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Are Bone Conduction Headphones Good and Do They Have Disadvantages?

Jan 05,2023 | Sylvia

First of all, let me make my point. Bone conduction headphones are very good. They are very healthy, safe, and hygienic. They are suitable for many scenes, such as running, cycling, and exercise.Next, I will introduce in detail "what is bone conduction earphone, how it works, and why it is good"

What is bone conduction headphones

As the name suggests, bone conduction headphones are headphones designed based on bone conduction technology.

Bone conduction is a sound conduction method. The vibration of the sound source drives the bone to vibrate, and then transmits the sound to the inner ear, so that the sound can be heard. It transmits sound without passing through the air and eardrum, which also enables the sound transmission way of bone conduction to clearly restore the sound in a noisy environment, and will not affect others due to the spread of sound waves in the air.The technology of bone conduction is very mature. In the 18th century, Beethoven used bone conduction technology to hear the sound of piano performance.

Bone conduction technology has a wide range of applications. It has been used more in the military field and hearing assistance field in the past. But in recent years, this technology has been widely used in bone conduction headphones, making this headphone a fashionable product and becoming popular.

How do bone conduction headphones work

Bone conduction headphones are a product that "attaches the sounding unit on the temple of the head, and the vibration of the sounding unit triggers bone vibrations, thereby transmitting the sound to the auditory nerve".

Normally, when the air vibrates, the eardrum vibrates and a person perceives sound. It needs to be clarified that it is not the eardrum that really feels the sound, but the cochlea. The eardrum is only one step in the sound transmission process. Vibrations of the eardrum are transmitted through the ossicles to the cochlea at the back of the ear where they are perceived as sound, which is how air conducts sound.

In the process of air conduction sound, there is a medium that is listening to the ossicles. So, is it possible to transmit sound directly from bones? It's possible, and it's real. The vibration caused by the sound unit drives the bones around the ear to resonate so that the sound signal is transmitted to the cochlea, which is perceived as sound by people. This is the principle of bone conduction technology.

After understanding the way sound is transmitted and the principle of bone conduction technology, we can better understand how bone conduction headphones work. When they are in working condition, as long as the sounding unit is pasted on the temple, the sounding unit converts the sound signal into mechanical vibration, drives the bone to vibrate, and transmits the vibration signal to the auditory nerve in the cochlea, thereby completing the transmission of sound. This is how bone conduction headphones work.

Because of the special working mode of bone conduction headphones, they do not need to be inserted into the ear canal when wearing, which brings great benefits.This can reduce the damage of sound to eardrum and protect hearing.Moreover, it keeps the ear canal open, which is also good for keeping the ear canal clean and sanitary, and reducing the bacteria breeding in the ear canal.When wearing, they can help the wearer to maintain the perception of the surrounding sound, greatly reducing the probability of safety accidents.So bone conduction headphones are good headphones.

Just as a coin has two sides, bone conduction headphones also have some disadvantages

What are the disadvantages of bone conduction headphones?

While bone conduction headphones are popular, they're not perfect. They also have some disadvantages, summed up in three:

Disadvantage 1 : sound quality

Because of the design characteristics of bone conduction headphones, their anti-interference effect is not ideal when wearing them for shopping, subway, car and other noisy environments. And the sound quality is not as good as traditional headphones, because they transmit sound through the skin, skull and then to the ear ossicles, so the degree of music reproduction is not as good as traditional in-ear headphones.

Disadvantage 2 : sound leakage

The sound is transmitted through the vibration of the vibrator, so part of the sound is also transmitted through the vibration of the air, and sound leakage cannot be completely avoided. It's just that some headphones invest more research and design in reducing sound leakage, and solve most of the sound leakage problems. For example, the Wissonly Hi runner bone conduction headphones I own are excellent representatives among them.

Disadvantage 3 the price is slightly higher

The technology of bone conduction headphones is more complicated than that of traditional headphones, the materials are better than traditional headphones, and the manufacturing process is more complicated, which ultimately makes the price of them a little higher. But this year, with the rapid popularity of them, their prices have dropped significantly after the production has increased significantly.

