Bone conduction for professionals
In addition to earphones and headphones, there is a third category in the portable audio market: open-ear models that use bone conduction. Shokz is one of the best-known brands that supplies them. It not only offers models aimed at (outdoor) sports, but also a professional variant designed for office use. The Shokz OpenComm 2 costs about 250 euros.
Earphones and headphones have a disadvantage: your ears are always covered in some way. If you wear them longer, they will start to bother you over time. Furthermore, it can be inconvenient that you do not get everything from your surroundings when using headphones. This can be a solution if you need to focus, but is not useful in every environment.
If you need to be able to hear clearly what is happening around you, or if you find the feeling of headphones annoying, bone conduction may be a solution. Bone conduction sounds a bit strange, but it works surprisingly well in practice. The sound quality is certainly not at the same level as that of luxury hi-fi headphones. The quality is functional; In our opinion, certainly good enough to listen to some music while you work or to follow a podcast, but not for an in-depth music analysis.
The OpenComm 2 differs from Shokz’s other models in that it has a microphone that you can place in front of your mouth. The brand mentions that noise cancellation is built-in. It works reasonably well, but is of a lower standard than headsets from specialist brands such as Poly, Epos and Logitech. The quality is better than without a microphone; Chatting colleagues are less audible in a call.
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