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Review of the $160 AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Headphones

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Review of the $160 AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Headphones

I like to have options, especially when it comes to the way I listen to music. Sometimes that means that I want to shut myself off from the rest of the world to live in my own personal soundscape—in other situations, I want (or even need) to let the outside in.

I spend an alarming amount of time tuned in to the media on my phone. As a commuter, runner, and gym rat, I always like to have a soundtrack to keep me company. Thankfully for me, I’m a fitness and tech writer, which means I have access to just about every headphone available to test. On ear, over ear, true wireless—they’re all great.

But the most transformative listening experience I’ve had since my first set of wireless earphones came when I tried out the open-ear, bone conduction features of AfterShokz. The company just released its latest model, the Aeropex, and testing the new tech has changed the way I think about headphones.

AfterShockz


Aftershokz

AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Headphones

$159.95

amazon.com

AfterShokz’s latest open-ear headphones won’t become your everyday wear, but if you love working out in the open air or in a highly active gym, these are your new best friend. 

  • Open ear design to stay aware of surroundings
  • Secure fit and feel
  • Extra long battery life and sweat protection
  • Less clear sound than standard earphones
  • Wraparound design makes glasses fit oddly
  • Slight sound leakage

The big sell here is the bone conduction audio delivery system, which allows the listener to keep their ears uncovered, even while the music is pumping. The tech depends on “transducers [that] guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears,” according to the company, whose products also feature built-in systems that adjust for pitch and limit “sound leakage,” the two biggest limitations you might expect from this type of setup. Technically, the Aeropex match up to other fitness-focused audio devices on the market. The company claims you’ll get up to 8 hours of battery life per charge, along with an IP67 waterproof rating.

Does the Bone Conduction Hearing Tech Work?

Usually, my biggest concern for my earphones is audio quality. I’ll make some sacrifices for the way buds fit or battery life if that means I have access to booming bass and crystal clear sound, but if I have a hard time focusing on what I’m listening to, it’s game over. The first time I used bone conduction headphones (AfterShokz’s older Trekz Air model) I was in a gym setting, with an obnoxious Top 40 playlist blaring over the overhead speakers. I wanted desperately to drown out the cursed Pitbull songs poisoning the air around me, but the open-ear design left me exposed. I wrote the concept off, and put my more traditional in-ear buds in to finish the workout.

Then, I received the new Aeropex test unit. My first order of business was to take the headphones on a run. As soon as I hit the road, I could tell this was an entirely different experience than I had in the weight room. With some headphones, you can feel the impact of your footfalls in your sealed ears, creating a jarring thump thump thump effect that results in a headache after a few miles. The opposite was the case here. My strides were constant in the periphery of my hearing, but in a minor and reassuring way. I was able to zone in on my pace and the music, and then the audiobook when I shifted media to see if the bone conduction tech was only good for music. Everything actually sounded good.

These headphones allow you to listen in without totally dropping out of the world around you.

I was never totally in my own world wearing the Aeropex, which was crucially important as a city runner. While I love cancelling out all noise at times—shoutout again to that terrible gym playlist and the NYC MTA—the realities of sharing the roads and sidewalks make it safer to retain at least some awareness of what’s happening outside of my aural bubble. That open sensation was also welcome when I took my run to the trail, where I still had some awareness of the wind in the trees and the crunch of dead leaves underfoot while the music played. It was more like the added audio was a companion, rather than the all-consuming force demanding my attention.

More Than Just a Runner

The time spent running won me over—but I thought that the usefulness of the AfterShokz tech ended outside. Then, I decided to bring them into my martial arts gym on a whim. I love to spend my Sunday afternoons working on my Muay Thai bag skills, performing drills and perfecting combos. I always share the mat with a group of people practicing jiu jitsu, who roll on the floor behind me.

I’ve tried to listen to music on headphones on the mat before, but the noise-cancelling properties of devices like the Powerbeats Pro left me dangerously unaware of my surroundings.

image

AfterShokz

With the Aeoropex, I was able to both listen to a high-octane playlist and retain most of my peripheral senses, so there was little danger of being caught unawares by an errant pair of grapplers. These headphones allow you to listen in without totally dropping out of the world around you, a rare accomplishment in world filled with devices that demand attention.

