The working principle, sound quality, and safety of bone conduction headphones
Jul 19,2023 | David
Recently, many people have heard of bone conduction headphones. Bone conduction is a mechanism of "hearing sounds through the bones" that does not need to be heard through the eardrums. In this article, we will introduce the principles of bone conduction, the sound quality, and the safety of bone conduction headphones.
How the bone conduction headphones work
Before explaining how bone conduction works, let me briefly explain how humans hear sounds.
The various sounds that occur around us pass to our ears in the form of air vibrations . This vibration through the ear canal, vibrates the eardrum,and reaching the part called the cochlea. The cochlea is shaped like a snail, which is responsible for transmitting sound information to the brain, eventually letting us hear it.
The traditional way of delivering sound through the ear canal is called air conduction, but humans can also hear the sound without using the ear canal , which is bone conduction.
"Bone conduction" is a mechanism that does not pass through the ear canal or tympanic membrane, but allows the bones around the ear to vibrate, reaching the cochlea and thus hearing the sound. We hear sounds with the cochlea instead of the eardrum. If the vibration reaches the cochlea, the sound can be heard whether it through the eardrum or not.
Devices that use bone conduction technology, such as bone conduction headphones and hearing aids are differ from regular headphones because they use a component called a bone conduction vibrator. This component vibrates the bones on the skin to deliver the sound.
But the design will be different, as many bone conduction headphones vibrate the bones on the side of the face of the ear,and the bone conduction hearing aids usually vibrate the bone behind the ear.
How is the sound quality of the bone conduction headphones?
I believe that a lot of people will have such a question, " how is the sound quality of bone conduction? Is its sound quality better than in-ear headphones?”。
To be honest, bone conduction headphones have slightly worse sound quality than traditional noise-canceling headphones. But with the development of technology for many years, the sound quality of some excellent brands(such as Wissonly and Shokz) products has been very good.
Of course, the sound quality of different brands will be different, which mainly depend on the price, the price of the product is below 50 dollars, the sound quality is generally not too good, about 100 dollars of products, and the sound quality is mostly good.
Buy bone conduction headphones online, because you can't experience it yourself， at this time, you can make a judgment by knowing the decoder of the headphones. Generally supports aptX decoder with good sound quality.
Experts say that bone conduction is difficult to achieve sound quality comparable to traditional high-resolution headphones because bone conduction technology limits sound quality and volume. If you want the highest quality sound, high-resolution headphones are the right choice.
Surprisingly, in such a noisy place as the construction site, using bone conduction microphone can improve the sound quality.
In addition to headphones, microphones are used in noisy environments such as construction sites and fires. When you make wireless calls in a noisy place, the bone conduction microphone does not collect ambient noise, which is much better than a normal microphone.
When human beings speak, they will make sounds (air vibration) from their mouths, and at the same time, the head is also vibrating, which is also a kind of bone conduction. Bone conduction microphone aims to collect only the vibration of the speaker's bones and avoid collecting environmental noise. Therefore, in a particularly noisy workplace, the use of bone conduction microphones makes wireless calls smoother.
Four advantages of bone conduction headphones
Advantage 1: Bone conduction headphones will not block the ear hole, and you can listen to music while listening to the sound around
Bone conduction headphones don't block your ears, so you can hear sounds around you while listening to the headphones. It is particularly important that when you are exercising outdoors, it can help you notice dangerous sounds behind you, such as the hum of cars. In this sense, bone conduction headphones are safer than earbuds that block the ear.
Advantage 2: The ears have no sense of pressure.
If you put a foreign body (earbuds,headphones, etc.) into your ear, everyone will feel pressure. If you use ordinary headphones, this pressure will accompany you, of course, you will slowly get used to it, but after listening for a long time, taking off your ear has a sense of relief. That means you endure the pressure without knowing it.
When wearing bone conduction headphones, nothing enters the ear canal, so there is no pressure in the ear.
Advantages 3: Even if the ear hole is very small it can also be used. You don't have to worry about your headphone falling off.
If you have a small ear canal, it may be difficult to insert earbuds into the ear canal when using regular headphones or earbuds, and it is also difficult to pull them out after use. Some people with small ear holes will buy special size earbuds separately.
