When it comes to portable, personal audio, many of us are content to plug our ears with buds or cover them with cushioned cups. Such designs help isolate the user from environmental noise and improve the listening experience. But there are times when one needs/wants situational awareness, such as with outdoor running, hiking, or cycling. Trekz Titanium, the latest bone-conduction headphones from AfterShokz, are claimed to offer premium sound and safety for the best of both worlds.

Bone conduction technology transmits audio by sending vibrations to the inner ear through the bones in one's cheek. Unlike sound waves that travel through the air, bone conduction bypasses the eardrum, yet delivers the same sort of nerve impulses to the brain to be recognized as sound. AfterShokz has been working with this technology for some time, having launched its flagship product just a few years back. More recently, Microsoft adapted Aftershokz' technology for prototyping a headset to guide the blind.

The AfterShokz Trekz Titanium packs modern hardware underneath a sweat- and dust-resistant exterior, ideal for those with active lifestyles. These bone conduction headphones feature Bluetooth 4.0, an internal battery good for six hours of play per full charge, on-board track and volume controls, and dual microphones for hands-free calling. As its name implies, the Trekz Titanium also features a titanium frame that helps to keep it lightweight, durable, and flexible.

In order to deliver more of a premium experience, AfterShokz has implemented special solutions to address the issues of leaking sound and weak bass response. The patented PremiumPitch+ and LeakSlayer technologies are designed to help improve dynamic range and bass while reducing the amount of natural sound leakage.

As a result, music and conversations should sound better and be more private. And since bone conduction headphones leave ears unobstructed, users benefit by being able to hear ambient sound for situational awareness and safety.

AfterShokz is currently raising production funds on Indiegogo, having raised 211 percent of its US$65,000 goal in one day, with another 40 days of funding to go. A pledge of $99, which saves $30 off the MSRP, lets you choose a Trekz Titanium in either Ocean or Ivy color. AfterShokz intends to ship backer rewards sometime this December. If everything goes smoothly and as planned, people may get their bone conduction Trekz Titanium just in time for the holidays.

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