One of the great advantages of developing a technology that is designed to solve various problems is that in the end, this technology finds its use to someone who wasn’t originally intended for. This is the case with our best bone conduction headphones. In this article we are going to give some more details about this type of headphones and see what are the bone conduction headphones pros and cons.
The technology itself was originally intended for people who had hearing problems and for those who had slightly damaged hearing. Thanks to the creativity and knowledge of engineers, today, this technology is available to everyone, and its benefits are truly incredible.
What are bone conduction headphones?
The operating principle of these handsets is very special. The reason lies in the fact that this technology was originally intended for a very specific target group. This group of people had a hearing problem. The essence was to make a technology that would allow them to hear a sound even though their hearing was damaged, that is, despite the fact that there was a problem with eardrums they could hear.
Thanks to the innovation of the people who developed this technology, the solution was found by transmitting the sound through the bones in your skull. It sounds weird, but it’s not. Bone conduction headphones send vibrations that go through your face to the bones of your skull and reach your inner ear. So your eardrums are free and you can hear sounds from your immediate surroundings.
No, this is not the end of this story. The story is much more complex and is actually mind-blowing. Most people never heard anything like this, most people don’t even know what it feels like or why they would buy such headphones.
After our story, you will wonder how you’ve lived without these headphones so far.
How do bone conduction headphones work?
Since it’s difficult to understand how the sound is transmitted using bone conduction headphones, and that it’s not over eardrums, we will try to be as detailed as possible in the description, but at the same time, we will use a combination of simple language and scientific facts.
A large number of people when they first test these bone conduction headphones are both thrilled and terrified. The reason lies in the fact that you perfectly hear the sound of music you listen to and at the same time you can hear everything else that is happening around you. The sound of speech, car, sirens, child’s cry, etc.
How is that possible?
It’s like you have some supernatural powers, you have your music “in the head”, figuratively speaking and everything else works normally. All the environmental sounds are still there for you to hear them. You can pay attention to them or just ignore the sounds from the nearest surrounding and stick to the playing music.
There are two ways the sound is transmitted, one is directly over eardrums, it’s a feature of classical headphones that you can buy in different variants and with different accessories. And there is another way the sound is transmitted, that is, through vibrations that don’t go through eardrums, but over bones, more precisely, over cheekbones, directly transmitting sound to the inner ear.
To understand this better, we will explain the structure of the ear itself in short terms. The ear consists of three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear (tympanum) and the inner ear (labyrinth).
The sound is normally transmitted with the help of sound waves, therefore sound is one type of wave having its own frequency. These waves travel at a speed of 740 miles per hour (343 meters per second). This frequency is expressed in a unit of measure called hertz (Hz). However, the sound waves have also an intensity expressed in a unit of measure called pascals. So, we have waves of sound pressure (Hz) and sound intensity (micropascals).
We hear normal sounds by transmitting it from the outside of the ear to the eardrums and farther the sound is transmitted to the inner ear. The ear canal protects the eardrums and directs the sound to the eardrums. The inner ear is if we look at the structure, a natural piece of art. Inner ear converts the sound into an electrical impulse that travels through the ear nerve to the brain. The inner ear is in charge of balance, without it we can’t move and do anything.
Thanks to the technology used in these bone conduction headphones, which was intended for people who had damaged eardrums and therefore they couldn’t hear well or at all, the sound is sent directly to the inner ear, literally by passing the eardrums.
When you have normal hearing, this technology allows you to listen to music and hear everything around. At the same time, you can play your own music regardless of the world around you and the events around you.
Very often this technology is used by the scuba divers because of the specific conditions in which the divers are located. This technology and these bone conduction headphones have a particularly important place in the field of military communication.
Due to the way the sound is transmitted directly to the inner ear on the battlefield, you are able to fully monitor all happenings while at the same time you have 100% functional communication with people online. In these circumstances, this is really a matter of life and death. In other words, if the army uses this technology, then it has to be the best.
This is a relatively new technology. Many people have heard of these bone conduction headphones, but haven’t had any experience with them. In order to help you choose the right model for you, we will point out a few things which drew our attention to and help you out to choose the right model for you.
First and foremost, the ultimate rule is that you do not expect a superb sound that will knock you off, where bass, lows, mids, highs will be clearly separated, where everything will look like you are at a concert, etc.
