Ever heard of bone conduction headphones?
Bone conduction headphones are devices with which you can hear audio conveyed through the vibrations of your skull (cheekbones and jaw bones).
Meaning, the sound waves are transmitted directly into your inner ear via bones, completely bypassing your eardrums.
Bone conduction technology was originally invented to aid people with hearing impairment so they could listen to music.
You may need some time to get used to the idea of bone conduction technology, but after a while, they seem to be the most comfortable pair of headphones you’ll ever come across.
That's because there are no ear-buds that often fall off or any messy wires to get caught. However, the sound quality is a compromising factor when it comes to bone conduction headphones.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bone conduction headphones:
Before I get into the detailed reviews, let’s talk about some frequently asked questions so as to help you with the buying decision.
1. Do bone conduction headphones really work for hearing loss?
Mostly, yes. As long as you have at least one functional inner ear (cochlea), bone conduction headphones will work for you. People with conductive hearing loss or one-sided hearing issue can benefit from it.
2. What is the difference between regular headphones and bone conduction headphones?
Bone conduction headphones do not transmit sound directly into your ears, so they might create poor sound quality as compared to regular headphones.
But, if ambient sound awareness is what you’re looking for, then bone conduction headphones are ideal for you. That’s because your ears are not covered with these headphones whatsoever.
3. Are there any dangers of bone conduction audio?
Even though it’s not truly direct transmission of sound, it is still dangerous to listen to music at very high volumes with bone conduction headphones.
People with the hearing impairment must avoid overusing them.
4. Can you use bone conduction headphones along with hearing aids?
There might be a slight problem if you are using a behind-the-ear type of hearing aids. Apart from that, it is completely suitable for any sorts of hearing aids.
5. Difference between Wired and Wireless bone conduction headphones?
Both use same bone conduction technology for sound transmission, only the connectivity to the streaming device is what differs.
Wired headphones, as the name suggests, require a cable to form a connection with streaming devices, whereas wireless bone conduction headphones utilize Bluetooth connectivity for the same. Both styles are to be worn around cheekbones.
6. Can you use bone conduction headphones with Smartphones?
You can use bone conduction headphones with any devices like tablets, Smartphones, digital mp3 players, etc.
7. Are bone conduction headphones waterproof?
For water-resistant features, you need to check the IP rating given on the product. Higher the number, greater will be the protection against water or sweat.
Top 5 best bone conduction headphones for 2017
AfterShokz Trekz Titanium (Top pick)
Aftershokz Bluez 2
80 Hz- 14 kHz
Aftershokz AS450 Sportz (Budget pick)
20 Hz- 20 KHz
100 Hz - 15 kHz
Below are some of the top bone conduction headphones, that come at an affordable price.
An exceptional amalgamation of style and technology is what defines these Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Open-Ear headphones.
Given its Wireless bone conduction technology, mini sound vibrations are directly sent into your internal ear (cochlea) passing via cheekbones. In a nutshell, it completely bypasses your eardrums.
Experience a painless and bud-free comfort with its highly flexible and durable titanium rear bar, which effortlessly adapts with your neckline.
It features dual noise-cancelling microphones with in-line controls, so you can now receive calls with crystal clear voice, without using your hands.
Lightweight body of the Trekz titanium does not feel like you’ve put something heavy on.
Adding to it, the exclusive PremiumPitch+ gives that dynamic sound quality and an emphasized bass.
Designed with athletes in mind, these Water-resistant headphones can be used during any vigorous activities like sports or workouts, without having to worry about sweat. Aftershokz even provides a free carrying case along with the headphones for quick and easy portability.
Trekz Titanium is an upgraded version of its previous models, so naturally the design and sound quality is much superior here.
These headphones feature wide dynamic sound range and also prevent excessive sound leakage. Even though these are not audiophile-grade headphones, they are still much better than other models available in the market today.
- Durable construction- Titanium band coated with Soft silicone Rubber
- Lightweight design and comfortable to wear
- Offered in 4 different jazzy colors
- IPX5-rated headphones- Repel moisture or sweat
- Multipoint pairing
- No messy entangling of Cords
- 2 years of warranty
- Extremely comfortable
- Breathing foam
- Do not expect high fidelity sound Might hurt after long hours of wearing
- Connecting multiple devices simultaneously doesn't work sometimes.
Coming from a brand Aftershokz- that specializes in launching fine-quality bone conduction headphones, Bluez 2 Open-ear Stereo headphones is certainly one of their topnotch models. It is way different from other models in terms of its rugged look and build quality.
Aftershokz Bluez 2 feels more rigid and is something that can take abuse. Made from titanium, it is certain to expect improved longevity from this unit.
If sweat due to workouts or running is your major concern, then its water-proof design comes to the rescue.
Just like Trekz Titanium, Bluez 2 also uses PremiumPitch+ technology to deliver true fidelity sound and amazing Bass response. Since they are deliberately made for fitness purposes, the fit might feel a little tight, secure enough to stay put on your ears during any exercises.
