best bone conduction headphones

Best Bone Conduction Headphones

Since the first set of headphones were successfully developed at the turn of the 20th century for military purposes, portable listening devices have revolutionized the way we enjoy auditory media. While it took some time to become commercially available, we were suddenly no longer restricted to our audio systems at home to experience pre-recorded or live audio. 

The headphone set has since evolved into more compact earphones or earbuds, and today, wireless headphone technology is hot on the market. In this article, we’ll be focusing on bone conduction technology and how it is making waves in the world of headphones. 

Using our auditory system’s bone conduction capabilities to perceive sound is not a new innovation by any means. There is evidence that suggests a physician and deaf educator named Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576) utilized bone conduction principles to aid his communication and education of deaf patients by placing a rod between their teeth to transmit sound. Celebrated deaf composer Ludwig van Beethoven also famously used bone conduction techniques to hear his masterpieces by attaching a similar rod to his piano and held it between his teeth. 

What Are Bone Conduction Headphones?

Bone conduction headphones are essentially a 21st-century version of the ‘rod in mouth’ technique used to transmit auditory information to the hearing impaired by making use of our Cochlea’s ability to decode vibrations into what we know as sound. These headphones are designed to not only aid the hearing impaired but for others to experience recorded media while maintaining free use of their eardrums for increased awareness, as well as some other health-related benefits we’ll be discussing later on.

Our Pick!

aftershokz aeropex best bone conducting headphones

AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction Headphones

The Aeropex is a great choice for any and all applications. The lightweight titanium frame provides long-lasting comfort along with powerful battery life and superior sound quality.

How do Bone Conduction Headphones Work?

To understand how bone conduction headphones work, we must first look at the basics of the human auditory system and sound interpretation through the ear. 

bone conduction vs air conduction

When we hear a sound, we hear it through two processes that are taking place: bone conduction and air conduction. Most of what we hear is due to airwaves causing vibrations within our eardrums, sent through to the inner ear, known as the Cochlea, which is transmitted to the brain via our auditory nerves and interpreted as sounds. This process is known as air conduction. 

We also hear some sounds, including our own voices, using bone conduction. The eardrum is bypassed as the vibration source is within our bodies, and the Cochlea immediately receives these vibrations. This means that by applying pressure to connected bones, we can aid the transmission process to the Cochlea. 

Bone conduction headphones work by converting digital audio signals into vibrations. These vibrations are sent along the jaw and cheekbones to the Cochlea, where it is again converted back into auditory information we can understand. The process works as follows:

  1. A digital audio signal is converted into mechanical energy in the form of vibrations. These vibrations are emitted from the headphones against the user’s cheekbones. Titanium frames are commonly used in bone conduction headphones as their material properties are ideal for the efficient conduction of sound waves. Titanium is also a lightweight metal that suits the nature of bone conduction headphones. 
  2. The vibrations are interpreted by the hair cells in the Cochlea, which convert the mechanical energy back into what we can understand as sound.

What do Bone Conduction Headphones Sound Like?

It is expected that bone conduction headphones will sound different from our familiar in-ear or over-ear headphones we have been using daily for the past few decades. Due to the nature of the design and audio transmission process, we can anticipate a noticeable deterioration of audio quality as nothing will ever be as accurate and faithful as our own eardrums when interpreting sounds. Without going into too much detail – if you’re looking for good-sounding headphones, instead invest in a traditional pair.

Are There any Benefits to Using Bone Conduction Headphones?

For those with hearing difficulties, there are countless benefits to using bone conduction headphones. For abled-hearing individuals, one can expect a handful of advantages too, the most important being your increased awareness of surroundings. For example, imagine going for a run on the streets or cycling down busy roads and still want to maintain some awareness and connection to the outside world for safety purposes. 

As your eardrums are not in use when listening to your music, you are not sacrificing your sense of hearing for your workout playlist anymore, enabling you to stay fully alert to the world around you. Bone conduction headphones are also often water and sweat-resistant/proof, allowing you to use them in any environment. In addition to the safety aspect, bone conduction headphones also offer improved hygiene, as you no longer have sweaty, waxy earbuds stuck in your ears after a workout. 

