Bone conduction headphones are a type of headphones that use sound waves to travel through the bones in your head instead of through the air. This means that they are able to produce a better sound quality because the waves are direct.
In this article, Rezence will find out bone conduction headphones how they work to give you a better understanding of their advantages and disadvantages before deciding to buy them.
How Do Bone Conduction Headphones Work?
Bone conduction headphones are condensed versions that sit directly on the listener’s cheekbones. The eardrum does not vibrate when using these devices, unlike conventional headphones and earbuds, to transmit information to the cochlea. Instead, the cochlea is the target of the bone conduction vibrations.
Because the eardrum is not involved, this technology benefits those with hearing loss because the bone conduction vibration takes the place of the eardrum.
How do AfterShokz headphones work?
So, how does AfterShokz work? In a similar way to Beethoven and his conductor’s baton. AfterShokz headphones bone conduction use vibrations to transmit sound directly to your inner ear through the bones located in your upper cheek and jaw.
Your cochlea, the inner ear, does not realize that the sound is coming from the bones rather than the eardrum. Your brain processes the sound vibrations in the same way as if they came via your eardrum, meaning you can hear sound clearly.
With bone-conducting headphones such as the Aftershokz Aeropex, you can listen to music or podcasts, and the sound is carried to your inner ear directly via the bones in your face without impairing sound quality.
How Do Animals Use Bone Conduction?
With bone conduction headphones, AfterShokz has taken the use of bone conduction, a natural hearing mechanism used by animals all over the world. In 2015, researchers found that the vibrations in baleen whales’ skulls are how they hear.
An elephant stamps its foot to communicate with other elephants, often thousands of miles apart. Since bone conduction headphones send the vibrations straight to the inner ear, elephants use their feet to detect seismic tremors on the ground.
Take a minute to marvel at how the song you are listening to is reaching your ears in the same way a whale’s cry reaches its mate’s ear through miles of water the next time you are out running with your Aftershokz headphones on.
Factors You Should Consider Before Getting a Bone Conduction Headphone
Negative commentators always emphasize the value of isolation, but it’s more than just repetition for the sake of repetition; it actually makes a difference. Clarity is improved by shielding your eardrums from background noise since a good seal reduces auditory masking.
Furthermore, transmission accuracy suffers if your eardrum isn’t being used. You’ll be able to understand your media playback, but the audio quality is noticeably worse.
Regardless of sound quality, the fit might not be comfortable. Consider one of the more well-liked choices, the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium, which balances its weight on a tiny section of your ears and sits above your cheekbones. Even while walking slowly, let alone when engaging in more strenuous sports like jogging, it can be difficult to keep a consistent fit.
This group of people thinks you get less for more money. Although the idea is new, there are numerous flaws when used in practice. There are always two sides to a coin, of course.
Okay, so supporters of bone conduction headphones tout the technology’s benefits for those who have hearing loss and for safety concerns. Regarding the first, runners, in particular, must be conscious of their surroundings when exercising outside. You can hear other pedestrians, oncoming autos, and any other possible dangers because these don’t seal around or even contact the ear canal.
Furthermore, bone conduction headphones are a good choice if you have hearing loss and/or wear hearing aids. Bone conduction headphones avoid this, whereas traditional earbuds and headphones may obstruct or jostle hearing aids.
Additionally, stereo sound that is not audible with conventional in-ears may be enjoyed by listeners who are deaf in one ear. Some listeners who might not otherwise have access to hearing gain it thanks to bone conduction headphones.
Bone conduction headphones are useful for people with hearing loss, even if audiophiles are unlikely to recommend them any time soon. It would be oversimplifying the technology and its many applications to label it as a total gimmick.
However, it would be a serious overstatement to say they are the greatest invention since the TRRS plug. There are many excellent wirelesses and true wireless earbuds available that offer greater audio quality if your hearing is unimpaired. Wireless bone conduction headphones are a fantastic choice if you suffer from hearing loss.
What are the best bone conduction headphones?
You’ll note that the majority of bone conducting headphones are produced by Shokz (previously AfterShokz). In this extremely specialized industry, Shokz has a stronghold, and many third-party alternatives fall short of what Shokz has to offer.
The greatest bone conduction headphones available right now are the Shokz OpenRun, a rebranded version of the renowned AfterShokz Aeropex. You get rapid charging, Bluetooth 5.1, and 8th-generation bone conduction technology with the Shokz OpenRun. There are worse things than having to cope with the company’s exclusive two-pin connector, though.
