Bone Conduction Technology and Selection of pairs for your Needs
Headphones can serve a variety of functions, such as allowing you to listen to music, listen to podcasts, or make phone calls while blocking out background noise. This can help you focus on duties, but there are times when being closed off from what’s going on around you isn’t the best option. If you’re fed up with the way typical audio devices disconnect you from the outside world, there is a solution. The best bone-conduction headphones allow you to enjoy all of your favorite listening experiences while leaving your ear canal uncovered, allowing you to drive, walk, run, bike, swim, and so on while staying entirely aware of your surroundings.
How we choose the products
Although bone-conduction headphones are still a new product, several types stand out after consulting scholarly studies, product reviews, and our own first-hand experiments. Following significant research, we chose combinations that address the special needs of athletics, work situations, and age. We chose devices that were simple to use, had the features we like about traditional headphones and focused sound quality.
- Best for attempting something new that has been around for a while: Aerobes by Aftershocks
- The following are the best options for immersing yourself in sound: Strainers Aftershocks
- Best for staying in touch with friends and family both close and far: Open Comma Aftershocks
- Best for teaching children to be cautious: imoo Wireless Headphones for Children
- Best for a low-cost but not bare-bones experience: Bone-conduction headphones by Tayogo
What you should think about before purchasing the best bone-conduction headphones
If your mother always warned you not to wear headphones when going home at night, or if you need to hear the noise behind you as you pedal to work, invest in the best bone-conduction headphones. Consider where and when you’ll be using them the most to determine which pair will be the best fit for your needs. You should also make sure you understand how they function, especially if this is your first time using bone-conduction headphones. If your mother always cautions you not to use headphones when going home at night, or if you need to hear traffic behind you while you pedal to work, try out the best bone-conduction headphones.
First and foremost, what exactly is bone conduction and how does it function?
Bone-conduction headphones let you listen to music without having to interact with your ear canal or eardrum. While this may appear to be some sort of new-fangled, high-tech magic, evidence suggests that bone conduction has been present since the 1700s. Beethoven allegedly used bone conduction to make music after losing his hearing by attaching a metal rod to his piano and biting down on it while playing. How does it work, though?
Sound waves are typically transmitted through the air and channeled through the ear canal to the eardrums, where they are decoded into vibrations and transmitted to the inner ear (or cochlea), which is connected to the auditory nerve. When vibrations strike the inner ear fluid, tiny hair cells convulse, producing electrical pulses that go up the auditory nerve to the brain. This is referred to as air conduction. Bone conduction bypasses the eardrum entirely, instead of relying on a transducer—in Beethoven’s case, a metal conductor’s rod—to convert sound waves into vibrations and transmit them via the facial bones to the inner ear. The vibrations received by the cochlea remain the same depending on which way they are received; they are simply delivered along a different pathway.
This principle has even been applied backward. The Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones have a bone-conduction sensor that picks up vibrations from your voice during calls to help enable smoother communication without picking up unwanted sound.
Who is the best candidate for bone-conduction headphones?
The best bone-conduction headphones are medically advantageous for persons suffering from conductive hearing loss, a disorder that directly impacts sound transmission via the eardrums. Because conductive hearing loss is only one of multiple ways the auditory system can be affected, bone-conduction headphones will not work for everyone who has hearing problems.
Bone-conduction headphones are also useful for people who need to keep their situational awareness while listening to music. These headphones give an extra layer of safety for bikers, hikers, drivers, and anybody else who needs to be aware of their surroundings. Are you active in densely populated metropolitan areas? Running headphones with bone conduction are ideal. Bone-conduction headphones are also ideal for swimmers. When we are underwater, air conduction is greatly reduced, but bone conduction vibrations can still be transferred, which means that a waterproof pair of bone-conduction headphones can keep you linked to your exercise soundtrack lap after lap.
Now, bone conduction will not cause your entire face to tremble, rattle, or roll, so you won’t be bothered while listening. Indeed, many users claim that these headphones are safe, pleasant, and simple to wear. However, if you are sensitive to pressure, a long period of listening may cause dizziness or headaches.
How is the audio quality?
If you’re an audiophile shopping for your next pair of headphones, bone conduction probably isn’t what you’re looking for. Having said that, the overall audio quality of these headsets is enough for getting you through a hard workout session or a long commute to work. At high volumes, audio can begin to distort or become crunchy, making an expansive mix impossible. However, with a high-quality model, you’ll still get to hear strong bass; you’ll only sense vibrations rather than highly compressed waves from over-ear cans.
Just keep in mind that even the greatest bone-conduction headphones aren’t designed to fit or sound like standard headphones or earbuds. If you’ve never used bone-conduction headphones before, you might be tempted to crank up the volume to the maximum in an attempt to replicate the natural, passive noise suppression that every other form of headset relies on. Remember that nothing is blocking your ear canal, so you will be able to hear your surroundings clearly; turning up the level will not alter this, but it may lead to hearing loss in the future.
Can Bluetooth be used with bone conduction headphones?
Yes, there are wireless bone-conduction headphones that link to smart devices such as cell phones and PCs using Bluetooth 4.2 or above. Bluetooth bone-conduction headphones are no different to connect than any other form of Bluetooth headphones, and some may even feature onboard controls like play, pause, and skip for your streaming services. Other types are more akin to a portable MP3 player, having the ability to store hours of songs internally that can subsequently be played without the use of any cords. Do you remember the iPod shuffle? That’s exactly what you’ll get—an impressive alternative for people who want to jam out to a curated playlist while working out or taking a trip around town.
Can bone-conduction headphones be used to make phone calls?
Yes, certain bone-conduction headphones include a microphone that allows you to take calls while you’re on the go. While headphones cannot use passive or active noise cancellation to improve your listening experience, some types can use technology to make calls crisp and clear. The headphones with a microphone use a different method to reduce outside noise, such as wind and traffic, so that the person you’re speaking with can hear you clearly. Just keep in mind that bone-conduction headphones have greater sound bleed than regular models, so when it comes to private calls, you’ll want to be careful about volume.
Reviews and recommendations for the best bone-conduction headphones
Bone-conduction headphones, which sit just beyond the ear on the jaw, provide a distinct tactile and sonic sensation than most people are used to. However, being unique can be beneficial. Here are our top selections for the best bone-conduction headphones to help you stay in the know right now.
Why it was chosen: Aftershocks is committed to creating high-quality bone-conducting headphones, and the Aerobes is the company’s most modern model, using eight-generation technology to improve sound quality.
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz
- Battery Life: 8 hours
- Charge Time: 2 hours
- Water Resistance: IP67
- Microphone: Dual noise-canceling
- 20Hz to 20KHz frequency response
- 8-hour battery life;
- 2-hour charging time
- IP67 (waterproof)
- Noise-cancelling microphone (dual)