I tried bone-conduction headphones a few years ago and hated them. I don’t remember the brand, but they were heavy and clunky, and after wearing them for 30 minutes I felt like my head was caving in from the pressure on my temples. The sound quality sucked, too. But even if it didn’t, the user experience was so dreadful it wouldn’t have mattered.

I eventually regifted those POS headphones to someone deserving during the holidays  I truly hope they enjoyed them as much as I did.

Thankfully, the Philips Open-Ear Sports Go headphones ($187) were a better experience. They’re lightweight, flexible, and last up to nine hours per charge. I didn’t test that, but I used them for hours at a clip for days with no connectivity or battery issues.

They’re also dust, sweat, and water-resistant, with an IP66 rating. (That means dust, heavy rainfall, and high-pressure water jets shouldn’t disrupt the device’s performance and durability.)

I use these open-ear headphones during livestreams of M&F Reps as an output device, while jogging and doing yard work, and while rocking out cardio on my loud-as-hell airdyne bike with no issues.

A cool feature is the LED light strip on the neckband that provides visibility in dark or dimly lit environments. a feature you cam can control through the Philips Headphones app.

I normally wear AirPods with the noise-canceling function enabled. Open-ear headphones allow for more ambient noise. While this was useful while running in busy areas, I still prefer to have noises blocked out when training in a gym. That’s just my preference.

One thing that bothered me was the charging cable. These use a magnetic cradle that’s specific to the device. So when I lost the cable for nearly two weeks I was SOL. Sure, it’s user error and I’m nitpicking, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Quick Take: Philips Open-ear Sports Go Headphones

  • Super lightweight and requires no fumbling when taking calls or listening to tunes or podcasts.
  • Philips headphones app makes it easy to navigate features if you don’t feel like learning to use the buttons on the headset.
  • LED backlight is a perk for runners or people who do cardio outdoors after work.
  • No need to worry about an earbud leaping out of your ears and plunging to its death.
  • Sounds might be heard by folks around you, which could cause friction with other passengers during a commute.
  • The charging cable is annoying; USB-C would be ideal since I have roughly 450,000 extras around the house.


Zack Zeigler is M&F’s editor-in-chief and chief content officer. He is also the host of the M&F Reps podcast and M&F Reps Live webcast.

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