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What Are Bone Conduction Earphones and How Do They work?

Jan 04,2023 | Sylvia

Bone conduction earphones are very popular among sports fans. No matter you are running, cycling or outdoor sports, you can see people wearing these earphones. This article will tell you what bone conduction earphones are, how they work, their advantages and disadvantages.

What Are Bone Conduction earphones

As the name suggests, bone conduction earphones 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. We all know that music genius Beethoven was deaf in both ears. In order to hear the sound, he bit the baton with his mouth and put the other end of the baton on the piano when he was playing. The vibrations of the piano are transmitted through the baton to his teeth and bones, and then to the inner ear. This method helped Beethoven to hear the sound of the piano, and he also created a large number of well-known piano pieces.

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 earphones, making this earphone a fashionable product and becoming popular.

How do bone conduction earphones works?

Bone conduction is actually a very mature technology. The famous pianist Beethoven used bone conduction technology to compose music as early as the eighteenth century.The principle of bone conduction is that sound waves transmit the sound to the inner ear through the vibration of the head bones such as the skull and jaw, and finally allow the wearer to hear the sound.

Bone conduction earphones are a new type of earphones made with bone conduction technology. Compared with common earphones, they do not need to be worn in the ear. Their main principle is to convert sound into mechanical vibrations of different frequencies, and transmit them through the human skull->bone labyrinth->inner ear lymph fluid->spiral organ->auditory center. Compared with traditional earphones, the sound transmission path of them is shorter, and it no longer needs to transmit sound through air and eardrum vibration, but directly transmits sound to the inner ear through bone vibration. This also makes bone conduction earphones one of the healthiest headphones, and they have become popular this year.

What are the advantages of bone conduction earphones?

First of all, because they use the principle of bone conduction to transmit sound instead of air conduction, most bone conduction earphones do not affect the acquisition of ambient sound by both ears when used. Therefore, it is very safe when you use it outdoors, and you will not ignore the possible dangers because you are immersed in the music when wearing it.

Secondly, because most of the them are close to the hard bone position (beside the ear), instead of directly blocking the ear canal like in-ear headphones, or clamping the soft tissue of the ear like clip-on headphones.After wearing bone conduction earphones for a long time,ear damage cause of Headphones is much less than in-ear headphones or clip-on headphones. For example, if you wear them for four hours, clip-on headphones may cause your ears to hurt unbearably, but even if you wear bone conduction earphones for a long time, you will basically feel nothing. Therefore, they are very comfortable to wear.

On top of that, common headphones can clog the ear canal, leading to the growth of a lot of bacteria that can lead to ear infections. Bone conduction earphones do not have these effects because they do not need to be worn in the ear, and they will not rub against the external auditory canal when worn. So they are more suitable for people with oily ears, otitis media, small ears, and some people with sensitive ears because they do not need to be inserted into the ears. They are also more suitable for people who need to wear headphones for a long time. Therefore, bone conduction earphones are very healthy.

Bone conduction earphones have relatively little hearing damage, because hearing damage generally occurs in the eardrum and inner ear, while bone conduction earphones directly bypass the eardrum to avoid eardrum damage. Moreover, the vibration waves of them are relatively moderate, and the impact on auditory hair cells will be less, so the damage to hearing caused by them is minimal. For these reasons, bone conduction earphones have become very popular these years.

Of course, bone conduction earphones are not perfect, and they have their drawbacks.

The first is that the sound quality is not as good as traditional headphones because of its wearing method. Due to its design characteristics, the anti-interference effect is not ideal in noisy environments such as shopping, taking the subway, and taking a car. Because it is transmitted to the ear ossicles through the skin and skull, so their degree of music reproduction is not as good as traditional in-ear headphones.

The second is that the phenomenon of sound leakage still needs to be overcome. If there is a common problem with bone conduction earphones, it is the problem of sound leakage. Although major manufacturers are trying to improve the sound leakage, judging from the actual status, sound leakage still exists in the earphones. Of course, mainstream bone conduction earphone brands, such as wissonly and Aftershokz, have made a lot of efforts to improve the sound leakage of bone conduction earphones, and have almost solved the sound leakage problem.

More and more people are interested in bone conduction earphones, and more and more earphone manufacturers are joining this market. Then, how to choose the right bone conduction earphone is a problem. In the following, I recommend five earphones, all of which are of good quality and cost-effective

1.Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction earphones

Reason for recommendation:

I noticed Wissonly bone conduction earphones when they were first crowdfunded online. And later, I saw that some otologists were recommending them on online forums, so I bought them. This 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 earphones 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 A6606 bone conduction earphones

Recommended reason:

Philips A6606 bone conduction sports earphones has a unique night light design, which can help the wearer solve the problem of sports safety in dim environment. It is equipped with Bluetooth 5.2 technology, with an effective distance of up to 10 meters. It has low power consumption, faster connection speed, higher security and stability. A6606 can last for 9 hours on one time charge, which can fully meet the daily needs of users. That is, its waterproof level is not high, it can't be used in swimming, it doesn't have built-in memory, and it can't be used without Bluetooth.

3.AfterShokz OPENRUN PRO bone conduction earphones

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 simple washing.

4.earsopen FIT BT-1 bone conduction earphones

Recommended reason:

Earsopen FIT BT-1 bone conduction earphones, the new favorite of Japanese headphone industry, has an open listening experience and can also accept external sound. It has the BONE AUDIO feature with super telepresence, which has better listening effect.It adopts the exclusive latest AVV technology, with its correct vibration earsopen device, and improves the bone conduction ability by leaps and bounds.It also has fashionable and high-quality streamline design,it use light body material and weight of only 34g. Its waterproof, dustproof and anti-skid performance is also good.

It can be safely used indoors and outdoors, and it is comfortable to wear and moves freely.

5.Moing bone conduction earphones

Recommended reason:

The overall experience is average, but the price is low, so it is worth trying.

It weighs only 30g, so it can be worn for a long time without burden. Streamlined sinking design is adopted, which fits the ear shape when wearing. Its body is made of memory alloy material, so you don't have to worry about deformation after bending for many times. The overall configuration of Moing is good, Bluetooth 5.0. Titanium alloy frame, built-in power capacity of 200mAh, and it supports 6 hours of battery life.