While bone conduction audio may sound strange, the systems that provide it appear to be rather typical.
Running or bicycling in traffic is not safe when using headphones unless your headset allows for ambient sounds. That is exactly what bone conduction headphones do. They let you listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, instructions, and phone conversations without disturbing other people. They do this by transmitting audio vibrations via your skull’s bones rather than the air into your ear canal. While bone conduction audio may sound strange, the equipment that produces it appears to be rather regular.
What are the principles behind bone conduction headphones?
A sound is a form of vibration. Most headphones produce sound using microscopic speakers positioned within or on top of the ears. Those speakers deliver audio vibrations to your eardrum via the little area of air in your ear canal. Then you hear “as regular,” which is a noticeable achievement. For the next section, I’ll accordance with the information from the University of Maryland Medical System:
Three small bones vibrate behind the eardrum. The vibration causes the fluid in the inner ear (known as the cochlea) to shift, causing microscopic hair cells within to bend. The movement is converted into electrical pulses by the cells, which go to the auditory nerve and then to the brain. This is interpreted as sound by the brain.
What differentiates bone conduction audio? Instead of sending sound vibrations through the air via speakers, bone conduction headphones employ transducers to transfer the vibrations via bone. It often begins in the jaw or cheekbone and progresses to the temporal bone, which surrounds the cochlea. As a result, the vibrations bypass the ear canal and eardrum and travel directly to the inner ear.
What does bone conduction audio sound like and how does it feel?
When the audio enters the inner ear and continues on its way to the brain, it sounds…normal. When you talk out loud while plugging your ears with your fingers, you’re virtually totally hearing your own speech by bone conduction. With these headphones, you can hear the sound of the bone as well as surrounding noises.
When I wear bone conduction headphones, I have to keep the headset firmly on my face. I can’t hear the audio very well if it’s loose. Certain tones cause a small tingling or tickling sensation in certain persons.
According to the Wikipedia page on bone conduction, it usually transmits lower-frequency sounds better than higher-frequency noises. In other words, the bass on these headphones does not sound as rich as it does on good speakers. Phone conversations, podcasts, and other spoken audio, on the other hand, will sound good.
Who should use bone conduction headphones?
Bone conduction headphones appeal to a few different groups of customers due to the unique method they convey sound, including:
- People who have different types of hearing problems (you need at least one working cochlea to use them)
- People with low eyesight wish to listen to their mobile devices while remaining aware of their surroundings.
- Anyone who finds it difficult or uncomfortable to use in-ear or over-ear headphones
- Swimmers, hikers, bikers, and other adventurous
- Anyone who wants to use headphones but also wants to hear what’s going on around them
If you want improved audio quality, bone conduction headphones are not the way to go. They’re also useless on flights, trains, and other loud modes of transportation since they are the total opposite of noise-canceling.
Can passers-by hear the sounds coming from them?
Yes. People passing by may be able to hear your music since bone conduction headphones are not completely silent. It is dependent on how loud your headphones are, other ambient noises, and other conditions.
When someone hears your headphones, it generally sounds tinny and unfocused. It’s comparable to overhearing someone with bad over-ear headphones playing loud music at full power. It might also seem like you’re overhearing someone in the distance using their loudspeaker.
If you purchase bone conduction headphones, keep your volume down in public. You wouldn’t want anyone listening in on your phone calls, would you? And you don’t want to bother anyone. If you get a set, have a buddy wear the bone conduction headphones and listen in at various volumes as you sit nearby.
Can they cause hearing loss?
Yes. Bone conduction audio, like any other kind of audio, can cause a hearing problem if played too loudly. Having said that, there isn’t a lot of supportive study on this subject. It’s usually preferable to safeguard your hearing by merely listening to normal volumes.
What are the prices of bone conduction headphones?
Coros is a firm that designs and manufactures bone conduction audio systems for outdoor activities such as bike helmets. These items range in price from $180 to $220. (see more below). Other firms incorporate them into different types of equipment, like ski goggles. As a result, the prices of those things will increase.
Which bone conduction headphones are the best?
If you’re searching to buy a pair of bone conduction headphones, Aftershocks is the most well-known brand. There are several models available from that firm. I’ll give you three examples to give you an idea of the variety. Coros, the business that incorporates headphones into its helmets, provides a few excellent solutions for athletes. Finally, the Vidonn F1 is an excellent value.
- Aftershocks Trekz Air
- Aftershocks Xtrainerz
- Aftershocks Sports Titanium with Mic
- Coros Safe Sound Helmets
- Vidonn F1
The Aftershocks Trekz Air ($119.95; seen above) is the most popular set. It’s a pair of wireless Bluetooth-enabled headphones that are exceptionally light due to the substantial usage of titanium in the construction. They’re sweat-proof and have a battery life of roughly six hours. They are available in four different colors: slate grey, forest green, midnight blue, and canyon red.