5 Best Bone Conduction Headphones: How to Choose Them?
Jul 17,2023 | David
Bone conduction headphones are headphones that vibrate the bone instead of the eardrum and then transmit the sound to the auditory nerve. They generate and transmit sound by vibrating from a bone-conducted vibrating unit fitted near the temple. Because they don't need to be plugged into the ears, you can use them to enjoy music while listening to the surrounding sounds, which can bring more safety when wearing them while exercising. On the other hand, wearing it at work allows you to communicate with colleagues without barriers while enjoying music. However, it is also characteristic of them not to block the ears to enjoy the sound, but also has the disadvantage of easy to have sound leakage.
How to choose bone conduction headphones
1. Choose according to fit
People who are not used to using bone conduction headphones may find them uncomfortable to wear. But as the time of use increases, the discomfort will gradually ease with use. But I still recommend that you check the fit of the headphones before buying. Here are a few suggestions:
(1) If you want to use it in running or sports scenes, we recommend "non-slip" bone conduction headphones
Non-slip bone conduction headphones are great for those who want to use them while running. Please check the size of the bone conduction vibrator and the side pressure on both sides of the head when purchasing, and choose a firm product. In addition, it is recommended that you choose lightweight headphones, because heavier headphones tend to slip off. Products that are light and comfortable to wear feel so light that you don't even feel like you're wearing them.
(2) Headphones with a "non-interference design" are recommended for people who wear glasses
Bone conduction headphones can be worn on sunglasses or glasses, but some headphones are worn above the glasses, which can easily affect the stability of the glasses. If you want to wear bone conduction headphones with glasses, you can choose bone conduction headphones with a non-interfering design such as clip-ear or earlobe clip-on.
Of course, some ear-hanging bone conduction headphones have been optimized in structural design and can also be used compatible with glasses. If you're interested, you can take a look at this headphone.
(3) If you don't want to be too conspicuous, it is recommended to wear a "single-ear" bone conduction headphone
Bone conduction headphones also have single-ear products. Because the headphones are unobtrusive, you won't be noticed even if you're wearing them to listen to music. In addition, when the headphone is in use, the wearer has one ear open, so it can be used while talking. Their most prominent advantage is that it is easy to hear the surrounding sounds and is safer to use than ordinary headphones.
2. Choose according to the usage scenario
The sound of bone conduction headphones is different from ordinary headphones. We should not only consider enjoying the music ourselves but also avoid affecting others due to headphone sound leakage.
(1) If you want to use it in public places, we recommend "no sound leakage products"
Because bone conduction headphones are a product that emits sound by directly vibrating the skull, they are a product that is prone to sound leakage. But different brands will have different degrees of sound leakage. Therefore, consider products with less sound leakage when using them in public places such as trains. Generally speaking, brands with strong technology accumulation in the field of bone conduction will have less sound leakage in products, such as Wissonly and Shokz.
(2) If you want to listen while riding a bicycle, we recommend choosing a product that allows you to hear the sounds around you
For people who often talk and listen to music while working or cycling, we recommend the non-in-ear bone conduction headphones, as they allow you to hear your surroundings clearly. Since they can be used without blocking the surrounding sound, you can hear the sound of cars and motorcycles even when running or walking outdoors, which ensures your safety.
(3) If you want to watch a video, we recommend a "model with small sound delay"
When you use headphones while watching a video, the most common problem is that the audio and video are out of sync. If you often watch YouTube videos or movies, we recommend bone conduction headphones that don't delay sound.
3. Choose according to the weight of the headphone
Lightweight bone conduction headphones that feel low sense of burden, you'll forget you're wearing them. Products that are too heavy will slowly make you feel uncomfortable, so we recommend products with a weight of about 30g.
Recently, there have been a lot of lightweight bone conduction headphones on the market. They're light and comfortable to wear, conforming to the shape of your head, making them perfect for long hours of wear.
4. Choose by price
Price matters when buying bone conduction headphones. You need to consider the balance of functionality, fit, and budget.
(1) Don’t choose products that cost less than $50
Bone conduction headphones priced below $50 are mostly entry-level products. Their performance is single, and their performances such as sound quality and sound leakage reduction are relatively average. Worse, If the price is less than $50, you are more likely to buy a
fake bone conduction headphones.
(2) If the price is in the range of 80-100 US dollars, the probability of buying cost-effective products will be greater
Generally speaking, bone conduction headphones with an IPX8 waterproof rating, built-in memory of more than 16G, battery life of more than 8 hours, and excellent sound quality are mostly priced at more than $80, and those of major brands may cost more than $100.
