A Complete Guide to Bone Conduction Headphones
Thinking of investing in new headphones but are struggling with all the different options? Then why not consider something more unique in bone conduction headphones? They are different from traditional headphones in that they aren’t worn over or in the ears, although they still provide great sound quality and some other notable benefits.
What are bone conduction headphones?
Bone conduction headphones are a relatively new type of headphone device, although the technology they use has been around for some time. Originally developed for people with hearing issues, bone conduction technology was then adapted for various uses, including the military, police, and professional athletes.
Now, the same technology has been developed into consumer-friendly headphone devices, offering some notable changes from traditional headphone designs and functions.
How do bone conduction headphones work?
Bone conduction headphones let users hear sound via vibrations of the face bones, namely the cheek and jaw bones, rather than through the ear canal. Sound waves therefore travel differently from standard headphones, going directly to the inner ear rather than the outer and middle ear.
Are bone conduction headphones any good?
Yes! Bone conduction headphones provide fantastic sound quality and a range of other benefits for users. One of the most notable advantages if that they provide improved sound for people with hearing issues, specifically those with conductive or unilateral hearing loss.
Because they don’t sit in the ear canal, you also get to enjoy ambient sounds while using the headphones. While this may be distracting in some circumstances, it’s especially useful for people that are training and exercising, as they can listen to audio while still being aware of their surroundings (see this buyers guide for more information).
How to choose the best bone conduction headphones
Like any headphones, there are some considerations to make when choosing bone conduction headphones for the first time.
As a relatively new type of headphone, there are fewer manufacturers, so some of the headphone quality leaves a lot to be desired, so you want to think about a few things to make sure you choose a high-quality product.
Sound Quality – Bone conduction headphones don’t have the same layered sound quality as over-ear headphones, which is an effect of using bone conduction to hear, so sometimes they can sound quite flat.
However, there are models that come with quality sound features such as good bass and dynamic sound range. Be sure to check for these and other sound technology features, as they indicate better overall quality!
Battery Life – Most bone conduction headphones are wireless so be sure to check the battery life and determine if it’s enough for your lifestyle. For instance, if you are very active and want to use the headphones for running, biking etc., then a good battery life is a must to ensure they last the duration of your activity.
Charge Time – Not only do you want a good battery life but also a short charge time for bone conduction headphones. Some of the best models on the market can fully charge in around an hour.