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Add Music Without Losing the World Around You: Shokz ‘OpenFit Air’ Review

A compromise of sound, safety, and comfort, Shokz OpenFit Air allows sounds from the real world to permeate the earbud experience.
Shokz OpenFit Air ReviewThe author wearing Shokz OpenFit Air; (photo/Sean McCoy)
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Mobile music is a miracle. From airplanes to morning runs to conference calls from a park bench, earbuds have changed how we work and unwind. But they do have downsides: discomfort and disconnection from reality.

The Shokz OpenFit Air solves both these problems while still bumping the bass, ringing that treble, and sounding good enough to sing along. Just remember, nobody else can hear that tune playing in your ears.

Shokz OpenFit Air earbud
Shokz OpenFit Air earbud; (photo/Sean McCoy)

In short: SHOKZ OpenFit Air ($119) is a light, comfortable, open-ear design that offers long battery life and good sound quality while allowing for situational awareness. It comes in a streamlined charging case and pairs seamlessly with smartphones or other devices.

Check out our complete buying guide to the best earbuds here.

Shokz OpenFit Air


  • Battery 6 hours single charge, 28 hours with charging case, 30 days standby
  • Weight 8.7g per earbud; Charging case 56.4g
  • Water resistance rating IP54
  • Microphone 2 mics with Adaptive Beamforming
  • Connectivity type Bluetooth 5.2


  • Very comfortable
  • Situational awareness
  • Good sound
  • Easy to use


  • Does not cancel external sound
  • Minimal water resistance

Shokz OpenFit Air Headphones Review

Shokz OpenFit Air is the most comfortable headphone I’ve used yet. No doubt, as earbuds go, these fit incredibly well. I also reviewed and liked the original Shokz OpenFit. And while those were certainly good, the OpenFit Air is even better.

Shokz OpenFit Air Review
The author wearing Shokz OpenFit Air; (photo/Sean McCoy)

That’s because of some minor changes to the shape and materials. They’re both subtle, but the new version fits better for me.

Beyond the subtle change in comfort and fit, the OpenFit Air is very similar to the original version. They’re a little lighter, have a slightly shorter battery life, and use a different but good microphone.

Otherwise, they were exactly as I expected. Pairing the OpenFit Air was very easy. Just open the case for the first time and a light flashes orange and green. Open your phone and select the device for pairing. Boom, you’re in.

Then, just play music, listen to podcasts, make calls, or whatever. The Shokz OpenFit Air just works.

As I write this, “Goodbye Carolina” by Marcus King rings in my ears, but I can hear the breeze in the Siberian elm behind my house. The wailing guitar balances King’s husky baritone. Damn, that’s a good song. And it sounds good in the Shokz OpenFit Air.

Shokz Openfit Air in charging case
Shokz OpenFit Air in charging case; (photo/Sean McCoy)

I used them on a recent airplane trip and enjoyed music for the 2-hour flight. It was clear and immersive. But unlike noise-canceling headphones that I often wear, I could still make out the sound of cabin announcements and people talking around me.

That may be a negative for air travel or times you want to concentrate. But for normal life, like going for a run in public, it’s very helpful to be able to hear the bus coming down the road or the dog barking at you. I have never liked the bubble that earbuds put me in, and don’t even like wearing them around home when I’m alone.

Well, the OpenFit Air takes you out of the bubble. You can still enjoy digital sound. But with an awareness of the real world, I feel just a little safer, a little more aware. Coupled with comfort and secure fit, these are some great, affordable earbuds at just under $120.

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