Hi, in this post we will understand “what is bone conduction” and the “best bone conduction headphones” available on the market currently, so let’s dig in.
Innovation mostly brings the comfort to human beings and same is true in case of this hearing aid or the technological advancement in the human hearing equipment by using the “Bone conduction” phenomenon which exists with humans but never explored for commercializing the audio equipment industry.
In this post today, we will try to explain the basic phenomenon about “How bone conduction works” and “Best bone conduction headphones of 2020” for athletes, music lovers, and hearing-impaired people.
What is bone conduction?
Humans can hear sound in two ways (a) through our eardrums – air transmitted and (b) through our bones – bone transmitted. Bone conduction works by stimulating our jaws and cheekbones and directly pass on the vibrations to the inner ear (bypassing the eardrums).
Check this quick video to know more:
The historical connection of Bone conduction technology:
Ludwig van Beethoven, the renowned 18th-century composer who was almost deaf/hearing impaired and uses his composer’s wand to sense the music produced. He uses to clinch the wand under his teeth with another end touching the piano, that ways he was able to listen to the tonality produced through his jawbone. This proved that sound could reach our auditory system through not only our eardrums but bone as well.
Difference in hearing
Just to show you in a figurative way the difference between hearing via normal headphones vs bone conduction headphones:
a) The usual way we hear the sound
b) Bone conduction way we hear the sound
Image source: goldendance.co.jp
Hearing via Bone conduction has come as a boon to the hearing impaired and also it has applications in other fields like scuba diving, military communication, and outdoor sports like running and cycling.
You will appreciate the fact that bone conduction in the fields other than hearing aids, helps prevent loss of life, as they allow the ambient noise gets into the ears making outdoor running, cycling, etc safer. Military operations can be carried out with more caution and safety as now they are more aware of their surroundings and have bone conduction to get the signal wirelessly alongside. Scuba diving was greatly benefited with this technology as there is no other medium to transmit the communication underwater.
Our top picks
|Best Value||Budget Buy|
AfterShokz Trekz Air
AfterShokz Bluez 2S
Vidonn F1 Titanium
Casio was an early adopter of this technology and created a product, Logosease around it, check out this old but creative video below:
They essentially work as a transceiver using the bone conduction. Seems like a simple technology, but its essentially a life saver.
With the increase in road accidents, in our opinion these are must-have for an outdoor person as the noise canceling/isolating earphones ideally shouldn’t be used outdoors during running or cycling in the traffic-prone areas, better be safe than sorry.
Top 10 Best Bone Conduction Headphones of 2020:
Bone conduction technology application
There are many applications for this marvelous technology not limiting to the hearing music on the go, but to these arenas as well:
- The bone conduction head unit, which was inbuilt into the helmet of the soldier has helped him to avoid carrying the big and bulky radio sets
- Now the soldiers can be on the battlefield, aware of the ambient noises and direction via head unit as well simultaneously
- Bae systems have developed this amazing technology further by reducing the size of the transponder to the size of five pence coin
- BAE system has not only researched and enhanced the bone conduction for the military purposes but also for the sport of sailing, for the Land Rover BAR, they have provided this technology so that sailing crew and the support staff can communicate effectively
- In the world of outdoor sports like road running and outdoor cycling, bone conduction technology has come as a boon for the safety of the athletes and the casual sportspersons by keeping them aware of the ambient noises and traffic around them
- Another fabulous bone conduction headphone application is for the hearing impaired or partially deaf people, now they can hear to a great extent by the use of this innovation, which otherwise would have caused a lot many to refrain from the joy of listening.
- There are some people who work in very busy environments and they are not allowed to wear traditional headphones. With the bone conduction headphones, you can be able to hear what is happening near you while at the same time enjoying your music. Without a shadow of a doubt, bone conduction headphones is an asset in such a working environment.
- There are some states in the US such as Rhodes Island, Colorado among others where it is illegal to wear headphones while driving. In such incidents, the bone conduction headphones will free your ears so that you can hear what is happening on the road.
- With the help of these headphones, you can enjoy your music while at the same time avoiding getting fined for wearing headphones.
