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Bone conduction headphones are the solution to the exercise-sound conundrum. After being around for a few years, a number of brands have muscled in on the space, including Mojawa. We’ve been putting their latest model, the Run Plus, through its paces.
Mojawa Run Plus Key Features
Listening to music, taking in the latest podcast or participating in the weekly Zoom call – our digital lives necessitate a constant stream of audio to our ears.
Whilst traditional earphones or headphones are great in most circumstances, they aren’t necessarily the safest choice for wearing when riding a bike or running.
Plus having worn in-ear headphones for riding, working and travelling over the past 10 years, I’ve started to worry about what the constant racket is doing to my hearing. Depending on where in the world you are reading this, it might also be illegal for you to cycle with headphones.
Bone conduction headphones obviously don’t drown out boring co-worker chit-chat or the incessant drown of traffic rushing by, but that’s kind of their point. They enable you to hear audio and other surrounding sounds too.
If you cycle in a helmet and traditional wired headphones (whether Bluetooth or old-school AUX style) you’ll have felt that frustrating feeling when wires become tangled or interfere with your helmet straps. An often overlooked advantage of bone conducting headphones is their ability to stay put when riding. They’re unlikely to fall or drop out, ensuring you never miss a beat or word whilst riding.
Wearing the Mojawa Run Plus
At 29g (our weight), these bone conducting are pretty light. They’re in the right ballpark when compared to competitors’ products, certainly those with integrated storage for listening to audio in the pool. I didn’t make use of the integrated MP3 player, but tracks can be loaded by plugging the charging cable into your computer.
I wore the headphones on rides up to two hours long and didn’t find them uncomfortable. I like to wear sunglasses and normal headphones on the outside of my helmet straps and doing the same with the Mojawa headphones didn’t cause me any angst.
Using the Mojawa Run Plus
When riding (or doing anything else for that matter) the headphones can be controlled in a variety of ways. The on/off/pause/play/change track switch is on the left and is activated by a simple button. A reassuring ‘pop’ noise lets you know you’ve pressed the button.
With the unit idle, press the button and the headphones emit a resolute “Power On” message followed by an update of the unit’s current battery level. For example, “Battery High!”
Our Run Plus model came fully charged and it paired with via Bluetooth easily. Press and hold the main power button to enter pairing mode. Impressively these headphones can connect to two different devices at the same time. During work hours I flick flack between my laptop and phone, taking calls, watching videos (for work I promise) and listening to music so this was a welcomed feature.
Other operations like changing the volume can be achieved by deft little swipes on the right-hand side of the headphones. I can’t say found them the most responsive and if you tend to adjust your helmet or scratch your head when riding like I do, you might find yourself activating your phone’s voice assistant – another of the actions you can achieve on this side of the headphones.
I used the headphones for a couple of phone calls when out riding; albeit stopped at the side of the road. None of the callers mentioned that they couldn’t hear me and I never felt like I had to shout to be heard.
Popping on the Mojawa’s and queueing up some of my favourite riding tracks I wasn’t expecting much as far as sound quality goes, but I was genuinely surprised by how the Run Plus performed. The bass that they impart, even at low volumes, is genuinely impressive and much better than other bone-conducting headphones or other smart helmets that I’ve tried in the past.
OK, when riding at speeds over 20mph, the sound does tend to dissipate somewhat – frustrating if you’re listening to spoken word, but no biggie if you’re listening to the latest hot hit I suppose.
Run Time and Battery Life
The run time on these bone conducting headphones is great. Mojawa claim a period of 8 hours and out of the box we managed over 7 hours with on, and off use. During that time I kept the volume around 50%.
For a week’s worth of short bike commuting that’d be great but if you’d like to use them during the day too, you’ll probably need to keep the charging cable at hand. Unfortunately, it’s specific to the headphones.
We’d imagine the use of a proprietary charging cable is due to the way the unit is sealed (IP68 if you want to know the exact rating) against water ingress – understandable yes, but annoying nonetheless. Seemingly no matter how many chargers I have for phones, bike lights or GPS computers, there’s never one at hand when I want one!
Are the Mojawa Run Plus Bone Conducting Headphones Worth It?
Don’t be put off by the name, Mojawa Run Plus are great for cycling and loads of other things for that matter. If you can overlook that funny charging cable and you don’t want to fiddle with the volume controls when riding then give them a go. The dual Bluetooth connection is great as is the sound they impart, and at their current price, they represent good value.
Where to Buy Mojawa Run Plus Headphones
The Mojawa Run Plus Bone Conducting Headphones are available to buy directly from the Mojawa website or (soon) via Amazon