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Difference between bone conduction headphones and air conduction headphones and Best Bluetooth Headsets in 2023

Mar 01,2023 | David

In the past two years, I have a new toy, which is bone conduction headphones. I use them to listen to music while running and it feels good. I often share opinions about headphone products and music with my friends in the hardware community and sports community. Nowadays, many people can't figure out the difference between bone conduction headphones and air conduction headphones. Some people even listen to the propaganda of unscrupulous merchants and mistakenly say that air conduction headphones are an upgraded version of bone conduction headphones, which really makes me speechless.

The difference between bone conduction headphones and air conduction headphones

Literally understood, their main difference is in the way of sound transmission. Bone conduction headphones use the skull as a medium to transmit sound, while air conduction headphones use air as a medium to transmit sound. The reason why some people mistakenly think that air conduction headphones are an upgraded version of bone conduction headphones is mainly because some air conduction headphones are cleverly designed to look the same as bone conduction headphones and wear the same way. Once the manufacturers of air conduction headphones carry out large-scale publicity, consumers will be misunderstood.



Air-conduction headphones work with the sound-generating unit attached to the temple, but they are actually two speakers. They rely on the speakers to emit sound waves, which transmit the sound to the ear through the air, and the sound waves vibrate the eardrum to produce hearing. In fact, most traditional headphones are also air conduction headphones. Therefore, this kind of headphone is actually a kind of traditional headphone, they are many benefits of bone conduction headphones.


Advantages of bone conduction headphones

The way bone conduction headphones are worn without earbuds brings tangible benefits:


Safer: It does not block your ears when wearing it, allowing you to maintain awareness of the surrounding environment, making outdoor sports safer;


Healthier: it uses bones to transmit sound, and the sound is directly transmitted to the auditory nerve, avoiding damage to the eardrum, and can protect hearing well;

More hygienic: Bone conduction headphones do not need to be worn in the ear, even if worn for a long time, they can keep the ear canal fresh and avoid otitis media, otitis media and other diseases caused by blocked ear canal;

More comfortable: They are very light, and there is no sense of weight when worn. The surface of many bone conduction headphones is made of skin-friendly soft material, which is very comfortable to wear;

Unique appearance: wearing bone conduction headphones with unique design can help you attract more people's attention;

When keeping in touch with the outside world, you can communicate with friends or colleagues while listening to music, and you will not neglect them because of listening to music.

There are two sides to the coin, bone conduction headphones have many advantages, but it also has some disadvantages. Two of the most common shortcomings are sound quality and sound leakage.


In terms of sound quality, the sound quality of bone conduction headphones is slightly worse than that of traditional noise-canceling headphones. Due to the principle of sound generation and sound transmission of them, when the sound unit vibrates the skull, it also vibrates the air, resulting in sound leakage. These two shortcomings, all bone conduction headphones have, those ones that claim to be completely free from these two problems do not exist.

Of course, the sound quality of bone conduction headphones is not so bad that it is intolerable. The sound quality of some good headphones is very close to that of traditional headphones. You can hardly feel these leaks under normal social distance and normal volume. There are also some brands by structural optimization, and the problem of sound leakage has been greatly improved.


In general, wireless bone conduction headphones have more advantages than disadvantages, which is why they are becoming more and more popular. Now, I will recommend some excellent headphones.

Best Bluetooth bone conduction headsets in 2023


1. Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones


Recommended reason:

The design team of Wissonly bone conduction headphones started to research bone conduction acoustics as early as 2012. Their technical accumulation in the field of bone conduction is very good, and they are a team that is good at technology.

Wissonly Hi Runner adopted Wissonly 3.0 technology to reduce sound leakage in bone conduction headphones. They reduced the sound transmission from the bone vibration unit directly to the air through the completely closed design of the headphones’ body. They also used high-quality cushioning materials to minimize the vibration of the body, thus reducing the sound leakage by more than 90%. I did a test, turned on Hi Runner, adjusted the volume to 70%, and within a distance of 1m, I couldn't hear any sound at all. This kind of sound leakage reduction performance has been well received by users since wissonly released the sound leakage reduction technology. This technical scheme is the best leak-proof among bone conduction headphones at present.

The headphones’ body of Wissonly Hi Runner is made of memory titanium, which can self-adjust the contact area, ensuring a good wearing experience of headphones at any time, taking into account more users with different head circumference.Wissonly Hi Runner can be said to be very sincere in product feature. It is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 chip, which makes the connection more stable, and can realize fast connection and switching of multiple devices. Built-in 32G memory can store 5000 songs. When you go out for a run, you can enjoy music without your mobile phone. The battery life is also very good, and it can be played continuously for more than 10 hours at normal volume, which is good for me, because I go out for outdoor sports on weekends, and I often go out for a whole day.


2. Philips 7607 bone conduction headphones


Recommended reason:

They use a 17mm large-scale sound unit that makes their low-frequency sound more delicate, and that makes middle and high frequency sound clearer and not harsh. IP67 waterproof performance allows them to have a waterproof and sweatproof function in daily wear, and to be no problem in the face of sudden rain in a short time. When you wear them at night, LED night running lights make passing vehicles perceive your own location, so the safety factor is higher.


3.AfterShokz OPENRUN PRO bone conduction headphones


Recommended reason:

The body of the Openrun Pro weighs only 26g, and it adopts Qualcomm QCC3024 low-energy chip +PremiumPitch 2.0 improved double suspension vibration transmission system and suspension damping technology, CVC call noise reduction algorithm and double silicon microphone. The battery life lasts for 8 hours, and the charging method is magnetic charging. The charging interface has a liquid residue detection function to ensure that it has a good waterproof performance. Its waterproof grade is IP67, and there is no problem with normal sweat. A short period of rain can be used, but it can't be used for swimming.


4.Earsopen PEACE bone conduction headphones


Recommended reason:

Unlike other bone conduction headphones, this one has a charging case. The "T" shaped structure makes it stable as long as it is clamped on the ear. But due to the design of the clip ear, it may be a little uncomfortable after wearing it for a long time. It adopts the Bluetooth version of 5.0, can connect stably in a short distance and without obstacles. It reaches IPX7 level in waterproofing, can be immersed underwater for thirty minutes. In terms of sound quality, the sound quality of the human voice is clear, and the extension of the high tone is also good, but it will still appear turbid at the low frequencies.


5. Nank Runner CC3 bone conduction headphones


Recommended reason:

The Runner cc2 headphone’s body is fully enclosed design. The waterproof ability is greatly improved, reaches the level of LPX6, it can easily resist daily rain and sweat. It has a built-in low-energy Bluetooth 5.0 chip that has fast connection and stable signal. In terms of reducing sound leakage, the Runner CC 2 is still relatively small in sound leakage. The sound quality is also OK, and it is a good entry-level bone conduction headphone.


Among the above five Bluetooth bone conduction headphones, Wissonly and Philip are my favorites. Their products are of excellent quality. In contrast, if I have to choose one, I will choose Wissonly because it has better cost performance.