How to buy bone conduction headphones:
You should be aware of these points before buying a suitable bone conduction headphone for yourself-
Bone conduction headphones being relatively new to the markets, we have only seen in the recent years a few new brands coming into the market. Aftershokz being the market leader in this segment has been the favorite since long and we can easily suggest Aftershokz bone conduction headphones without a second thought.
Brands in this segment are totally different than that of the normal headphones segment. For best after sales support, warranty and repair/return, this becomes a major factor.
As with all the wireless electronic gadgets these days, we spent considerable time to charge our devices through a work week. The last thing we want is to carry a dead device around our neck during that run for which we came out of the comfort of the home with a lot of motivation.
Frankly, we hate charging all our devices often, moreover the bone conduction headphones come with an average battery life of 6 hours of continuous usage for music plus calls and 15+ days on standby. This is kind of a standard currently and you should aim to get the one which posses at least this much of backup.
Best sounding bone conduction headphones are hard to find because unlike normal headphones (a zillion) available in the market, ranging from a $5 to $5000, bass-heavy to flat to studio monitors, bone conduction still has a very long way to go. But by not any means these are not good, we can say without a doubt that they sound amazing and feels like magic.
In our recent try out of the Aftershokz headphones, we were astounded by the sound quality. Of course, these are not for studio monitor purposes or for audiophiles, but they serve the purpose best, for which they are made. And we cannot think of anything but bone conduction headphones for our outdoor activity sessions. You can expect good high, low and mid frequencies as you may with the normal headphones.
As they are meant for outdoor use and during exercising, they have a solid build quality and mostly sweatproof. The headphones from almost all the brands are “around the neck” type style and are significantly light-weight. They are very durable unless you abuse them badly.
As suggested above, they have many applications, like in military, athletics, cycling, hearing impaired, underwater and more applications are just as limited as our creativity to think of the new arenas to put this wonderful technology to use.
Be mindful to choose the model as per your need of inbuilt microphone and music control functions, although all of these headphones come with a noise-canceling microphone, volume, and music controls and call pickup and drop buttons. These are ergonomically designed products, which means they are well tested to provide you with a comfortable experience wearing them, and the controls are always placed in the proper position for us to easily manage all the functions.
Bluetooth connectivity is the core medium of connecting the headphones with the mobile/Bluetooth enabled player, you can be assured of the proper connectivity and no frequent reconnections unless you have received a faulty piece.
Generally, the connecting time is fast and the headphones are very responsive to the mobile phone connections.
Fit and Size
Most of the bone conduction headphones are available in one size and without the adjustable ability. For you to get one that fits your head well will depend on how flexible the material used in making it is.
Some of the headphones are made with Titanium with a silicone covering. Such have the ability to stretch so that they can fit in any head size. When the headphones fit well, they will not fall off and they will be comfortable.
Another critical factor to consider when buying the bone conduction headphones. This is essential more especially if you intend to use the headphones for workouts. They come with different sweat rating so ensure that you get the right rating. This will go a long way to ensure that you will use the headphones during exercise without any thought that they will be damaged by the sweat.
It is paramount that the headphones you buy be sturdy. When they are strong, they can withstand an accidental fall more especially during a workout session. A strong build will ensure that you do not go back to the shop to buy another pair of headphone soon.
Do not mistaken bone conduction headphones that they cannot lead sound. Although they use vibrations, sound can be leaked via these headphones.
As much as the sound leakage is not as bad as in open-back headphones, they can leak sound. This happens when the volume used is high. A bone conduction headphone that leaks sound, if someone is standing near you, they can hear the sound of what you are listening to. However, the sound that leaks is not clearly audible to the person standing next to you.
Therefore, when buying the bone conduction headphones, ensure that they do not have any sound leakage.
Wireless or Wired
Depending on how you intend to use the headphones, you should choose accordingly. If you are going to use them during a workout session, it is advisable to buy wireless headphones. This is because if you wear wired headphones during an exercise, you might get entangled with the cable.
But when you are buying wireless bone conduction headphones, ensure that the battery is strong enough. If the battery can last for more than four hours, that is a good enough time.
