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When the folks at Optishokz reached out to me to test their new Optishokz Revvez, I was beyond excited. I had seen an early review of them online a while back and thought that they would be a great addition to our outdoor and travel-heavy lives. After testing the Revvez for the last few weeks, I can honestly say that they live up to the hype!
What are the Optishokz Revvez?
The Revvez are a pair of sunglasses from OptiShokz “with bone conduction technology built-in, allowing users to listen to music or make calls while staying aware of their environment. The transducers are built into the arms of the Revvez and sit behind the ear, where they transmit mini vibrations through the bones of the skull to the inner ear. The sound travels internally, leaving your ears open to passing cars, nearby people, or anything else rustling around.”
I am one of those people who have difficulty finding comfortable headphones and glasses. My ears are super sensitive (from tons of ear infections, ruptured ear drums, etc.) and when I find something that works, I stick with it. While I’ve found two pair of glasses that fit well, I have yet to find a pair of headphones that are comfortable for longer than a short call.
Function as Headphones
By default, I use the headphones that came with my iPhone. They are super uncomfortable (eg, little plastic bricks for my ears) and have actually caused me pain a few times when I’ve caught the cord on something. The convenient sunglasses/headphones combo of the Revvez was a welcome change in that regard.
The Revvez are cordless and easily synced with my iPhone using Bluetooth. I also loved that they provide audio feedback to indicate that they are on/pair as it can be difficult to tell with screen-less devices. The controls for volume up, volume, down, pause (one click), and skip (two clicks) are located on the right arm. This made it super simple for me to adjust my playlist on the go. The arm also holds the discrete charging port (they hold about 6 hours of charge).
Function as Sunglasses
Even though the Revvez is slightly bulkier than regular sunglasses, I would still consider them lightweight. The added weight is hardly noticeable as it is distributed on the arm. They can easily be slid to the top of the head as needed, just like regular sunglasses. The bonus to that with the Revvez’s is that the behind-ear transducers keep the music flowing regardless of position.
They also come with interchangeable nose pieces to fit different faces. While the glasses fit my husband and I well, one of our friends who tried them on did not find them as comfortable as us and our other friends who tested them out during our recent road trip.
One of the initial concerns I had about the Revvez was the ability to replace my headset for phone calls. I was worried that the connection would be harder to hear through the transducers but was pleasantly surprised by the quality. The built-in microphone also did a good job of capturing my voice.
In California, it is illegal for “a person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may not wear a headset covering, earplugs in, or earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in, both ears.” I wasn’t sure how to interpret this with the bone-conducting aspect, so I opted to be safe and lifted one of the transducers off my ear while driving. I’d be interested in learning more about if that is required or not.
As I mentioned earlier, we just got off the road from a long road trip during which we tested the Revvez on our adventures. The downfall of traditional earbuds beyond these uses in my life is that I don’t like to be shut off from the environment around me while hiking, walking, and driving. So, it was fun to test them out in these environments.
First up is driving. I liked that my phone’s turn-by-turn navigation was able to come through just like it normally does while I am using headphones. Personally, I found them most useful in the car while Hubs was taking a long phone call with his dad. I just turned on my music and jammed along. It was easy to give him directions and listen to his feedback as needed, but also able to tune him out. ;)
Next up is foot-based exploration. I tested these on a short hike and while walking around attractions. I liked the fit and my ability to easily slide them to the top of my head to read historical panels, etc. Hubs took them running and liked the IP-55 Rated sweat and water resistance feature for his desert run. He said they stayed on well and allowed him to hear approaching traffic. So, a win-win from him!
Finally, travel. I can also see the Revvez working well for my style of introvert plane travel (pretend to be napping while listening to audiobooks or podcasts). I often get the cord tangled in my neck pillow and dislike the hard plastic being shoved deeper in my ear by the neck pillow or headrest.
Opportunities for Change
While I like the overall look of the Revvez’s, I did feel that they are a little masculine. I would like to see a few different frame and lens shapes in the future. However, they didn’t look horrible on anyone who tried them on so I wouldn’t let that stop me from buying another pair in the future.
I would also like to see them available with a prescription option in the future to make them more friendly for those of us who dislike wearing contacts.
The Revvez’s are a great option for those who want a little music with their adventure without distraction from the environment around them. Personally, I enjoyed them most while on the trail and walking my dog in town. The comfort of being able to hear approaching traffic and pedestrians is a blessing for those of us who live in cities and hike on crowded trails.