And, you can still have some amount of ambient sound awareness, thanks to its open fit design.
With Bluez 2, the sound might not be extremely clear but the bass is very heavy. It has also been incorporated with dual microphones for crystal clear calling experience.
Along with the product, you will receive a breathable carrying pouch, an adjustable tension band, reflective stickers and a micro-USB charging cable.
- In-line controls come handy
- Open-ear design; Good for running
- Secure fit; Ideal for workouts
- Impressive battery life
- Good sound quality; Heavy bass
- PremiumPitch+ and OpenFit design is perfect for users with hearing disabilities
- Extremely comfortable
- Breathing foam
- Sound quality is not that impressive
- Sound leakage
- Does not fit well with the glasses
Damson “Headbones”- its funky name itself suggests that they are bluetooth bone conduction headphones that deliver sound frequencies through your cheekbones into the ear canal.
One of the master strokes played by Damson is that it offers a 3.5 mm jack on the side, so you can plug-in your traditional ear-buds whenever you want to isolate the ambient noise. Astonishing, isn’t it?
For a completely secure fit, Damson Headbones come with a rubber securing headband which has adjustable design and stays on your neck snugly.
Headbones are fairly resistant to sweat, moisture, and dust, so all the athletes out there might fancy this design.
In-line controls are very handy to use and allow you to even receive calls or use voice calling features like Siri, Google voice and so on. Damson Headbones deliver 8 hours of battery performance just from a single charge, optimum for any enduring workouts or long running hours.
On the downside, we would say that with such a high price Damson Headbones do not deliver satisfactory sound quality.
Treble is quite good but the mids aren’t very clear and the bass lacks depth. But when you actually plugin the traditional ear-buds, the sound quality greatly improves. Bottom line is, bone conduction technology is kind of poor.
- IPX5-rated Sweat-proof design
- 3.5 mm jack provided
- Foldable arms
- Comes in a Carrying pouch
- In-line controls and microphone allows hands-free use
- Impressive battery life- 8 hours for Headbones/20 hours for ear-buds
- 1 year of warranty period
- Sound quality not so great; Bass lacks depth
- Headband is slightly heavy and hangs low; might rub on your shirt often
For those of you with short budget spreads, Aftershokz AS450 Sportz M3 is a real steal for you. With its bone conduction technology, the sound is directly transmitted to your internal ear without passing through your eardrums.
You can stream these headphones with any device having a 3.5 mm jack and even receive calls with the help of noise-canceling microphone included.
The headband snugly wraps itself around your neck, while the transducers will rest on the bones right in front of your ears.
Comfortable and lightweight in design, the Sportz M3 has Open Fit design so you will be still aware of your ambient sound.
Nanotechnology coating and rubber gaskets with watertight fit blocks out moisture or sweat completely. Yet again, Aftershokz’s PremiumPitch Patented Dual Suspension Transducers deliver great bone conduction sound.
It claims to have 12 hours of battery life, which is enough to get you going through most of the workouts before next charge.
Noise-cancelling microphone and in-line controls allow you to receive calls effortlessly with crystal clear voice.
The package comes all-included with a storage case and a micro-USB charging cable for ease-of-use.
- Sound is clear, well-balanced and loud enough
- Comfortable to wear
- Bass is good
- Inexpensively priced
- Headband is not too heavy
- Sweat-resistant design
- 2 years of warranty period
- Battery life is not as good as claimed
- Cord provided is too thin
Even though KSCAT is not oh-so-popular or recognized brand name, their Open-Ear bone conduction headphones are of premium quality and worth investing in.
Intended to be used by runners, hikers, cyclists, etc. these headphones have an Open-ear design for extreme safety and convenience of use.
Bone conduction technology will send the sound directly into the cochlea after passing through your cheekbones. The headband is constructed from Titanium frame which is expected to deliver enhanced durability.
The bluetooth connectivity range is about 10 m/33 ft., wide enough to connect with any of your bluetooth devices in the vicinity.
This particular model viz. KSCAT NICE 5 is an updated version of its previous launch KSCAT NICE 2. The latest version uses bluetooth v4.1 connectivity and features IPX6 waterproofing design.
Noise-canceling microphone enables you to use calling feature with clear sound experience.
All-day play time is claimed to be about 6 hours and the in-line controls lets you operate the device handily.
Lately, Bone conduction technology has bagged a lot of popularity and has gone through impressive amendments over the past few years.
In a nutshell, bone conduction headphones are hands-down one of the best solutions for users who want to enjoy the music without isolating outside noise.
Better yet, these are a great option for people with conductive hearing loss or hearing issue on just one side of the ear.
If we had to choose one, Aftershokz Trekz Titanium is, without a doubt, one of the Best premium-quality of bone conduction headphones available today in the market with durable construction and flexible design.
These headphones are not good at bass. You may want to look at some of the headphones like JVC that are specially meant for bass if you are a bass-head.