Even though earbud manufacturers focus on improving the ANC technology, sometimes you need the opposite — to minimize the noise cancellation in favor of being aware of your surroundings.
OneOdio’s recent entry, the OpenRock Pro, is their first open-ear air conduction earbuds to help you achieve both. You can enjoy your music while also hearing the world around you.
But can these earphones provide a sound quality on par with popular modern earbuds? Follow our OneOdio OpenRock Pro review to find out.
Air Conduction vs. Bone Conduction
Many open-ear design headsets feature bone conduction technology, so let’s quickly look at how this differs from traditional air conduction.
Air conduction earbuds and bone conduction earbuds differ in how they transmit sound to your ears.
Air conduction earbuds are the traditional type that most people are familiar with. They produce sound waves that travel through the air and enter your ear canal. These earbuds sit inside or at the entrance of your ear and direct sound toward your eardrum. They create an enclosed listening environment, providing direct sound to your inner ear. Most common headphones and earphones, including the OneOdio OpenRock Pro wireless earbuds, fall under this category.
Bone conduction headphones work differently. They use bone conduction technology instead of sending sound through the air and into your ear canal. These earbuds rest on the bones near your ear, typically on your cheekbones. They generate vibrations that travel through your bones to the cochlea, bypassing the outer and middle ear. This is particularly useful for people with outer or middle-ear hearing impairment. Bone conduction allows you to perceive sound while keeping your ears open, which can benefit situational awareness, like during outdoor activities.
To sum it up, air conduction earbuds deliver sound through the air into your ear canal, while bone conduction earbuds use vibrations through bones to transmit sound directly to your inner ear, bypassing the ear canal.
OneOdio OpenRock Pro: First Impressions & Specs
The OpenRock Pro earbuds rely on air conduction technology. However, they feature an open-ear design simultaneously, making them an attractive choice for sports and other activities that require a lot of movement and being aware of your surroundings.
Instead of utilizing bone conduction technology, which can often compromise sound quality, the OpenRock Pro uses a sizable driver to direct sound towards the inner ear, which helps to deliver a unique auditory experience.
While the sound isn’t entirely sealed within the ears, the design aims to focus sound towards the ear, mitigating sound dissipation, especially at higher volumes. The OpenRock TubeBass technology enhances bass frequencies, providing a rich audio experience. Plus, the support for aptX codec ensures a high-quality audio transmission.
In terms of practicality, the OneOdio OpenRock Pro is an interesting alternative to conventional in-ear earbuds. It balances comfort and audio quality and caters to those seeking a longer, more comfortable listening experience.
Here’s a complete list of specs of the OneOdio OpenRock Pro:
- Weight: 0.2 lbs (90 g) for the set
- Microphones: CVC 8.0 dual noise-canceling microphone
- Supported codecs: aptX, AAC, SBC
- Driver size: 16.2 mm dynamic
- Bluetooth: 5.2
- Water resistance: IPX5
- Compatibility: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
- Noise cancellation: yes
- Battery: 19 hours (headset only), 46 hours (charging case)
- Case battery: 400mAh
- Charging Port: Type-C
- Color: black, silver, khaki
- Price: $129.99 on the OneOdio website and on Amazon.
Design and Unpacking
The design of the OpenRock Pro earbuds deviates from traditional TWS earbuds. While resembling bone conduction headphones, these earbuds are larger and sit securely on the auricle, which ensures a snug fit. The flexible neck and adjustable ear hooks provide a customized and comfortable fit, making them ideal for extended use.
What’s in the Box
Here’s everything you’ll find in the box while unpacking your OpenRock Pro:
- OneOdio OpenRock Pro earbuds
- Charging case
- USB-A to USB-C charging cable
- User manual
When you first open the OneOdio OpenRock Pro earbuds box, you’ll notice how neat and organized everything is. The earbuds have a modern, comfy design. They’re not heavy, with only 0.2 lbs weight for the whole set, and they look fantastic with a smooth, non-shiny finish.
I tested the black earbuds. The silver parts and the logo also add a nice touch to them.
The charging case is also black with a matte finish. There’s no display, and the style is rather minimalistic, but I can appreciate that.
