the BibRave Pro Team partnered with Aftershokz, I was intrigued about how they work. Instead of earbuds sitting inside your ear and projecting sound into your ear canal, Trekz have “transducers” that sit in front of your ears. (Surprisingly, this does not make your tunes audible to your fellow runners.) These transducers work on something called “bone conduction technology.”
Initially, this kind of freaked me out. I was in an accident that left me with extensive damage to the right side of my face, including bone and nerve damage. My right cheekbone and eyesocket are largely wrapped and lined with titanium mesh, held in place by titanium plates and tiny titanium screws. (Sadly, this did not confer any bionic powers. Also, it is 2016, so where's my flying car?) I didn't ask to try Trekz because of the description of how bone conduction technology works:
THE AFTERSHOKZ WAY
Bone conduction is a natural part of the hearing process—sound travels through our eardrums and bones simultaneously. We've taken the concept to the next level through development of a suite of proprietary audio technologies and design patents. The result: headphones that deliver unrivaled situational awareness and comfort.
HOW THEY WORK
Transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them.
Changes in atmospheric pressure sometimes make my face hurt, so I was reluctant to taunt my bones with “mini vibrations” from something named titanium!
But then the #AwareWithPink campaign came along. For every pair of Trekz Titanium Pink sold, AfterShokz will donate 25% of proceeds to Bright Pink; every time #AwareWithPink is used on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, AfterShokz will donate an additional 25 cents to Bright Pink to extend the awareness. Testing these headphones would give me an opportunity to help do a lot of good, particularly by raising the profile of Bright Pink. Most of us only have to look to our own families and friends to find breast cancer or ovarian cancer disrupting lives; I can point to my best friend's mother, Judi; my grandmother; two of my favorite elementary school teachers; women I know from the running community…I bet you've got a list too.
So here I go, testing the Trekz Titanium Pink limited edition.
Guess what? It turns out my fears were totally unfounded. I've used them on all of my runs since they arrived, and I'm loving them!
The transducers sit in front of your ears (but not near the tops like I first tried them!). You can control the volume with the buttons on the headset, or you can use your phone. They also have a built-in mic so you can take phone calls (but frankly if you call me while I am running I'm going to ignore you, so I haven't tested that part). The sound quality is great and I love that I can still hear my surroundings. When you're out running, that's a critical safety factor, whether you're running on a bike path, the road, or at a race.
The two most important factors for me–beyond safety–are battery life and sweatproofness. Trekz recharge using a mini USB to USB cable (included) and the charging port has a rubber plug to seal it shut. On the most recent charge, I've run for over six hours (a few short runs plus a half marathon). Since I usually forget to charge them unless there's a big race coming up, the long battery life is a bonus. As for sweatproofness, I was initially concerned that my body's ability to very efficiently cool itself would somehow end up hurting Trekz. Nope! Even at Rock ‘n' Roll Virginia Beach–which was humid and warm–they did just fine.
After the race my friend Ezra tried them out. First he just put them on and took them off. Then he asked to try them on again and jumped up and down and shook his head really hard a few times. Trekz stayed put. (I wasn't clever enough to snap pictures of this.)
If you're in the market for a great pair of wireless headphones that will support a great cause, head over to the Trekz Titanium Pink site. From September 1 to October 31, 25% of the proceeds goes to Bright Pink! If you use code PINK when you purchase, you will also score a bonus travel case. (There is enough room inside for the headphones, cord, softcase, and a few more essentials. I put my RoadID in mine.)
Even if you are not interested in new headphones, I'd like to encourage you to go to the Bright Pink website and learn what you and your friends can do to reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Tweet your favorite facts using #AwareWithPink to donate a quarter to Bright Pink!
Don't forget to join the BibRave Pro Team and other runners for #bibchat on Tueday, September 6th. (I'll be tweeting from an airplane!) Aftershokz and Bright Pink will be our guests.
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