Bone conduction headphones are one of the newer technologies on the market, offering a different audio experience to most traditional headphones. Developed to provide hearing through bone conduction rather than air conduction, these headphones are unlike anything you have used before, and they could be a great buy for those looking for something different from their headphones.
Bone Conduction Headphones Explained
Bone conduction headphones are unique because they don’t sit inside or over the ear, but instead on top of the cheekbone just in front of the ears. In doing so, the sound waves emitted from the headphones travel through the bones and into the inner ear, bypassing the outer and middle ear, which is how air conduction travels.
This technology was originally developed to help with hearing problems, as bone conduction allows people with poor or lost hearing to be able to hear the audio emitted from the headphones.
After realising the potential for the technology, it was developed into audio devices for military and police personnel, who use it to hear both the audio from the headphones and the ambient noise of their surroundings. Athletes would soon follow, also benefiting from the ability to hear audio while still hearing ambient sounds, which is important for safe and effective training.
Benefits of Bone Conduction Headphones
The biggest benefit of using bone conduction headphones is being able to hear audio even with damaged or poor hearing. Because bone conduction sends soundwave vibrations through the skull and into the eardrum, it improves the hearing for people that may have damaged eardrums.
For instance, if you have conductive hearing loss the bone conduction technology bypasses the damaged portion of the eardrum by vibrating soundwaves through the skull, allowing people with this type of hearing loss to listen to music and other audio.
Another advantage of using bone conduction headphones is the ability to hear ambient sounds. Because the headphones sit on top of the cheekbones rather than in the ear, ambient sounds are not blocked out, so users can listen to music while still being aware of their surroundings.
It’s a big attraction for athletes and people that love exercising, as it doesn’t completely distract them from ambient sounds, such as traffic, pedestrians, etc.
Tips for Choosing Bone Conduction Headphones
If you’re considering buying bone conduction headphones then be sure to consider some of the following to help get the best bone conduction headsets.
Bone conduction headphones are wireless and utilise Bluetooth so you want to choose a model with a decent battery life. The top brands have a battery life ranging from 5-7 hours, which is great for people that intend to use them out of the house or office, such as at the gym or out running.
Be sure to check the battery life of any bone conduction headphone, as the last thing you want is for the battery to be constantly running out mid-activity.
Much like battery life, the charge time for bone conduction headphones is also important, as you really don’t want to wait several hours before being able to use them. It’s less of an issue if using at home or work where you can use them as they charge but be mindful of charge times if using for sporting activities.
The bone conduction technology may be more than enough for most, but there are additional features that some buyers may appreciate, such as being waterproof, sweatproof, improved Bluetooth connectivity etc.