Shokz OpenRun Pro and Shokz OpenRun are two of the very best open-ear bone conduction headphones in the world. They are also both at the top of our list of safe headphones for cyclists, thanks to their advanced bone conduction technology, which keeps your ears open to the traffic around you. While they have different price points, they look pretty much identical. This post sums up the differences between these two elite sets of Shokz headphones.
Headphones for an Active Life
I have the very good fortune to own a set of both of these headphones, and I use them back-to-back, continuously. Basically if I am awake, I am wearing one of these two sets. I use them to learn Spanish, and to entertain myself, as I cycle, work out, garden, or do household chores. My listening choices include music, books, and podcasts. I also use them to occasionally receive or make phone calls, using the discreet built-in mic. Maggie has become almost as fond of them as I am.
Thanks to the bone conduction technology, I can do this continuous listening and learning without ever being cut off from the outside world. This means I can keep an ear out for cars and rattle snakes. And of course, respond to Maggie whenever she talks to me! Both of these headphones have a handy small button on the left earpiece so I can instantly stop the sound and respond to the world around me.
A Different – and Safer – Kind of Sound
With both of these headphones, I am actually listening to a different kind of “sound.” The vibrations from the headphones go via my bones to my inner ear. This means that the headphones sit in front of my ear rather than in it or over it, so I am still able to hear my surroundings.
Shokz is the world leader in this kind of bone conduction listening. I have owned every generation of the Shokz headphones. . With the early generations, I felt that I was compromising sound quality for the sake of safety. Now, I am not compromising. I genuinely love these headphones. The technology has reached the point where I personally cannot distinguish between these and regular, good-quality headphones.
Both of these headphones have a very secure fit. I have an extremely active lifestyle. I spend hours every day cycling, running, weight lifting, gardening, and hiking – and my Shokz OpenRun headphones remain securely in place, all the time.
In the past I have lost two different sets of headphones, and I had to mourn them for weeks. This is never going to happen with my Shokz.
Differences between Shokz OpenRun Pro vs. Shokz OpenRun
In a nutshell, the OpenRun Pro headphones are a slight upgrade on the OpenRun. The upgrade is hard to notice, unless its features are important for your personal needs. Both are perfectly suited for athletic activities where you need to be aware of your surroundings, such as cycling and running.
The Case for the Shokz OpenRun Pro vs. Shokz OpenRun
The first difference you will notice straight out of the box is that the OpenRun Pro headphones ship with a vastly improved case. It is a hard shell, so that you can safely transport your headphones in a rucksack or a gym bag, without danger of crushing them.
The Case for a Good Case
Personally I am always wearing my Shokz headphones, so I seldom need to transport them.
However, I did once take a brand new pair of headphones in my carry-on luggage, and by the end of the flight, a vital piece of plastic had snapped, and they were useless. I was upset about that for a long time. So I am very well aware of the value of a good carry case.
If you want to transport your valuable headphones safely, a hard case like the one that comes with the Shokz OpenRun Pro is pretty much invaluable.
The Bass on the Shokz OpenRun Pro vs. Shokz OpenRun
The sound quality on both these sets of headphones is much the same. That is to say, the sound quality is truly excellent on both of them. However, the Shokz OpenRun Pro have a noticeably better ability to reproduce bass.
Bear in mind that they are still both bone conduction headphones, and you cannot expect to generate a symphony concert in your cheek bones. In short, even on the Pro, the bass is still not stellar. If you want that, you need to be looking at something much more immersive and ear-covering. But that is probably not going to be ideal for your bike rides!
Also, note that the Shokz headphones have a companion app with some EQ presets that you can use to finetune the sound.
Waterproof Rating on the Shokz OpenRun Pro vs. Shokz OpenRun
Oddly, the OpenRun wins the race here, with a higher rating for water and dust resistance. It is rated at IP67, while the upgraded OpenRun Pro is rated at IP55. Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing shabby about IP55. On the contrary, it should protect your headphones even if you are very athletic. However, the IP67 rating on the OpenRun headphones is kind of awesome.
What is the IP Rating?
