Best Bone-Conduction Headphones
- What Are Bone-Conduction Headphones?
- Meet the Winners!
- How do Bone-Conduction Headphones Work?
- How Do Bone-Conduction Headphones Sound?
- Benefits of Bone-Conduction Headphones
- Technical Details Used in This Review
- Our Selection of the Best Bone-Conduction Headphones
- Bone Conduction vs. Air Conduction
- Buyer's Guide to Purchasing the Best Bone-Conduction Headphones
The way we enjoy audio media has changed dramatically since the first pair of headphones was successfully developed for military use at the turn of the 20th century. We were suddenly no longer limited to our home audio systems to experience pre-recorded or live audio, despite the fact that it took some time for it to become commercially available.
Since then, the headphone set has changed into smaller earphones or earbuds, and wireless headphone technology is currently a hot commodity. In this article, we’ll concentrate on bone conduction technology and how it’s reshaping the headphone industry.
It is by no means a new invention to use the bone conduction capabilities of our auditory system to perceive sound. Evidence suggests that Girolamo Cardano (1501–1576), a physician and deaf educator, used bone conduction principles to help him communicate with and educate his deaf patients by inserting a rod between their teeth to transmit sound. Ludwig van Beethoven, a renowned deaf composer, is known for using bone conduction techniques to hear his compositions by fastening a similar rod to his piano and holding it between his teeth.
What Are Bone-Conduction Headphones?
By utilizing our Cochlea’s capacity to translate vibrations into what we perceive as sound, bone-conduction headphones are essentially a 21st-century update of the “rod in mouth” technique used to transmit auditory information to the hearing impaired. These headphones are made not only to help the hearing-impaired but also to allow others to listen to recorded media while still allowing their eardrums to function normally. This increases awareness and has some other health benefits that we’ll cover later.
- Best Overall Bone Conduction Headphones
- Best Bone Conduction Headphones for Running
- Best Budget-Friendly Bone Conduction Headphones
- Best Bone Conduction Headphones for Office Use
Our favourite of the bunch is the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone-Conduction Headphones model from the pioneers of bone-conduction headphone technology. The Aeropex is a fantastic option for all applications and was primarily created for athletes. obtainable in a variety of sizes to fit all head shapes and fashions. Long-lasting comfort, a strong battery life, and excellent sound quality are all provided by the frame’s lightweight titanium construction.
The Titanium AS600OB bone conduction headset is available from AfterShokz, the god of bone-conduction headphones. The AS600B set is very affordable and has a ton of features that are ideal for music or exercise enthusiasts. The headphones can withstand some moisture contact in the form of sweat or light rain thanks to their IP55 waterproof rating.
One of the best-designed, most cost-effective pairs of bone-conduction headphones is offered by US modern technology manufacturer Moing. The Moing Bone Conduction Headphones are excellent for use while exercising, driving, cycling, and more. This is a fantastic option for recreational users and athletes alike thanks to its powerful Bluetooth connection and guarantee of safe and enjoyable listening.
Once again dominating is AfterShokz’s OpenComm bone-conduction headset. Because of their long battery life, these headphones are designed for use in an office environment. The built-in microphone is always going to sound better and can be positioned to fit your needs. The AfterShokz OpenComm Bone-Conduction Headphones are a little more pricey, but if you can afford them, I wholeheartedly recommend them. If properly cared for, they will last a lifetime and guarantee countless hours of enjoyable listening and communication.
How do Bone-Conduction Headphones Work?
We must first examine the fundamentals of the human auditory system and sound interpretation through the ear in order to comprehend how bone-conduction headphones function.
Bone conduction and air conduction are the two processes that take place when we hear a sound. The majority of what we hear is caused by airwaves vibrating our eardrums, which are then transmitted to the cochlea in the inner ear, where it is translated into sounds by the auditory nerves and sent to the brain. Air conduction is the process involved here.
Bone conduction is another way that we hear some sounds, including our own voices. Because the vibration source is internal to our bodies, the eardrum is not affected, and the Cochlea receives the vibrations right away. This means that we can help the transmission process to the Cochlea by applying pressure to connected bones.