The headphones can also be cleaned far easier by simply wiping them down with a damp cloth. Exercise enthusiasts may argue that bone conduction headphones are less ‘annoying’ to work out with, as they do not fall out or bounce around within your ear. While this is true; however, there are other alternatives for those looking for exercise-aimed in-ear earphones. 

Lastly, the freedom of your eardrums allows for additional safety and awareness of your surroundings, but it also means you can have a conversation with your coworker, hiking buddy, personal trainer, or friendly stranger at the gym, park, or office as your eardrums are free from an invasive speaker driver. 


Glossary of Technical Specifications Used in This Review

In this review, I’ll use some basic audio terms to communicate the effectiveness of different headphone models. A simple understanding of these terms will help you make better purchase decisions and understand the technical specifications provided.

Frequency Response

Frequency response is represented on a graph or as a figure and is always relative to our hearing capabilities. Human hearing ranges from 20Hz – 20kHz. A frequency response covering most, if not all, of this range, is desired. 

Next, we look at the deviation factor: by exactly how much does this change? The deviation factor is displayed as a decibel figure. A deviation of positive or negative 3 Decibels is considered relatively ‘flat’, and this is what we’re looking for in a good-sounding audio device. 

Form Factor

The term Form Factor refers to various physical specifications of hardware devices, such as the size and shape. In this article, the form factor would relate to the positioning of the bone conduction headphones on your head and give you an idea of how comfortable or uncomfortable a certain set might be. 

Control Type

Control type refers to the user interface available for you to control the bone conduction headphones while in use- does it have onboard buttons/switches? Does it connect to a remote-control app on your phone or computer? This specification is important as it affects a device’s user-friendliness. Ultimately, it depends on how you want to control your headphones and what setting or environments you will be using your headphones.

Weight

The weight of a pair of bone conduction headphones is another important factor to bear in mind. A pair too heavy will put unnecessary strain on your face, cheeks, and jaw and lead to further issues, including headaches and an overall uncomfortable listening experience. 

Our Favorite Bone Conduction Headphones

Now that our tech talk is out of the way- let’s jump into the list and take a deeper look at our favorite bone conduction headphones.

1. AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction Headphones

AfterShokz Aeropex best bone conduction headphones

Considered the leading brand in bone conduction headphones, the inventors and pioneers of the technology based in New York, AfterShokz, start off with their Aeropex bone conduction headset, which offers a plethora of onboard features. 

The Aeropex bone conduction headphones can connect to any Bluetooth compatible device from a distance of up to 33ft (10m) using Bluetooth 5.0 technology. The Aeropex headphones utilize an over-ear form factor, allowing for user comfort, providing a private listening experience while keeping your eardrums open and available to hear ambient sounds. 

This form factor makes it a great choice for those wishing to use their bone conduction headphones for gym and outdoor activities, as you can remain aware of pedestrians, cars, and other potential hazards. The Aeropex headphones meet an IP67 waterproof rating, permitting use during sweaty activities or even outside in the rain. This waterproof technology also incorporates a moisture detection feature into the design. 

An onboard control system allows for easy play and pause controls and other commands, including accepting incoming calls and toggling between voice assistance and manual control. A dual noise-canceling microphone is included on the headset. 

The Aeropex bone conduction headphones can withstand up to 8 hours of playtime before a charge is required and charge fully within 2 hours. As for sound quality, AfterShokz has impressed us here with a wide frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz audio reproduction, as well as improved bass response and surprisingly loud volume capabilities. 

This is definitely overall the best bone conduction headphones, with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from the leaders of bone conduction technology. A 2-year warranty is valid on this device, and the Aeropex is available in 2 sizes: standard and mini, accommodating virtually all head shapes and sizes. 

What’s in the box?

  • AfterShokz Aeropex HeadsetItem
  • Charging Cable x 2 (magnetic)
  • Earplug Set
  • Silicon Carry Case

Alternative Option:

AfterShokz Air

If the Aeropex bone conduction headphones are appealing to you, but you may be wanting something a little more sport-focused, then the Air model may be what you’re looking for.

