Monday, December 04, 2023

Shadespert Folding Sunglasses : Unboxing Review

Black Amber
I recently won a lucky draw thanks to Shadespert Malaysia. Valued at RM175 with 1 year warranty, I was indeed very lucky as this was likely my (for real) 5th time trying to win a pair from Shadespert. Yes, they are very generous and i was very lucky. So thank you Shadespert!

Because I have this in my hand, and this is like their newest collection - as the previous other Shadespert is black lenses with colored bands, and if you think what I recieved is actually orange/red... be surprised that it also has a yellow undertone. So depending from which angle you are looking at, this write up gives you impression i have two Shadespert!

Discount Code?
Shadespert was kind enough to provide a discount code for purchases via their Shopee at 10% off using my code SHADEEVAN at this Shopee link here
Shopee link here and SHADEEVAN for 10% off

Now with that out of the way...


After many years of blogging and writing review, I finally (may had) found a more efficient way to do all these than to just take video and make into reel, because reel can only be accessed at one place aka my IG. So, instead of wasting the opportunity to properly unbox, I am starting to take video and upload to my YouTube channel. This is the unboxing of the Shadespert Black Amber

Full HD resolution of this video in my Youtube here
I am also experimenting with TikTok Live and IG Live, so do give me a follow there as well for first to know unboxing and review - because I can only upload to Youtube once I am done at those platform!

What is in the box

What you get 
  • The folding sunglasses from Shadespert
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Microfiber carry cloth
  • Semi-hard case for storage with a carabiner
  • Box, no manual
  • UV400 protection lense made from Polycarbonate
  • Foldable sunglasses at the bridge with roll-up temple
  • 36grams
  • Small footprint when folded and rolled up!
with the temple rolled up. No hinges unlike normal eyewear
With temple extended and ready to be used
Folded at the bridge with temple rolled up
lighter than it actually feel. Take note of the blue-ish green tint casted
First Usage
It took me a while to learn to fold and unfold to get it ready to be worn. Likely as I am worried I may actually break it if i do it wrongly. After a few practices, it became easy and I am confident that it won't just break unless I fold or unfold in an angle that it should not be (like twisting it).
See the notch and dot? It should snap in place
I have wide face, and often smaller frames would not fit me well, and there is the risk of the glasses to bounce and slip as it isn't secure around my head/temple. You can see from this screenshot how much the temple flexed outside onto my head
If the temple of this specs is not flexible, it would not had fit me
Fits nicely from the front
So, luckily, Shadespert roll-up flexible snap-action temple wraps around my head and all i need to do is to "snap" the end into place and it will grab the back of my head, ensuring a secure fit.
The end of the temple before snapping in

And secured
Don't worry, that indentation is NOT the snap action, i have a not-very-round-head

UV400 Protection, Non-Polarised
I checked for polarization on the lense and it did not say it is (usually if it is a polarized lense, it will say) and checking it against bright reflective windows of my neighbors and looking on a handphone tells me that the Black Amber I received is not polarized. Not an issue as the clarity is good.

The blue-green hue is very likely due to the phone camera unable to white balance unlike the eyes. The vision from human eyes is neutral and create a warmer feel with good contrast and clarity as it should. Interestingly Black Amber with this lense is touted to be very useful in low-light setting like in trails. I can tell that despite the mirror effect of the lense, the Shadespert is visible in this photo
The Shadespert is not a reflection but a see-through from the lense
When wearing and on the run (which I did after the unboxing), the glasses does not bounce or move as much as other glasses I have. It is secure and I hardly felt it is there after a few minutes. The initial pressure of the temple end sort of goes away. I have no issue to use this with my Shokz OpenRun Pro and they do not get into the way of each other, dry or when i was fully in sweat
Works well with Shokz OpenRun Pro
If you are looking for a pair of running sunnies that are foldable and able to be "slapped" on the wrist when not in use, happy to spend up to RM175 for a pair, do not mind the Wayfarer look, this is the one for you. 
Wayfarer style
There are a few other brands out there that does very similar Wayfarer shaped running sunnies and one of them has rubberized frame which in my personal experience (i own 5 pairs of them) deteriorate over time (aka the frame get sticky), or has fancy printing but fits badly (I have 3 of them that fits badly), or those with lenses that peels off internally and externally (too many to count), It be interesting to see how Shadespert holds up in my daily run under the sun, constantly being drenched in sweat, washing with running clean water and usual wear and tear. Stay tuned as I will update if there are significant changes in the condition from my usage. 