Bone conduction headphones, on the other, the size of the ear hole has nothing to do with the difficulty of inserting and pulling because it does not need to be inserted into the ear hole, so people with small ear canals do not have to worry about choosing earbuds.
Sound quality is also an advantage. Using ordinary headphones, if the size of earbuds is incorrect, the sound quality will be poor. Using bone conduction headphones, you can listen to stable sound quality regardless of the size of the ear canal.
Advantage 4: the sound has no echo, and the sound quality is natural.
When we talk while using ordinary headphones, we will feel that our voice is incongruous. This should be a change in sound quality, and you should hear yourself louder than usual. This is because the earbuds block the ear canal. Even if there is no sound coming out of the headphones, everyone will feel that their voice has changed if they cover their ears.
Bone conduction headphones don't block the ear canal, so your voice won't change. You can hear yourself with a natural sound quality as usual.
How safe are bone conduction headphones?
We often hear people worried about the safety of bone conduction headphones, which can clearly tell you that the harm of bone conduction to the human body is very small.
First, due to the sound transmission mode of the bone conduction headphone, it does not need to pass through the ear canal and tympanic membrane, which can avoid damage to the tympanic membrane. Moreover, the vibration wave of bone conduction headphone is relatively moderate, and the impact on auditory hair cells will be less, so bone conduction headphone is the kind of headphone with the least damage to the ear.
Secondly, the traditional headphone will has the problem of electromagnetic wave, which causes damage to the human brain nerve and hearing nerve. The electromagnetic wave of bone conduction headphones is extremely weak, which is the same intensity as the electromagnetic wave existing in nature and will not cause harm to the human brain nerve and hearing nerve.
Third, bone conduction headphones can avoid danger during wearing. When it is worn, it does not need to occupy the ear canal, and it can not only hear the sound in the headphone, but also pay attention to the external sound. Wearing bone conduction headphones when crossing the road will not be dangerous because you can hear the horn; it can also avoid some dangerous situations when exercising outdoors.
It can be seen that bone conduction headphones are relatively safe, but the safety is not absolute. If you use it to listen to music at high volume for a long time, it will still bring harm to the cochlea.
In addition to safety, bone conduction headphones have many advantages, such as wearing comfort, cleaning and hygiene,high waterproof grade
How to choose the bone conduction headphones
1.Select by connection mode
The connection mode is mainly "wireless" and "wired" two kinds, each having its own characteristics. The wireless bone conduction earphone is more convenient to use without cable winding, but it can work only with Bluetooth signal, and its service time is limited by the battery power. Wired bone conduction headphones are connected to mobile phones by cables, which do not need batteries and have no delay in sound, but have the disadvantage of cable winding and are inconvenient to use.
2.Select according to the fit
Pay attention to the fit when purchasing bone conduction headphones. Headphones with poor fit are easy to fall off and uncomfortable to use, especially the headphones used in sports, the fit is more important. When choosing, it is best to choose those headphones that can be flexibly adjusted.
3.Check the waterproof performance
If you plan to use it during exercise, normal sweating, or rain, we recommend at least IPX4 or higher. Headphones above the IPX 6 can be cleaned with water, which is great to keep the headphones clean.
Headphones with IPX7 or higher models can be used in immersion scenarios such as swimming or diving.
4.For use in business scenarios, please choose the headphone with a microphone
If you have the opportunity to make hands-free calls in a business scenario, please choose a headset with a microphone. Bone conduction headphones will not block your ears, and you can easily hear your own voice when you talk hands-free.
Which brands of bone conduction headphones are trustworthy?
Wissonly Is the fastest-growing brand of bone conduction headphones in recent years. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the team has accumulated deep technology in the field of bone conduction. Several founders have about 10 years of experience in bone conduction development.
It features on high-performance bone conduction headphones, focusing on the improvement of three core properties: sound quality, comfort and waterproof. The products are very popular among sports fans.
Philips is a well-known consumer brand with many products, including medical care, electrical appliances, and digital and video entertainment.
Headphones and bone conduction headphones are one of its many products.Their products have amazing audio completion and are excellent in convenience, sound quality and humanization
Shokz is a professional manufacturer of bone conduction headphones. Headquartered in the United States, it was founded under the brand of "AfterShokz", and changed its name to Shokz in recent years. It is a popular manufacturer with customers all over the world.
