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OneOdio OpenRock Pro

Airborne sound-transmitting open-ear headphones

In a nutshell

OneOdio’s OpenRock Pro deliver a very comfortable and airy wearing and listening experience thanks to their airborne sound technology, where the diaphragm comes to rest in front of the ear. This concept means you have the feeling that the music is almost taking place in the room and not in your head (as with in-ears). In terms of sound, however, they do not quite achieve the frequency spectrum and dynamics of in-ears in the same price segment.

Pros:
  • High wearing comfort
  • Long battery life
  • Adjustable ear hooks
Cons:
  • Midrange-heavy
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In-ears are basically a good thing, however, as the name suggests, they are stuck in your ear canal and close it off if you use them properly. That’s great when it comes to blocking out annoying external noise. In addition, the closed system makes it possible to connect the eardrum to the membrane vibration, which is advantageous in terms of sound, and this is accompanied by significant bass gain. But this can also be a disadvantage. For one thing, not everyone likes the feeling of having something stuck in their ear (especially if you sweat a lot during sports and exercise), and for another, as a jogger or cyclist with limited acoustic perception, you naturally become easier prey for aggressive SUVs or other rowdy road users.

It is a good thing that – apart from the classic headphones, which don’t always do that well in sports use – there are other concepts for close-ear sound. In addition to bone-conduction, as used by Shokz, which always sounds a bit thin due to the concept, there is also direct transmission via the air through a membrane that is positioned very close to the ear. And it is this method that is used by the device from OneOdio that we are testing in this review.

Handling

You simply hang the OpenRock Pro over your ear so that the movable earpiece sits behind the pinna and the driver unit is in front of your ear canal. In order to accommodate different ear shapes, the earpiece can be adjusted to an angle of about 30 degrees. After use or for charging, the earphones fit elegantly into the supplied case, which can be opened and closed very easily thanks to a ribbed texture on its surface.

A recharge is – according to the manufacturer – only necessary after 19 hours of playing time, and we were able to verify this value in our test. The case, with its integrated rechargeable battery, holds enough power for another two and a half charges. A full charging cycle of the headphones takes one and a half hours, while enough power for one hour of listening pleasure can be pumped into the batteries in just five minutes.

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Small buttons on the underside of the Open Ears can be used to remotely control typical functions and telephone commands such as volume control, jumping to tracks or answering and ending telephone calls. If you wear glasses, the additional hook that fits over the ear is not quite ideal – but you can still get the arms of a pair of glasses to fit reasonably well on the OpenRocks ear hooks so that spectacles do not disqualify you from making this purchase.

After all, wearing comfort is certainly the decisive feature when it comes to considering the purchase of the OpenRock Pro. These earpieces really do fit quite superbly over the eardrums: once they have been carefully placed over the ear and bent to fit, you very quickly forget that they are even present.

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Indeed, this was a fundamentally different wearing experience compared to using in- or over-ears because you remain in acoustic contact with your surroundings – for better or for worse. This was particularly pleasant when talking on the phone, as you can still hear yourself very well in the room. OneOdio describes the – relatively simple – creation and adjustment with two rather laboriously made videos, which we naturally want to share with you at this point.

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Technology

A 16.2-millimetre dynamic driver converts the sound, and the sound waves travel via a short air path through the inner ear to the eardrum. The frequency range covers the typical hi-fi range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz. A2DP, AVRCP, HFP and HSP are supported as Bluetooth profiles. The audio codecs used are either aptX, AAC or SBC. Protection against environmental effects extends to IPX5.

Sound

Basically, we are dealing here with a rather unspectacular musical performance. The reproduction spectrum mainly served the mid-range and increasingly flattened out towards the treble and bass. However, it was not so dramatic that – depending on the context – one could say it wasn’t an entertaining musical performance. If you want to be immersed in the music, value a wide sound stage, and have surgically precise highs and club-level bass, then you will only enjoy the OpenRock Pro to a limited extent. However, if you are just looking for unobtrusive background sound while working, exercising or travelling, you should feel very comfortable with the sound.

In short: The sound may not be an exciting experience, but it is still fun. The relatively decent bass reproduction is astonishing – despite the lossy air transmission – the patented “TubeBass” technology is responsible for this feat.

Conclusion

With their OpenRock Pro, OneOdio brings an interesting as well as welcome new concept to the field of close-ear sound reproduction. If you have not been happy with in-ears so far, either because they make you feel too isolated from the environment or you simply don’t like the feeling of having something stuck in your ears, you should find a good alternative here. Although the sound was not quite as good as the body and frequency spectrum of in-ears in the same price range, they opened up a completely new wearing experience. And they provide an altered perception of music by allowing you to stay in acoustic contact with your environment; it also feels as if the music is taking place in the room and not in your head.

10 months ago by Numinos
  • Rating: 4.13
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingOpen-Ear
  • Typeopen
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
  • Weight without cable13 g

What's in the box

  • Charging cable (USB-A/C)
  • Charging case

Special features

  • Available in black and silver
  • BT codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX
  • BT version: 5.2

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