Bone Conduction Headphones Reviews

This article is a review on Bone Conduction Headphones. Bone Conduction Headphones are different from the conventional headphones that most people are using.

The unique thing about this type of headphone is that you do not insert the earpiece into your ears, instead it is position around your cheek and near to your ears. Sound travels to your ear not through the air, but through the vibration of the bone on your face, which is usually your jaw bone or cheek bones.

The reason why this type of headphones is getting popular is because it allows you to hear the sound from the surrounding environment and still get to enjoy the music from your music player. It is also loved by those who have a challenge in hearing because this type of earphone allows them to hear the music which they would not be able to if they are to use the conventional earphone.

I will talk more about the bone conduction technology as well as recommendations on some of the popular brands for you to consider.

About Bone Conduction Headphones

Bone conduction is a technology that allow you to hear sound through the vibration of the bones of your face (jaw bones and cheek bones) instead of the usual mechanism that transmit sound waves through the air. This means that the sound waves are bypassing the outer and middle ear (where the eardrum is located) and directly stimulating the inner ear (hearing organ).

Bone conduction technology has been around for years, and it has been used as a tool to help those with hearing challenge. It is also an ideal choice for people wearing in-ear hearing aids, meaning it is possible to wear headphones while wearing hearing aids, what an invention!

Popularity of Bone Conduction Headphone

Bone condition technology is also used in sports headphones and have become increasingly popular in the music industry. Reason for the popularity is in the unique design that on one hand it allows the person to enjoy the music, it also allows the person to hear the sound from the surrounding environment since the headphone didn’t cover the ear.

This technology has become increasingly popular among the joggers or cyclists who want both music and exposure to surrounding sound (e.g. cars driving by) for safety.

Office workers also love this because they no longer have to worry about not hearing the ringing sound of the desk phone while enjoying music. It also allows them to engage in a conversation without having to remove the headphone.

How Bone Conduction Headphone Works?

Traditional headphones usually send sound through your eardrums over the air. However, Bone conduction headphones send sound through the bones of your skull. Instead of speakers, Bone Conduction Headphones have transducers that send vibrations through your cheekbones to your cochleas, so your eardrums are free to take in your surroundings.

Normal sound waves are actually tiny vibrations in the air. The vibrations travel through the air to our eardrums. The eardrums in turn vibrate, decoding these sound waves into a different type of vibrations that are received by the Cochlea, also known as the inner ear. The Cochlea is connected to our auditory nerve, which transmits the sounds to our brain.Ear Drum Illustration

Bone Conduction bypasses the eardrums. In bone conduction listening, the bone conduction devices (such as headphones) perform the role of your eardrums. These devices send sound waves and convert them into vibrations that can be received directly by the Cochlea so the eardrum is never involved.

The “sound” therefore eventually reach the ears as vibrations through the bones (or skull) and skin.

That’s why people who could not hear due to eardrum injury is able to enjoy listening to music using Bone Conduction Headphone because the eardrum is not necessary to help to transmit the sound to the Cochlea.

 

Why Should You Switch to Bone Conduction Headphones?

There are various reasons why you should try to switch to Bone Conduction Headphone and ditch your usual ear buds type of headphones. One of the reasons is that most earbuds are uncomfortable to wear since everyone’s ear hole is unique in shapes and sizes. Therefore it is very difficult for any manufacturer to have a once size fits all type of ear buds that will suit everybody.

Maybe you’re sick of them falling out the moment you step on the treadmill or work up a good sweat which can be quite annoying.

Some people who have a challenge in hearing as it sends sound into your ear not in the conventionally method, but through your cheek bone into your cochlea via sound vibration. This is extremely helpful to those who could not hear well due to injury to the external eardrum.

Most cases of hearing loss are due to damages to the eardrums. Since bone conduction does not use the eardrums to transmit the sound, those with hearing challenge would be able to hear clearly again with bone conduction, provided that their cochlea is in healthy and normal condition.

Last but not least is the main reason for using Bone Conduction Headphones, it’s about safety. Statistics have shown that high number of  pedestrians, joggers, cyclists or any users of the roads have been injured or killed in accidents while listening to music on earphones that make them separated from the outside world. Hence Bone Conduction Headphones is the solution to this. While it allows you to enjoy your usual music by sending the sound into your ear through your cheek bone, it frees your ears to also hear the sound from the environment that you are in. This allows you to be alerted of any dangers if any.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will bone conduction headphones work for me if I have a hearing loss?
Generally Yes. If you have a conductive hearing loss or unilateral hearing loss, then yes. Essentially as long as you have one cochlea that is working.