IP stands for Ingress Protection. Products are rated as IPXX. The first X will tell you how well the product is protected from solid things, such as dust. The second X is the rating for resistance to water. The higher the rating for both X’s, the better a product is protected.
The IP Ratings on the Shokz OpenRun Pro vs. Shokz OpenRun
Shokz OpenRun: IP67
The 6 means that these headphones are Dust Proof. Absolutely no dust will get through. The 7 means that these headphones can safely be submerged up to 1 meter in water for 30 minutes and can resist high-pressure, heavy sprays of water.
Shokz OpenRun Pro: IP55
The first 5 means that these headphones are Dust Resistant. Some dust may get through, but it won’t be enough to damage the product. The second 5 means that these headphones can resist a sustained, low-pressure water jet spray.
Personal Experience of Shokz OpenRun headphones in Water
I can vouch for how awesome the Shokz OpenRun headphones are in the water. I once accidentally wore mine during a pool workout. (Yes, I admit it, I was doing Water Aerobics with Maggie.) During this workout, I twice immersed my head in the water in front of a water outlet pump (to clear my head – the previous night was a late one). I twice subjected my head (and therefore the headphones) to a jet of water for as long as I could hold my breath.
Later, I realized I had been wearing my Shokz OpenRun headphones the whole time. I was very unhappy, because I thought for sure I had killed the headphones. But the misery only lasted for a minute, because they turned out to be completely unscathed. This was quite a shock – but a good one. But given the IP67 rating, I should not have been surprised. These headphones were designed with this kind of idiotic behavior in mind.
Even at IP55, the OpenRun Pro headphones are more than robust enough for cycling and running in the rain, as well as completely able to withstand heavy sweating.
Note however that neither of these headphones is intended for swimming laps. Even if they were fully waterproof, they would be pretty much useless, because BlueTooth doesn’t work in the water. If (like me) you want to listen to music or podcasts while swimming laps, you will need the Shokz OpenSwim headphones.
Related Post: Shokz OpenSwim Headphones – Open-Ear, Bone Conduction, Safe Headphones for Cycling AND Swimming
Charging and Battery Life on the Shokz OpenRun Pro vs. Shokz OpenRun
Both of these headphones have built-in quick charging via a handy magnetic charger. The OpenRun Pro are faster, taking about an hour for a full charge, compared to 1.5 to 2 hours for the OpenRun. The OpenRun Pro will also last longer on a full charge (10 hours compared to 8 hours).
Personally, I have never found the battery life and charge time on the OpenRun headphones to be a problem. They charge while I shower, and they last me all day long.
Bottom Line on the Shokz OpenRun Pro vs. Shokz OpenRun Bone Conduction Headphones
If you have ever read any of my posts, you know that I have been a fan of these headphones since they were first launched. I just find the concept of combining listening pleasure with safe cycling to be so awesome. That has not changed. If anything, I just love them a little bit more every day. Like a really good marriage. Or the most perfect bike in the world (which for me is always the one I just recently bought).
So for me, the bottom line is that both of these headphones are just perfect for cyclists (or runners) who want to listen to music but still be safe in traffic.
That said, if I was in the tragic situation of not owning either of them, which one would I buy? Honestly, that would be a tough decision. I could absolutely make do with the Shokz Open Run. Especially as I almost never have to transport my headphones anywhere, so that the case is not a deal breaker for me. But given that these headphones last for a very long time, and I love them so much … I would probably spring for the more expensive Shokz OpenRun Pro, and get to enjoy the strong carry case, the improved bass, the faster charge time, and the longer battery life.
Whichever one you choose, you can’t go wrong for entertainment while cycling safely.
Related Post: Best Headphones for Safe Cycling
Check Out Our Most Popular Posts!
Did you enjoy this post or find it helpful? If so, please support our blog!
We write this blog because we love cycling. But we also need to earn a living, so we REALLY would appreciate if you click through to one of our reputable affiliates for your online shopping. We are proudly affiliated with Amazon, which sells pretty much everything, and has outstanding shipping and return policies. When you buy from our affiliates we make a small commission, and this is the only way we earn any income. Plus, it costs you nothing at all - a real win/win situation!
Leave a Reply