How Do Bone Conduction Earphones Work and How About Their Advantages
Mar 09,2023 | David
When the mighty Marines are training or performing tasks, in addition to the necessary individual equipment, they will wear a communication device on the pinna, which is a professional-grade military bone conduction earphones. This equipment plays a very important role in the battlefield environment. They help soldiers to maintain awareness of the sound of the battlefield environment at all times, without missing the command of the commander or the information of comrades in arms. Military bone conduction earphones are generally more expensive, but the same technology is gradually being used in the civilian field. Engineers designed everyday bone conduction earphones that quickly became popular in just 2 years.
So what are bone conduction earphones?
bone conduction earphones, as the name suggests, are headphones that use human bones to transmit sound. The sound transmission method of this headphone is very special. It no longer needs to transmit sound through air and eardrum, but directly transmits sound to the auditory nerve of the inner ear through human bones, so that the auditory nerve can perceive the sound.
The way bone conduction earphones transmit sound eliminates the need for the headphones to be plugged into the ear, or to completely cover the entire ear. Therefore, there can be a new attempt in the way of wearing them, that is, the wearing method of the ear-hanging type that does not need to be in the ear. This also makes bone conduction earphones more comfortable to wear and better for the health of the ears.
How do bone conduction earphones work？
How can you hear the sound without putting headphones in your ears? Many people have such questions. To understand how bone conduction earphones work, let’s first understand how humans recognize the sound.
You may think that humans hear sounds with their eardrums, but this is not accurate. The sound we normally hear is vibrations in the air entering the ear and hitting the eardrum causing it to vibrate. Humans perceive the vibration of the eardrum through the cochlea located deep in the ear and transmit this information in the form of sound to the brain to perceive sound. In other words, humans perceive sound through the cochlea. From this perspective, humans hear sound through the cochlea.
Bone conduction earphones make good use of the above-mentioned mechanism of the cochlea to perceive sound. They apply vibration directly to the facial bones, and the facial bones transmit the vibrations to the cochlea, where the sound is perceived by the cochlea.
We can compare the difference between bone conduction and traditional sound transmission paths to understand more deeply how bone conduction earphones work.
Bone conduction path: sound wave,cranium,bone labyrinth,inner ear lymph,Spiral organ,auditory nerve,cerebral cortex auditory center.
Traditional sound transmission path (i.e. air conduction path): sound wave,auricle,external auditory canal,eardrum,auditory ossicles,vestibular window,internal and external lymphatics,spiral organs,auditory nerve,cerebral cortex auditory center.
We can see that the sound transmission process of bone conduction earphones does not need to pass through the eardrum, its sound transmission path is shorter, and it will not damage the eardrum.Their unique working principle bring them a lot of advantages.
Advantages of bone conduction earphones
It does not occupy the ear canal when in use. In addition to hearing the sound in the headphone, it can also hear the sound of the outside world, so that you are not isolated from the outside world, which can ensure your safety. For example, if you wear headphones when crossing the road, you won’t be in danger because you can’t hear the horn. That means if you often exercise outdoors, you can avoid dangerous situations. It allows you to listen to all directions while listening to music, protecting yourself without hindering others. Safety is the most prominent advantage of them. Because of this advantage, bone conduction earphones are very popular among sports fans.
Bone conduction earphones do not need to be tightly plugged into the ears, they are very comfortable to wear. It perfectly avoids ear pain caused by wearing in-ear earphones for a long time. The comfort of wearing is a near-perfect advantage for sports fans who need to wear it for a long time. To further improve wearing comfort, mainstream brands of bone conduction earphones also make the fuselage very light and use soft and skin-friendly materials for the fuselage surface. Companies like wissonly and Aftershokz have made great efforts in this regard.
Bone conduction earphones have another advantage: Since the headphones do not need to be plugged into the ear when worn, it is very helpful to maintain the internal hygiene of the ear. It will not cause a lot of bacteria to accumulate in the ear canal due to sweating for a long time during exercise. Compared with traditional earphones, it is more hygienic and healthy.
