Every so often someone asks me what headphones they can use while swimming. The small list of viable options is about to get bigger with the arrival here at CES of the AfterShokz Xtrainerz (pronounced cross trainers) MP3 headphones. They use bone-conduction technology to transmit sound to your ears through your cheekbones. They'll ship this spring and will cost $150, with no word yet on international pricing.
Because Bluetooth can't pass a signal through water, like other "swim" headphones the key here is that these guys have 4GB of built-in memory to store your MP3 music files directly on the headphones. Alas, there's no Bluetooth mode, so you can't stream music to the Xtrainerz from your phone.
Here are the Xtrainerz' key features, according to Aftershokz:
- 4G of storage to hold MP3 music, audiobooks and podcasts so you can play, pause and shuffle with no mobile device needed
- Built to withstand heavy perspiration and complete submersion in up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) of salt or fresh water (IP68 certified)
- Flexible titanium frame delivers secure, comfortable fit
- OpenFit design leaves ears open and allows you to hear the outside world while listening to audio, or wear earplugs if you want to keep water out of your ears
- 6-hour battery life
- You can charge fully in 1.5 hours, but a quick 15-minute charge provides enough boost to get you through a long swim session
- Price: $150
- Available this spring
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