H2O SnowPro Bone Conduction Headphones Review

Underwater Audio With Compromises

Martin Guay
Martin Guay - Chief Editor
5 Min Read
Close up product photo of the H2O Snow Pro bone conduction headphones. The white headphones are shown facing forward with no accessories or activity depicted.
3.9 Dive into the rhythm of winter and water sports with the H2O Snow Pro bone conduction headphones. Unveil a unique aquatic audio experience with an IPX8 rating, 4GB onboard storage, and an 'open ear' design, making it a rugged choice for adventurous audiophiles.
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The H2O SnowPro bone conduction headphones aim to deliver audio freedom for winter sports and watersports. With a fully waterproof design and unique features like onboard storage, do these niche headphones provide quality sound?

Overview of Bone Conduction Technology

Bone conduction headphones work differently than traditional headphones. Rather than directing sound through your ear canal, bone conduction uses vibrations to transmit audio through facial bones directly to your inner ear.

This enables an “open ear” listening experience – you can hear both your music and ambient sounds around you. Bone conduction originated in hearing aid research before making its way to consumer electronics.

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Early bone conduction headphones placed transducers behind the ear. Most models today position the drivers to rest on your cheekbones against the bone.

Benefits of bone conduction include:

  • Open-ear listening while maintaining awareness
  • Hearing protection at lower volumes
  • Doesn't obstruct or put pressure on ear canals

Drawbacks compared to regular headphones:

  • Weaker bass performance
  • Less sound isolation from ambient noise
  • Can cause tickling or vibration sensations on the skin

H2O Audio SNOW PRO Multi-Sport Open Ear Headphone w/Playlist+- WHITE

$150.00  in stock
eBay
as of February 25, 2024 12:16 pm

The H2O Snow Pro aims to deliver bone conduction capabilities in a fully waterproof package for swimming, surfing, and snow sports.

Snow Pro Design, Controls and Features

The Snow Pro has an IPX8 rating up to 12 feet (3.6 meters) meaning it can be submerged underwater without damage. The waterproof design includes:

  • Hard plastic earpieces to house electronics
  • Neoprene headband that wraps behind the head
  • Silicone ear hooks to hold drivers against cheekbones
  • Physical buttons to control power, volume, playback, and even recording

A unique feature is 4GB of onboard memory storage that lets you load and play MP3 tracks without needing a Bluetooth connection to your phone. The headphones even allow you to record and store audio from streaming apps over Bluetooth for offline listening later – a handy capability for watersports, though clunky compared to modern wireless listening.

My review units survived a minor 4-foot drop onto the floor. However, the audio cut out temporarily, raising minor concerns about potential long-term durability with rugged use.

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Audio Performance

With an open-ear design that doesn't obstruct your ear canal, the SnowPro provides zero sound isolation. You'll hear ambient sounds around you along with your audio.

Since bone conduction transmits vibrations through your facial bones, the Snow Pro's sound profile favours mids over booming bass or sparkling treble. Podcasts and vocal-centric music come through clearer than bass-heavy EDM.

Crashing cymbals and songs with more high-frequency content can cause the earpieces to tickle your skin. Lower-frequency radio voices didn't vibrate nearly as much in my testing. The lack of isolation makes voices intelligible in moderate ambient noise, but loud environments can overwhelm your music.

Battery life is rated for 6-8 hours of continuous playback, aligning with my real-world testing. However, the low battery warning only provides a couple of minutes of notice before forced shutdown.

Who Should Buy the H2O Snow Pro?

Close up product photo of the H2O Snow Pro bone conduction headphones. The white headphones are shown facing forward with no accessories or activity depicted.

The Snow Pro is purpose-built for watersports like swimming, and surfing, along with snow sports like skiing and snowboarding. It succeeds as a rugged bone conduction headset for aquatic audiophiles not demanding premium fidelity.

At $159 (CAD 218), it's overpriced for the waterproof capabilities and onboard memory player. While audio quality falls short of normal Bluetooth earbuds costing half as much, the bone conduction design enables sports and activities that aren't possible with traditional headphones.

Ultimately, bone conduction headphones excel for specific outdoor pursuits where hearing your surroundings remains important. If you need tunes around water or for biking safety, the Snow Pro brings underwater sound.

The Bottom Line

The H2O SnowPro bone conduction headphones supply underwater audio freedom for adventures. Just temper expectations for fidelity and on-ear comfort. For aquatic listening where awareness is key, they deliver a unique experience.

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Close up product photo of the H2O Snow Pro bone conduction headphones. The white headphones are shown facing forward with no accessories or activity depicted.
Review
Dive into the rhythm of winter and water sports with the H2O Snow Pro bone conduction headphones. Unveil a unique aquatic audio experience with an IPX8 rating, 4GB onboard storage, and an 'open ear' design, making it a rugged choice for adventurous audiophiles. 3.9
Design and Build Quality 4 out of 5
Waterproof Performance 5 out of 5
Audio Performance 3 out of 5
Comfort and Wearability 3.5 out of 5
Battery Life and Charging 5 out of 5
Price and Value for Money 3 out of 5
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By Martin Guay Chief Editor
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I write, talk about technology, gadgets, the latest Android news as much as any other fellow geek, nerd, or enthusiast does. I work in the IT field as a System Administrator, and I enjoy gaming when possible. I'm into plenty of things, and you can usually find me around Ottawa, Canada!For all business inquiry email business-inquiry [@] cryovex [dot] com.
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