AfterShokz Air bone conduction headphones use organic materials to shed off 20% of the weight of the normal titanium design. The Air series headsets are fitted with reflective strips, increasing visibility for cyclists, runners, and hikers alike. Air is available in various colors, including Slate Grey, Midnight Blue, Forest Green, and Canyon Red. 

While the Air’s Bluetooth connection is not as powerful as the Aeropex, the sound quality is improved with increased dynamic range and low-frequency reproduction capabilities. The AfterShokz Air bone conduction headphones are also available slightly cheaper than the Aeropex model. 


2. AfterShokz Titanium AS600OB Bone Conduction Headphoness

AfterShokz Titanium AS600OB Bone Conduction Headphones

Bone conduction headphone manufacturing Gods, AfterShokz, bring forward another offering in the form of their Titanium AS600OB bone conduction headset. The AS600B set is available at a great price and is packed full of features perfect for exercise enthusiasts or music lovers.

 Premium audio quality is delivered through an open ear design, which still allows for a connection to the outside world as your eardrums remain available. The Titanium AS600OB features an IP55 waterproof rating, which permits some moisture contact in the form of sweat or light rain. The Titanium frame is inherently heavier than other more lightweight materials sometimes used to build bone conduction headphones, so I would not recommend these for heavily strenuous exercise or any activity where a lot of head movement is necessary. 

The Titanium AS600OB bone conduction headset can operate for up to 6 continuous hours before a charge is needed. However, quick-charging technology proves this to not be too much of an inconvenience. The onboard multifunction control interface allows you to perform various commands, including Play, Pause, Skip Track, Accept Incoming Call, and Activate/Deactivate Voice Assistant.

The Titanium model AS600OB is not particularly designed for sporting use; however, it is perfectly capable of performing such tasks. I would recommend using this model as a hybrid set for both desk or couch use and athletic purposes. The Titanium model is available in a large selection of colors, including Black, Grey, Green, Pink, Ocean Blue, Red, and Canyon Red. The headphones come in a ‘one size fits all’ configuration.

What’s in the box?

  • AfterShokz Titanium AS600B Headset
  • Drawstring Carry Bag
  • Earplug Set
  • USB Charging Cable

Alternative Option:

AfterShokz OpenMove

AfterShokz also offers another model known as the OpenMove bone conduction headphones. The OpenMove headphones are similar to the Titanium AS600OB in several ways; however, they are more geared toward casual use than exercise. The frame is lighter than the AS600OB’s, and Bluetooth connectivity is stronger on this model. The OpenMove is available in various colors, including Slate Grey, Alpine White, Himalayan Pink, and Elevation Blue. A set of 5 Amazon-exclusive sticker packs are included for easy personalization of your bone conduction headphones. 


3. Vidonn F1 Titanium Wireless Sport Headsets

Vidonn F1 Titanium Wireless Sport Headset

A high-quality Chinese brand Shenzhen Vidonn Information Technology product- the F1 bone conduction headphones have earned a spot on our best list. The headset is designed primarily for activities such as cycling, running, and working out. Their lightweight and durability also deem them a great choice for office and home use. 

A powerful battery can fully charge the device within 2 hours and perform up to 6 hours of continuous playtime. Bluetooth 5.0 technology utilization means these bone conduction headphones can operate from a distance of up to 33 feet, allowing you to work out independently from your phone/media device.

As for the construction of the headphones, ABS+ titanium alloy means a lightweight but durable design can be expected. An IP55 waterproof rating allows for use in sweaty, dusty, and rainy environments, and an ergonomically conscious design means your headphones are at no risk of falling out or moving around your head while you perform your favorite workout activities. The F1 headphones are also great for driving, as the open ear design allows you to stay alert of your surroundings while enjoying the music, and an onboard microphone enables safe hands-free calling.

Regarding sound quality, the F1 bone conduction headphones lack some low end and are, therefore, a little on the ‘tinny’ side of things. They sound great for phone calls and podcasts, and the onboard microphone is just as decent as the mic on your phone or laptop. For music, however, it depends on what you’re listening to, bone conduction headphones are not celebrated for their sound quality, so this isn’t a serious letdown here. 

