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Review

AfterShokz GameZ Wireless Mobile Gaming Headset Review

Military-grade.

It’s an impressive sounding statement when a pair of headphones can proudly declare that they feature military-grade bone-conduction technology on the box. Aimed at the mobile gamer, the Gamez Aftershokz headset make use of this unusual technology to enable you to hear both your game and the outside world, and while it takes some getting used to, they’re surprisingly effective.

First impressions of the headphones are good, with embossed images and a magnetised box lid making it feel as though you’ve bought a premium product. Sadly some of that is lost with the headphones sitting in some extremely flimsy plastic moulding, which didn’t invite me to return them to the box when not in use, though with the included pouch it’s safe to assume that you’re not meant to.

The headphones carry through their military-grade technology with a militaristic metallic green finish, which carries around the band that wraps around the back of your head. The sound-conducting transducers at both ends hang over your ear, and rest on your cheekbones, which in turn transmit the sound to you via vibrations that reach your inner-ear.

AfterShokz_Gamez_metallic_green-2

The only controls you’ve got on the headset are two rubberised volume buttons and a power button that doubles for pairing. They sit alongside the micro-USB charging point, which is itself hidden by a rubberised cover to ensure that no moisture makes its way into the set, whether you’re out in the rain or excercising.

The set includes a rubber securing band which you can fit to the inside of the central band if you’re after a snug fit, and given the importance of the positioning of the transducers I opted to use it throughout. During my time using them, both indoors and out, I found that they stayed in position very well, even when performing more physically demanding tasks or running, and were comfortable throughout. I was also pleasantly surprised that they fit alongside my glasses when I wore both, which is a common problem with many of my over-ear headphones.

Syncing with your chosen device is as simple as holding the power button for ten seconds, at which point the headphones announce that they’re pairing. I had no problem then finding the headphones in my Bluetooth list, and they merrily connected to my iPhone, Windows Phone and PlayStation Vita with audio confirmation. Sadly they don’t connect to my PS4 which would have been a pleasant bonus, particularly with the presence of the in-built mic, but the PS4 doesn’t support Bluetooth headsets.

AfterShokz_Gamez_Packaging_All

In use, they performed admirably across a range of applications, with game audio, including speech, coming across clearly, while TV programmes and films were similarly listenable. Music does however often lack some of the bottom end punch you may be used to from your traditional set-up, but the headset’s other functionality help to counterbalance that. The in-built noise-cancelling microphones certainly worked admirably for both phone calls and game chat, and their inclusion greatly adds to the AfterShokz offering.

The AfterShokz label feels as though it’s a good explanation of how the headphones feel when in use. With the audio being transmitted to your inner-ear via vibrations in your cheekbones you’ll feel a slight tingling sensation at lower levels all the way up to distinct rumbling at high volume. It’s likely to be a very personal choice as to whether you find it distracting or disconcerting, but I found them comfortable and eminently usable.

I found their best application was actually during exercise, and having swapped them for my old ear-buds, I greatly enjoyed running whilst listening to music and also being able to hear the world around me. The ability to hear traffic in these situations was invaluable, and equally being able to hear other people talking or your train announcement is also a massive boon. When combined with the fact that the Gamez are also sweat proof, you can be sure that no matter how hard you push yourself, or a game grips you, your headset is still going to deliver.

AfterShokz_Gamez_metallic_green_side2

Given the way in which the sound is transmitted to you, there is a higher level of sound-bleed from the Aftershokz compared to an over-ear pair of headphones or ear-buds. Depending on the situation and the volume that you tend to listen to things that could be a problem, with other passengers on a bus or train likely to hear some of what you’re playing or watching, particularly when you’ve got them cranked up.

The audio quality is at its best when you’re static, with the set delivering a solid spectrum of sound, as long as you have the transducers in the correct position. If not, the audio lacks bass, and depending on the type of content you’ll be listening to that could be a deal-breaker. When out jogging, despite the fact that it didn’t feel as though the set had moved particularly, the audio was certainly less bass-heavy than my standard headphones. Of course, the different functionality balances against that.

The Gamez Aftershokz headset offers a remarkable piece of technology at a reasonable price, and while the audio quality is never going to challenge a set aimed at a true audiophile, the ability to hear the external world at the same time as your chosen content should make them distinctly attractive to someone looking for something a bit different.

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8 Comments
  1. Forrest_01
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    “Depending on the situation and the volume that you tend to listen to things that could be a problem, with other passengers on a bus or train likely to hear some of what you’re playing or watching, particularly when you’ve got them cranked up”

    No good for porn then. Gotcha.

    Comment posted on 22/01/2016 at 10:23.
  2. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    I’ve never liked in-ear headsets and find many over-ear sets become uncomfortable after a while so i would be interested in trying one of these transducer sets, but it would have to be PS4 compatible.

    Comment posted on 22/01/2016 at 11:19.
  3. RudeAwakening
    Member
    Since: Jan 2011

    What’s the price of these badboys?!

    Comment posted on 22/01/2016 at 21:04.
    • Dominic Leighton
      Member
      Since: Mar 2012

      The GameZ headset hasn’t launched over here yet, but has an RRP of $99.95. The very similar Bluez 2 are available though and are around the £75 mark on Amazon.

      Comment posted on 22/01/2016 at 23:34.
      • RudeAwakening
        Member
        Since: Jan 2011

        Chees Dominic, thanks for the reply.

        Comment posted on 22/01/2016 at 23:47.
  4. JaredvonAxe
    Member
    Since: Feb 2016

    The mobile gaming headset seems a pretty good idea, but probably it’s more of a subniche of the gaming headphones niche. I’m not so sure I’d buy the headset myself since I use my main PC headphones on the cell phone as well. For traveling I usually use my Bluetooth headphones.
    But for younger generations that are familiar with mobile gaming, this is a good product.
    Do you think they can be as good as regular gaming heaphones here: http://headphonesaddict.com/best-gaming-headset-gaming-headphones/
    If so you can safe some money with it, plus have the ability to take them with you. That would be pretty nice.

    Comment posted on 03/02/2016 at 15:04.
  5. JamieVonDeich
    Member
    Since: Jun 2016

    This headset looks very good with the headband-style look, but what about the sound quality compared to the Logitech G930 which is considered a good wireless gaming headset? https://www.earbudsaddict.com/headsets/best-overall-wireless-gaming-headset/ ? and connectivity?

    Comment posted on 13/06/2016 at 14:19.
  6. viiiloi
    Member
    Since: Aug 2016

    I think this is one of the best headset and you can use it for long hours, which makes it even more useful and I will buy this one for sure, till now I have been using normal headphones like http://headphoneshelper.com/best-noise-cancelling-headphones/

    Comment posted on 08/08/2016 at 19:01.

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