Thank you Shadespert for this pair of Black Amber, I truly appreciate it. 

For those of you interested to get one, remember to get it from Shadespert  at their Shopee link here and use my SHADEEVAN code, valid until December 2023 for a 10% discount.

Enjoy the rest of the photos I've taken to show the Black Amber from different angles.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Shokz OpenComm : Unboxing and Review

I got back from returning the Shokz OpenFit to NoveMarketing at their office and it was a hard device to say good bye to. Those of you that has been reading and following my write up and updates on IG will know the OpenFit is a mini-speaker which rest just outside the ear canal, and stream high definition sound no way any other bone conduction can. Read about it here. I am now back using my OpenPro Run exclusively and it recently followed me to London for my Workerja trip.

Because I enjoy writing review, NoveMarketing has requested I give the OpenComm a review. And here we are.

Shokz OpenComm HeadSet

Here is the unboxing video on my YouTube channel. Give me a follow as I am trying to build my portfolio and all support encourages me to keep posting more videos like these.

   The high resolution video is here Unboxing Shokz OpenComm

Items you get in this box consist of

  • The OpenComm
  • Charging cable
  • Premium Case with side pocket
  • Manual and warranty card

Nice side pocket to store other stuff
The Shokz OpenComm specification (that is important to know):
  • 33 grams - 4grams more than OpenRun Pro
  • Fully titanium, including the swivel microphone boom
  • IP55 protection - water resistance (meaning, do not immerse in water), sweat proof, splash proof
  • 16hours of battery life with Quick Charge (1hour to fully charge) - 5mins charge allow 120mins usage
  • 7th generation Bone Conduction technology with PremiumPitch™) allowing mid to high-pitch to be heard clearly similar to human voice
  • 2 Years Warranty
Full specification: Here

Before we go on, here is a plug, use TRISTUPE15 on check out at NoveMarketing site and you get 15% off and of the Shokz product (except OpenFit, sorry). This OpenComm retail for RM799, and 15% discount gives you a really nice savings

Let's Talk
The OpenComm is specifically designed for communication. It is a Bluetooth 5.0 enabled headset that utilises bone conduction to deliver and stream the conversation while still allowing you to be fully aware of your surrounding.
Only in black 
I been using the past week in all my calls and really appreciate how clear the conversation has been. In fact, because of the OpenComm, I realized just how loud I been talking using my covered headset, or occasional in-ear headset (when I travel and need it be as light as I can) and how my kids appreciate me not streaming my conversation on a speakerphone working at home. 

I have yet to use it for running even if it is IP55 (sweat proof and able to withstand low pressure water from all direction) and function exactly like the OpenRun series, and there is a reason for it if you continue to read my review. In short, this OpenComm is superior when it comes to replacing those hot-in-ear headphone or mini-headset with sponge that disintegrate over a few months and need replacement.

The star of this device is the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Noise-Cancelling Titanium microphone boom.

Never been more excited about a microphone, ever, really.
Getting To Know The Parts
The OpenComm is very user friendly. If you are used to the Shokz (or Aftershokz aka old branding), this will be a very quick get-to-know-you and you are ready to go even without reading the manual. The OpenComm is titanium band, including the mic boom, encapsulated in silicon rubber smooth finishing, same as OpenRun Pro.

However, compared to the OpenRun Pro which I am using, there are some minor differences.

