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What Are Bone Conduction Headset and How Do They Work?

Jan 13,2023 | Sylvia

In recent years, you may find that more and more people around you are wearing a kind of Headset clipped to the edge of the temple. Most of these headphones are bone conduction headsets.

So, what are bone conduction headsets?

They are sound transmission devices that transmits sound through the vibration of the skull so that people can perceive speech.

In physics, sound can be transmitted through solids, air, and liquids as media. Traditional earphones transmit sound through the air, while bone conduction headsets transmit sound through the solid of the skull.

Bone conduction device include conduction speaker and bone conduction microphone:Bone conduction speakers are used to listen to the sound and the bone conduction microphone is used to collect sound.

Bone conduction technology is very mature and widely used. In the early days, it was mainly used in hearing aids, emergency rescue, military, and other professional fields. In recent years, it has gradually been applied in the field of consumer electronics. Bone conduction headset is its classic application.

How do bone conduction headsets work?

The production of sound is a kind of vibration, and the sound source can cause air, liquid and solid to vibrate.

There are two main types of sound that we usually hear: air conduction sound and bone conduction sound. "Air conduction sound" means that the sound source vibrates and transmit to the ear through the air, and "bone-conducted sound" means that the sound source vibrates transmit to the ear through the bone.

Sounds such as human voices and TV sounds vibrate the air around you. The vibrations are collected by the pinna and transmitted through the ear canal to the eardrum. Sound transmitted to the eardrum is transmitted through the auditory ossicles to the inner ear, where the vibrations are converted into electrical vibrations that are recognized as sound. The sound we hear through this path is "air conduction sound".

"Bone conduction sound" does not pass through the pinna, external auditory canal (outer ear), or bone ossicles (middle ear). Instead, the sound source vibrates in resonance with the skull, and the skull vibrations are transmitted directly to the inner ear, where the vibrations are converted into electrical signals and perceived as sound. This is how bone conduction works.

Bone conduction headsets are headsets based on bone conduction sound transmission. When they work, they only need to attach the sound unit to the temple. The vibration of the sound source drives the vibration of the skull, and the skull transmits the vibration to the inner ear. The cochlea completes the perception of sound and transmits it. Give the auditory nerve and auditory center, and finally the cerebral cortex allows us to "hear" the sound after comprehensive analysis.

Advantages of bone conduction headsets

To sum up,bone conduction headsets have three very prominent advantages.

bone conduction headsets Advantages one : safer to use

Compared with common headsets, bone conduction headsets are placed on the cheekbones in front of the ears when in use. They conduct sound directly through the skull bone to the inner ear, keeping your ears open at all times, which does not interfere with any external ambient sound entering the ear. The wearer can even chat with friends around him while listening to music. Therefore, you can hear the sound of the outside world by wearing bone conduction headphones during outdoor sports, on buses and subways, running, and cycling. The wearer can maintain awareness of the surrounding environment at all times to avoid accidents. Therefore, they can provide higher security than common headsets.

Bone conduction headsets advantage two: more hygienic to use

Whether it's headphones or earbuds, covering your ears when using them can make your ears stuffy, which can lead to the growth of bacteria inside your ears. Especially when the ear canal is blocked, the inside will become humid and hot, and bacteria will grow more rapidly. Therefore, wearing in-ear headphones is also one of the important reasons for many young people's ear canal inflammation. What about bone conduction headsets? They don't cause these problems. Because they do not touch or cover the ears, they can keep the ears hygienic and clean.

Bone conduction headsets Advantages three: more healthy use

Bone conduction headsets do not need to be worn in the ear, so the injury caused by the headphone rubbing against the ear canal is avoided. Moreover, the vibration wave of them is smaller than that of ordinary headphones, and the damage to hair cells in the ear can be reduced by about 80%. Therefore, bone conduction headsets are more ear-friendly and healthier to wear than common headphones.

Of course, bone conduction headsets are not 100% perfect, and they have drawbacks, such as their sound quality being difficult to achieve the effect of traditional noise-canceling headphones. They really release the ears, which also lose the "sound insulation" or noise reduction effect of traditional headphones, so in extremely noisy environments, it will be difficult for bone conduction headsets to transmit sound to your inner ear. However, the sound quality of them has improved a lot compared to the previous two years with technological progress. Some mainstream brands like wissonly and aftershokz have excellent sound quality.

Next, I will recommend some excellent bone conduction headsets for you

1. Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headsets

Recommended reason:

Wissonly bone conduction headsets is the first brand I came into contact with. I first found it on the crowdfunding website. Later, I bought it after seeing many people's recommendations in some online running forums. After my long-term comparative test, the overall function of this Hi Runner model product is very powerful, which greatly exceeds my expectations.

Their team is one of the best talents in the field of bone conduction. The product director was once the core engineer of a first-line brand, and has accumulated 10 years' experience in the field of bone conduction technology. Wissonly Hi Runner increases the vibration area of the sound source vibrator by 35% through excellent structural design, which makes the music feel more spatial and immersive. It is also excellent in sound leakage reduction. The fully wrapped design reduces the vibration of the shell, and the structural optimization makes the sound leakage wave be offset, thus avoiding 90% sound leakage, which is much better than the bone conduction headphones of the same price on the market.

The fully-enclosed design of Wissonly Hi Runner bone conduction headsets makes its waterproof grade to IPX8, which means that you can wear it for bathing, swimming and even diving within 20 meters. Even better, the Hi Runner headphones has a built-in storage of 32GB, which can store 5,000 songs. It can still be used without the mobile phone. It supports both MP3 mode and Bluetooth mode. It is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 chip, which makes it superior to most bone conduction headphones in transmission distance, connection stability and power consumption.

2. Philips A6606 bone conduction headsets

Recommended reason:

The A6606 uses a titanium alloy frame. It is very stable to wear during running and has less shifting, helping you to exercise without feeling weight. The unique way of transmitting sound of bone conduction headsets bypasses the air, reduces noises, but is most afraid of having stethoscope effect. The A6606 is designed so that the frame of the headphones does not touch the back of the head, avoiding the "stethoscope effect" during exercise, so you can hear more precise and clear sound details.

3.AfterShokz OPENRUN PRO bone conduction headsets

Recommended reason:

The body of the Openrun Pro weighs only 26g, and it adopts Qualcomm QCC3024 low-energy chip +PremiumPitch 2.0 improved double suspension vibration transmission system and suspension damping technology, CVC call noise reduction algorithm and double silicon microphone. The battery life lasts for 8 hours, and the charging method is magnetic charging. The charging interface has a liquid residue detection function to ensure that it has a good waterproof performance. Its waterproof grade is IP67, and there is no problem with normal sweat. A short period of rain can be used, but it can't be used for swimming.

4.Earsopen PEACE bone conduction headsets

Recommended reason:

The Japanese bone conduction headsets adopt the wearing method of ear clipping that is very novel. Although they are ear clipping type, after wearing it for a long time the ear will be somewhat painful. They have IPX7 waterproof performance. Both battery and charger can be used in the charging case, but there is a small problem that the charging case is not waterproof. Their sound quality is still good, and they are excellent in the audio performance of the high, medium and low. And there is a sound leakage problem, but the overall is still good.

5.Moing bone conduction headsets

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.

It should be noted that the prices and functions of the above products are different. You can choose them according to your needs. I prefer the products of Wissonly and Aftershokz. Their sound quality and sound leakage reduction are excellent. I have been using Wissonly recently. It has a very high cost performance ratio. I like it very much.