Bone conduction headphones allow users to hear their surroundings while listening to audio content. These headsets work by transmitting vibrations through the bones of the head, a process similar to how baleen whales send seismic vibrations up their skulls to communicate with one another. In recent years, manufacturers have incorporated the technology into headphones and other electronic devices, including sports gear and mobile phones. Bone conduction headphones with mic can be used for a variety of activities, from walking or running to working out and making calls. The best bone-conduction headphones have an IP rating that enables them to resist water and sweat, as well as features like noise-canceling microphones that improve audio quality during voice calls.
The most comfortable bone-conduction headphones for most people have a design that rests on the cheekbones or temples, rather than on or in the ears. Many have a clip that secures them on the head. They’re also lightweight, which reduces pressure on the ears and head while wearing them. They typically have a battery life of 4-10 hours, and they recharge via a USB cable or proprietary magnetic charging port.
While most bone-conduction headphones have a microphone to enable hands-free calling, some don’t. The best models have a mic that’s compatible with both Android and iPhone systems, as well as some smartwatches. Some offer advanced features such as active noise cancellation and echo suppression, which improves audio clarity during calls.
A few brands, such as WinnerGear’s Exobone, Vidonn’s F1, and Siusumfo’s Bone Conduction Headphones with Microphone, have a waterproof rating, which is helpful if you plan on using your headphones while swimming or exercising outdoors. Some have a foldable design for easy storage, which is useful if you’re on the go frequently.
Most bone-conduction headphones cost between $120-130, which is the price range for a pair that’s fully functional and doesn’t skimp on technology. Proprietary magnetic chargers, the latest Bluetooth 5.2 technology, and 8-hour battery life are common in this range.
Some users find that the sound quality in bone-conduction headphones is worse than traditional headphones, and that the physical design can cause a strange or vibrating sensation in their ears. They can also experience discomfort when using these headphones, especially if they listen to music at high volumes or have a hard time keeping them on their head.
Yes, bone-conduction headphones can still cause hearing loss, just as regular headphones and earbuds can. While they bypass the eardrum, they can still impact tiny hairs called stereocilia that transmit sounds along nerve pathways to the brain, and these hairs can get worn out from extended use or exposure to loud noises.
While bone-conduction headphones with mic can provide situational awareness, they are not designed for people who need to listen to spoken audio content while wearing a gas mask or SCBA, such as emergency response professionals. In addition, people who wear glasses may have trouble with the way some models fit over their frames, which can cause them to feel bulky or uncomfortable. bone conduction headphones with mic