Bone-conduction headphones utilize transducers that convert audio signals into vibrations. These vibrations are then transmitted through the cheekbones to the cochlea, where they are perceived as sound. By bypassing the eardrums, bone-conduction technology offers a safer and more comfortable alternative for those who need to remain attentive while enjoying their favourite audio content. The vibrations also create an immersive experience, as you can feel the music resonate throughout your skull. The procedure goes like this:
- A digital audio signal is transformed into vibrational mechanical energy. The user’s cheekbones are vibrated by these vibrations coming from the headphones. As titanium’s material characteristics are ideal for the effective conduction of sound waves, titanium frames are frequently used in bone-conduction headphones. Another lightweight metal that works well for bone-conduction headphones is titanium.
- The Cochlea’s hair cells interpret the vibrations and translate the mechanical energy back into what we perceive as sound.
How Do Bone-Conduction Headphones Sound?
Bone conduction headphones are anticipated to sound different from the in-ear or over-ear headphones we are accustomed to using every day for the past few decades. Since nothing will ever be as precise and faithful at interpreting sound as our own eardrums, we can expect a noticeable decline in audio quality due to the nature of the design and audio transmission process. Without getting into too much detail, if you want headphones that sound good, go with a more conventional set.
Benefits of Bone-Conduction Headphones
Enhancing Safety and Awareness
One of the significant advantages of bone-conduction headphones is their ability to keep you connected to the world around you. Whether you’re running, cycling, or simply walking on a busy street, bone-conduction technology allows you to enjoy your music while maintaining situational awareness. You can stay tuned in to traffic, conversations, and other important sounds, ensuring your safety in various environments.
Comfort and Versatility
Traditional headphones can cause discomfort, especially during extended wear, as they put pressure on the ears and can trap heat. Bone-conduction headphones eliminate these issues by resting outside the ears, providing a comfortable fit and reducing the risk of ear fatigue. Additionally, they are perfect for individuals who wear hearing aids or have certain types of hearing loss, as the technology bypasses any potential hearing impediments.
Technical Details Used in This Review
I’ll use some fundamental audio terms in this review to describe the efficacy of various headphone models. You can improve your purchasing decisions and your comprehension of the provided technical specifications by simply understanding these terms.
Frequency response is always relative to our hearing abilities and is shown as a graph or a figure. The range of human hearing is 20Hz to 20kHz. The desired frequency response should span the majority, if not the entire, of this range.
The deviation factor is the next thing we examine to determine how much this changes. A decibel number is used to represent the deviation factor. A good-sounding audio device should have a deviation of no more than three decibels, which is what is referred to as being relatively “flat.”
Various physical characteristics of hardware devices, such as size and shape, are referred to as form factors. The form factor in this case would refer to how the bone-conduction headphones are placed on your head and give you a sense of how comfortable or uncomfortable a particular set may be.
When we talk about control type, we’re talking about the user interface that you can use to operate the bone conduction headphones while they’re in use. Does it connect to a computer or phone remote control app? This specification is crucial because it influences how user-friendly a device is. In the end, it depends on how you want to operate your headphones and in what environment or environments you plan to use them.
Another crucial consideration is the weight of a set of bone-conduction headphones. A pair that is too heavy will put undue strain on your face, cheeks, and jaw and cause additional problems, such as headaches and an uneasy listening experience.
Our Selection of the Best Bone-Conduction Headphones
1. AfterShokz Aeropex Bone-Conduction Headphones
Specs & Features
|20Hz – 20kHz
AfterShokz, a New York-based company that invented and pioneered bone conduction technology, starts with their Aeropex bone conduction headset, which comes with a plethora of onboard features.
Using Bluetooth 5.0 technology, the Aeropex bone conduction headphones can connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device up to 33 feet (10 meters) away. The Aeropex headphones have an over-ear design that is comfortable for the user, offers a private listening experience, and keeps the eardrums open so you can still hear background noise.
Given that you can be aware of pedestrians, vehicles, and other potential hazards, this form factor makes it a fantastic option for those looking to use their bone-conduction headphones for exercise and outdoor activities. The IP67 waterproof rating of the Aeropex headphones allows for use during sweaty activities or even outside in the rain. A moisture detection feature is also incorporated into the design of this waterproof technology.
Easy playback and pause controls, as well as other commands, such as accepting incoming calls and switching between manual and voice control, are made possible by an onboard control system. The headset has two noise-cancelling microphones.