(3) Novices should not choose products over $150
People who have just started using bone conduction headphones are not recommended to buy products over $150. Because it's hard for you to experience the value that the extra $50 brings you. After you have experienced bone conduction headphones in-depth and have enough resolution, if you have higher requirements for performance, you can try products that cost more than $150 or even more than $200.
5. Select by function
Each manufacturer's bone conduction headphones are equipped with different features. When buying, consider functionality and comfort of use.
(1) If you want to use them for a long time, we recommend products with "long continuous playback time"
For those who have been using wireless bone conduction headphones for a long time, we recommend models that support longer continuous playback time. The continuous playback time of many bone conduction headphones is about 6 hours, but some models can play for 10 hours or even 12 hours. If you have a lot of opportunities to use them outdoors or use them in other scenes that are not easy to charge, products with long continuous playback times are necessary.
(2) For a more stable Bluetooth connection, we recommend "high Bluetooth protocol version" products
The Bluetooth protocol version determines the stability of the wireless connection of the bone conduction headphone. If you value connection stability, at least choose a model with a Bluetooth protocol of 4.1 or higher.
(3) If you pursue sound quality, please choose a product with a large vibrator
Products with large-scale vibrators usually have good sound quality performance in both treble and bass frequencies. At the same time, it is necessary to choose products designed by a team with profound accumulation in the field of bone conduction. Because such a team will be more experienced in sound quality adjustment.
(4) Choose waterproof performance according to actual needs
If you only need daily waterproof and sweatproof, you can choose headphones with IPX5 waterproof level. If you want to use it while swimming or underwater sports, you need to choose headphones with IPX8 waterproof rating.
(5) For those who often work remotely, it is recommended to use a product with an external "microphone"
Bone conduction headphones don't put pressure on your ears and can be worn for extended periods of time, which is great for online meetings and telecommuting. Headphones with an external microphone that have noise-canceling capabilities and can reach up to your mouth like a telephone operator are great for online meetings and telecommuting.
6. Select products from good manufacturers
(1) Wissonly: a team with profound technical accumulation
Wissonly's team has been researching headphone products that don't hurt the ear as early as 10 years ago and introduced bone conduction technology into the field of headphones. Their products have powerful performance, high-cost performance, and are very strong in core performances such as sound quality, sound leakage reduction, and waterproof level.
(2) Philips: a well-known brand
This is a well-known consumer electronics brand. Bone conduction headphones are a new field they have entered, and the sound quality and comfort of the products are good. Their product performance may not be the strongest, but they often have some very practical small innovations, such as indicator lights specially designed for night running.
(3) Earsopen: a unique way of wearing
This is a Japanese bone conduction headphone brand. The wearing method of their products is different from that of other products. It is a clip-ear wearing method, just like wearing jewelry.
Can Bone Conduction Headphones Damage Your Brain and Hearing?
The structure of bone conduction headphones is to "vibrate the skull to hear the sound", so many people may worry that their brains will be affected. In fact, bone conduction headphones only vibrate the bones around the ear, and the vibration amplitude is very small, so it will not affect the brain.
In addition, many people worry that excessive use of headphones may cause hearing loss. In fact, compared with earplugs and headphones that are worn directly on the ear, bone conduction headphones do not pass through the eardrum, so they are less likely to cause hearing loss and can be used with peace of mind.
The 5 Best Bone Conduction Headphones
1. Wissonly Hi Runner Bone Conduction Headphones
Wissonly bone conduction headphones have been the fastest-growing product in the past six months. I saw many channel owners recommending them on YouTube. This is a brand of headphones that is very popular among sports fans.
Wissonly Hi Runner is their flagship product and the most complete in overall features. In terms of sound quality, this bone conduction headphone uses the latest research results of the Wissonly laboratory, which increases the vibration area of the vibrator by 35%. At the same time, they also optimize the direction of sound transmission to make the sound more concentrated, make the music more spacious, and have a good performance in terms of treble and bass.
Wissonly put a lot of effort into reducing their sound leakage. Their all-encompassing design reduces the vibration of the shell, and through structural optimization, the sound waves of the sound leakage are offset, thereby avoiding 90% of the sound leakage phenomenon. The sound leakage reduction performance of Wissonly Hi Runner is much better than the bone conduction headphones of the same gear on the market.
In terms of wearing comfort and stability, Wissonly Hi Runner also performed very well. First of all, they are very light, they weigh less than 30g, and there is no sense of weight when worn. Their frames are made of adjustable titanium, which allows them to match different sized head circumferences, and they have such a good fit that you don’t need to worry about them falling off while you’re exercising. The surface of this headphone is made of skin-friendly and soft silicone material, which is comfortable to wear and will not cause allergies and other problems.
Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones are also equipped with a new Bluetooth 5.0 chip, which has stronger anti-interference ability, high connection stability and less sound delay. There is no problem in listening to songs, watching videos, and playing games.
The water resistance of the Wissonly Hi Runner deserves a special mention. They are IPX8 rated, which means you can wear them underwater up to 20 meters and still use them. This is crazy! Moreover, they also have a built-in memory of 32G, which can store 5,000 songs, which allows you to enjoy music without a mobile phone when you are outdoors or underwater. Their battery life is strong, with 10 hours of continuous music playback, and they also support fast charging.
In terms of price, other products with the same performance are all over $130, and they only cost $99.99.
2. Philips 8606 Bone Conduction Headphones
Philips A8606 bone conduction ear-hanging wireless bone conduction headphone is a professional Bluetooth headphone for running sports; as mentioned above, Philips has some innovative small designs, which are equipped with LED night running lights at the rear of the fuselage. There are flashing lights in the shape of raindrops behind the headphones. Wearing them at night can make people or cars around you notice your position. Wearing them for night running can also avoid collisions.
Their 5.0 Bluetooth version can keep the connection stable and listen to songs smoothly. Their 13.3mm bone conduction vibrator, combined with an open acoustic structure, allows them to perform well in sound quality, ensuring clear calls and listening to music.
But their battery life is average, only supporting 4 hours of continuous listening to music. They also have no built-in memory. One thing worth affirming is that their waterproof level reaches IPX5, even if the wearer gets wet or sweats, there will be no problem. But they cannot be used for swimming.
They're $150, which is a little on the high side.
3. Earsopen SS900 Bone Conduction Headphones
This is a different type of headphone than the usual bone conduction headphones. They are worn in a clip-ear style, just like earrings.
The SS900 headphones are equipped with a miniature bone conduction vibrator to reduce the weight of the headphones and reduce the sense of weight when wearing them. They are a separate pair of headphones, each weighing 7.5g, which is very light. The part in contact with the auricle is made of skin-friendly and non-slip material, which ensures the stability of the wearing and makes it more comfortable to wear.
In terms of sound quality, their bass performance is good, but the treble is a bit short, and it is harsh when the audio is too high. They use the PreciseAir3.0 integrated forming technology, which simplifies the parts inside the fuselage and reduces sound leakage.
They support IPX7 waterproof, sweat, rain, and cleaning are no problem, but they cannot be worn underwater. They use Bluetooth version 5.2, which makes the connection more stable. They support the charging method of Type-C and also have a fast charging mode.
They cost around $180.
4. Shokz OpenSwim Bone Conduction Headphones
This headphone does not support Bluetooth and calling functions. They only have MP3 mode, you can use them as a waterproof mp3 player. The waterproof performance of OpenSwim reaches IP68 protection, which is suitable for swimmers. They come with 4G memory and a battery life of up to 8 hours. These features are also designed for swimming enthusiasts.
In terms of comfort, the surface of this headphone is made of skin-friendly silicone, which is more comfortable to wear. They weigh 36 grams and we don't feel heavy when worn.They adopt an ergonomic ear design, and they will not fall off whether you are wearing them for running or jumping.
Their sound emitting part adopts a long strip structure design, the area of the sound source veneer is larger, and the sound transmission efficiency is higher, which ensures better sound quality.
Price-wise, they're $149.95. The price/performance ratio is not very high.
5. Haylou PurFree Bone Conduction Headphones
This is a wireless bone conduction headphone that is worn on the ear. It only has one mode, Bluetooth mode, no MP3 mode.
They have a good wearing experience, weighing only 28g, and don't feel heavy when worn. Their aerospace-grade titanium skeleton keeps them from warping, they're extremely long-lasting, and they can be flexed to adjust size for better fit and stability. The surface of the headphone is made of soft silicone material, which is very comfortable to stick around the ear.
They are also open-ear headphones. This design is very safe and hygienic. It does not enter the ear while protecting the health of the ear canal, and at the same time can hear the sound of the outside world.
They support IPX7 waterproof, even if the wearer sweats, rains, or washes, they will not be damaged. Their charging interface adopts a water-proof magnetic suction type, so there is no need to worry about water entering the charging interface. However, it should be noted that they cannot be used in swimming.
They have decent battery capacity and can last up to 8 hours of listening to music. But they have a little sound leakage, which may be a shortcoming of them.
Price-wise, they're worth $109.99, which isn't exactly expensive.
Bone conduction headphones are becoming more and more popular, and there are many models of them, so you should consider several key points when buying: function, wearing comfort, good sound quality, less sound leakage, etc., and according to the actual usage scenario and price to choose. Among the 5 products recommended above, Wissonly Hi Runner is a good choice through a comprehensive comparison of price and performance.