Of course, in the past two years, the technology in the field of bone conduction headphones has made great progress, and some of the disadvantages mentioned above have been greatly improved, such as the sound quality and the reduction of sound leakage.Now I will recommend some good bone conduction headphones.

1.Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones

Reason for recommendation:

I noticed Wissonly bone conduction headphones when they were first crowdfunded online. And later, I saw that some otologists were recommending them on online forums, so I bought themThis Hi Runner is their flagship product whose overall functionality is also the most perfect. The headphone use the latest research from the Wissonly lab. It increases the vibrating area of the vibrator by 35% and optimizes the direction of sound transmission to make the sound more concentrated, resulting in a wider range and more spatial of the music. The brand claims that its sound quality is HI-FI level, and I actually tested it myself. I thought that the sound quality was very close to HI-FI level, but it did not reach this level. Of course, the current sound quality is satisfactory enough.

Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones are also equipped with a new Bluetooth 5.0 chip that has stronger anti-interference ability, that can easily cope with various complex outdoor scenes, and ensures the good mood during exercise is not disturbed by disconnection. At the same time, the stable connection also brings low latency performance, and there is no problem in listening to songs, following dramas, and playing games. What's more, they have 32G of built-in memory that can store 5,000 songs. This helps you to enjoy music when you are exercising outdoors without your phone.

In terms of comfort, the Wissonly Hi Runner performs well, it is very light, only less than 30g, and it does not feel any weight to wear. The body is made of titanium alloy which makes it have a good fit, and you don't need to worry about their falling off during sports.

The waterproof of the Wissonly Hi Runner deserves special mention, and it is IPX8 grade. It means that you can carry it underwater for up to 20 meters and still use it normally, which is crazy!

2. Philips A8606 bone conduction headphones

Reason for recommendation:

A8606 headphones are made of titanium alloy skeleton, wrapped with skin-friendly silicone material, which can not only keep the shape stable, but also cause no pressure on ears. The body fits auricle tightly, so it is easy to wear and can be used for a long time. This headphones adopts IPX5 waterproof design, so there will be no problem in drenching and sweating. The disadvantage is that the sound quality needs to be improved, and the sound leakage is also serious.

3.AfterShokz OPENRUN PRO bone conduction headphones

Reason for recommendation:

Openrun Pro bone conduction headphones are worn in an ear-hanging structure with both ears. The body frame is made of titanium alloy, which makes the weight of the headphones very light, only 26g, and there is no sense of weight when wearing them. The body is made of soft and skin-friendly silicone material, which also makes it more comfortable to wear. As the body is integrated, this also makes Openrun Pro inherently has a good waterproof performance. Its waterproof rating reaches IP67, and there is no problem in sweating and getting wet in the rain. However, it is not professional waterproof after all. Therefore, it can't be used when swimming.

4.Earsopen PEACE Bone Conduction Headphones

Reason for recommendation:

Earsopen PEACE is a bone conduction headphone with a novel wearing method. It adopts a clip-on design, which has a certain stability in wearing. It can be worn only by clipping it in the ear canal, and it also supports single ear wearing. IPX7 waterproof performance can also be easily competent for waterproof and sweat-proof work. With the charging case, it can complete the daily wear and use of electricity for nearly a week. The only disadvantage is that the price is slightly higher and the charging case area is a bit bulky. If you carry it in a sports field, you will feel a certain weight, and you will feel uncomfortable if you wear it for a long time.

5.Nank Runner CC3 bone conduction headphones

Reason for recommendation:

Runner CC2 has a solid button area on the outside, which is very convenient to use. The surface of the headphone body is made of soft material, which makes it very comfortable to be attached to the ear. It is really stable to wear with the ear-hanging scheme, supports Bluetooth 5.0, and the earphone signal is very stable during use. The sound quality is quite satisfactory, and the sense of music rhythm and space is well controlled.

Each of the above products has its own characteristics. You can choose according to your own needs. Wissonly and Aftershokz are my favorite brands. Their technology is relatively mature and the overall performance of their products is relatively good. Between the two brands, Wissonly will be more cost-effective.