Vidonn’s F1 bone conduction headphones are available at a budget-friendly price and will prove to be a long-lasting pair that provides countless hours of entertainment and workout companionship. A 12-month warranty is included with the headphones, and their online customer service team is highly responsive and helpful.

What’s in the box?

  • Vidonn F1 Headset
  • Earplug Set
  • Pogo-Pin Charger
  • USB Charging Cable

4. Moing Bone Conduction Headphones

Moing Bone Conduction Headphones

Moing is known for their design and manufacturing of cutting-edge headphones, earphones, and wireless chargers for cell phones. Their bone conduction headphones designed for sport and leisure use are highly affordable yet proved to blow our minds and have received positive feedback from industry professionals and consumers alike. 

Moing’s bone conduction headphones operate using Bluetooth 5.0 technology- enabling a connectivity range of up to a ridiculously long 800 feet and can connect to up to two Bluetooth-compatible devices such as smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and laptops. The Moing headphones are easy to clean and keep hygienic as they don’t come into contact with your ears at all and can be comfortably placed around your neck when not in use. 

The open ear design allows for complete surroundings awareness- perfect for driving, cycling, or running. These headphones are lightweight, yet others on the market (and this list) are far lighter, so for users who have become accustomed to seriously lightweight models for exercise use, these may take some getting used to. 

The Moing bone conduction headphones are designed ergonomically to fit your head securely and eliminate the risk of the headset shifting around or falling off during sporting activities. These bone conduction headphones can accommodate users who wear glasses. 

Moing has successfully reduced the vibrations felt in the jaw and cheek while headphones are in use – a common design flaw that leads to irritation and sometimes headaches. A powerful battery is used here, charging fully within an hour and a half and handling up to 6 hours of continuous use. Note that you cannot receive or send phone calls on this pair of headphones as no microphone is attached to the device. 

Overall a great-sounding and comfortable pair of bone conduction headphones are available at an amazingly low price considering its capabilities. A one-year warranty is included with the purchase, and a long-lasting and high-performing pair of headphones from Moing is guaranteed.

What’s in the box?

  • Moing bone conduction headset
  • Charging cable 

5. AfterShokz OpenComm Bone Conduction Headphones

AfterShokz OpenComm Bone Conduction Headphones

Our friends at AfterShokz are back at it with their OpenComm bone conduction headphones – a model specifically designed for office use; however, you can use it for sport and leisure activities. A lightweight titanium frame is used here to provide maximum comfort and can be used for extended periods of time without any form of discomfort presenting itself. The titanium frame also adds some strength to the unit; however, a 2-year warranty is included along with this model. 

As these are designed primarily for use in the office space, the battery life and microphone have improved from previous models from AfterShokz. A 2-hour charge will fill the device to full battery capacity, allowing up to 16 hours of talk time – phone calls, conferences – and 8 hours of listening time – music, podcast, film. 

Additionally, a 5-minute quick charge provides 2 hours of talking time on the phone. The microphone on the headset features advanced noise-canceling technology, and the boom (extendable) nature of the microphone means it can be positioned near the user’s mouth. 

As with all bone conduction headphones, the OpenComm keeps your ears open and available to hear the sounds of the space around you and fit comfortably on any shape or size head – allowing for non-disruptive use even for an entire day at the office. 

As for sound quality, the OpenComm bone conduction headset successfully reproduces the full range of human hearing. Bone conduction headphones sound slightly ‘thinner’ than traditional headphones or earbuds; however, these are as good as they get!

To conclude, the AfterShokz OpenComm has seriously impressed me here. Comfortable, good-sounding, long battery life, and strong Bluetooth connection make this a great choice for office workers, music lovers, or exercise junkies looking to experience their music, spoken word, or phone calls on the go.

What’s in the box?

