So many devices are made to be water resistant these days, and Shokz’s OpenRun and OpenRun Pro headphones are no exception. The problem is that water resistance ratings can get confusing, and people tend to interpret them differently. OpenRun is rated to be safe in the rain, but what more can you do? Can you shower with the OpenRun, for example?
You can shower with Shokz OpenRun headphones. They have an IP67 water resistance rating, but the OpenRun Pro has a much lower rating of IP55. You can’t swim with either model, but showering is safe if your showers don’t take too long. The microphone seems to be more sensitive to water, though.
As we're discussing the water resistance of the OpenRun and OpenRun Pro, you might want to see how Shokz's latest model, the OpenFit, compares. My detailed review provides more insights: Shokz OpenFit Review: Not Bone Conduction, Not In-Ear, Definitely Not Boring
The fact that you can shower with Shokz OpenRun headphones doesn’t necessarily mean you should, and there are some potential pitfalls you should keep in mind. Here are some details about the OpenRun, OpenRun Pro, and their water resistance ratings to consider before you jump into the shower with your headphones on.
Are Shokz OpenRun Headphones Safe To Use In The Shower?
The standard Shokz OpenRun headphones have an IP67 Waterproof rating. But what does that mean?
- The first digit (6) indicates the level of resistance against solid foreign bodies like dust. The rating can go from 0 to 6, with 0 meaning no protection and 6 meaning maximum protection. Since the OpenRun has a 6 rating, no dust particles can enter and damage the headphones.
- The second digit (7) indicates water resistance. It can have a value from 0 to 8, with 0 meaning no water resistance at all and 8 indicating maximum waterproofing. The OpenRun’s 7 rating means it is near-perfectly waterproof.
Any IP67-rated headphones, like the OpenRun, can be immersed in water up to a maximum depth of 1 meter and be safe for up to 30 minutes. Deeper water means the water pressure can be too much for the headphones to resist, and some droplets may filter through the protection.
Since the shower doesn’t have water that’s 1 meter deep, no technical damage should result from water spraying on your OpenRun. After all, Shokz rates the headphones as safe to wear even if you’re running in the rain, and heavy rain can be even worse than the fine spray of shower water.
What About The OpenRun Pro?
OpenRun Pro is an interesting upgrade to the standard OpenRun. It’s an upgrade in many ways – it has better sound quality, more pronounced base, and more customizability of their sound signature through the Equalizer app.
But the OpenRun Pro is also a downgrade in one aspect: its water resistance. Compared to the OpenRun’s water resistance rating of IP67, the Pro model’s rating is only IP55. This means it’s less resistant to water and dust than the standard model, and by quite a lot.
According to Shokz, the IP55 rating on the OpenRun Pro is good enough for rainy runs, sweaty rides, and other gritty conditions. No mention of a shower, though the company also doesn’t specify how rainy the run can be.
Going into more detail, the tests conducted to give the IP rating specify the IP55 as being safe to wear in the shower, but for no longer than 10 minutes. However, you need to keep the following in mind before you step into the shower with your OpenRun Pro:
- The IP rating tests are conducted using cold water. Hot water makes materials act differently. The heat causes plastics and other materials to expand, which could affect the device’s ability to keep water out of its vital components, meaning you should not count on the 10-minute estimate unless you’re taking a cold shower.
- The tests do not account for water jets. Depending on the type of shower you’re using and how high the water pressure is, the spraying of the water on your OpenRun Pro could still create enough pressure to push water droplets in through the tiny holes and gaps in the device’s casing.
So, it should be safe to wear your OpenRun Pro in the shower, but only if:
- You keep the shower shorter than 10 minutes.
- The water pressure is very low.
- You take a cold shower with water temperatures below 18oC (approximately 64oF).
That’s apart from the other risks that we’ll be looking at in a moment.
Considering these factors, it might be wise to rather use the other upgrade that the OpenRun Pro includes: its hard-shell protective case. This is a considerable improvement over the cloth carry bag that comes with the standard OpenRun, and it’s probably best to keep your headphones in their protective case while you’re in the shower.