The Bose Sport Open Earbuds are a great alternative to bone conduction headsets
The Bose Sports Open Earbuds have an unobstructed design that leaves your ear canals entirely open, similar to bone conduction headphones. While bone conduction headphones provide the same level of protection, Bose’s earbuds sit where your ears and skull meet and employ strategically positioned speakers to direct music into your ear canals.
These IPX4 earphones are a terrific choice if you have excellent hearing and want to be safe. They perform a similar function for folks (without hearing difficulties) who need a set of earbuds that are secure for outdoor use and sound far better than bone conduction headphones.
I frequently notice the names AfterShokz and Shokz; are they the same business?
Yes, AfterShokz became Shokz in December 2021, and since then, Shokz has been launching new headsets.
Could bone conduction headphones be a decent alternative for me because regular headphones and earphones give me BPPV (vertigo)?
Possibly! It’s challenging to respond to this, but if the seal over or in your ear and the resulting shift in pressure are what triggers your vertigo, bone conduction does not seal anything and so shouldn’t affect the pressure in your ears.
This is not a guarantee because vertigo can have a variety of causes, the ear canals are complex, as is the interaction with the ear’s connection to the sinuses, and we are not medical professionals.
Have you tried open-back headphones, which typically have very minimal air pressure change because they are open if the shift in air pressure is your main culprit? An open-back headset like the AKG K240, which has a tendency to fit looser and is essentially an open-back design, might also work because clamping force may also be an issue.
Could I hear with bone conduction headphones in my left ear, where a surgical procedure to remove an acoustic neuroma severed the hearing nerve?
Unfortunately, no. Although bone conduction can bypass your outer ear, sounds must still flow via your nerve, cochlea, and inner ear bones in order for you to hear them. An acoustic neuroma is a tumor on the nerve bundle that links these parts of your body to your brain; if this nerve is destroyed, the connection between your ear and brain is broken. This cannot be bypassed by bone conduction.
Which bone conduction headphones are the best?
The greatest bone conduction headphones are the Aftershokz Aeropex, which employ Bluetooth 5.0 technology, have an eight-hour battery life, and are IP67-rated. See our ranking of the top bone conduction headsets for more information.
When jogging near automobiles, are bone conduction headphones more secure?
Theoretically, yes, as your ear canal is unobstructed and outside noise can enter your inner ear much easier than it would if you were wearing headphones or in-ears. You should still keep the volume down, though, as listening to loud music can interfere with your ability to hear some noises. Remember that your brain, not your ears, is where auditory masking occurs.
I have hearing aids, but may I wear bone conduction headphones?
Your hearing aid’s design will determine this. You should be able to utilize bone conduction headphones with hearing aids if you have in-the-ear (ITE) or invisible (IIC) devices. Bone conduction headphones, however, may cause some discomfort if you have behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), or open-fit hearing aids since they may come into touch with the top of the hearing aid module.
Would these headphones be functional for someone whose inner ear bones were removed after brain surgery, rendering them completely deaf?
Unfortunately, bone conduction headphones probably won’t work for you because they vibrate the bones removed during your operation, which is how sound enters your inner ear.
Can you wear earplugs while wearing bone conduction headphones?
Yes. While bone conduction headphones function by vibrating the bones in the inner ear, earplugs physically block the opening to the ear canal. Though you would miss out on the benefits of bone-conducting headphones, this should theoretically work.
Why can other people hear the earbud’s output?
Despite the fact that bone conduction headphones avoid the eardrum, they still need to send vibrations to the inner ear so that your cochlea can pick them up and send them to your brain via the stereocilia. Since there is no seal, bone conduction headphones must still produce the same frequencies and vibrations in order to reach your cochlea, which means some sound will be audible to those around.
Can someone with tinnitus wear bone conduction headphones?
Usually, the brain produces tinnitus as a reaction to hearing loss. Bone conduction headphones are safe to wear but won’t treat your tinnitus.
Are bone conduction headphones suitable for people whose jaws or heads are too sensitive to wear conventional on-ear headphones or earbuds?
The degree of sensitivity and the particular model will determine this. Bone conduction headphones are still worn on the ears or the head.
Bone conduction headphones work by vibrating the bones in your head, which then transmit the vibrations to your inner ear. This allows you to hear the sound without having to use traditional headphones that go over your ears. Bone conduction headphones are often used by people who are hard of hearing or who need to be able to hear other sounds around them, such as traffic noise, while they are listening to music.