The charging case may seem too chunky for some, so you can buy a silicone case for carrying your earbuds separately or in a bundle when purchasing your OpenRock Pro. The silicone case is stylish and smooth, but the downside is that your earbuds won’t recharge when you carry them like that.
Another thing I appreciate about the earbuds’ design is using a physical button. Usually, the touch control annoys me, as it’s almost always laggy, and more often than not, it won’t react to my gestures from the first attempt. OpenRock Pro features a multifunctional physical button that you can use for different things like changing the volume, switching songs, and answering calls.
Getting the earbuds to connect to your phone (Android or Apple iPhone) or computer is easy, too thanks to the Bluetooth 5.2 support, which provides a strong and stable connection to your device.
The OneOdio OpenRock Pro earbuds are designed to look good, feel nice in your ears, and be easy to use. The packaging is tidy and has everything you need to use immediately — even the separate card explaining how to wear the earbuds correctly.
Performance & Features
The unique shape and fit of the OpenRock Pro earbuds stand out as a unique feature. Yet, the big question is: Do these earbuds give a good listening experience?
To make them even better than similar open-ear headphones, OneOdio used the special TubeBass technology. This audio refinement makes the lower sounds feel more surrounding and deep. Also, the vocals and speaking parts are clear and full in both phone calls and music tracks.
In terms of bass, this creates a more surrounding sound, especially when the volume is turned up. This offers a great listening experience without sound spilling out. It won’t disturb others as much as regular headphones at lower volumes, even at the highest volume.
Speaking of volume, when testing the earbuds on a busy street with lots of background noise, I had to raise the volume to 70-80% to continue listening to music comfortably. However, when I asked a friend to do the same, he complained that the earbuds weren’t loud enough, even at the maximum volume. So, depending on your sensitivity and volume preferences, you may be disappointed with the top volume that the OpenRock Pro can produce.
In a nutshell, the air conduction directs the sound well into your ear. Combined with the open design that balances air pressure, you can enjoy longer listening sessions without discomfort.
Figuring out how to wear the earbuds and mastering the intuitive controls on each earbud should take little time and effort. You shouldn’t have a problem with the physical buttons, even with larger hands.
Whether in a call or in music, mastering the controls relies on quick, intuitive presses. The OpenRock Pro adds an intelligent touch with timed presses, preventing accidental song skips or call declines. Generally, the buttons are highly responsive, but there might be occasional hiccups where they pause instead of volume control or changing tracks.
After the initial pairing, Bluetooth 5.2 ensures a swift reconnection with your last linked device.
In its default volume range, the OpenRock Pro strikes a nice balance and provides an immersive audio experience while staying attuned to your surroundings. Even at max volume, complete noise isolation isn’t the aim, aligning with the open-ear design philosophy.
Despite the impressive dual noise-canceling microphones, environmental sounds may blend in. The dynamic drivers do great when it comes to sound transmission. However, depending on your environment, you may want to tweak it for the best possible sound quality.
If you’re looking for headphones with long-lasting battery life, the OpenRock Pro offers an impressive 46 hours of playtime on a full charge with its case, making it a tempting choice. However, it’s important to note that the case is relatively large, which could be a trade-off for some people. Plus, the case doesn’t sit flat, potentially making it wobbly on surfaces.
Without the case, you can enjoy up to nineteen hours using headphones, which should suffice for most outings. Remember that battery life may vary based on audio type, volume levels, and operating conditions. If you listen at maximum volume, expect a slightly shorter operating time.
If you ever need to check the battery status, you’ll find a button at the bottom of the charging case. A green light indicates a healthy range of 51% and above, while orange (21-50%) and red (0-20%) lights signal the remaining battery percentages.
Even if the battery is low, a quick charge of 5-10 minutes using the included USB cable provides an additional hour of use.
Should You Buy the OneOdio OpenRock Pro?
If you’re an active person on the lookout for sports earbuds with a long battery life, the OneOdio OpenRock Pro is definitely worth buying. These open-ear earbuds allow you to listen to music and podcasts and take calls comfortably without compromising the sound quality too much.
Even if you’re not looking for a pair of sports earbuds, I recommend getting the OpenRock Pro as a spare set of headphones for long trips and long hours of airport wait. The open-ear design and flexible ear hooks provide a comfortable fit while allowing you to overhear important announcements about your flight.