The Final Word

That’s not to say that the Aeropex is a flawless set of headphones. The audio quality of the bone conduction system is good, but can’t quite compete in terms of full-bodied sound with more traditional rigs. Listening on a crowded train or gym might leave you feeling overstimulated, and while the tech limiting sound leakage is fairly effective, the headphones were audible being played at high volume in a quiet room (to be fair, this is a problem for many traditional headphones, too). The $160 price tag might scare off some more casual listeners, too, since you probably won’t wear these outside of your workouts.

I won’t be using the Aeropex as my do-everything earbud—I have other options for that. But for dedicated runners and gym-goers who want to open up their ears, the bone conduction tech will be a revelation. My runs, for one, will never be the same now that I’ve broken through the sound seal I was stuck behind.

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Dr. Pimple Popper Removes a Super Long ‘Alfalfa Sprout’ Blackhead

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  • In a new Instagram compilation video, Dr. Pimple Popper squeezes a series of gunky blackheads from four different patients.
  • One particularly lengthy blackhead removed in the compilation has fans calling it an “alfalfa sprout.”
  • Blackheads, or open comedos, are clogged pores that are filled with dead skin cells and oil, often referred to as sebum.

    Say “goodbye” to your favorite green superfood. In a new Instagram compilation video, Dr. Pimple Popper — aka, dermatologist and TLC host Dr. Sandra Lee, MD — removes four sticky blackheads from several different patients. One particular blackhead may just be the longest blackhead you’ve ever seen — and fans are comparing it to an “alfalfa sprout.”

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    Dr. Lee uses a comedone extractor to remove most of the blackheads in the video. The surgical tool pops out the trapped gunk with a firm press to the skin, causing minimal damage to the tissue. The “alfalfa sprout” blackhead is one of the pops released with the comedone extractor, twirling out in a long white string from a patient’s nose. It’s truly something to see — and will make you avoid a certain superfood forever.

    “Alfalfa sprout much?” one fan commented on the video, to which Dr. Lee responded, “Very accurate!” Another added, “That bean sprout,” which was followed up by three hearts. What a time we live in.

    Blackheads, or open comedos, are actually clogged pores that are filled with dead skin cells and oil, not dirt or grime as myth may suggest. The blackish portion of a blackhead is due to the oxidation of the dead skin cells and oil when exposed to air. The white substance seen in the sprout extraction is actually made of the same mixture of dead skin and oil as the black-hued portion of the blackhead, though these contents are unoxidized.

    Watch the video below to see the long bean-like tendril twirl out:

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Joseph Baena and Sergio Oliva Jr. Post Ultimate Gym Photo

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Joseph Baena, a regular at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, just posted a workout pic with fellow bodybuilding scion Sergio Oliva Jr., who is currently training for the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio in March this year.

“The Next Generation!” Baena wrote in the caption. “Wishing my brother the best of luck as he trains for @arnoldsports!”

While the two bodybuilders appear to be great friends, their fathers were famous rivals. Baena’s father, of course, is the Austrian Oak-turned-Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who won Mr. Universe at the age of 20 and took home the title of Mr. Olympia no fewer than seven times. Oliva’s father and namesake was a three-time Mr Olympia, and the only man to ever beat Schwarzenegger to that title, which he did in 1969.

“I understood why they called him ‘the Myth,'” Schwarzenegger wrote in his 1977 memoir. “It was as jarring as if I’d walked into a wall. He destroyed me. He was so huge, he was so fantastic, there was no way I could even think of beating him. I admitted my defeat and felt some of my pump go away. I tried.”

It’s far from the first time Baena has made a reference to his father’s legacy in the sport. In addition to looking a hell of a lot like a young Arnold, he’s recreated a handful of his dad’s most iconic bodybuilder poses on Instagram before. The two also work out regularly together, with Baena calling him “the best training partner in the world.”

Baena also uses his social media presence to share his gains, show off some of his favorite techniques, and encourage followers to push themselves in their own workouts. Although as of yet, he doesn’t have his father’s habit of correcting other people’s form at the gym.

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Meet the New ‘Biggest Loser’ Cast 2020

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The Biggest Loser Cast 2020

USA Network

After a four-year break, The Biggest Loser returns January 28, 2020. The series airs on USA Network, features new trainers, and emphasizes overall health, according to the team: host Bob Harper and trainers Erica Lugo and Steve Cook.

“We’re really focusing on the mind-body connection,” Harper told Women’s Health, explaining that challenging workouts can be used to help people overcome emotional hurdles.

