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What Are Bone Conduction Headphones And Do They Have Health Risk?

Jan 06,2023 | Sylvia

You may have found that in recent years, more and more sports fans are wearing a kind of non-in-ear headphones, which may be bone conduction headphones. This article will tell you, what are bone conduction headphones? How do they work? Through the understanding of their working principles, we will analyze whether they have health risks.

What Are Bone Conduction Headphones

As the name suggests, bone conduction headphones 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. Nowadays,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 headphones, making this headphone a fashionable product and becoming popular.

How do bone conduction headphones work?

Let's start with a story. Beethoven was a great composer, and he is still loved by many people with representatives such as "Fate Symphony", "Eroica Symphony ", "Ode of Joy Symphony " and so on. In fact, Beethoven suffered from hearing impairment in his later years. Even in this state, he continued to compose, which is a bit bizarre. How did he do it? When playing, Beethoven held his baton in his mouth and put the other side on the piano,and then hear the sound.. This was the earliest application case of bone conduction.

In Beethoven's case, the vibrations caused by the piano as a source of sound are transmitted through the baton to the jawbone on the side of the mouth, and then from the frontal bone to the inner ear, which eventually formed hearing.

You may have found that the entire sound transmission process was the participation of solids such as batons and bones, without the participation of air and the eardrum. This seems to be a little deviated from our daily cognition. If we look through the physics books in middle school, we could know that there are three mediums for sound transmission: namely air, liquid and solid. Human bones are solids, and of course, they can also act as a medium for transmitting sound.

With the above knowledge, it would be easy for us to understand how bone conduction headphones work.

Bone conduction headphones are a type of headphones manufactured by using bone conduction technology. Bone conduction is a sound conduction method with bones as the medium. It converts sound into mechanical vibrations of different frequencies to transmit sound waves through the human skull, bone labyrinth, inner ear lymph, spiral organ, and auditory center.

When they work, you only need to put the sound unit close to the temple, do not need to stuff them into the ear canal. They are good to the cleaning of the ear canal, and cause no harm to the eardrum.

Do bone conduction headphones have health risk?

Some people may worry that bone conduction headphones have health risk. This concern is unnecessary, and there is no evidence that this kind of headphones are bad for health. We can analyze this problem from several perspectives on the effects of them on the ears, nervous system, bones, and skin.

1. The effect of bone conduction headphones on the ear

They do not need to be tucked into the ear canal when worn, which avoids damage to the ear canal caused by headphone plugging in and out. They also do not need to transmit sound through the ear canal and eardrum, which makes them have no harm to the eardrum. The oscillation of bone conduction headphones is relatively gentle and stable, and will not cause health risk to the cochlea.

2. The effect of bone conduction headphones on the nervous system

Any electronic product has electromagnetic waves, and strong electromagnetic waves can damage the auditory nerve and brain nerves. The electromagnetic waves of them are very weak, and the intensity is close to that of the electromagnetic waves present in nature, so they do not have health risk to the auditory nerve and brain nerve.

3. The effect of bone conduction headphones on bones

The sound unit of them vibrates and drives the bone vibrate to achieve sound transmission. Excessive vibration may theoretically lead to bone damage, but this theoretical vibration rarely happens. There are currently no records of bone conduction headphones causing bone damage.

4. The effect of bone conduction headphones on the skin

They are worn against the temple, do not over-squeeze the skin, and therefore does not cause damage to the skin. And many bone conduction headphones are made of skin-friendly materials, and are also more friendly to skin.

Therefore, bone conduction headphones do not have health risk, but one kind of healthiest headphones. They are safer and more hygienic when used, and are a kind of excellent headphones.

So how to choose bone conduction headphones? I think you need to pay attention to three key points: sound quality, sound leakage reduction and comfort.Here are some excellent headphones recommended to you.

1.Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones

Reason for recommendation:

I noticed Wissonly bone conduction headphones 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 headphones 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 A7607 bone conduction headphones

Reason for recommendation:

The sounding unit of the 7607 bone conduction headphone use a 17mm vibrator, which makes its sound have good penetrating power. What makes me even more surprised is that Philips A7607 is equipped with LED night run lamp at the rear of the its body, which has three kinds of brightness that can be switched. It is suitable for wearing at night, which can make people around you perceive their own position and further increase the safety factor. The waterproof performance of IPX6 grade is fully qualified for waterproof work in daily life, and even can withstand a small amount of rain intrusion.

3.AfterShokz OPENRUN PRO bone conduction headphones

Reason for recommendation:

It has improved the sound quality and sound leakage reduction, and can connect two Bluetooth devices at the same time.Duo to its ergonomic ear-sticking design,it has high wearing comfort. There are two sizes, 16.2cm and 18.7cm. Girls suggest the mini version.

4.Earsopen peace tw-1 bone conduction headphones

Reason for recommendation:

PEACE TW-1 bone conduction headphones have a small and exquisite appearance. The surface is made of high-grade soft silicone material, and the weight is only 9g. You only need to hang them on the ear like earrings, they are more comfortable to wear and will not cause allergies. At the same time, they also have IP67 waterproof grade, and direct rinsing after exercise is not a problem, but they are not suitable for swimming. The sound quality and anti-sound-leakage performance are not bad, and the daily sports use can be satisfied.

The disadvantage is the clip-on wearing method, and wearing it for a long time may cause discomfort.

5.Haylou PurFree bone conduction headphones

Reason for recommendation:

Good experience, its weight is very light, weighing only 28g, and its open ear design is very safe and hygienic, which can protect the health of the ear canal . The silica gel material of its body is very comfortable, and it can be bent at will. The frame of aviation grade memory titanium wire will not be deformed, and make its service life very long.

Its IP67 waterproof grade, except when you sweat during exercise, you are not afraid of damage when you rush with water. And the charging interface adopts water-proof magnetic charging, so there's no need to worry about water coming into the charging interface. It should be noted that it can't be used in swimming.

There will be some missing sounds, which may be one of its shortcomings.


Among the above brands, Wissonly and Philips are my favorite brands, both of them have good technical experience in the field of bone conduction. Philips is a big brand, the configuration of their product is a little poor, and the cost performance is also a little poor. Wissonly is a fast growing brand. Their product parameters is very high and their cost performance is very good.