How to Choose Headphones for Cycling? |Bone Conduction Headphones Really Good?
Aug 31,2023 | David
Table of Contents:
1. What Types of Headphones Are Suitable for Cycling?
2. Headphones that Should Not be Worn While Cycling
3. What are Bone Conduction Headphones?
4. Why Choose Bone Conduction Headphones for Cycling?
5. How to Choose Bone Conduction Headphones for Cycling?
6. What are the Drawbacks of Bone Conduction Headphones?
7. Precautions for Using Bone Conduction Headphones While Cycling
8. Who Should Consider Buying Bone Conduction Headphones for Cycling?
Wearing headphones during cycling allows you to enjoy music and connect via Bluetooth for calls and navigation, making the ride more enjoyable. However, it can compromise safety, as it requires staying highly alert to the surroundings, and headphones may distract and increase the risk of accidents. Therefore, choosing suitable headphones for cycling is crucial, considering factors like safety, user-friendliness, design, and sound quality.
What Types of Headphones Are Suitable for Cycling?
1. Bone conduction headphones:
Bone conduction headphones transmit sound through bone vibrations to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrums, making them suitable for cyclists. Additionally, bone conduction headphones often come with sweat and water resistance, making them perfect for outdoor activities. In recent years, bone conduction headphones have gained popularity among cycling enthusiasts, with companies like Wissonly and Shokz focusing on developing non-intrusive bone conduction headphones.
2. Earbuds headphones:
Earbud headphones provide good noise isolation, allowing users to enjoy music while cycling. However, it is essential to use them with caution, keeping the volume at a safe level to avoid hearing damage or accidents. Moreover, prolonged use of earbud headphones can lead to hearing loss.
3. Behind-the-ear headphones:
Behind-the-ear Bluetooth headphones are sports-oriented and typically offer sweat, water, and shock resistance. They securely fit around the ears, preventing them from falling off during intense movements. However, it is crucial to ensure that the size and fit are suitable for optimal comfort and safety.
Headphones that Should Not be Worn While Cycling
When choosing headphones for cycling, it is essential to consider the design to ensure safety while cycling. The following headphone types are not suitable for cycling:
1. Noise-canceling headphones:
Noise-canceling headphones effectively block surrounding noises for clearer music. However, while cycling, this isolation can prevent you from hearing traffic sounds or warning signals, increasing the risk of accidents. If you prefer noise-canceling features, opt for headphones that allow you to turn off the noise-canceling mode during cycling.
2. In-ear headphones:
In-ear headphones provide excellent noise isolation, which can be dangerous during cycling, as they may block out ambient sounds. For cyclists, it is advisable to avoid closed-off headphones to stay aware of their surroundings.
3. Half-in-ear headphones:
Half-in-ear headphones rely on friction between the headphone and skin for a secure fit, making them prone to falling off or becoming loose during cycling, affecting comfort and safety.
4. Over-ear headphones:
Over-ear headphones may add extra weight and discomfort during cycling and may shift or loosen.
In my opinion, bone conduction headphones are the best choice for cycling enthusiasts because they don't block the ear canal, allowing you to hear traffic sounds from behind and ensuring top-level safety.
What are Bone Conduction Headphones?
Bone conduction headphones are a new type of headphones that do not deliver sound through the ear canal but transmit sound via bone vibrations to the inner ear, bypassing many steps of sound wave transmission. This technology allows bone conduction headphones to provide music playback, phone calls, and other features without obstructing the ear canal. Compared to traditional headphones, bone conduction headphones do not directly affect the ear canal and eardrum, making them safer, more comfortable, and wearable for extended periods, especially for outdoor activities.
When selecting bone conduction headphones for cycling, it is essential to choose lightweight, comfortable, secure-fitting headphones that do not isolate ambient sounds, ensuring safe cycling while enjoying high-quality music. Additionally, bone conduction headphones are typically designed to be worn around the ears and have anti-shock features, making them less likely to fall off during sports activities. As a result, bone conduction headphones have gained popularity among cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts.
In recent years, the market has seen numerous bone conduction headphone brands. Many well-established headphone manufacturers have explored this new direction, and new brands have emerged, such as Wissonly, NANK, and Shokz. For consumers, these product updates mean that advanced technology is becoming more accessible to the public. Bone conduction technology, once primarily used in education, research, and medical fields, is now increasingly applied to consumer products, making it more widely available and serving a broader audience.
Why Choose Bone Conduction Headphones for Cycling?
1. High safety:
Bone conduction headphones allow wearers to maintain awareness of surrounding sounds while listening to audio. This feature is especially critical when cycling in urban areas with complex road conditions, as it enables riders to remain alert and responsive to their environment.
I recently tried the Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones while cycling outdoors. I found that their open-ear design allowed me to be aware of the ambient sounds, eliminating any safety concerns. Moreover, the overall sound quality is excellent, and unlike many other bone conduction headphones, there was no sound leakage issue.
When choosing headphones for cycling, comfort is of paramount importance to me. Bone conduction headphones differ from traditional ones as they don't require insertion into the ear canal, avoiding discomfort after wearing for extended periods.
The Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones have a soft and skin-friendly silicone surface, ensuring safety and comfort with a weight of only 28g. Their adjustable aerospace-grade titanium frame fits securely, preventing them from falling off during cycling. I wore them for over 9 hours without any discomfort or soreness in my ears.
The open-ear design of bone conduction headphones keeps the ear canal clear, reducing the risk of external ear infections caused by bacteria and enhancing comfort during cycling.