As for bone conduction headphones, they have more products, including sports models and business models, which you can choose according to the use scenario.
Golden Dance is a brand of bone conduction headphones jointly developed with BoCo. The brand name of Earsopen means that when using it, the ears are open and there is no need to plug the ears. It is mainly made of clip-ear type headphones, like wearing earrings clip on the ear.
Excellent bone conduction headphones are recommended
1.Wissonly Hi Runner Bone conduction headphones
Wissonly The bone conduction brand is relatively leading in bone vibration technology. As mentioned above, their team has 10 years of technical accumulation in the field of bone conduction, which is very important for the quality of the product.
Wissonly Hi Runner Has exclusive sound leakage reduction technology, which can effectively reduce the sound leakage problem by 90%. Its latest bone vibration technology is to improve the overall sound quality performance of the headphone, making it a stronger sense of space and better sound quality.
Wissonly Hi Runner The body is made of memory titanium material, self-adjustment can be made to adapt to different head circumference, so that the earphone fits better and is more stable to wear.
Wissonly Hi Runner supports Bluetooth and MP3 playback modes. In Bluetooth mode, it is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 chip, which makes the Bluetooth connection more stable. He also has a built-in memory of 32G, which is very important to me. I totally use it as an MP3 player. It can store 5,000 songs, which is crazy!
Its waterproofness needs special mention, its waterproof grade reaches IPX 8, can be used in swimming, and can also be washed, at a depth of 20 meters.
2.Philips A6606 bone conduction headphones
From the appearance, A6606 uses simple pure color design, a very visual sense of science and technology. It is a very thoughtful design of a night run light. When running at night, light the LED light to remind the vehicle behind you to notice your position, to make the night run safer.
It is light in weight and does not feel pressure when worn, and the headphone frame can be adjusted to make it fit better without messing up the hair. In addition, its IP67 dustproof and waterproof, 9-hour battery life, Bluetooth 5.2 and other features make this bone conduction headset a good choice.
3. Shokz OPENRUN PRO bone conduction headphones
This headphone is mainly in the direction of sports Bluetooth headphone, It has ergonomic post-ear hanging so that users do not have to worry about the headphone being thrown off when doing large actions such as running and jumping. Its bone conduction unit is designed with 30-degree tilt technology, coupled with Shokz suspension shock absorption technology, which can effectively reduce the vibration generated during exercise and bring a more comfortable auditory experience. Openrun Pro Waterproof grade has reached IP67. If you sweat and rain during exercise, don't worry about it slipping off or affecting your sound quality. The intelligent control button on the right side of the headphone realizes the functions such as one-hand blind exercise and easy song cutting only between hands.
4.Earsopen PEACE Bone conduction headphones
Earsopen PEACE It is a bone conduction headphone with a relatively novel way of wearing. It is an clip-ear headphone, which can be worn only on the ear canal. The single ear can also be used normally. In terms of wearing stability, do not worry too much, the general swing will not let it fall, but when the big movement, it may fall. Its IPX 7 class waterproof performance is also easy to competent for waterproof and sweat-proof work, the only deficiency is the price is slightly higher, and clip-ear worn for a long time will be uncomfortable.
5. Haylou PurFree Bone conduction headphones
The wearing experience is good, it is very light, only weighs 28g, Wear it without feeling heavy, and silicone material makes it feel very comfortable. Its frame can be adjusted at will to adapt to different sizes of head circumference. Aviation grade memory titanium wire skeleton does not appear any deformation, service life is very long.
It reaches IP67 waterproof level, and it is not afraid of damage except when it is washed with water after normal exercise and sweating. The charging interface adopts water-proof magnetic charging, so there is no need to worry about water entering the charging interface. It should be noted that it cannot be used in swimming.There will be some sound leakage, which may be one of its shortcomings.
Bone conduction is a sound transmission mechanism that does not pass through the eardrum, which is common in daily life, so its health and safety need not be worried.
In general, its sound quality is not as good as that of traditional headphones, but it has been greatly improved in recent years. Some excellent brands, such as Wissonly and Shokz, have very good sound quality.
The selection of bone conduction headphones depends on the use scenario, considering factors such as fit degree and water resistance.