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On top of all that, earbuds rarely stay in my ears when I'm running. The last thing I need is to lose an expensive pair of earbuds when physics gets the best of the tiny technology and gravity takes the earbud for a crash landing on the pavement. When I first discovered bone-conducting headphones, all those woes were alleviated. Not only did the technology work, but I also wasn't having to constantly shell out money for replacement earbuds.
Recently, I was contacted by a company I'd never heard of (Mojawa) that had a pair of bone-conducting headphones resembling my favorite Shokz Open Run Pros. Mojawa wanted me to give its product a try. I was more than happy to take them for a spin (or, in my case, a run). The headphones are called the Mojawa Run Plus and they are impressive.
I'm not going to lie. The first run wasn't exactly a spectacular outing. However, the initial impression of the hardware itself was impressive. One complaint I've had (for the longest time) about the Shokz headphones: The button to pause and skip songs is tiny. Even worse, it can be challenging to get the double-click right to skip a song. Double-click too quickly and it registers as a single click. I've always had problems with that Open Run Pro button.
The Mojawa Run Plus headphones solve that problem completely. With a much bigger button on the left side of the phones, there are zero problems with pausing (one click), skipping (two clicks), or replaying (three clicks) a song.
The Mojawa takes the UX even further by adding a touch "slider" on the right side of the phones. Swipe up to increase the volume and swipe down to decrease the volume. Unlike the Shokz, which uses two small physical buttons on the underside of the right side of the device to change volume, the Mojawa makes increasing/decreasing the sound very easy.
The reason the first run outing was less than spectacular was that I had trouble with the sound. The sound was far too soft and no matter how many times I swiped up on the touchpad, it wouldn't increase. That's problematic for bone-conducting headphones because your ears are wide open and the ambient sound can easily drown out the music.
Fortunately, the ensuing runs didn't suffer from that issue. I'm not sure if it was a Spotify or Android issue, but the next time I went to test the Mojawa Run Plus, they sounded considerably louder. In fact, I would easily place them on par with the Shokz Open Run Pro (which are the best bone-conducting headphones I've tried).
The Mojawa Run Plus specs look like this:
Battery type: 150 mAh Li-Polymer with a charge time of 50 minutes and 8 hours of playtime.
Dual suspension anchor system for deeper/more resonant bass.
Voice assistant: Yes
Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz
Sensitivity: 110dB+/- 5dB
Bluetooth version: 5.2
MP3 Storage: 32 GB
Weight: 29.7 g
Obviously, some of the features (such as EQ and MP3 Storage) require the use of an app. I generally don't install such apps (because I prefer security and privacy over added features), so I haven't bothered with the EQ or the MP3 storage. That's fine, as I don't need those options. Why? Bone-conducting headphones can only sound so good and I always run with my phone.
Who are these for?
Not everyone can get accustomed to bone-conducting headphones. I've had both friends and family who have tried them (on my recommendation) and a handful of people have come back to say they didn't like how they felt on their heads. Everyone else loved them.
These headphones have supplanted my Shokz Open Run Pros for the time being. We'll see if longevity is on the side of the Run Plus (as Shokz headphones tend to go the distance). If so, these headphones will come with my highest recommendation for active people who are looking for headphones that can tolerate sweat, water, and the typical beating that exercise inflicts on such technology.