Haylou PurFree BC01 bone conduction headphones3.0 / 5
The Haylou PurFree BC01 bone conduction headphones are a worthy competitor to Shokz Open Run, but surprisingly don't differentiate themselves on features or price.
If you're in the market for some kind of headphones that don't actually go in (or rest on) your ears, you've almost certainly come across some Shokz bone-conducting headphones. The Haylou PurFree are a very similar option.
The PurFree are so similar, in fact, it might be hard to tell them apart from their inspirational counterpart more than a few feet away. These open-ear Haylou headphones are worth considering on sale, but at their full retail price we would probably stick with the established brand.
Haylou PurFree - Features
Let's go over what the Haylou PurFree bone conduction headphones actually offer. They include Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, an IP67 rating for water resistance, dual microphones, and a battery life rated for 8 hours of music listening.
There are two rubber buttons used for raising and lowering the volume as well as a side button used for media controls and answering calls.
There's nothing fancy here, but enough features to make the headphones feel complete and capable.
Our PurFree headphones didn't come with any case, but they did come with two generic foam earplugs to make them more usable while traveling on a train or plane. Also included in the box was a proprietary charging cable.
The magnetic charging cable functioned fine for us, but it's a huge negative for the product in general. It's unfortunate that if this proprietary cable with USB-A on the other end gets lost the product becomes unusable, at least until you can find and purchase a new one.
Shokz uses a proprietary charging cable as well, and it drives us crazy too.
Running with the PurFree headphones
There are plenty of uses for open-ear headphones like these, but wearing them while exercising is surely one of the most common. For example, we like being able to be aware of our surroundings while running outside.
After more than 10 miles of running with the Haylou PurFree headphones, we found them to be just as comfortable as when we first slipped them on.
They're lightweight and rested comfortably around the top and back of our ears. Fit will be subjective for this type of product, but they seemed flexible enough to work across multiple head sizes.
The audio quality of all genres of music was a little disappointing. Bone conduction headphones suffer from a lack of fidelity in general, but the audio on these PurFree ones weren't as clear or deep as some from Shokz.
The sound quality was good enough to listen to podcasts and spoken-word content. People's voices were audible and present enough to hear while running next to a road with cars.
Another disappointing aspect was the button on the side used to pause, play, and skip songs. It was shallow enough that it was tricky to double-click while stationary and felt impossible to do so at times while out running.
You may be able to get used to the media control button, but we never mastered it. The volume buttons were easier to feel and press while running.
To test the IP67 rating we took the PurFree running in heavy rain for about 30 minutes. The headphones powered through the downpour just fine. The next day we didn't see any residual effects of using them in the water.
Are the Haylou PurFree headphones for you?
The Haylou PurFree (BC01) headphones do a great job of mimicking the market leader in the bone conduction space. They mostly match a pair of Shokz Open Run feature for feature.
It's surprising that these headphones don't undercut the brand name on price. And with prices being similar there's less of a reason to take a chance on PurFree.
On the other hand, if you can find these open-ear headphones on sale or at a deep discount from their $120 retail price then we don't see any reason not to jump on a deal.
Haylou PurFree - Pros
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Long listening time
Haylou PurFree - Cons
- Proprietary charging cable
- Music quality didn't quite match its main competitor
Rating: 3 out of 5
Where to buy the Haylou PurFree headphones
The Haylou PurFree heaphones are available for purchase at Amazon.