These headphones aren’t made to give you superior sound which is possible with some models of over-head headphones. Bone conduction headphones are designed for people who are quite active, who work, exercise or do things that require some movement or action. At the same time, you have the ability to answer the phone calls or listen to music. All this and plus the ability to hear what’s going on around you. If you have a baby, you can hear if it cries, if you’re driving a bike, you hear cars, buses, motorcycle sound. In this case, it`s important to stay on alert to environmental sounds for your safety and yet enjoy listening to music all the time.
This is the advantage and specificity of this particular technology.
Bone Conduction Headphones Pros and Cons
Bone conduction headphones Pros:
- While listening to music, you can hear everything around you
- They use wireless Bluetooth technology so there are no cables
- They are lightweight
- They are flexible
- Usually they are very durable and resistant
- You can buy them in different colors
- Different designs depending on the manufacturer
- They’re easy to use, not to many buttons
- Especially useful for people with low hearing
- Long battery life
Bone conduction headphones Cons:
- They don`t produce superior sound
- Most often there is some sound leaking
- Some can adjust to the size of the head and some can’t
- The controls are limited
Bone conduction headphones FAQ
Are bone conduction headphones safe?
The simplest answer is yes. These bone conduction headphones are very safe. Due to the specific technology that transmits vibration to the inner ear via cheekbones, there is absolutely no chance of damaging your ear.
In addition, there is no possibility to irritate the ear shell, no eczema, fungus, inflammation, redness, none of it.They don’t even have a clamping force due to their ergonomic design, but the feeling is a little unusual until you get used to it.
Still, they are headphones, which means use them normally. Excessive sound is harmful, regardless of advanced technology.
Are bone conduction headphones better for your ears?
The Bone Conduction technology is a different experience from classical headphones but many people loved it. Bone conduction headphones are much better for your ears, much healthier. You can’t overdo them as with classic headphones where the sound can be extremely strong. With these bone conduction headphones, this isn’t possible because they can`t produce that extremely strong sound, and the sound vibration technology enables audio transmission directly to the inner ear. However, if you turn them up too loud, that’s not good for your hearing.
What do bone conduction headphones sound like?
The sound is good but not layered. This means that you can’t feel complex layers of lows, mids and highs with all types of music in the right way. Luckily, there are different models, with a stronger bass, with a weaker bass or other options. However, they aren’t made for the ultimate enjoyment of high-quality sound.
As long as you don’t expect a miraculous sound you will be satisfied. But they are headphones and they satisfy their purpose.
Can you use bone conduction headphones along with hearing aids?
This depends on the type of hearing aids. If you use behind the ear hearing aid you may have a problem, but if you use the one that goes straight into your ear no problem. These bone conduction headphones are particularly good for people who have hearing issues because they offer the ability to enjoy music despite the fact that they have slightly or damaged hearing.
Can you use bone conduction headphones with Smartphones?
Bone conduction headphones are made to connect to all devices via Bluetooth technology. Among other things, with smartphones. Quick and easy. With some models after auto-connecting, you have to erase the device to re-connect but this doesn’t happen often and with all models.
Can you use them while jogging or running?
Many people wonder if they will off from your head while moving. They are made to stay still on your head while doing any sports activity or aggressive work. You are also provided with an extra strap to create a tighter fit if needed. You need no concern on this issue – they won`t move.
Can they fit on a bigger head?
A lot of people wonder if these headphones would fit their big head. Most likely they will, they just look small but they are made to fit all sizes. For those with small head there are extra straps to tighten them but yet you can lose them to their normal size and in most cases, they will fit. Those who have extremely big head might feel discomfort but they fit just fine for those who wear XL helmets or 7 ¾ hats.
Are bone conduction headphones waterproof?
There are different models on the market to choose from. Most of them are water resistant, but there are also models that are waterproof. Of course, you don’t need to immerse them in the water to check this, but they are pretty durable.
For us, the discovery of this technology is a real revelation. You are listening to music, enjoying your favorite sounds while driving a bike through the city crowd, and you hear everything around you.
There is no risk of someone running over you by the car because you haven’t heard it’s coming.
Choose another scenario. You run through the woods, listening to music, and then out of nowhere, the wild guys appear on four-wheelers that cut across the track you run. No problem, you heard them coming.
If you don’t hear well for some reason, it can be really irritating. You can’t enjoy a lot of things and especially bothering is that you can’t enjoy your favorite music.
Well, thanks to the bone conduction technology, and the best bone conduction headphones of your choice, you will be able to listen your favorite songs.
Very impressive, indeed.