The Aeropex bone conduction headphones have an 8-hour playback time before needing a charge, and they charge completely in 2 hours. With regards to audio reproduction, AfterShokz has impressed us with a wide frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, improved bass response, and surprisingly loud volume capabilities.
With all the bells and whistles you’d expect from the pioneers of bone conduction technology, these are unquestionably the best bone conduction headphones overall. The Aeropex is covered by a 2-year warranty and comes in 2 sizes, standard and mini, to fit almost all head sizes and shapes.
What You Will Receive
- AfterShokz Aeropex HeadsetItem
- Charging Cable x 2 (magnetic)
- Earplug Set
- Silicon Carry Case
The Air model might be what you’re looking for if the Aeropex bone conduction headphones appeal to you but you might want something a little more sport-focused.
Utilizing organic materials, the AfterShokz Air bone conduction headphones are 20% lighter than comparable titanium models. Reflective strips are added to the Air series headsets to improve visibility for all users, including runners, hikers, and cyclists. Slate Grey, Midnight Blue, Forest Green, and Canyon Red are just a few of the colours that are offered for Air.
Although the Air’s Bluetooth connection is not as strong as the Aeropex’s, the sound quality is enhanced by the latter’s ability to reproduce low frequencies and a wider dynamic range. Similar to the Aeropex model, the AfterShokz Air bone conduction headphones are also offered.
2. AfterShokz Titanium AS600OB Bone-Conduction Headphones
Specs & Features
|20Hz – 20kHz
The Titanium AS600OB bone conduction headset from bone conduction headphone manufacturing gods AfterShokz is their newest product. The AS600B set is very affordable and has a ton of features that are ideal for music or exercise enthusiasts. The open-ear design used to deliver premium audio quality still allows for a connection to the outside world because your eardrums are still accessible. An IP55 waterproof rating on the Titanium AS600OB allows for some moisture contact from sweat or light rain. I wouldn’t advise using these for particularly demanding exercise or any activity requiring a lot of head movement because the titanium frame is inherently heavier than other less lightweight materials sometimes used to build bone-conduction headphones.
Before requiring a charge, the Titanium AS600OB bone conduction headset can work for up to 6 hours nonstop. But quick-charging technology shows that this isn’t a major inconvenience. You can issue a number of commands through the onboard multifunction control interface, including Play, Pause, Skip Track, Accept Incoming Call, and Activate/Deactivate Voice Assistant.
Although the Titanium model AS600OB is perfectly capable of carrying out such tasks, it is not particularly intended for sporting use. I suggest using this model as a hybrid set for both sitting at a desk or couch and exercising. A wide range of colours, including Black, Grey, Green, Pink, Ocean Blue, Red, and Canyon Red, are offered for the Titanium model. The headphones are available in a “one size fits all” design.
What You Will Receive
- AfterShokz Titanium AS600B Headset
- Drawstring Carry Bag
- Earplug Set
- USB Charging Cable
Another model, the OpenMove bone conduction headphones, is also available from AfterShokz. The OpenMove headphones resemble the Titanium AS600OB in a number of ways, but they are designed more for casual use than physical activity. Compared to the AS600OB, this model’s frame is lighter, and Bluetooth connectivity is improved. The OpenMove is offered in a number of hues, including Slate Grey, Elevation Blue, Alpine White, and Himalayan Pink. Your bone conduction headphones come with a set of five sticker packs that are only available on Amazon, making customization simple.
3. YouthWhisper Bone-Conduction Headphones
Specs & Features
|20Hz – 20kHz
YouthWhisper, an American company that specializes in bone-conduction headphones, offers a range of bone-conduction headsets that are reasonably priced and come in a variety of stylish colours. Although the headphones from YouthWhisper are intended for use during athletic and exercise-related activities, they can also be used for casual listening and office tasks.
When worn during any form of exercise or for leisurely listening, the incredibly light titanium frame maintains a strong connection to your head to prevent shifting or falling. The bone conduction headset from YouthWhisper has an IP54 waterproof rating, making it suitable for use even in light rain or if you tend to be a heavy sweater.