To start with the multifunction button (circled below) is on the right side. It is a physical tactile button which gives good feedback when you press on it. Like the multifunction button in the Open series, it controls to play, pause, skip, activate voice assistant and answer calls. It has a brushed metal look, so if aesthetic matters...

Multifunction button that looked sexy
The second differences is that the bone conduction unit is not as advance as the Pro version. As mentioned, it is the 7th generation, which meant it lack a few vents that makes the TurboPitch comes alive and drives stronger bass and near to hi-fi streaming possible from bone conduction.
No air-vents
Here is the Pro as comparison
OpenRun Pro
The third differences is the volume button. The Pro has a more flushed look versus the Comm which is raised, and for a good reason. The button being easily "felt" will help you to be more productive to find them to increase or decrease the volume.
raised and easier to "feel"
This is good as compared to the specific for sports use, you do not adjust the volume as much as you would when talking on a call - because there is differences in streaming (source) quality of your counterpart on the other end, and the volume can differ from person to person. Ability to quickly adjust is great for overall user experience.
Same-same for both of them is the charging cable and charging port. USB-A to the magnetic two-pin charging point. So if you already have an Open series, you can use them without any issue. I charged this using the Pro cable and it charges as fast as I expected it to be.
Same charging port
The OpenComm also comes with moisture detection ability where it will beep if you charge it when the points are damp/wet. Yes, they do not take the possibility of someone taking this to exercise, sweat and still be in a call. I can't for company policy doesn't allow us to physically be moving if we are in a call for safety reason - no matter how "open-ear" the headset is. Yes, I asked. 
NFC symbol
The other differences is that the OpenComm allow pairing using NFC technology. Another alternative if Bluetooth ain't your jam or if you are more android user in nature. Having said that, newer iOS devices has NFC as well. I noticed the size of the battery to be about 10% bigger than the Pro - which is logical as that lend the additional 6-hours of talktime when compared to the OpenRun Pro 10hours, which is already long by it's size and standard.
The last major differences is of course the microphone that can swivel 250 degrees.
At fully retracted mode aka tucked over the ear

as we move...

Getting there

At service position
Here is the close up of the mic boom - two vents - one on the top and the other at the bottom.
Image from Shokz website - as I can't capture the details using my outdated phone
I supposed the top vent is to capture ambient sound to process, and the bottom vent is to aid in noise cancelling as the pick-up is receeded into the unit. With DSP, your caller will hear you crystal clear no matter what the ambient condition is. I've tested it with full blast fan blowing into the mic while talking. No distortion on the other end and I've had my dogs barking in the background and the caller did not hear them on their end. Truly functional.

The Comm comes with Bluetooth V5.0 and allow Multipoint pairing. I have the unit paired to my Garmin FR965, Fenix7ProSolar, iPhone12 and my work laptop. You can link up to two devices at any one time. It however require activation of Multipoint connection. The instruction is here and same as OpenRun Pro.

Straight forward with a few steps to follow

Using it with Multipoint meant I have the freedom to switch between two devices without needing to disconnect from other devices. At work, I switch between phone (for Spotify) and laptop (for meeting/calls). With 16 hours of battery life and ability to work up to 2 hours on 5-minutes charging, using this at any time or purpose of the day isn't an issue. But if you are expecting a heavier day in virtual meeting, it doesn't hurt to leave it to charge for an hour at the end of your day.
Pairing is straight-forward with the laptop and similarly with the phone and other devices. As usual, do expect limitation of function when paired to laptop as both headset and headphone
  • Headset - allow full usage for both voice (usage of the mic on Shokz) and music/playback (anything streamed from the laptop)
  • Headphone - only music/playback
The separation meant the playback as headset is biased to vocal. This meant the music streaming will be subpar and sound not as good as you think. As the Comm is designed specifically for communication, playback other than from phone sources is sub-par.
OpenComm in action in a virtual call
Just like the other Shokz Open-Ear headset, the OpenComm unit hook over your ears, it clasps lightly over the top of your ear with the driver unit sitting on your face, parallel to the ear canal on this area called the Auricle. Once placed in position, you hardly will notice it weigh wise, but you know it's there due to the light pressure the titanium band holds it against your face. Here is how it looked with Mic Boom extended.