How to Choose Bone Conduction Headphones for Cycling?
Comfort should be a top consideration when selecting bone conduction headphones for cycling. They should be compact, lightweight, and have soft materials that adapt well to bending and wearing, crucial aspects for sports headphones.
The Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones have a smooth and skin-friendly silicone surface, providing a secure and comfortable fit. The adjustable frame made of aerospace-grade titanium ensures a stable fit, allowing seamless coordination with a helmet. I have used them for more than 9 hours without experiencing any discomfort or dizziness.
2. Dust and water resistance:
Easy maintenance and resistance to dust and water are essential features for bone conduction headphones used during cycling. Traditional air-conduction headphones can accumulate bacteria due to their design, whereas bone conduction headphones are easy to clean and beneficial for ear hygiene.
When choosing bone conduction headphones, you may come across IPXX ratings. If you are unsure about what they mean, refer to the following table for guidance:
Water droplets protection: Vertically dripping water will not have harmful effects.
Spray protection: Spraying water from any direction will not have harmful effects.
Splash protection: Splashing water from any direction will not have harmful effects.
Jet protection: Water projected from a nozzle from any direction will not have harmful effects.
Powerful jet protection: High-pressure water projected from any direction will not have harmful effects.
Short-term immersion protection: Immersion in water for a limited time will not have harmful effects.
Continuous immersion protection: Submersion in water up to 10 meters for an extended period will not have harmful effects.
The Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones have a smooth surface and support IPX8 waterproofing, making them highly water-resistant and easy to clean. They can be used in rainy conditions or when sweating during cycling without any issues.
3. Battery life:
Battery life depends on the wearer's needs, considering the duration of your cycling sessions. Personally, I prefer headphones for cycling with a battery life of at least 7 hours. The Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones boast an impressive battery life of up to 10 hours, making them ideal for extended outdoor cycling.
Additionally, they come with 32GB of built-in memory, capable of storing up to 5000 songs. They support both Bluetooth and MP3 dual playback modes, making them convenient even when there is no cellular signal outdoors. The open-ear design allows users to hear surrounding sounds, providing a safer and more hygienic experience. The only drawback might be the wind noise during cycling, which is a common issue with many bone conduction headphones. Nevertheless, many users believe that safety is of utmost importance when cycling, making these headphones a worthwhile purchase.
Therefore, if you are a cycling enthusiast seeking headphones that offer comfort, secure fit, dust and water resistance, and do not leak sound, the Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones are undoubtedly the best choice!
What are the Drawbacks of Bone Conduction Headphones?
1. Sound quality still needs improvement:
Bone conduction headphones have primarily targeted the sports headphone market, highlighting their advantages in sports scenarios. However, their sound quality still falls short of traditional headphones used for general music listening, with some experiencing insufficient bass. Moreover, compared to similarly-priced wired headphones, bone conduction headphones may not offer a price advantage. Hence, most people use bone conduction headphones exclusively for sports activities.
2. Sound leakage issue:
Bone conduction headphones can cause sound leakage due to their design, which does not completely seal the ear. As technology advances, many current bone conduction headphones have managed to reduce this issue. For instance, the Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones have excellent sound quality similar to traditional headphones. The music playback is smooth, and sound leakage is not a problem. During cycling, the rhythmic and dynamic nature of the music keeps me energized.
Precautions for Using Bone Conduction Headphones While Cycling
1. Control volume:
Do not set the volume too high to avoid hearing damage.
2. Limit usage time:
Avoid prolonged use of bone conduction headphones. Take breaks every now and then.
3. Keep clean:
As bone conduction headphones come in contact with the head, they may be contaminated by hair and sebum. Therefore, regular cleaning is necessary.
Bone conduction headphones indeed reduce the risk of hearing damage compared to traditional headphones. However, it is still essential to use them cautiously and limit usage time during cycling to avoid any potential impact on hearing.
Who Should Consider Buying Bone Conduction Headphones?
1. Sports enthusiasts:
Bone conduction headphones are highly suitable for outdoor sports or extended physical activities like cycling. Their open-ear design enables users to hear both audio and ambient sounds, ensuring a safe experience. This feature is particularly crucial for cyclists to be attentive to their surroundings.
2. Individuals who need open ears:
For individuals who need to maintain open ears, such as drivers, construction workers, or those who frequently communicate with others, bone conduction headphones offer an ideal solution. They allow wearers to hear both headphone audio and surrounding sounds, facilitating effective communication. Cyclists, especially, should remain aware of the surrounding sounds.
3. People with hearing impairment:
Bone conduction headphones are an excellent option for individuals with ear problems or hearing impairments. By bypassing the ear canal, these headphones stimulate the auditory nerve directly through bone vibrations, enabling those with hearing difficulties to perceive sound more effectively.
4. Long-term wearers:
Bone conduction headphones offer a comfortable fit without the need for ear canal insertion, making them ideal for extended wear. Office workers, students, or long-distance travelers who require headphones for long periods may find bone conduction headphones more comfortable, reducing ear discomfort.
From a technological perspective, bone conduction headphones are not black-box technology products but rather a cross-boundary experiment of mature technology in a new field. The emergence of bone conduction sports headphones provides another option for people who wish to listen to music while cycling. Moreover, the open-ear design of bone conduction headphones is particularly suitable for sports scenarios. As bone conduction headphone products address their shortcomings, that in the field of sports headphones should get more long-term development.