Haylou PurFree Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones Review

Headphones and cycling get mixed press, but the Haylou PurFree is another option that helps unite these divided factions.

A growing number of the best headphones for cycling with sound – including the Shokz Openrun (opens in a new tab) – take advantage of truly game-changing wireless bone conduction technology.

No more awkwardly trailing cables and sweat buildup in your ear canals – which has often spelled the death knell for in-ear headphones. Also, by transmitting sounds using vibrations sent through the jaw/cheeks, your ears stay completely open to the world, which is a great feature for cycling outdoors.

Now those are the general benefits that bone conduction headphones have to offer – let’s see exactly how the Haylou PurFree compares to the competition itself.

Haylou PurFree: Construction

This particular pair has been recognized for a design that “inspires with its minimalist and precisely drawn shapes, which make it look elegant despite its sportiness” by German design house Reddot. In fact, the Haylou PurFree impressed the judges so much that it received a “Reddot award”.

This image shows the magnetic charging point of the Haylou PurFree headset in close-up as well as the operational buttons with a wooden table in the background

Haylou PurFree headphones use a magnetic charging point and multi-function operational buttons.

(Image credit: Hannah Bussey)

Pricing aside, the makeup isn’t significantly different from the Skockz OpenRun headphones, with the pair sharing the same swan-shaped wireless over-ear design, magnetic charging point, and flexible frame.

On the scale, the Haylou weighs 28 grams, that’s barely two grams more than the Shokz, which in my book counts as the same weight. They are both made using a lightweight titanium frame, which keeps the weight low, but to add some extra context, the Apple Airpods Pro weigh 11 grams for the pair.

Besides the physical similarities, the headphones also closely mirror the technical attributes of the Shokz, with water resistance equal to IP67.

This means a ‘water resistance’ rating of 6, recognized as dustproof particle protection, and 7 which protects against a decent level of liquid up to one meter. However, this should not be confused with protection against water, and the Haylou are intended for protection against sweat and rain, not swimming.

They also offer a comparable eight-hour playtime and a 10-minute blast quick charge feature for an hour and a half to two hours of playtime. However, it should be noted here that the playback time you will get after those 10 minutes depends on the outside temperature and whether you are using the headset for two-way calls etc.

As with all wireless headphones these days, Bluetooth provides connectivity between devices, call answering and volume control.

The multipoint Bluetooth function is also a real plus. This nifty inclusion allows users to connect the PurFree headphones to two devices, such as your phone and your laptop, without having to disconnect one of them first. This makes Haylou headphones ideal for riding online with your friends, but immediately answering an incoming call.

This image shows a woman wearing the Haylou PurFree headphones on her right ear.  She has her hair tied back and wears a yellow singlet.  There is greenery and a gray sky in the background

Haylou PurFree Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones keep you hearing outside noises.

(Image credit: Hannah Bussey)

Haylou PurFree: The Walk

As you can see, I found it nearly impossible to tell the Haylou PurFree headphones apart from the Shockz pair in their construction. In practice, they work just as well.

Pairing with your chosen device is simple, just press a few buttons, turn on your Bluetooth, and then simply pick up the headset from your device list.

My usual listening device is the much lighter Apple Airpods, so I thought the extra weight of the Haylous would be noticeable. However, the weight is evenly distributed, and since they’re not in-ear, they’re arguably more comfortable for longer durations. That said, I think if you wear glasses, you’re probably more used to the fit and feel; for non-glasses wearers, it can be a little uncomfortable while you get used to it.

Speaking of the glasses, I have to point out that I didn’t experience any shock from wearing both simultaneously, if anything, they helpfully stopped my reading glasses from slipping down my nose. With my riding goggles, which have thicker straight temples, it’s easier to have the headphones on first. This means that the arms rest on the ear cups which raises the position of your lenses slightly, so maybe something to think about if it’s prescription lenses.

The sound quality is excellent, even the bass level sounds as good as any headset I’ve used at this price; in my experience, a particularly tricky feature for bone conduction headphones to master.

One of the things to understand is to realize that no one else can hear the headphone output. Using my daughter as the chief assistant tester, she asked “Do you hear that? Really, can’t you?” several times before being assured that there really was no sound leaking to other people nearby.

In turn, what she really liked about me using them around the house was that she can always interrupt mom’s workout with a million questions to answer at the time! It’s a negative feature that’s not fair to load onto Haylou, but the days of total immersion seem well and truly over. No more “do not disturb” because I can’t hear you (wrong or otherwise) with these.

It’s a feature of bone conduction headphones in general, so if you’re looking for noise cancellation, you’re looking in the wrong place. That said, Haylou does include a pair of earplugs in the box, should you need to block out surrounding sounds. For me, this is one of the best ways to protect the ears from loud noises, while maintaining the privacy of the sound provided by the headphones (although I use my own custom in-ear protectors, and only when I uses them for non-active uses Activities).

What Haylou does not include in the box is a box, well a case to be precise. Other than the handy Bluetooth multipoint, that’s the only real departure from the peers of the Shokz bone conduction headphones, which include a protective case.

This lack of protection makes the Haylou PurFree vulnerable to accidental events that happen when they are not hanging from your ears. I’ve taken to storing them in the presentation box they arrived in, but that’s less than ideal and too bulky to be durable.

As for battery life and charging, I haven’t run out of juice yet. The battery level notification sound when first powered on is useful, although it takes some life with the headphones to know how realistic this is. I don’t really get more than a handful of hours of use between them before they automatically recharge, so I’m hoping to update this feature as I spend more time with the headphones.

The other feature that I haven’t fully tested yet is the connection speed. So far calls and music have felt as instantaneous as my Apple Airpod Pros. I didn’t notice any signal drop or delay.

Haylou PurFree: Value

There is no denying that the Haylou PurFree Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones are in direct competition with Shokz Openrun. The only major differences in features are that Haylou has Bluetooth multipoint and the Shokz has the carrying case.

The other defining feature is the price, which is around £30/$40, with the Haylou being the cheapest option.

It’s not a huge amount of money, nor something to ignore. It might be worth coming back to this review to see how they perform after a few months of use; the Openrun Shokz were tested for several months before our reviewer was convinced that the previous models’ charging issue had been resolved.

If you’re in the market to buy right now, I’d say give it a try and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Haylou PurFree: Specification

  • Material: Titanium Alloy
  • Weight: 28g
  • Chipset: Qualcomm QCC3044
  • Bluetooth: 5.2 Multipoint
  • Battery life: 8 hours (claimed)
  • Charging: Magnetic connection USB power supply
  • Waterproof: IP67
  • Voice assistance: Yes
  • Controls: button

Luz W. German