Will the sound quality be as good as “regular” headphones?
I’ve purchased one and experienced it myself. Although bone conduction may not be worse than air conduction, but the user’s experience is that the so called interference with sound from the surrounding may make it appear as if it has a poorer sound quality. But when I listen to it in more quiet place, then I would say that the sound quality is good.

Can bone conduction make your hearing worse?
I must be very cautious when answering this question. Yes, it may result in hearing loss just like any conventional headphones if you turn the volume up too high. Just like any appliances, any abuse will be dangerous. But with proper usage, this should not be an issue.

How different is this from the traditional “regular” headphones?
Other than not inserting the ear piece into the ears, this technology also requires a power source even for the wired versions.

Can bone conduction headphones be worn with hearing aids?
Yes, this is probably one of the reason why this headphone is popular amongst those with a challenge in hearing.

 

Recommended Brands and Model

There are lots of Bone Conduction Headphones in the market, but buyers beware. Not all are really conduction sound through your bone. Some are nothing but just a loud speaker that try to transmit sound to your eardrum over the air. Therefore I have chosen only 3 models to share with you.

Personally, I am currently using the Vidonn F1 Titanium one because I am on a tight budget and this unit is value for money. But if you can afford to pay for a premium one, go for Aftershokz product. Pls see below on a write up on each of the 3 models.

 

AfterShokz Trekz Air Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones

Aftershokz Trekz Air

AfterShokz Trekz Air is slimmer than the Titanium version. The new design is 20% lighter and a lot more flexible and when you wear it, you will find that it gives you a better fit than other model.

What I like about this model is that it supports Bluetooth v4.2 multi point pairing. Multipoint is a new development in Bluetooth technology that allows your Bluetooth Headset to be connected to two Bluetooth devices at the same time.

With that, what it means is that when a phone call comes in, the Bluetooth headset is intelligent enough to knows which device is ringing and will connect to the right one automatically, don’t you love this feature?

 

 

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones

Aftershokz Trekz Titianium

The Titanium use a silicone coated, titanium band that makes them fairly flexible without damage.

Similar to the Trekz Air model mentioned above, it is lightweight and comfortable to use, although it is not as light as the Trekz Air.

Trekz Titanium is sweat proof, secure, and will allow you to hear your surroundings.

Similar to the Trek Air, the Titanium also supports multi-point pairing. This would allow you to pair with your phone, and easily pair them with TV or laptop. This is something that you can’t do in most other headphones.

This product also comes with Reflective Strips for added safety when running, cycling, or exercising outdoors. If you are interested in this model, you can get it by clicking on the image below.

Vidonn F1 Titanium Wireless Sports Headset

Bone Conduction Headphone

If you are new to bone conduction headphones and do not want to pay too much to try it out, this model is a good one start with. It is 60% cheaper than the Trek Air and 40% cheaper than the Trek Titanium. Yet I wouldn’t say that the quality is inferior than the above 2 models.

Vidonn F1 material feels durable, solid but flexible at the same time. The frame of the Vidonn F1 is stiff on the side and flexible at the back. The side stiffness is not a problem because the headphones clamp neatly against the head so they don’t move when shaking your head.

I personally own the Vidonn F1 and it produces good quality sound despite the low price tag. The quality is acceptable to me. When using a normal volume, the sound leakage is minimal although my family said that they can hear the music sound when they are seated near me. But this is still within the acceptable range and is not disturbing or annoying.

Vidonn F1 beats the above 2 models due to the low price tag without compromise in quality. If you are budget conscious, this model will not go wrong. If you are interested in this model, you can get it by clicking on the image below.

Conclusion

There are critics who generalized that bone conduction are nothing but a loud speaker who claim that the sound is coming from the side microphones/speakers. I tested with the Vidonn F1 and put my fingers in both ears so that no external sound can be received via the ear transmitted through the air. You will soon noticed if this is a genuine bone conduction headphone because I could still hear music transmitted via my cheek/jaw bone.

If you need a pair of headphones that allow you to enjoy wonderful music and yet need to be cautious of the surrounding sound, the bone conduction headphones is for you. Even if you don’t have such needs, it’s still good to get one as I personally feel that it is less harmful to the ears than the conventional one.