The Risks Of Using OpenRun In The Shower
Apart from the risks involved with the OpenRun Pro’s lower water resistance rating, there are four reasons why it might not be a good idea to use even your standard OpenRun in the shower.
It Inhibits Your Washing Routine
This might seem silly, but it’s worth mentioning. To get a proper wash in the shower, you need access to all areas of your body, including the parts under the headphones. This means you won’t be able to wash properly, or you will have the inconvenience of having to take the OpenRun off when you wash your hair and face.
Showers Are Slippery
Showers get slippery with all the water and soap, and the whole idea is that you must get slippery too. This is not good for your Shokz since even their sturdy grip could fail, making your Shokz smash on the floor and get permanent damage. Soapy skin is harder to grip, so even though the chances of this happening aren’t great, it is a possibility you must consider.
Water Could Cause Temporary Problems
The OpenRun doesn’t have many holes in its casing, but it has tiny holes for the microphone. Even though the water won’t damage the microphone, it’s possible that the liquid could cause temporary problems with the sound they pick up.
One reviewer mentions how they regularly take showers while wearing their AfterShokz Titanium (with the same IP67 water resistance rating) and had been doing so for over a year when writing the review. They found that people often complain about problems with phone call quality for a while after they leave the shower.
The reviewer concluded that water enters the microphone’s hole and, even though it doesn’t cause any damage, the water interferes with how the microphone detects sound. It usually clears up after a while, probably because the moisture around the microphone dries out by itself.
It’s Not Just Water That You Should Consider
Water is the obvious risk we consider when wearing our Shokz in the shower, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Most soaps contain chemicals that could have unforeseen effects on your OpenRun headphones. Some of these chemicals are corrosive, which could potentially damage them over time and shorten their lifespan.
It’s not really possible to predict everything that could go wrong since not all soaps and shampoos have the same chemical composition, and some may be more harmful to your Shokz than others.
While we’re on the topic of chemicals in soaps and shampoos, some contain chemicals that could cause severe skin irritation. There are two chemicals in particular: Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone.
These are preservatives that are often added to soaps to ensure they last longer, but they are also two of the most common skin irritants, sensitizers, and allergens.
Usually, it doesn’t matter too much when we wash with these chemicals unless we have very sensitive skin since the water rinses the preservatives away before they can affect us too severely. But it’s easy to get some of it into hidden nooks and crannies in your headphones, and we often don’t think of rinsing the headphones off with much attention to the fine details.
The result is that you will have those chemicals against your scalp for the rest of the day, causing mild to intense skin irritation. Even if you only wear your OpenRun the next time you exercise, the sweat could activate the chemicals and cause a range of problems.
Strength And Direction Of Water Flow
Waterproof headphones are made to withstand water up to a certain pressure level. The thing is that even splashes could have different pressures. For example, a wave in the sea is excellent for surfing and won’t hurt you much when it hits you. However, a tsunami is essentially just a more enormous wave that creates a bigger splash, obliterating buildings in the process.
That extreme example shows that the water resistance ratings don’t always make provision for everything. Though there’s little chance of a shower damaging your OpenRun headphones, there’s still a chance that the jet of water could be just too substantial or hit the microphone holes at just the wrong angle, allowing water to enter the headphones.
If you haven’t bought your OpenRun yet and you really want bone conduction headphones that you can wear in the shower, it might be safest to buy the Shokz OpenSwim. These are different as they are made for swimmers, so they don’t have Bluetooth. Instead, the headphones are also an MP3 player, so you can load your music on them.
If taking phone calls with your Shokz isn’t the most important thing to you, and you really want to shower with your headphones, the OpenSwim has an IP68 rating, making it more ideal for the shower than the OpenRun.
The standard Shokz OpenRun bone conduction headphones have an excellent IP67 waterproof rating and are generally safe to use in the shower, but the Pro model’s rating is only IP55. But remember that water isn’t the only potential problem; there are risks like the headphones slipping off and breaking, and harmful chemicals could also damage it. Perhaps it’s best not to take the risk.