  • AfterShokz OpenComm Headphones
  • Silicon carrying case
  • Magnetic induction charging cable 

Alternative Option:

AfterShokz Aeropex

We previously looked at AfterShokz’s Aeropex set, which shares many similarities with the OpenComm bone conduction headphones. The main difference here is that the Aeropex is intended for sport-oriented use primarily, while the OpenComm is better suited for workspace utilization. 

You’re essentially trading a slightly heavier frame for a fully adjustable higher quality microphone and longer battery life. If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 solution, I would recommend the Aeropex as it is lighter and still possesses many of the same features and functions as the OpenComm.


6. YouthWhisper Bone Conduction Headphones

YouthWhisper Bone Conduction Headphones

American-based bone conduction headphone manufacturers YouthWhisper deliver a series of bone conduction headsets available in various fashionable colors at a budget-friendly price point. YouthWhisper’s headphones are designed for use while performing sporting and exercise activities; however, casual listening and office use is possible here.

The incredibly lightweight titanium frame allows for use during any and all exercise or leisurely listening while maintaining a strong connection to your head to prevent shifting or falling. YouthWhisper’s bone conduction headset boasts a waterproof rating of IP54, making it appropriate to use if you tend to be a heavy sweater or even during light rain. 

YouthWhisper’s bone conduction headphones feature a large battery capacity – supplying 8 hours of phone calls or 6 hours of music on 2 hours of charge time. A pair of noise-canceling earplugs are included to minimize noise from the outside world if you prefer to listen to your music without interruption. As for sound quality, these bone conduction headphones do not offer anything special but sound just as good as any other bone conduction headset. The phone call quality is excellent on both the transmission and receiving ends. 

Overall, a great set of bone conduction headphones for those on a smaller budget looking for a great-sounding and long-lasting set. These headphones from YouthWhisper are highly versatile and promise to provide endless hours of enjoyable listening in any setting. 

What’s in the box?

  • YouthWhisper headphones 
  • Charging cable 

7. Tayogo Bone Conduction Headphones

Tayogo Bone Conduction Headphones

Another versatile set of bone conduction headphones available at an astonishingly great price from sporting headphone manufacturers, Tayogo. Their bone conduction headphones are sweat and water-resistant and come fitted with handy functions to improve use during exercise activity. 

Tayog’s bone conduction headphones come in a one size fits all design, utilizing silica gel sleeve titanium alloy steel wires to support 360-degree rotations and bending without causing permanent deformation. This allows you to warp the shape of the headset to fit your head shape and size perfectly, enabling maximum comfort while exercising. You can use these headphones for various activities, including running, cycling, driving, working at the office, or casual listening at home.  

Tayogo’s headphones’ battery life is unfortunately not as strong as the others on this list; however, they can still operate for 5-6 hours on a full charge of 2 hours and 1 hour on a 15-minute charge. These headphones sound decent, and the onboard microphone is a standard quality for headphones. 

The onboard control allows for various functions to be performed from the device, including music controls and phone call answering and dropping. Tayogo’s bone conduction headphones also come with a pair of earplugs for a more intimate listening experience when desired. 

The Tayogo bone conduction headphones come in a light blue color and are available at a highly affordable price, surprisingly cheap, considering its advanced features and great quality build. The only letdown here is the relatively heavyweight of the titanium frame; however, this has been proven to cause minimal discomfort when used for standard time periods.

What’s in the box?

  • Tayogo bone conduction headset
  • USB charging cable
  • Earplug set

Alternative Option:

YouthWhisper Headphones

While the YouthWhisper and Tayogo bone conduction headphones are available at the same budget-friendly price point, they each possess unique attributes and excel in different areas. Upon first glance, the YouthWhisper bone conduction headphones are a little more versatile as the lightweight frame enables use for sports, office, or at home listening. 

The Tayogo headphones are by far the heaviest headset on this list, and while they are still relatively lightweight- the additional weight may cause some discomfort for those who have grown accustomed to lighter frames. The YouthWhisper and Tayogo phones can receive phone calls, and a quality microphone is included. 

As for battery life, the YouthWhisper headphones win here with longer-lasting battery life from a single charge, and a pair of noise-canceling earbuds are included to reduce ambient and environmental noise from entering your eardrums during listening. 