All 3 models are good, as for which one is preferred would be determined by your budget. If budget is not a constraint, you may want to go for Trek Air Model. And since bone conduction headphone requires battery to operate, my personal advise is not to buy any brand/model that is wired. Otherwise the battery that is hanging over the ear may be annoying.

Thank you and hope you enjoy this Bone Conduction Headphones Reviews. I hope this would help you to make an informed decision on which Bone Conduction Headphone to buy.

Thank you and have a nice day.

 

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27 thoughts on “Bone Conduction Headphones Reviews”

  1. I wish this technology had been around when my father was still alive. He was a veteran of WWII and because of the bomb concussions he experience hearing loss and wore hearing aids. He was also a musician who loved music. Thank you for your thorough explanation of this new technology – and the comparisons.

    • Hi Suzanne, thank you for your comments. Glad to know a little bit on your father, and I am sure you are proud of him and his contributions to the country.

  2. Hi Jeffrey,
    Great post on Bone Conduction headphone. I like the selections you’ve provided in this review. I think I have to check them out.
    Thanks for sharing

  3. Great post and explanation of Bone Conduction Headphones. This is definitely a great product for anyone especially for people that are wearing hearing aids as you mentioned in your post since the headphone do not insert it into your ears. Than you for sharing.

  4. Hi Jefferey,

    Very interesting and sounds like it could be very useful for someone like myself. I have “strange” shape ear holes so always have a hard time getting ear buds to fit, something like this would be ideal.

    Will the sounds from these headphones potentially both other people, as I mainly use headphones at the gym.

    • Hi, sounds like this type of bone conduction headphones is what you need since it is not required to be inserted into your ears.

      As for your question, I guess you are asking whether the sound of the headphones will affect other people? In the context of the gym it should not because you will be usually some distance from other people working out. So no worries on that.

      Thanks for commenting and I hope you find this type of headphones good for you.

  5. HI,

    There is a very interesting article I didn’t know about the bone conduction headphone it got me curious as I read more about these is amazing what the technology can do these days as we need to be cautious too. These would be great for my brother he has hearing difficulty and he loves music. Keep up the good work again amazing article.

    Sincerely,
    Delimar Rodriguez

  6. Hey Jeffrey,

    Amazing review about the bone conduction headphone. I heard about this technology before but until now I didn’t know exactly what it is and how it works.
    Honestly after reading your review, I am interested to buy a pair, just to experience how they work.
    What model would you recommend to start with?

    • Hi George,

      Thank you for your comments. If you are using it frequently outdoor and for sports, then the Aftershokz Trekz Air is a better choice as it is light weight. But if you are budget conscious, then the Vidonn is suitable just to “try” this technology out. Check it out and experience a different type of headphones experience.

  7. Hello Jeffrey, interesting article.

    I didn’t know that headphones like these even exist until I saw your article. Interesting product, probably much safer than conventional headphones. What I think, the sound quality cannot be as good as on conventional headphones because you can hear sounds from your surrounding, and that means that music is not main thing you are listening.

    I worked as a taxi driver for couple of years, and there was a huge number of accidents that I witnessed, which happened because pedestrians could not hear car coming, because they were wearing headphones. From that aspect, I believe that this product is going to be popular.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Keep up with good work!

    Marko

    • Agree with you on the point on accidents happening due to pedestrian on earphone and could not hear the surrounding. That’s why this headphone is very useful and suitable for pedestrians, joggers and cyclists. Thanks for commenting.

  8. I was looking for an alternative to my in-ear earbuds as they hurt my ears. Your reviews on bone conduction headphones is great. I think this is a better option for me. Thanks.

  9. Hi Jeffrey, thank you for sharing about this innovated ear phone! Wow, this is really amazing. I feel that i think i have found some earphone that i have imagined before – something that i don’t have to put inside my ear but still can hear the sound.
    I will for sure try one of those.
    All the best!

  10. Hi Jeffrey, I had never even heard of Bone Conduction head phones prior to reading this article. What a great improvement over conventional head phones. The fact that it allows joggers, bikers, etc. to listen to music while exercising and still be able to hear the surrounding sounds like cars is a big plus. I like to rollerblade, hike, and bike, and I normally don’t listen to music primarily for safety reasons. I may look into getting a pair of these for the spring to fall exercise season. Thanks for sharing this important info. Tom

    • Hi Tom, you are right that this is very suitable for use when having outdoors activities especially when safety is a priority. Do consider getting one so that all your hiking, rollerblading and cycling will be more enjoyable. Thank you for your comments.

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