Pretty comfortable and it gives a very professional look as it legitly tells others that you are on a call when the mic boom is extended. 
I have tested OpenMove (most basic), OpenRun, OpenRun Pro and OpenFit. All four comes with different bone conduction and open-ear technology. The music/sound quality definitely was different between the three of them - very obvious when you shift between Move and Pro where the "noise" become "music", and even more obvious when you move from Pro to Fit, where the mini speaker really brings the music to live a different notch.

The OpenComm is equipped with the 7th Generation Bone Conduction which is similar to OpenMove. So the playback will be less impressive than the 8th or 9th generation of the OpenRun and OpenRun Pro. Bear in mind that the OpenComm is designed for vocal, and just like the OpenMove, it has PremiumPitch which enhances mid and high pitch, perfect for human conversation. Having said that, the sound is still good, just not "Pro" or "Fit" great. 

Sound quality wise, the best would be streaming from phone or laptop/computer BUT must be using the HEADPHONE function (see above), followed by from my Garmin and lastly from the computer/laptop as HEADSET function. 

Storage case include a recessed area for the mic boom because it's the Queen

This is because the quality is significantly impacted by the sound codec of your device and limited by what Shokz can process. In this case, OpenComm uses sub-band codec or SBC which allow up to 300kbps transfer rate. This is also the most general codec compatible with all Bluetooth transmission, at the expense of quality. 

The Shokz is compatible with profiles such as A2DP (high quality audio signals profile), AVRCP (remote control profile for sending command such as play, skip, pause etc), HSP (Headset profile aka to be used for communication) and HFP (handsfree profile).

If there is one wish for functionality, I hope Shokz will make calls auto answer or auto end when you flip the mic-boom to the front or retract it to the back respectively. Current control is by the multifunction button.

  • Absolute gold star when used for telecon and virtual meetings, calls and as a handfree that you can wear whole day long.
  • Because of open ear concept, you can hear your surroundings and still able to have a conversation while working in a warehouse or area that requires you to have both communicaton and situational awareness (factory as an example). Needless to say, suitable for running or cycling or in the gym. 
  • Less potential for in-ear infection or impacted ear-wax as it does not go into the ear. No sweat or heating/hot issue as the unit doesn't sit in the ear canal or has the earpad covering like the traditional headphones.
  • Comfortable fit, doesn't fall out. Difficult to lose as it is secured in a band-construction
  • Suitable for those with medical or auditory condition. Those with ringing ear (tinnitus) condition may be able to enjoy music better as it does not rely on the eardrums to transmit sound vibration. Works well with hearing aid as the vibration helps amplify the sound picked up by the bone conduction.
  • Lower sound quality. While the frequency response is between 20hz to 20khz, in reality it is mid-heavy with bass coming in from amplified vibration feel
  • Pricier than most work headset or wired headset
  • Sound leakage if you bump the sound too high. If you are in a quiet environment or taking a confidential call/privacy matters, it is best to lower the volume or find a more secure place.
  • Can potentially cause hearing loss much like traditional headphone/earphone due to exposure to loud noises for much longer hours.
Personally, the OpenComm is a good compromise between value and function if your work require you to be on call, phone or in communication most if not all the time. The ability NOT to have the headset clamped around the ear whole day long is liberating.

Usage for sports in this case for this unit with IP55, is a bonus.

This unit of Shokz OpenComm is on loan to me under the Shokz Malaysia and Nove Marketing. The unit retail for RM799.00 and comes with 2-years warranty. To purchase, please click this link and use code tristupe15 for 15% discount on check out.