OneOdio OpenRock S

Verdict

The OneOdio OpenRock S offers good, but not stellar open-ear sound from a design that sits big in the ears and is also let down by frustrating touch controls.

Pros

  • Secure design
  • Delivers solid sound quality
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Bulky design
  • Touch controls aren’t great
  • Can get better air conduction sound for less


  • TubeBass technologyHelps to improve bass performance

  • A.I noise-cancellationUses artificial intelligence for “optimal” mic call quality

  • 60-hour battery19 hours per charge, 60-hours with charging case

Introduction

The OpenRock S are OneOdio’s open ear, air conduction sports earbuds that are cheaper than the OpenRock Pro buds I tested earlier in 2023.

Despite being less expensive, the OpenRock S offers the same level of ruggedness, big battery life and the promise of bassy sound from an earbud that wants you to stay aware of your surroundings.

Air conduction headphones have emerged to satisfy those seeking out better sound than open ear bone conduction headphones, so do the OpenRock S impress? Here’s my take.

Availability

The OneOdio OpenRock S are currently available to buy from OneOdio’s own website for £83 / $89.99 / AUD $145. The OpenRock Pro in comparison costs £120 / $129.99 / AUD $209. 

That makes them a cheaper buy than some big name air conduction sports earbuds like the Shokz OpenFit. It isn’t quite as kind on your bank balance as the 2023 Trusted Reviews Sports Headphones of the Year, the Sivga S01.

Design

  • Comes in black and khaki colours
  • Features touch controls
  • IPX5 waterproof rating

Like the OpenRock Pro, the S adopts an ear hook-style look that definitely sits a bit larger around the ear and feels like it has a bit more weight to it as well.

You’ve got your pick of a khaki or black version, which I tested, with a mix of silicone and plastic used to make sure the part that sits directly on the ear is the comfier silicone material. 

OneOdio OpenRock S worn by reviewer
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

While seemingly a bit bulkier, they do sit more securely than the Pro, but I do still think it’s best suited for upright exercise as opposed to more frenetic workouts that involve more body movement. It’s got an IPX5 durability rating that gives them some level of protection against dust, sweat and moisture, but ultimately I think when things get very sweaty, much like the Pro, it affects how well they stay in place.

Unlike the Pro, OneOdio has opted to go with touch controls that are built into the outer area of the buds and can be tapped to play and pause music, skip audio, answer calls, summon your phone’s smart assistant and switch between the two available EQ modes. There’s no volume controls here, however. Unfortunately, the controls aren’t great to use at all, even when stationary. It’s painful trying to find the sweet spot and I often gave up trying to use them.

OneOdio OpenRock S charging caseOneOdio OpenRock S charging case
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The charging case is a change in design from the Pro’s case, now a longer case that’s still going to dominate your pocket. It uses USB-C to power it up and there is at least a large notification light to clearly let you know how much battery it has in reserve.

Features

  • Four noise-cancelling mics for calls
  • Long battery life

If you’re using these earphones to make calls, there’s four noise-cancelling microphones as opposed to the two on the OpenRock Pro along with call cancellation algorithms to help deliver crystal clear calls. I wouldn’t necessarily say quality is crystal clear, but if you want to use them to handle the odd call, they perform okay. You’ll get the best results in quiet environments.

OneOdio OpenRock S charging case openOneOdio OpenRock S charging case open
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Battery life is a big win here. You can get up to 19 hours on a single charge and 60 hours in total when you factor in a fully charged case. It’s also good to see a quick charge feature in tow here too, giving you one hour of playtime from a five minute spell in the case. I’ve managed to use it for over a week without it running low and that’s helped by that quick charge support.

Sound Quality

  • 16.2mm driver
  • OpenRock TubeBass technology

While these are cheaper than the Pro, the technology powering the audio remains the same. OneOdio adopts an open ear air conduction approach, which unlike bone conduction technology, places speakers near but not inside of your ears. That delivers sound in a way that still keeps you in touch with your surroundings.

There’s a 16.2mm dynamic driver like the Pro and OpenRock’s TubeBass technology, which OneOdio says gives the OpenRock S superior bass. I wouldn’t necessarily describe what you get here as superior, but you get a good thud that I don’t associate with most bone conduction headphones. 

OneOdio OpenRock S held in handOneOdio OpenRock S held in hand
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I used the Songs to Test Headphones playlist on Spotify to test its credentials across a mixture of genres. On Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy there’s good warmth, mids are relatively smooth and it’s a reasonably balanced sound profile overall. On Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain there’s a bigger emphasis on delivering power at the expense of something that really sparkles in the treble and mid departments. It’s a similar story on Tracy Chapman’s Talkin’ Bout a Revolution where things get a little boxy.

OneOdio OpenRock S drivers close detailOneOdio OpenRock S drivers close detail
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There is the option of two EQ modes, Rock or Relax, to better tailor them to your sounds. That is if you can get the buds to effortlessly switch between the two modes from the touch controls. In the few attempts I managed to move between the two I wouldn’t say there’s a huge difference in the two EQ modes you have at your disposal outside of toning things down in the bass department in the Relax mode.

When you’re in environments not battling with the sound from the OpenRock S, it does manage to maintain a satisfactory sound quality. Introduce more exterior sounds and unless you’ve got them cranked up loud, the mix of awareness and hearing your audio isn’t perfectly balanced.

Latest deals

Should you buy it?

You want open ear earbuds with good power.

The OneOdio OpenRock S promises big open ear sound and certainly delivers on that front, even when you’re battling with more external sounds.

You want the best open ear sports earbuds

There’s too many areas where these air conduction earbuds don’t do a good enough job to make them stand out options for your exercise time.

Final Thoughts

Air conduction headphones have emerged to prove that you can enjoy bigger sound from an open ear headphone design. Unfortunately, the OneOdio OpenRock S aren’t air conduction earbuds that blow me away. The design isn’t fit for all workouts, the controls are frustrating to use and while the sound quality is good, you can pick up better-sounding air conduction sports earbuds for less.

How we test

We test every set of headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy

Tested for more than a week

Tested with real world use

FAQs

What’s the IP rating for the OneOdio OpenRock S?

The OneOdio OpenRock S’ IP rating is IPX5, which means it’s protected from a low pressured spray water stream from any angle. You could try to give them a light wash if they get dirty.

UK RRP

USA RRP

AUD RRP

Manufacturer

IP rating

Battery Hours

Fast Charging

ASIN

Release Date

Driver (s)

Connectivity

Colours

Frequency Range

Headphone Type

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *