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Shokz updates earbud and bone-conducting offerings for land and sea

The Shokz OpenSwim Pro (left) and OpenFit Air, on a small outdoor table.
The new Shokz OpenSwim (left) and OpenFit Air are available now. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Shokz — the headphone/earbud company that specializes in options that don’t actually go into or even over your ears — today has dropped a couple new products that add features and functionality in one case, and go easier on your wallet in another.

The bigger of the two updates, arguably, is the OpenSwim Pro. (We’ve got a full OpenSwim Pro review you should check out.)  They build on the original OpenSwim headphones, which use bone conduction to transmit sound into your head (just like the original landlubbing AfterShokz Aeropex). The biggest difference — and the thing that makes the new version “Pro” — is that they add a major feature that was missing the first time around: Bluetooth. That was a pretty limiting factor, meaning that you could only listen to an audio file (music or otherwise) that you sideloaded to the OpenSwim via a computer.

The Shokz OpenSwim Pro alongside a pool.
The Shokz OpenSwim Pro add Bluetooth functionality for when you’re not swimming laps. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

And that’s still how you’ll get music or podcasts or whatever onto the OpenSwim Pro for when you’re in the water. But once you’re out of the pool and done with your laps, you can toggle the OpenSwim Pro back to Bluetooth mode, which then allows you to listen to your favorite streaming music or podcast app. The OpenSwim Pro will cost you $180.

Also new are the OpenFit Air. (Be sure to check out our full OpenFit Air review.) These are open-ear headphones (or earbuds, if you prefer) in that they still use air to move sound around, but they sit just above the entrance to your ear. Like other products that include “Air” in their name, these are a little smaller and a little lighter, and a little less expensive at $120 a pair. (That’s $60 off the retail price of the original OpenFit.) They also have been redesigned just a touch, with a two-tone finish that I’d argue actually looks better. They also retain the same sort of USB-C case for charging.

The Shokz OpenFit Air.
The Shokz OpenFit Air are smaller and less expensive than their older sibling. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

So what’s different? Mostly the speaker. The OpenFit Air don’t sound quite as good as their older siblings. But if you don’t have both to put against each other, it’s likely you’d put them on and still be plenty impressed, especially if you consider that folks tend to buy these sorts of headphones when they need to be able to still hear the world around them and aren’t quite as concerned with perfect audio reproduction.

Both the OpenSwim Pro and OpenFit Air are available now.

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Phil Nickinson
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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