The bone conduction headphones from YouthWhisper have a big battery that can last for 8 hours of phone calls or 6 hours of music on a single charge. If you prefer to listen to music uninterrupted, a pair of noise-canceling earplugs are provided to reduce noise from the outside world. These bone-conduction headphones don’t offer anything unique in terms of sound quality, but they sound just as good as any other bone-conduction headset. Both during transmission and reception, the call quality is very good.
Overall, this is a great set of bone-conduction headphones for those on a tighter budget who want a durable and high-quality pair. These YouthWhisper headphones are incredibly adaptable and guarantee endless hours of enjoyable listening in any situation.
What You Will Receive
- YouthWhisper headphones
- Charging cable
4. Moing Bone-Conduction Headphones
Specs & Features
|20Hz – 20kHz
The company Moing is renowned for creating cutting-edge headphones, earphones, and wireless chargers for mobile devices. Their bone conduction headphones, which are intended for sport and leisure use, are extremely affordable and have impressed us and received favourable reviews from both industry insiders and consumers.
With Bluetooth 5.0 technology, Moing’s bone conduction headphones can connect to up to two Bluetooth-compatible devices, including laptops, tablets, smartwatches, and smartphones, with a range of up to an absurdly long 800 feet. Since the Moing headphones don’t touch your ears at all and can be worn comfortably around your neck when not in use, they are simple to clean and keep hygienic.
The open-ear design allows for complete situational awareness, making it ideal for activities like cycling, running, and driving. Although these headphones are lightweight, other options on the market (and on this list) are much lighter, so it might take some getting used to for users who are used to seriously lightweight models for exercise use.
The Moing bone conduction headphones are ergonomically designed to fit your head securely and eliminate the possibility of the headset moving while you’re exercising. The users of these bone-conduction headphones can wear glasses.
A common design flaw in headphones that causes annoyance and occasionally headaches has been successfully addressed by Moing. These vibrations are felt in the jaw and cheek while wearing headphones. Here, a strong battery is utilized, capable of supporting up to 6 hours of continuous use and charging completely in an hour and a half. Since there is no microphone attached to the device, you should be aware that you cannot make or receive phone calls while wearing these headphones.
Overall, a pair of bone-conduction headphones that sound great and are comfortable can be purchased for an incredibly low cost given their capabilities. A durable and effective set of headphones from Moing is promised, and a year’s worth of warranty is included with the purchase.
What You Will Receive
- Moing bone conduction headset
- Charging cable
5. AfterShokz OpenComm Bone-Conduction Headphones
Specs & Features
|20Hz – 20kHz
With their OpenComm bone conduction headphones—a model specifically made for office use, though you can also use it for sports and leisure activities—our friends at AfterShokz are back at it. For maximum comfort, a lightweight titanium frame is used in this case. It can be worn for long periods of time without experiencing any discomfort. The unit is strengthened a little bit by the titanium frame, but this model also comes with a 2-year warranty.
The battery life and microphone have been upgraded from AfterShokz’s previous models because these are primarily intended for use in offices. The battery life of the device can be fully charged in just two hours, providing up to 16 hours of talk time (phone calls, conferences), and 8 hours of listening time (music, podcasts, movies).
Additionally, a 5-minute quick charge gives you two hours of phone talk time. The headset’s microphone has cutting-edge noise-cancelling technology, and because it is a boom microphone (extendable), it can be placed close to the user’s mouth.
The OpenComm fits comfortably on any shape or size head and, like all bone conduction headphones, keeps your ears open and available to hear the sounds of the environment around you. This enables non-disruptive use even for an entire day at the office.
The OpenComm bone conduction headset accurately replicates the full range of human hearing in terms of sound quality. Although traditional headphones or earbuds sound a little “thinner” than bone-conduction headphones, these are the best there is!
In conclusion, I have to say that the AfterShokz OpenComm has greatly impressed me. This is a fantastic option for office workers, music lovers, or exercise enthusiasts looking to experience their music, spoken word, or phone calls on the go because of its comfort, good sound, long battery life, and strong Bluetooth connection.
What You Will Receive
- AfterShokz OpenComm Headphones
- Silicon carrying case
- Magnetic induction charging cable
We previously looked at AfterShokz’s Aeropex set, which is very similar to the OpenComm bone conduction headphones. The main distinction is that the Aeropex is primarily designed for athletic use, whereas the OpenComm is better suited for workplace use.