Of course, bone conduction earphones also have some disadvantages. For example, the sound quality may not be as good as traditional noise-canceling headphones, such as more or less sound leakage problems. These two problems are mainly caused by the sound generation principle of bone conduction earphones, and they are difficult to solve to a 100% extent. However, some excellent bone conduction earphones have made a lot of efforts to solve these two problems and they achieved good results. The sound quality of these headphones is generally very good, and the sound leakage problem has almost been solved.Some technologically leading brands, such as Wissonly and Aftershokz, have made great progress in improving sound quality and reducing sound leakage. Next, I will introduce some good headphones.
1. Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction earphones
Wissonly bone conduction vibration unit optimization technology is one of the best technical solutions in the industry, because their team has accumulated in the field of bone conduction for 10 years, which is highly respected by people in the industry in terms of product quality and hearing protection.
Once, there was a saying that the sound quality of bone conduction earphones was average. However, Wissonly Hi Runner refreshes this knowledge. It is excellent in sound quality. It uses a 360-degree bone conduction vibration unit, which can increase the vibration area by 35% compared with traditional bone conduction earphones. Moreover, its loss of bone conduction sound transmission is lower, making the sound more shocking and powerful.
Wissonly Hi Runner has added a number of innovative features to make bone conduction earphones better integrated into many scenes in life. It supports IPX8 diving waterproof, which is very good for me who loves swimming. What’s crazy is that it can still work normally under 20 meters of water! It also has 32GB of memory, so it can play music even if it is not connected to a mobile phone. I basically use it as an MP3 player, and I don’t take my mobile phone for running at night. It uses the Bluetooth 5.0 chip, and outdoor activities can make the connection more stable.
In terms of appearance, Wissonly Hi Runner adopts classic black color, and its simple appearance involves matching whatever clothes you wear in any scene.
2. Philips A6606 bone conduction earphones
The A6606 has a skin-friendly material on its surface, which greatly increases its wearing comfort. It adopts a 15mm size sound unit, which produces better sound and is more suitable for noisy environments. Its bass effect has also been improved. The waterproof level of A6606 reaches IP67 level, not to mention rain, even direct rinse is no problem at all. But after all, it is not professional-grade waterproof, it cannot be used in swimming or diving.
3.AfterShokz OPENRUN PRO bone conduction earphones
The light body weighs only 28g, it is like no weight in the hand, and it will not feel any weight when hanging on ears. Because of the characteristics of bone conduction earphones, there is no need to be stuffed into the ears or wrap the ears. And there will be no swelling or squeezing feeling when worn for a long time, which keeps the ears fresh and breathable. Its sound leakage reduction technology is also good, which can effectively suppress sound leakage and better protect personal privacy. It has a high-strength titanium alloy rear hanger. Before each pair of headphones leaves the factory, the official will carry out repeated tests to ensure that the quality passes. The body has high toughness, and it can be restored to its original shape when bent at will. You can toss it during the exercise, and don’t have to worry about the damage caused by bending of the headphones.
4. Earsopen ss900 bone conduction earphones
Earsopen SS900 is different from other bone conduction earphones in that its appearance is a unique “T”-shaped structure, which can be clipped on the ear. It has high waterproof performance, its IPX7 waterproof grade can be fully qualified for wearing in any scene except swimming, and there is no problem if it is soaked in water for a short time. The battery life is 8 hours, and it is also equipped with a fast charging mode, which can achieve the effect of charging for ten minutes and listening to songs for two hours.
5.Nank Runner CC3 bone conduction earphones
Runner CC2 is made of titanium alloy, with a body weight of 28g, and the overall wearing experience is good. The sound quality and sound leakage are better than their previous products, but they still need to be improved. The headphones also support high-definition call noise reduction, which is a plus.
The ability of this headphone is relatively average, and there are no special highlights or obvious shortcomings. As an entry-level bone conduction headphone, it is still qualified.
As mentioned above, wissonly and aftershokz are two of the most mature brands in terms of bone conduction technology. Their sound quality and sound leakage reduction performance are excellent. The product parameters of Wissonly are the best, and it is worth buying.