Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz Xtrainerz to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own and no further compensation was given.
The benefit of being in school for my 3rd degree is that I have access to awesome athletic facilities, including a really nice lap pool. When I first started at Kennesaw State in fall 2016 I was in the last 6 weeks of training for Ironman Chattanooga and the access to the pool proved wonders on my swim training. I’m pretty sure I swam more in those last 6 weeks of training than I had in all the previous months leading up that. When I first started triathlon, the swim was my weakest sport. While I’m certainly not fast, the easy access to pool facilities the last few years has allowed me to find a lot of comfort in the swim that I never had before.
Why is swimming awesome?
- Great cross-training: this low impact activity allows for a great cardio workout without the stress on the body. I’ve found that any time I’m in a high load training cycle, my fitness and recovery are A+ if I add 1-2 swim sessions a week.
- Excellent workout option if injured: adding to the first bullet, swimming is a great workout, and allows you to keep moving even if an injury has sidelined your run or bike workouts. Case in point, I’ve had plantar fasciitis since June and have traded 1-2 of my mid-week runs for a swim instead. I’ve been resting my foot, but still keeping strong cardio, and allowing the foot to recover and be ready for the long weekend runs.
- Cathartic and quiet: there’s something very calming about being alone underwater just methodically swimming back and forth following a line on the bottom of the pool.
What sucks about swimming?
- Cathartic and quiet: for those of us with an excessive noisy, sometimes self-harmful brain, the quiet methodical following of a line is also extremely tedious, boring, and opens the squirrel brain up for anxiety inducing thoughts.
Enter: Aftershokz Xtrainerz
I’ve used waterproof headphones before but they were generally uncomfortable and the sound would be garbled like…being underwater, duh. Also, the in-ear design of most headphones means you can’t also wear ear plugs. For me, having ear plugs while swimming is the key to avoiding ear infections; I’ve had several while training for Ironman and they all suck. I even ended up with a perforated ear drum from one particularly bad infection.
Aftershokz are already well-known for their amazing open ear, bone-conduction design. With the new Xtrainerz, you get the open-ear design and can still wear whichever ear plugs you choose. I’ve used wax plugs in the past, but the swimming specific plugs the Xtrainerz come with are the most comfortable and effective ear plugs I’ve used. In addition, continuing the magic that is Aftershokz, the Xtrainerz produce amazing sound quality both in and out of the water, with specific settings for both environments. Using the bone conduction technology under water means that the sound quality is excellent, with none of that underwater garble effect.
Since Bluetooth technology does not work through water, and I don’t know anyone who’d swim with their phone anyway, the Xtrainerz are an MP3 device rather than a Bluetooth device. This means you actually store the music directly on the device, no phone required. The setup is really easy. If you use iTunes, set up a playlist and then use the convert to mp3 menu option (File –> Convert –> Create Mp3 Version). You’ll then be able to copy these songs from the iTunes folder on your computer directly into the Xtrainerz. Note: you’ll only be able to do this with music you own, not streaming music subscriptions. So far I’ve added over 5 hours of music to the Xtrainerz, which has been more than enough distraction for hours of back and forth, following the lane line, entertainment. And as always, Aftershokz are great for outdoor runs and rides where you need a little entertainment but still want to maintain situational awareness. I particularly love how I can listen to music without relying on my phone. This is a great benefit for treadmill runs and gym sessions where I don’t want to carry my phone around with me (I’m prone to leaving it behind on the gym equipment).
Here’s some device specifics directly from the Aftershokz site:
- Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds.
- 4GB of built-in storage to hold up to 1,200 songs with full track and volume control at the touch of a button.
- Supports MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, and FLAC files (not Bluetooth compatible).
- Enjoy eight hours of premium audio stroke after stroke.
- Fully waterproof (IP68 rated) to withstand complete submersion in up to 2 meters of water.
- Simply connect to a computer via the USB cradle to drag and drop your favorite songs.
- OpenFit™ design ensures bud-free, pain-free listening.
- Complete wraparound titanium design provides a flexible fit for unnoticeable all-day comfort and stability in and out of the water.
- PremiumPitch 2.0+ delivers wide dynamic stereo sound and louder volume.
- Charge fully in two hours with the USB charging cradle.
- Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, play mode, and more.
- Hassle-free 2-year warranty included.
Ready to get your swim tunes on? Use code BRBUNDLE to get $50 off the endurance bundle at www.bibrave.aftershokz.com
Here’s what other BibRave Pros have to say about Aftershokz Xtrainerz:
Give Aftershokz some social media love here:
Give BibRave some social media love here: