If you like listening to music while running or cycling, then you might have come across bone conduction earphones. If you haven’t heard about them yet, maybe you can give them a chance because you might actually benefit from these earphones. How? Well, we are going to explain all the things you need to know about bone conduction earphones and their differences from traditional earphones.
What is Bone Conduction?
Bone conduction is the process of transmitting sound to the inner ear through the bones of the skull. It is one of the reasons why our voice sounds different to us when it’s recorded and played back. It’s because the skull conducts lower frequencies better than air that’s why we perceive our own voices to be lower and fuller than others do. Recording our own voices frequently sounds higher than we expect it to sound.
This technology is almost two centuries old. The first ever recorded application of bone conduction technology was probably that of Beethoven, the famous German composer. Because according to his story, he was deaf, and in order to hear music, he used a wooden stick attached to the piano, then he was holding a stick using his teeth while playing. That way, the vibrations from the sound went from piano through the stick, going through his jaw bones, to his inner ear, enabling him to hear it.
After 15 years, the technology was used by the military for making communication devices. It’s because they needed a device that will enable them to communicate while leaving the ears open to improve awareness. During that time, bone conduction earphones were a feasible option.
After being used in the military, bone conduction was then applied in medicine. It was in 1977 when a hearing aid device called BAHA was implanted into a human skull. It uses bone conduction technology, enabling people with different kinds of hearing damage related to the middle ear, eardrum, ear canal, and outer ear to hear again. Even up to now, it is still a very useful technology in medicine.
After being applied in medicine, in 2012, the first commercial pair of bone conduction earphones was introduced.
The difference of Bone Conduction Earphones from Traditional Earphones
The difference of bone conduction earphones from the traditional earphones is that they will leave your ears open and allow them to breathe. If you’re someone who cannot stand having your ears covered or having something inside your ear canal, then bone conduction earphones might be the best for you. It’s because the earpieces of bone conduction earphones usually rest on the temporal or lower jaw bones, or right in front of your ears.
However, bone conduction earphones are not as good as some average traditional headphones. Traditional ones still have cleaner and punchier bass compared to them. So, if you’re looking for high-fidelity sound, bone conduction earphones might not be the best for you.
Who Needs Bone Conduction Earphones?
Bone conduction is known to be really useful for those who have hearing problems. Having one can be a life-changing event for them especially for those with hearing loss. Therefore, they are the first people who will really understand the value of bone conduction earphones.
But if you have normal hearing, you can still use one. They are the perfect pair of earphones to use when cycling, running, jogging, and any outdoor and even indoor activities, especially when you need something that would keep you aware of your surroundings while listening to music.
There are also some states in the US where it is illegal to cross the street, drive, or cycle with earphones on. Having one earbud in your ear can be allowed, however, that is very inconvenient. But if you have bone conduction earphones, your ears will not be covered and you will not put yourself in danger.
Bone conduction earphones might not give you the best sound quality, but if staying aware and safe is your priority then it is a worth it device for you.
The Best Bone Conduction Earphones
If you like the idea of bone conduction earphones and you’re looking into purchasing one, we are here to help you choose the one that’s perfect for you. Here are some of the best bone conduction earphones we can recommend.
1. AfterShokz Sportz Titanium Bone Conduction Earphones
These are very strong and durable earphones with a frame made of titanium and reinforced with silicone, making them very comfortable to wear. They are also lighter compared to other AfterShokz earphones. It has a battery pack located next to it’s 3.5 mm jack. It can offer up to 12 hours of continuous playback and recharging it takes only two hours which is the best feature it can offer.2. Pyle Open Ear Bone Conduction Earphones
Pyle is a famous manufacturer of woofers and speakers but today, they are also creating professional audio equipment, instruments, and more including the bone conduction earphones. These earphones come in a premium box and it includes a magnetic charging cable, an instruction manual, and a 1-year warranty.
These earphones are made of hard plastic but they do not feel as fragile like other plastic earphones. They are also waterproof because of the thick rubbery coating covers. They are also very comfortable to wear and only weigh 1.44 ounces. Its battery can last up to 6 hours of listening and talking and recharging only takes two hours.3. AfterShokz Bluez 2S Wireless Bone Conduction Earphones
This is the first wireless model of AfterShoz earphones. It has very simple and easy to use controls such as play, pause, track skip buttons. It also has an LED indicator and a micro USB charging port.
They are wireless and the Bluetooth connection is strong and stable and can range up to 30 feet. It has a battery life of up to 6 hours and recharging takes about two hours. They also have a built-in mic which can perform well indoors, but kind of challenging when used outdoors.4. YiShuo Bone Conduction Earphones
These earphones come in a standard shape of bone conduction earphones but they are a little bulkier compared to those of AfterShokz. What makes them look good and interesting is the print on the model which is like a newspaper.
Aside from the cool design, these earphones are also very comfortable to wear. They have a rubber grip at the back that improves stability and prevents the neckband from dangling. The controls are simple and easy to access as well. It also uses Bluetooth to pair with phones and the connection is stable as well.
These earphones have 260mAh battery that can last up to 5 hours of listening and it can be fully charged in two hours. It has good sound quality and a built-in mic that is great for indoor use.5. AfterShokz Trekz Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Earphones
These earphones have a thicker neckband compared to other AfterShokz earphones and they come in different colors such as green, pink, red, ocean blue, and slate grey. It is made of titanium and coated with silicone. They look sturdier and more massive than other models.
Comfort is also not an issue with these earphones. You can wear them for hours because they only weigh 1.27 ounces. In fact, you might even forget that you’re wearing them. The controls are very easy to access. Its battery life can last up to 6 hours and recharge only takes about one and a half hour. It’s sound also offers better and deeper bass than other models and it’s Bluetooth connectivity is strong as well.
Bone conduction earphones are indeed a great invention because it is not only made for people with hearing problems but for everyone as well to stay safe and always be alert outside while still being able to enjoy music or talk to family and friends.