This is our review of Shokz OpenRun Mini headphones, which we believe are ideal headphones for cycling safely while still enjoying your favorite music or podcasts. They are easy to wear, and the smaller size means they fit comfortably under a cycling helmet. I was lucky enough to pick up a pair in their new blue color, which happens to be my favorite color.
Overview of the Shokz OpenRun Mini Headphones
Shokz OpenRun Mini headphones are aimed at people who want to listen to stuff while still keeping their ears 100% open. To achieve this, they use bone-conduction technology, which basically gets sound to your brain via vibrations on your cheek bones. Shokz is on their 8th generation of patented bone conduction technology, and the sound just gets better and better.
With my first pair of Shokz (many years ago), the best I could say was that the sound was acceptable. I used it mainly for podcasts; not so much for music. Now, I cannot tell the difference between my Shokz bone-conduction sounds and regular in-your-ears sound. So, if you are looking for a way to safely listen to pretty much anything on your bike, these headphones are definitely the way to go.
Shokz OpenRun Mini headphones – Well Suited to Cyclists
The mini version of these headphones is particularly well suited for cyclists who wear helmets. This is because they are a smaller size, so they will work well with a helmet. In the picture below you can see these headphones compared to the Shokz XTrainerZ headphones, which are the standard size.
The compromise with the smaller size is that the three buttons on the right have been shrunk down to two buttons. This means that the Volume Louder and the Power button share one button. This took me a couple of days to adjust to, as I wear my larger-sized Shokz XTrainerZ Headphones for swimming almost every day. These have the standard three buttons on the right (Volume Softer/Power/Volume Louder).
Related Post: Shokz OpenSwim Headphones – Open-Ear, Bone Conduction, Safe Headphones for Cycling AND Swimming
However, after about three days the different button configuration became intuitive. Now, I regularly alternate the two sets of headphones, and my fingers are coping just fine.
Quality of Sound on the Shokz OpenRun Mini Headphones
With the Shokz OpenRun Mini headphones, I feel for the first time that my bone-conduction headphones are equal to my regular headphones. I don’t feel as if the bone-conduction headphones are solely for when I need to be aware of my surroundings, such as when hiking or cycling.
I honestly find it amazing that the quality is just so … regular. Sometimes I think this MUST be regular sound, which means that maybe everyone around me can hear it too. So I take them off to hold them in front of me. And sure enough, as soon as they are not in contact with my cheekbones, they are utterly silent. Amazing. I like this because I don’t want other cyclists to know that I occasionally listen to show tunes!
Related Post: Shokz OpenRun Pro vs. Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction Headphones: What’s the Difference?
Battery Life of the Shokz OpenRun Mini headphones
These headphones are rated to last up to 8 hours. Well, I just basically wear them all day, and then let them charge overnight. This has the advantage that I can find them in the morning – I keep the charger stationery in one place. I have never had them die on me. So the 8 hours appears to be accurate.
When nothing is playing, you can give the Power button a quick push and the headphones will tell you how much battery is left. It is pretty basic, as in “Battery High.” But it is enough for me.
On the odd occasion when I forget to charge them, I am reminded when I put them on. This is because the first thing the headphones do when you put them on, is tell you how much battery power is left. If I hear anything other than “Battery High” I know I forgot to plug the headphones into the charger.
For those who like more precision than “Battery high” – you can always look on your phone under Connected Devices, to get a more precise number. As in the screenshot below, taken from my own phone.
Charger for the Shokz OpenRun Mini Headphones
As to the charging mechanism, it is proprietary and magnetic. Ordinarily I really hate proprietary chargers, because if you lose them you cannot do a thing with your device until you order a new charger. But this charging mechanism is so easy to use, because of the magnetism. Therefore, I actually like the charging method.
Comfort of the Shokz OpenRun Mini Headphones
I constantly forget that I am wearing these headphones. So much so that I try to remember to touch my face before I get in the shower or pool! Just to check that I am not wearing them. For me, that is all I want from headphones.
Related Post: We Compare the Best Headphones for Safe Cycling
Bottom Line on the Shokz OpenRun Mini Headphones
Yesterday I accidentally took my Shokz OpenRun Mini headphones into the pool. It was just a workout session, so they would have been OK. However, at some point I was feeling warm, so I thought I would put my head under the water. While I was about it, I decided to get a head massage from a water inlet jet. So, I let the jet hit my head for a few minutes.
It was not until I got out of the pool that I realized I had been wearing my Shokz OpenRun Mini headphones all that time. I was very upset, because I thought for sure I had killed them. I know they have an IP67 waterproof rating, but they are not designed for swimming. I felt sick, because they have become my all-day-every-day headphones. (Except for when I am swimming.)
However, it turned out they were just fine – completely undamaged, and working just as well as ever. This taught me two things:
- These headphones are tough and can withstand a lot of water, even water under pressure. This would make them ideal for people who sweat heavily, or who cycle in heavy rain.
- I really love these headphones and would hate to lose them.
All in all, I highly recommend these Shokz OpenRun Mini headphones for safe cycling or hiking. You can wear them without discomfort while you are cycling in a bike helmet. Enjoy your music or podcasts, but stay in touch with your surroundings all the time.
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