Aftershokz OpenComm is a bone conduction headset for the Zoom generation

Since these headphones are more tailored to work-related communications, there’s a slight dip in decibel sensitivity compared to other AfterShokz headphones. However, bone conduction works well with the spoken voice, which is part of the reason its worked well in military applications.

The boom mic on the left side rotates about 270 degrees and is flexible, but without a metal core it’s not quite adjustable beyond rotation. If you want to move it out of the way while you eat, you’ll have to flip it up to your temple or back across your ear, not that either is uncomfortable. The standard power, volume and feature controls persist here for those familiar with AfterShokz’s layout, and there’s a multi-function button opposite the mic.


The mic’s DSP noise canceling works great here, far better than normal AfterShokz models. In a comparison test with music playing in the background while I chatted, the Aeropex let background audio into the mix and reduced my vocal clarity for the other end of the line. OpenComm was able to ignore much of the background sound and focus on what’s being said, serving it up clearly even in the midst of minor cacophony. I’m guessing it would work well to isolate your comments from the sound of dogs barking or children generally wilding out. And if you joined a Google Meet from the grocery store, they may never be the wiser, even if you need to unmute.

And while you’re in meetings, listening to some tunes or suffering along with news of the political world, it helps to keep your ears open for that important delivery or to audibly keep track of people in the house and what may have just dropped onto the floor in the kitchen. Situational awareness has no bounds.

AfterShokz OpenComm are still very niche compared to most other headphones and some people don’t need to be quite so alert while at home. But if things get lively around your house, you probably don’t get a chance to immerse yourself in an audio-only wonderland anyway. If you’re out and about, the noise-cancelling boom mic will let you converse with less of the background noise normal headset mics offer. And if you’re somehow back at the office, these offer less chance of people sneaking up on you unaware while you’re looking at recipes hard at work.

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