The wired headphones have a better sound quality because the audio will not be affected by any waves.
The Top 10 Best Bone Conduction Headphones
1. AfterShokz Trekz Air
Aftershokz has been the pioneer in the bone conduction headphones manufacturing and the Trekz Air are no different. With its sleek design and flex neckband, it’s the best one on our list too.
Check out this quick video:
- The new, organic, wraparound design is 20% lighter than its counterpart to deliver a flexible fit for unnoticeable all-day comfort and stability.
- Bone conduction technology, an open ear design and a suite of convenient features deliver premium music play and crystal-clear calling without compromise. Designed with athletes in mind, Trekz Air is sweat proof, secure, and will allow you to hear your surroundings – no matter where life takes you.
- They are extremely lightweight, you will forget that you are wearing them. Moreover, your ears are always at ease, as they are not stuffed with the silicon buds all the time.
- Bone conduction technology and OpenFit design deliver music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to ambient sounds for maximum situational awareness during long-term wear.
- Bluetooth v4.2 connectivity and convenient multipoint pairing compatible with your iOS and Android Bluetooth-ready smartphones or tablets and Mac and PC computers and laptops.
- PremiumPitch Plus guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass.
- Enjoy six hours of continuous music + calls on a single charge, or 20 days of standby time. Charges in 2 hours.
2. Aftershokz AS600SG Trekz Titanium
Afterhokz is the pioneer in the bone conduction headphone market and the AS600SG or simply the Trekz are no exception when it comes to the sound quality.
Check out this quick video:
- Bone conduction technology creates mini vibrations, sending sound through the cheekbones, directly to the inner ears – for awareness and comfort
- Wireless Bluetooth connectivity
- PremiumPitch+ delivers dynamic sound and truly powerful bass
- 6 hours of music and calls with complete inline controls
- Titanium frame provides durability and flexibility
3. Aftershokz Bluez 2S Wireless
Number 2 on the list is again from the stable of Aftershokz, these come with more tight and snug fit and are more durable
- Bone conduction technology uses vibrations to transmit sound waves directly to the cochlea
- OpenFitTM assures unmatched ambient sound awareness and extended comfort
- Dual microphones deliver clear communication even in noisy environments
- NEW FEATURES: PremiumPitch+TM patented dual suspension transducers guarantee premium stereo sound and adds more bass and a more dynamic sound range
- NEW FEATURES: IP55 certified sweat resistance repels sweat and heavy rain
4. Marsboy waterproof sports Headphones
These are for the fanboys J, they sound crisp and the bass is great. Rock and roll fans are in for a treat.
Check out this quick video:
- Bone Conduction Headphones: Innovative Bone Conduction Technology, Transmit sound waves directly to the cochlea by vibrations. Listen to the music without blocking your ears!
- Bone Conduction Hearing Aid: Assures unmatched ambient sound awareness and extended comfort. Avoid damage to your ears during exercises and be aware of the surrounding situation.
- Bluetooth Bone Conduction Waterproof: Adjustable headband for tight and comfortable wearing. No worries of the headset falling.Universally Compatible – Suitable most Bluetooth-enabled devices. Such as iPhone7 plus,7,6s plus 5S 5 4S and Android smartphones, Samsung Galaxy Phones and so on.
- ISSC Bluetooth Chip ensures the sound quality of music and phone calls. Standby Time up to 10 days. Support continuous play up to 6 hours.
- Enjoyment: Put on the earplugs enclosed in the package to receive better sound quality. For outdoor exercise, you may want to be aware of the surroundings, and thus it’s natural that the music enjoyment will be affected.
5. JUHALL Wireless Sports Headset Built-in Mic – Sweatproof
- Super HD Sound: With this new smart open ear bone conduction headphones you can enjoy the heavy bass and crystal-clear treble while listening to your favorite music.
- Bluetooth: Upgraded wireless Bluetooth V4.2 with a wide connection up to 30 ft, more fast, secure and stable connectivity. It can connect 2 devices simultaneously and compatible with almost all Bluetooth-enabled devices.