In essence, you give up a little bit of frame weight in exchange for a fully adjustable, higher-quality microphone and a longer battery life. I would suggest the Aeropex if you’re looking for a two-in-one solution because it is lighter and still has many of the same features and capabilities as the OpenComm.
6. Tayogo Bone-Conduction Headphones
Specs & Features
|20Hz – 20kHz
Another set of adaptable bone conduction headphones from Tayogo, a manufacturer of sports headphones, is offered at a startlingly low price. Their bone conduction headphones have convenient features that make them easier to use while working out and are sweat- and water-resistant.
Tayog’s bone conduction headphones have a one-size-fits-all design and use titanium alloy steel wires covered in silica gel to withstand 360-degree rotations and bending without permanently deforming. By doing so, you can perfectly adjust the headset’s shape to fit the size and shape of your head, ensuring maximum comfort while working out. These headphones can be used for a variety of tasks, such as running, cycling, driving, working at the office, or just relaxing at home.
Unfortunately, Tayogo’s headphones don’t have as long of battery life as the others on this list, but they can still run for 5–6 hours on a full charge of 2 hours and for an hour on a 15–minute charge. The onboard microphone is a typical feature for headphones, and these headphones have a respectable sound quality.
The device can be used for a number of tasks, including music controls and phone call answering and dropping, thanks to the onboard control. When desired, the bone conduction headphones from Tayogo also include a pair of earplugs for a more private listening experience.
Given their advanced features and high-quality construction, the Tayogo bone conduction headphones are surprisingly inexpensive and come in a light blue colour. The only drawback is the titanium frame’s relatively heavy weight, but it has been demonstrated that this causes little discomfort when worn for the recommended amount of time.
What You Will Receive
- Tayogo bone conduction headset
- USB charging cable
- Earplug set
The YouthWhisper and Tayogo bone conduction headphones both have affordable price points, but they each have their own distinct qualities and strengths. The YouthWhisper bone conduction headphones appear to be a little more adaptable at first glance because of the lightweight frame that allows use for sports, the office, or at-home listening.
The Tayogo headphones are by far the heaviest headphones on this list, though they are still relatively light. For people who are used to lighter frames, the extra weight may be uncomfortable. Both the YouthWhisper and Tayogo phones have good microphones and can take phone calls.
When it comes to battery life, the YouthWhisper headphones come out on top thanks to their long battery life after just one charge. They also come with a set of noise-canceling earbuds that block out background noise while you listen.
Overall, depending on your intended use, these two sets of bone-conduction headphones are both excellent values. The YouthWhisper model’s features and appearance, however, are my favourites.
Bone Conduction vs. Air Conduction
Although some bone conduction functions are used, air conduction is the main mechanism our auditory system uses to decode and interpret the sounds around us. Once more, it all depends on how much audio quality you’re willing to give up for the benefit of greater spatial awareness.
If the safety aspect is your main concern, it is important to note that there are in-ear headphones available on the market that permit ambient sounds to pass through the system. However, bone conduction headphones’ advantages in terms of cleanliness, comfort, and personal connectivity are unrivalled.
Are Bone Conduction Earbuds More Beneficial or Healthy for Your Ears?
It is well known that conventional headphones, earbuds, and earphones can harm ears either permanently or temporarily. The tiny hair cells found inside the cochlea may warp after being exposed to loud music for an extended period of time. The interpretation of vibrations and the transmission of signals to the brain are carried out by these suspended hair cells.
Breaks are strongly advised when exposure times of more than 30 minutes at 70-80dB are involved. As the speaker driver is closer to the ear with in-ear style earbuds than with over-ear headphones, they can harm the ear even more. Because there is no direct contact between your eardrum and the music source with bone-conduction headphones, we can say that they are safer for your ears.
Why should you choose bone-conduction headphones over standard headphones?
A set of bone-conduction headphones could help eliminate the possibility of hearing loss or damage if the aforementioned health and safety concerns are significant to you. Additionally, wearing bone-conduction headphones while exercising at the gym or running or walking in public while listening to music increases your overall safety. All of the sounds around you are still audible in the usual way. Bone conduction headphones also make it easier for the hard of hearing to listen to recorded media.
