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The difference between Bluetooth bone conduction headset and air conduction headphones

Mar 01,2023 | David

In the past two years, I have a new toy, which is Bluetooth bone conduction headset. 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 Bluetooth bone conduction headset 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 Bluetooth bone conduction headset, which really makes me speechless.

The difference between Bluetooth bone conduction headset and air conduction headphones

Literally understood, their main difference is in the way of sound transmission. Bluetooth bone conduction headset 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 Bluetooth bone conduction headset is mainly because some air conduction headphones are cleverly designed to look the same as Bluetooth bone conduction headset 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, you must not be fooled.


How do Bluetooth bone conduction headset work

Bluetooth bone conduction headset 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 Bluetooth bone conduction headset 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 Bluetooth bone conduction headset work.


Are Bluetooth bone conduction headset safer?

Just to get straight to my point, Bluetooth bone conduction headset are safer and healthier than regular headphones, they are the healthiest kind of headphones. There are several reasons.They cause less hearing damage, less damage to cranial nerves and auditory nerves than traditional headphones, and are safer during wearing.



1: it is less harmful to hearing

First of all, because hearing damage generally occurs in the eardrum and inner ear, Bluetooth bone conduction headset rely on human bones to transmit sound, and they do not need to pass through the ear canal and tympanic membrane, so damage to the tympanic membrane can be avoided. Compared with conventional headphones, the vibration waves of Bluetooth bone conduction headset are also relatively moderate, which will have less impact on auditory hair cells, so they are the headphones that cause the least damage to the ears.

2: it does less damage to the auditory nerve

Next, let me talk about the problem of electromagnetic waves. Most electronic products have problems with electromagnetic waves, but the strength of electromagnetic waves varies. The electromagnetic waves of traditional headphones are relatively stronger, and it is easier to cause damage to the human brain and hearing nerves. The electromagnetic waves of Bluetooth bone conduction headset are extremely weak, they have the same intensity as the electromagnetic waves existing in nature, and will not cause damage to the human brain and hearing nerves.

3: pay attention to environmental sound to protect your safety

The way Bluetooth bone conduction headset are worn can also help the wearer avoid the dangers of wearing them. They don't need to be plugged into the ear canal when you wear them, and you can still keep an eye on the surrounding environment while listening to music with them. For example, if you wear Bluetooth bone conduction headset when crossing the road, you will not be in danger because you cannot hear the sound of the horn; when you are exercising outdoors, you can also hear the sound behind you by wearing them to avoid some dangerous situations.

In addition to safety, Bluetooth bone conduction headset have many advantages, such as comfortable to wear, clean and hygienic, high waterproof level and so on.

Of course, there are two small disadvantages of Bluetooth bone conduction headset, that is, the sound quality is not perfect, and there is a slight sound leakage problem. However, with the advancement of technology, these two problems have been greatly improved. The better Bluetooth bone conduction headset do a good job in improving sound quality and preventing sound leakage.



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


1. Wissonly Hi Runner Bluetooth bone conduction headset


Recommended reason:

The design team of Wissonly Bluetooth bone conduction headset 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 Bluetooth bone conduction headset. 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 Bluetooth bone conduction headset 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. Hi Runner can be said to be very sincere in product parameters. 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 A8606 Bluetooth bone conduction headset

Recommended reason:

The most peculiar point of Philips is that it is equipped with LED night running lights at the rear end of the fuselage, and the A8606 is also the same. The back of both sides of the headphones has rain-shaped lights flashing, wearing it at night can make people around you alert to your location. And turning on them during exercise can improve the safety factor, and night travel can also achieve the effect of not being collided. The Bluetooth version of 5.0 can maintain the smoothness of listening to songs at a short distance, and the 13.3mm vibrator makes it have a good performance in sound quality.


3.AfterShokz OPENRUN PRO Bluetooth bone conduction headset

Recommended reason:

Openrun PRO gives people the first impression that it is very light and almost forgets the feeling of existence. In terms of battery life,its continuous playing time can exceed 8 hours, which can be said to be a very strong bone conduction. AfterShokz brand is mainly developed for sports, but the only drawback is that the sounding unit is very slim, and it will feel a little oppressive when worn for a long time.

The function has IP67 waterproof coefficient, daily outdoor exercise, no fear of sweat, and normal washing.


4.Earsopen SS900 Bluetooth bone conduction headset

Recommended reason:

The SS900 headphones are equipped with a bone conduction miniature vibration unit inside the body, which reduces the weight of the body and improves the performance of low frequencies, allowing a wide range of sound. With the help of PreciseAir 3.0 integrated technology, the internal parts of the body are simplified and the sound leakage is reduced. It has IPX7 level waterproof,can be use while rainning but cannot be used underwater for long time. Its 5.2 Bluetooth version makes the connection more stable. It also supports Type-C charging mode, there is also a fast charging mode.

The overall performance is good, but there are obvious shortcomings at high frequencies, and there will be harsh sound phenomena.


5. Moing DG08 Bluetooth bone conduction headset

Recommended reason:

The DG08 Bluetooth bone conduction headset come with 8GB of memory, which can independently store about 2,000 songs. The battery life reaches 10 hours, and you don't have to worry about battery problems for a full day of outdoor sports. Their non-in-ear design makes them more comfortable for the ears. They support life-grade waterproofing and are not afraid of sweat. It's just that there are still some problems in sound quality and sound leakage, and if the budget is not sufficient, you can consider this one.


Among the several bone conduction headsets recommended above, wissonly and aftershokz are my favorite brands. Compared with them, Wissonly is more cost-effective and worth buying.