What Are The Pros and Cons of Bone Conduction Headphones and Best Headphones Recommend
Jan 07,2023 | Sylvia
In recent years, you may find that more and more people around you are wearing a kind of earphone clipped to the edge of the temple. Most of these headphones are bone conduction headphones.
So, what are bone conduction headphones?
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 headphones transmit sound through the solid of the skull.
Bone conduction device include conduction speaker and bone conduction microphone:
(1) Bone conduction speakers are used to listen to the sound. It converts the electromagnetic signal into sound waves (also called vibration signals) directly through the bone to the auditory nerve and makes the brain center feel the sound.
(2) The bone conduction microphone is used to collect sound. It uses the slight vibration of the head and neck bones caused by human speech to collect sound signals and convert them into electromagnetic signals.
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. Conduct the popularity of products such as cycling helmets.
How does bone conduction headphones work?
The propagation medium of sound includes solid, liquid, and air. In general, there are two ways for sound waves to enter the inner ear of the human body: air conduction and bone conduction. It then travels to the inner ear via the auditory ossicles. Bone conduction is the vibration of sound waves through the bones of the head such as the skull and jaw, which transmits the sound to the inner ear. It is another very important hearing method besides air transmission. People use this method to manufacture many bone conduction hearing devices.
Traditional headphones mainly transmit sound through the air, while bone conduction headphones use the temporal bone of the head to transmit sound. It transmits sound directly to the auditory nerve in the form of sound waves, instead of passing through the air to the eardrum and then to our auditory nerve.
Currently, bone conduction hearing devices mainly include electromagnetic bone conduction headphones and piezoelectric bone conduction headphones. Electromagnetic bone conduction headphones have better working performance, but they have electromagnetic radiation, which is easy to cause harm to the user's body. Piezoelectric bone conduction headphones use piezoelectric vibrators as sounding components. When people wear it the human body is less affected by electromagnetic radiation which also has the advantages of small size and low power consumption.
Pros of bone conduction headphones:
Bone conduction uses bone vibration transmission principle. The headphones are not inserted into the ear, do not need to transmit sound through the eardrum, but directly conduct sound to the internal nerves of the ear through the skull. So they can minimize the impact of headphones on ear hearing. In addition, the non-in-ear wearing method of them is very helpful for maintaining the internal hygiene of the ear. It will not accumulate a lot of bacteria due to prolonged sweating during exercise to block the ear canal, which makes the ear more hygienic. Because they are healthier to wear than common headphones, many doctors in the field of otology also recommend them.
Bone conduction headphones are not inserted in the ear. Whether when running, cycling, walking or commuting, etc., you can wear headphones to listen to songs and still can hear the surrounding sounds and communicate with others normally. Thus you avoid the risk of accidents caused by not hearing external sounds, which greatly improves the safety of outdoor sports. And bone conduction headphones are generally fixed to the head by hanging ears, generally have a anti-shake design and are not easy to fall off. So in the field of sports, many people use them.
Of course, it must be honestly said that just as a coin has two sides, bone conduction headphones also have their disadvantages.
Cons of bone conduction headphones:
Because sound is transmitted to the ear ossicles through the skin and the skull, the audio restoration is definitely worse a little than that of the traditional in-ear type. But from the perspective of sports headphones, in addition to the sound quality, it is more important that the headphones are not easy to fall off, light and convenient. The sound quality of bone conduction headphones is slightly poor only when they are compared to in-ear headphones of the same price.That doesn't mean their sound quality is bad and hard to hear. The sound quality of most current bone conduction headphones have been improved to varying degrees.
Another cons of bone conduction headphones is that they leak sound when used. This is unavoidable for all of them on the market. But with the rising of technical level, sound leakage of excellent bone conduction headphones on the market have been greatly reduced currently.
Best bone conduction headphones in 2023
1. Wisonly Hirunner bone conduction headphones
Wissonly bone conduction headphones 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. Wisonly 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 Wisonly Hi Runner bone conduction headphones 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 headphones
In terms of appearance, A6606 adopt a simple and solid color design. Except for the logo at the end of the ear hook, there is no unnecessary decoration. The overall sense is very strong, and they visually give people a simple sense of technology. They feel quite good to wear, neither compressing the head and cervical vertebrae nor messing up the hair. A6606 do not need to be worn into the ears. They do not hurt the eardrum during long-term wearing ,and they will not cause you sweat during exercise, and are comfortable and breathable. In addition, their IP67 dustproof and waterproof rating, 9-hour battery life, Bluetooth 5.2 and other features make the bone conduction headphones a good choice.
3.AfterShokz OPENRUN PRO bone conduction headphones
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 PEACE TW-1 bone conduction headphones
The earsopen PEACE TW-1 headphones can be charged magnetically through the charging case, which is small and convenient to carry around. The headphone shape adopts separate design that is achieved for the first time in the bone conduction industry. The headphone body is a T-shaped design, that adopts the clip-on wearing method. At the same time, it also supports IPX7 waterproof performance. When traveling on rainy days or running to burn fat, there is no need to fear sweat and rain erosion, it can be used with peace of mind.
The T-shaped structure design of earsopen PEACE TW-1 adopts the form of wearing behind the ear with curved support frame. It is more comfortable when worn. But because of the wearing method, the pinna will be a little uncomfortable after wearing for a long time. The sound quality is average, and there is a little sound leakage. But as an innovative style in the bone conduction category, it is also worth considering.
5.Nank Runner CC3 bone conduction headphones
Its headphones’ body is designed with a titanium alloy rear-hanging body, which is light in weight, and it doesn't feel heavy when worn. The ear-hanging design is also very convenient to wear, so you don't have to worry about falling off. The whole headphone adopts seamless design, and even the earphones are wrapped in silica gel, which can greatly reduce sound leakage. As magnetic charging is adopted, after each use, it is only necessary to put the magnetic suction head at the buckle position of the headphone. Compared with the previous products, the sound quality is obviously improved, but it still needs to be improved. Those who have low requirements for sound quality can choose it.
The five best bone conduction earphones in 2023 have their own characteristics and can meet the needs of most people. Among them, wissonly and Aftershokz are the two brands with the best technical strength and deserve to be recommended. If you want to choose one of these two brands, I recommend wissonly because it is more cost-effective.