What are bone conduction headphones and how do they work?
Bone conduction headphones work by allowing you to hear sounds through vibrations in the bones of your head or face directly into your inner ear. Until very recently, swimming or scuba diving with music wasn’t possible. Using headphones if you had a hearing aid wasn’t an option, either. Bone conduction headphones have changed this.
These are great for people with conductive or unilateral hearing loss, as it avoids the outer and middle ear. Also, since you can hear the world around you while using them, cycling or jogging on busy streets or hiking in the mountains is safer than ever, too. The good news is that the tech has gotten so much better over the last 10 years that they’re finally a good alternative.
It’s important to point out that they are still not perfect. The 2 biggest drawbacks of these are that the sound quality of an in-ear headphone will be better (namely, louder bass and higher volume) and sometimes people can hear the sound. There are times when regular (air conduction) headphones just aren’t an option to use. The good ones are small, sweat-proof or waterproof, and tough, with better quality sound and a long battery life.
Here are our top picks for 2017
#1 – Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Open-Ear Bone Conduction Headphones
These are our #1 pick and a big upgrade from the previous model. They are wireless, have better quality sound, multi-point bluetooth pairing, has IP5 rating and is 100% sweat proof, have a titanium band that’s flexible and won’t break easily, and they won’t bleed sound like a lot of the competition.
#2 – Wireless Open-Ear Bone Conduction Headphones
Another great choice is the model down from the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium. They are basically the same with a few key differences: 1) They aren’t titanium-coated, so they aren’t as durable, 2) The sound quality isn’t as good, as the sounds range isn’t as large, the bass isn’t as deep, and they leak sound 50% more than the model up, 3) They offer Bluetooth 3.0, instead of Bluetooth 4.0, and there is no multi-point pairing option available. But, they are less bulky around the ears and a bit more bulky behind the neck. For people with hearing aids, these may still be the more comfortable choice.
#3 – Marsboy Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
While not the same quality as the two listed above, these are a good option when price is an issue. They’ll get the job done well if you’re wearing them around the house or on a casual walk. They are sweat proof, lightweight, wireless. and comfortable. They have Bluetooth and, while the sound will bleed out more than the more expensive choices out there, we really didn’t mind them, at all. Just keep in mind that the sound quality will not compare to the Aftershokz brands listed above.
As always, read the reviews and customer comments before you buy. Always make sure that you’re getting what’s right for you and, as always, CLICK HERE to let us know what you think of the ones you have.