The pros and cons of bone conduction headphones
- The headphones let people who have eardrum or middle ear damage listen to music and other recorded media.
- allows your eardrum to function independently while you are listening to music.
- Compared to traditional headphones or earbuds, they pose a lower risk of damaging hearing.
- Since a speaker driver is no longer producing the sound, audio quality suffers.
- For some head shapes, it might be uncomfortable.
- Ambient and environmental noise is still audible. So there is no noise cancellation.
Buyer’s Guide to Purchasing the Best Bone-Conduction Headphones
When it comes to choosing the perfect pair of bone-conduction headphones, there are several factors to consider. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a comprehensive buyer’s guide that covers essential aspects and features to look for. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, a music lover, or simply someone who values quality audio, this guide will assist you in finding the best bone-conduction headphones to suit your needs.
Sound Type and Quality
Bone-conduction headphones offer a unique audio experience, but not all models deliver the same sound quality. Look for headphones that provide clear and well-balanced sound reproduction across different frequencies. Opt for models that offer customizable equalizer settings, allowing you to fine-tune the audio to your preferences.
While bone-conduction technology ensures you remain aware of your surroundings, it’s essential to consider sound leakage. Choose headphones that strike a balance between keeping your audio private and minimizing sound leakage to those nearby. This is especially important if you plan to use your headphones in quiet or shared spaces.
If you lead an active lifestyle or enjoy water-based activities, consider bone-conduction headphones with waterproof or water-resistant features. These headphones will withstand sweat, rain, and even accidental submersion, ensuring their durability and longevity.
Weight and Flexibility
Comfort is key when it comes to bone-conduction headphones. Look for lightweight and flexible models that can be worn for extended periods without causing discomfort or fatigue. Adjustable bands and secure fit systems are also important to ensure a snug and personalized fit.
Wireless bone-conduction headphones provide the freedom to move without the hassle of tangled wires. Opt for models with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to pair your headphones with various devices and enjoy seamless wireless audio streaming.
Consider the form factor that suits your preferences and activities. Some bone-conduction headphones come in the form of traditional over-ear headphones, while others have a more minimalistic design with open-ear options. Choose the form factor that aligns with your comfort and intended use.
For uninterrupted listening pleasure, check the battery life of the headphones. Look for models that offer long-lasting battery performance, especially if you plan to use them for extended periods or during outdoor adventures. Consider headphones with quick-charging capabilities for added convenience.
Size and Shape
Bone-conduction headphones come in various sizes and shapes. Ensure that the headphones you choose fit securely and comfortably on your head without causing any discomfort. Some models offer adjustable bands or customizable ear hooks to cater to different head sizes and shapes.
Set a budget that suits your needs and explore options within that range. While it’s tempting to opt for the most affordable option, keep in mind that investing in higher-quality headphones often translates to better sound, durability, and overall user experience.
If you plan to use your bone-conduction headphones for calls or voice commands, consider models with built-in microphones. Check for microphone quality and noise-cancelling features to ensure clear and crisp communication.
Look for headphones with intuitive and user-friendly control options. Touch controls, buttons, or even voice commands can enhance your overall experience by providing easy access to functions such as volume control, track skipping, and call management.
Consider reputable brands known for their expertise in audio technology and bone-conduction headphones. Established brands often offer superior quality, extensive customer support, and a wide range of product options.
Whether you’re using your bone-conduction headphones for sports activities or everyday use, durability is crucial. Look for models that are built to withstand impact, moisture, and general wear and tear. Materials such as titanium and high-quality plastics are often used to ensure durability and longevity.
Pay attention to technical specifications such as frequency response, impedance, and sensitivity. These specifications provide insights into the performance and capabilities of the headphones, helping you determine if they align with your audio preferences.
Check for warranty coverage provided by the manufacturer. A reliable warranty not only provides peace of mind but also indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in their product’s quality. Look for warranties that cover manufacturing defects and offer reasonable coverage periods.
Bone-conduction headphones offer a fresh perspective on personal audio, blending safety, comfort, and the joy of music into a single package. As this technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more innovation and exciting developments on the horizon. So, why not join the audio revolution and experience the future of headphones for yourself? Embrace the freedom to enjoy your favourite tunes while staying connected to the world around you.