- For the sporty you: This sports headset is sweatproof, dust-proof and ears-free. Perfect for outdoor activity lovers to ensure their health and safety.
- Open-ear wearing: Open-ear bone conduction headphones are made to ensure that the user does not plug or cover their ears. To avoiding the wearing discomfort that in-ear or over-ear headsets will bring.
6. Aftershokz AS450 Sportz M3
Yes, gain Aftershokz, what can we do these are still in the run. AS450 is a compact set relatively smaller diameter and are wired with microphone inbuilt in the cable
- Bone conduction technology uses vibrations to transmit sound waves directly to the cochlea
- OpenFit assures unmatched ambient sound awareness and extended comfort
- PremiumPitch patented dual suspension transducers guarantee the finest bone conduction audio
- Microphone to make and take calls
- Be safe, be open – Sportz 3 provide an ear-opening experience
7. Vidonn F1 Titanium Wireless Bluetooth Sports Headset
- Lightweight: Titanium wraparound headband is lightweight (38g) and flexible, great for durability and portability
- Connectivity: Wireless connectivity with great sound quality and clarity up to 10 meters away from phone, iPad and other devices
- Battery Backup: Up to 6 hours of continuous music, 2 hours of the phone call, 240 hours of standby time with a single charge
- Warranty: In the event of any functional issues with the product, we offer product replacement. 12-month warranty, feel free to contact our customer service for any issues
8. Abco Tech Sports Bluetooth Headphone
These are the cheapest of the lot but that doesn’t mean that the are inferior to the market leaders, the sound if not great like aftershokz, is ok and the quality is decent but not superior. You get what you pay for. Good the first timers who want to taste the bone conduction in a good way.
- EVOLVED DESIGN – Our Bluetooth bone conduction headset offers improved sound quality and ensures that the music is audible prominently through bone conduction technology and you do not hear just the feeble sound through ears. The switches on the headset are also designed to be more responsive and the sound quality is more crystal clear!
- HIGH PERFORMANCE – The speaker offers high-quality sound experience and produces pleasant beats which will get you dancing on the floor. The speaker also comes with a powerful rechargeable battery that offers a playback time of up to 6 hours and also gets charged pretty quickly! Bluetooth 4.0 also offers easy connection and a range of up to 10 meters.
- STYLISH AND SUPERIOR DESIGN – The premium black finish and its sporty fit also help you have a great fashion statement and comfortable adventure trips as it firmly stays in place. Whether you want to run with it, go out for a casual walk or sit and listen to music while traveling or in the café – this is sure to look great on anyone and everyone!
- SMART WATERPROOF DESIGN – No worries if you are keen to listen to music in the rains or near the pool because the speakers are designed to be waterproof. Moreover, since they are not required to be inserted into your years, it’s easy to hear the sounds of passing by vehicles or the voice of someone calling you in the house or office.
9. Longee Sweatproof HD Stereo
- CSR Bluetooth V4.1 Chip: Give clearer conversation, lower latency in connecting, stronger and more stable signal, longer working time. Easy and fast pairing with smartphones, tablets and other Bluetooth enabled devices.
- Multipoint Connection: 1 Bluetooth headset connects 2 devices simultaneously, never miss any calls from your devices. Built-in 150mAh battery makes 10 days standby time, up to 4 hours of continuous call/music playing.
- Adjustable Memory Metal Made: Bone conduction headphones use high-quality memory metal to make it more comfortable and suitable, no sliding around, even if you have a massive head, not clinching anymore.
- Sweat-proof Design: People desire health and do gym in spare time. The design can prevent sweat from entering the headset, which can make you free to enjoy music whether you are doing sports or at leisure.
10. Oannao, Sweatproof, Sport, Bone conduction Wireless Earphones with Mic
- Compact and Safe: Wireless bone conduction headphone is small and portable, and it doesn’t need to be stuffed into ears to hear music and telephone. Avoid ear sweating and growing bacteria. No pain in the ears. It’s very safe to release your ears and hear the sounds around you in this way.
