Bone conduction headphones aren’t for everybody as they’re a unique audio experience. Designed with active lifestyles in mind, they are often lightweight and waterproof.
Bone conduction headphones don’t go on the ear or in the ear; they wrap around the head and rest on your temples. Music and audio essentially play through directly into your head.
Earlier this year we had a chance to look at the Shokz OpenRun Pro, finding them to be very well rounded and among the best bone conduction headphones we’ve tested.
More recently, however, we’ve been checking out a similar product, the Shokz OpenRun Mini. As the name suggests, they’re a smaller take on the same design. How different are they? Is it worth spending, or saving yourself $50 by selecting a different model? As it turns out, the two models are very close to each other, sharing many of the same features.
Weighing in at just 26 grams, the Shokz OpenRun Mini are the lightest headphones in the brand’s lineup. That makes them incredibly comfortable to wear, even for longer periods.
With that lighter weight comes a smaller footprint, too. The smaller band means less space between it and the back of your head. For some people means a more snug fit. The OpenRun Mini are a great options for teens, younger users, or those who do like that tighter feel.
A commons side effect with the smaller designs is usually less battery life. At eight hours of battery on a full charge, that’s a full day’s usage or nearly a week’s worth of workouts, and the same as the standard OpenRun. Standby time is rated 240 hours so they can hold a charge while you rest and recover. A 5-minute quick charge adds 1.5 hours of listening time.
The OpenRun Mini are IP67 rated and designed to weather dirt, sweat, and water. In fact, they can withstand submersion in 1 meter of water for up to a half hour. Contrast that with the OpenRun Pro and the IP55 rating and these come out ahead.
Other noteworthy features in the OpenRun Mini are the dual noise-cancelling microphones, moisture detection alerts, and support for a variety of Bluetooth profiles.
There’s no major difference in how the headphones sound as these employ the 8th generation of Shokz bone conduction technology with the OpenRun Pro being slightly newer. In my testing I had trouble discerning anything noticeable.
Music sound good but you won’t get warm, rich sound from them. That’s just not how these operate. They do offer up a crisp sound that’s easy to pick up and relatively loud.
When it comes down to it, the OpenRun Mini are essentially a smaller take on the familiar design. They nearly the same in all other features and even come out on top if IP ratings and weight are big factors. And like the other model, they are backed by a two-year warranty.
If you’re not quite sure whether these will fit your head, this might help. Measure the space from the middle of your left ear around the back of your head to the middle of the right ear.
If your measurement is 9.25 inches+ (23.49 centimeters), opt for the OpenRun or OpenRun Pro. If your measurement is less than this, the OpenRun Mini should work.
All things considered, these are excellent headphones for their intended use. On balance, I prefer these as they’ll keep $50 in your pocket.
Learn more about the OpenRun Mini at the Shokz website where they’re also available to purchase in two colors, Blue and Black.