The show has received criticism in the past for promoting extreme and unhealthy weight loss, but the new team says their priority is to help people accomplish their fitness or health goals—not a number on the scale.

New for this season is enhanced support after the show, according to Women’s Health. All contestants will receive a free gym membership, nutrition counseling, and weight-loss support groups.

“Five or six years ago I was 322 pounds, and now here I am a trainer on America’s number one weight loss TV show,” Lugo previously told Men’s Health. “There is no one who can stop you if you want to do this.”

Meet the 12 contestants on The Biggest Loser 2020:

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1

Domenico Brugellis

Brugellis is a dad raising a six-year-old daughter in New York, according to his bio on USA. A former chef, Brugellis is the current food manager with the Department of Education, meaning he creates the menu for students across New York City. He’s struggled with maintaining a healthy relationship with food and hopes that joining The Biggest Loser helps. He begins the season weighing 323 pounds.

2

Jim DiBattista

A dad to three boys, DiBattista coaches a local youth football team in his native city, Philadelphia, Pa. Both of DiBattista’s parents died young, which inspired the coach to lead a healthier life. He signed up for The Biggest Loser so he can be there for his family. He joins the first season weighing 385 pounds.

3

Katarina Bouton

Bouton, 23, is a cardiac nurse from Jacksonville, Fl, who says she always struggled with her weight. She teaches others about healthy eating, but often consumes high-calorie fast food meals due to her busy job. Bouton joined The Biggest Loser at 293 pounds to adopt the healthy habits she promotes to patients.

4

Kim Davis

Kim Davis, from Mulberry, Tenn., works as a tour guide at a whiskey distillery. She battled breast cancer nearly 20 years ago and wants to ensure she leads a long and healthy life, according to her bio. She joins The Biggest Loser at 242 pounds.

5

Kristi McCart

McCart is a wife, mother, and attorney with her own law and estate planning practice in Riverview, Fl. Her challenging relationship with food began as a child. She traveled between her divorced parents’ households and rarely knew when her next meal would be. McCart has previously lost weight by using extreme measures and wants to learn healthy habits. She joins The Biggest Loser weighing 264 pounds.

6

Kyle Yeo

Yeo lived most of his life as a closeted gay man and used food to cope with hiding his true identity, according to his bio. Now, Yeo is comfortable speaking about his sexuality and wants to develop a healthier relationship with food. Yeo joins The Biggest Loser from Kansas City, Mo., where was born and raised. Yeo begins the season at 302 pounds and has the support of his family.

7

Megan Hoffman

A 35-year-old from Simi Valley, Calif, Hoffman works in operations at a gym. Hoffman would like to live a healthier lifestyle and hopes joining The Biggest Loser will help her do so. She joins the show weighing 290 pounds.

8

Micah Collum

Micah Collum, 23, hails from Oneonta, Ala., and had a difficult childhood. Collum’s parents are divorced and his mother struggled with addiction, leaving Collum and his six siblings to fend for themselves. Collum played football and basketball in high school. Since graduating, he gained nearly 100 pounds and wants to develop healthier habits. He joins The Biggest Loser weighing 326 pounds.

9

PhiXavier Holmes

PhiXavier Holmes lives in Washington, D.C., where she works as a school counselor. She began using food as a coping mechanism after her father passed away. As PhiXavier’s family are in Louisiana, the counselor relies on her friends and coworkers in D.C. for support. She joins this season weighing 357 pounds.

10

Robert Richardson

Robert Richardson II is a husband and father who lives in Lafayette, La. Richardson is the son of a former NFL player and dreamed of playing football professionally. However, a series of injuries shattered those dreams when Richardson was in college. He joins The Biggest Loser weighing 409 pounds.

11

Teri Aguiar

Teri Aguiar is a flight nurse who drops from the sky to save lives. A recently divorced mom of two teens, Aguiar travels throughout Illinois transporting critically ill patients by helicopter, however her weight sometimes slows down her rescues. Aguiar is also the former Miss Missouri, 1999. She joins this season weighing 256 pounds.

12

Delores Tomorrow

Delores Tomorrow is a Chicago, Il, native who wants to build a better community in her hometown. The founder of a non-profit that serves teen girls of color, Tomorrow served on the Advance Team for former First Lady Michelle Obama. She joins The Biggest Loser weighing 280 pounds.

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