- Technologically ahead: Long wearing ordinary headphones easily cause inflammation, if the voice is too large, the eardrum vibration amplitude increases, the hearing will decline. The principle of bone conduction technology is to transmit the sound through the vibration of human mandible. The sound is very clear. Bone conduction headphones can help the people with hearing loss and deaf rehear the sound and have a therapeutic effect
- User Scenarios: If in the complex traffic environment, the driver or the rider can listen to music (telephone) and hear the sound in the around environment, very safe. The bone conduction headphones can connect two devices at the same time. It wears firmly and anti-sweat, shockproof. It is very suitable for fitness, hiking, rock climbing, basketball and so on. Of course, it is also the best gift for the elderly.
- Product specification: 260mAH built-in battery makes the standby time of 10 days, 5 hours of continuous talk/music, a full charge time of 1.8 hours, Bluetooth duty range up to 10m / 33 feet. Bluetooth 4.0. Bone conduction headset for head circumference of 48cm-60cm (18.99inch-23.62inch). Please confirm size before purchase.
- Customer Service: One-month return guarantee or replacement as desired.
Don’t forget to secure your amazing bone conduction headphones with this cool case. Check out below to find the same on Amazon:
CaseSack Bone Conduction Headphones Case for Aftershokz and other bone conduction headphones:
- Mesh pocket for cable and other accessories, detachable featured durable wrist strap
- Compatible with almost all the bone conduction headphones mentioned above
- This case is a must-have to keep your prized possession safe and secure at all times
Frequently asked questions
1. Is Bone Conduction Headphones Safer than Traditional Headphones?
A simple answer is no! bone conduction headphones are not safer as compared to their traditional headphone counterparts. However, that does not mean that bone conduction headphones are dangerous.
But you might wonder since the bone conduction headphones do not conduct the sound via the eardrum so you can listen to music at any volume without fear of destroying your ears? We answer no.
Of course the bone conduction headphones cannot damage your ears simply because they do not have an ability to do so. However, that does not give you room to play loud music.
The sound transmitted by the bone conduction headphones can reach the cochlear of the ear. You should be concerned about this part of the ear as well. Therefore, if you play music at a very high volume with the bone conduction headphones, you can damage the cochlear of the ear well. So, care should be taken while using them.
Bone Conduction Headphones is a Lifesaver for People with Hearing Disability
The technology used for the construction of the bone conduction headphones is a lifesaver for people with hearing problems. They are critical for those people that their outer ear has been affected and they cannot afford a cochlear implant.
However, those that use this headphones to enhance their hearing ability cannot wear them throughout. This is because it might not be possible to do so. To overcome such a problem, if they are able they can get implants surgically implanted in their cochlear of the ear.
But generally speaking, for those people with hearing problems either due to ear infections, the bone conduction headphones are a lifesaver.
2. What are the benefits of Bone Conduction Headphones?
Unlike the conventional headphones which either cover your ears, the bone conduction headphones leave your ears open. Also, there are some people that do not like inserting in-ear headphones on their ears.
In such cases, bone conduction headphones are the best option. With your ears open, you remain conscious of what is happening around you all the time.
Recommended for sports and drivers
As we have already mentioned above, with the bone conduction headphones your ears will remain open. Therefore, if you are driving, you will be able to hear when another driver is hooting at you. Also, if you are a sports person such as cycling, you will be able to hear what’s happening around you so that you remain safe.
3. Can you wear bone conduction headphones with glasses
The short answer is YES! You can wear bone conduction headphones with glasses on. So the reason is (what we feel is) during our try or test to wear Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones (and we would strongly recommend these with glasses on), we have realized how comfortable and flexible they were on our ears and when you try to put the glasses on top of that, the glasses with slightly push them towards your skull. This will not make your skull hurt but you will get a rather better grip around your head.
We have tried a few of Bone conduction headphones ourselves and found this technology to be truly magical and definitely recommend to anyone for outdoor usage, general purpose use or otherwise.
We have tried to list down the “best bone conduction headphones of 2020” in the market currently and if you choose a pair out of the list, you will not go wrong, it’s a great technology for the listeners with added safety.
You can also gift one to the hearing-impaired friend or family member and see the smile on their face that only music could bring.
Happy listening and stay safe!!!!