Shokz has dominated the growing open-ear earphone market for many years, but it is now seeing some steep competition from Oladance. The relative newcomer’s open-ear OWS Pro is gaining popularity and proving to be an excellent alternative to Shokz’s OpenFit. But which is better and more deserving of your hard-earned cash?
The Oladance OWS Pro doesn’t have a dust-resistance rating, but the Shokz OpenFit does. They are equal in water resistance, though. Oladance beats Shokz at battery life and color options, and offers one of the best sound experiences in the open-ear earbuds market, but it's slightly bulky.
Shokz is best known for its bone-conduction headphones, but the company recently entered the air-conduction market with the OpenFit. Oladance is new to the scene and started with crowdfunding campaigns, but it’s already making waves with its high-quality offerings. Let’s compare the two earphone models more closely so you know which one will suit your purposes.
Oladance OWS Pro Vs. Shokz OpenFit – Which One Offers Better Sound?
Let’s start by emphasizing that if you’re looking for perfect sound quality, you shouldn’t buy either one of these. The open-ear form factor will never please an audiophile. It requires you to compromise on quality in exchange for improved environmental awareness.
Keeping that in mind, both models offer decent sound quality. However, the Oladance OWS Pro is a clear winner. Though the Shokz OpenFit’s quality isn’t bad by any measure, it isn’t great. Its volume is a bit on the low side, which is a common problem with open-ear designs. It also doesn’t have strong bass or treble, making your music sound somewhat flat and tinny.
The Oladance OWS Pro performs much better. It has a strong bass response, each note is articulated with an exceptional level of clarity and precision. Even though it may be slightly lacking in treble, the overall balance and fidelity of the sound profile is of a caliber that’s rarely seen in open-ear earbuds. It can also reach higher volumes, so being in a room with lots of ambient noise isn’t as much of a problem as it is with the OpenFit. The overall result is a fuller, more well-rounded sound.
The OWS Pro features a unique Focus Mode, designed to filter mid to high-frequency noise. While Active Noise Cancellation is a common feature in True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds such as the AirPods Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live, it’s a novelty in open-ear earbuds.
However, in my personal testing, Focus Mode fell short of expectations. Despite being up-to-date with firmware, I observed no noticeable effect on sound when using it near various noise sources, such as a fan, a hair dryer, or even amidst my neighbor’s renovation drill noises. It appears that Focus Mode may only be effective for very specific frequencies. Hopefully, future firmware updates will enhance or rectify this feature. Nevertheless, it’s not a crucial value-add for open-ear headphones, at least not for me.
One commendable aspect of Focus Mode is its automatic disengagement when the OWS Pro detects my voice, a useful mechanism for ensuring seamless communication.
Overall, the Oladance OWS Pro is a clear winner regarding sound quality.
Battery Life And Charging
The Shokz OpenFit has a decent battery life. You can get approximately 7 hours out of your earbuds, and the charging case extends it to a total of 28 hours. That’s enough to last most people about two days at least, so it’s more than adequate.
However, Oladance OWS Pro takes the win again. It offers around 16 hours of battery life on the earbuds, while the charging case extends it to an incredible 58 hours. That’s more than double the listening time!
But there is a slight trade-off: the Oladance’s charging case is quite large and bulky. While that of the OpenFit is comparable with the size of an AirPods case, the OWS Pro’s case is closer to the size of a wallet, which won’t be convenient for everyone.
Dust- And Water Resistance
Oladance’s OWS Pro comes with an IPX4 rating, meaning it has no dust resistance rating but is decently water resistant. Don’t take it swimming, and try to keep it out of heavy rain, but it should be fine in light rain or when you’re sweating.
The Shokz OpenFit has a rating of IP54. So, even though it has the same water-resistance rating as the OWS Pro, it also has very decent dust resistance.
When it comes to built-in protection from the elements, the Shokz OpenFit is a clear winner, but only you can decide if dust resistance is something you are concerned about.
If you’re going to be wearing your earphones for several hours at a time (which both models are perfect for), comfort is a significant factor.
Each Oladance OWS Pro earbud weighs around 13.8 grams. They look kind of bulky, but that doesn’t detract from their comfort. The earphones are sturdy and comfortable, even when you’re wearing glasses or sunglasses. They don’t swivel much, even when you move your head quite aggressively.
Each Shokz OpenFit earbud weighs only 8.3 grams, which makes a significant difference. It also has thinner ear hooks, so they also work great with or without glasses. They look and feel less bulky, but there’s slightly more swivel when you move around a lot.
Choosing a winner in this category is difficult since both are exceptionally comfortable to wear. In this case, it’s down to personal preference more than anything else.
The Shokz OpenFit has very limited controls. It’s touch-based, and you have double-tap or press-and-hold options that you can customize, but that’s it. For any other controls, you must use the Shokz app or your phone’s controls. However, the controls are incredibly simple and easy to use.
The Oladance OWS Pro wins in terms of customizability. You have plenty of control options, all of which can be customized through the Oladance app. However, the press controls can be a bit less responsive.
In terms of simplicity and reliability, the Shokz OpenFit wins this category, but Oladance’s customizable controls will make it a clear winner for some users.
Sound leakage isn’t something you can completely eliminate when you’re wearing open-ear earbuds. Not even bone conduction manages to get rid of sound leakage. However, both models do a fairly decent job at keeping leakage to a minimum if you’re listening at safe volume levels.
Oladance claims to have advanced anti-leakage technology (though it doesn’t really specify how it works), but it isn’t as good as it could be, and there’s slightly more leakage than with the Shokz at similar volume levels.
To summarize, both models have sound leakage, but the Shokz OpenFit is slightly better than the Oladance OWS Pro in this regard.
The Oladance OWS Pro and Shokz OpenFit are pretty evenly matched in terms of call quality. Both devices give excellent sound output during phone calls, and the microphones work well in quiet areas. Unfortunately, neither of the two is excellent at reducing wind noise, so you will want to keep calls short in windy conditions regardless of which earphones you choose.
In terms of Bluetooth connectivity, the two devices are also similar. Oladance’s OWS Pro supports Bluetooth 5.3 with multi-device pairing, so you can easily pair your earphones with two separate devices and switch between them.
Shokz’s OpenFit comes with Bluetooth 5.2. Although it’s a slightly older version of Bluetooth, it still offers a reliable connection. However, it’s important to highlight that the Bluetooth multipoint pairing feature may not be immediately available upon purchase.
To access this feature, users are required to manually update the firmware to the latest version, V_20 or later, via the Shokz App. Once this update is complete, the multipoint pairing functionality becomes enabled.
When compared, the Oladance OWS Pro and the Shokz OpenFit, post-update, perform almost identically in terms of connection quality and multipoint pairing.
The Oladance OWS Pro and Shokz OpenFit are both excellent open-ear earphone options. Though there are significant differences, they both have their strong points.
Overall, the OWS Pro offers more of the features that users are generally concerned about, like better sound quality and longer battery life. But OpenFit has better dust resistance and a smaller charging case, which are essential factors to consider. Whichever you choose, you can be sure that both are excellent earphones, and you won’t be disappointed with either.