Overall, these are both great sets of bone conduction headphones for the money, and it ultimately depends on what you plan to use them for. However, I personally prefer the features and design of the YouthWhisper model.

Bone Conduction vs. Air Conduction

As discussed previously, air conduction is the primary process our auditory system uses to decode and interpret the sounds around us; however, some bone conduction functions are utilized. Again, it depends on how much audio quality you are willing to sacrifice for the increased spatial awareness factor. 

It is worth mentioning that there are in-ear headphones on the market that allow ambient sounds to pass through the system if the safety aspect is your primary concern.  However, you cannot beat the hygiene, comfortability, and personal connectivity benefits of bone conduction headphones.

Are Bone Conduction Headphones Better/Healthier for Your Ears?

It is no secret that traditional headphones and earphones/earbuds can cause temporary or permanent ear damage. Prolonged exposure to high volumes of music may cause warping of the tiny hair cells located inside the Cochlea. These suspended hair cells are responsible for interpreting vibrations and sending signals to the brain. 

We consider an exposure time of over 30 minutes at 70-80dB dangerous, and breaks are highly recommended. In-ear style earbuds can cause even more damage than over-ear headphones as the speaker driver is closer to the ear. Because of this, we can consider bone conduction headphones to be safer for your ears as there is no direct contact between your eardrum and the source of the music.

Why use Bone Conduction Headphones Instead of Regular Headphones?

If the above-mentioned health and safety concerns are important to you, then a set of bone conduction headphones could help eliminate the possibility of hearing damage or loss. Furthermore, bone conduction headphones improve your general safety when listening to music while performing other tasks like running or walking in public or exercising at the gym. You can still hear all the sounds around you as normal. Bone conduction headphones also assist the hearing impaired in listening to recorded media with less difficulty.

Bone Conduction Headphones Come with a Set of Pros and Cons, Described Below.

Pros

  • The headphones enable users with middle ear or eardum damage to experience music and other recorded media.
  • Allows your eardrum to operate independently whle listening to music.
  • Lower risk of causing hearing damage than conventional headphones or earbuds.

Cons

  • Audio quality suffers as the sound is no longer being projected from a speaker driver.
  • It can be uncomfortable for certain head shapes.
  • Environmental/ambient sound is still heard. Ie. no noise cancellation.

A Guide to Buying Bone Conduction Headphones

Now that we’ve put our favorite bone conduction headphone sets to the test against one another, it’s time to make the decision on which one suits you best. Below you’ll find our Buyer’s Guide, where we walk you through all of the important factors to consider when buying a set of bone conduction headphones and assist you in making your purchase.

Sound Type and Quality – Why is it Important?

It is fairly obvious that an audio device’s sound quality is an essential factor to consider when buying any sound-producing hardware; however, this specification is sometimes overlooked when things like price, comfort, and additional features come into play. 

The sound quality you desire comes down to what you intend on using your headphones for and how finicky you are about the sound quality of the music you hear. For example, suppose you’re listening to podcasts. In that case, you can sacrifice some audio quality as you don’t necessarily need a full-range listening experience, as you would if you wanted to listen to music. This is mostly a personal preference-related specification; however, you should not excuse the poor sound quality on an audio device.

Sound Leakage

Sound leakage is defined as how much of your personal media can be heard by those around you. This depends on what volume you’re pumping on the device, as any set of headphones will be heard if played loudly enough. For the most part, bone conduction headphones do not emit any audio from a speaker and instead convert this energy into vibrations. 

However, some bone conduction headsets have small drivers that communicate the audio directly into your eardrums from a slight distance. A set of bone conduction headphones on full volume will produce less leakage than traditional earphones or headphones played on their maximum volume level. 

As for sound coming from the outside world into your ears, this is partly the purpose of bone conduction headphones. Your eardrums remain accessible to perceive the sounds around you, which can help improve safety when driving, cycling, jogging, or using headphones in a social situation. Many bone conduction headphones come with a pair of entry-level earplugs designed to block some of the outside noise for those moments where you prefer to lock into the music you’re listening to.  

Waterproof and Sweatproof Features

For use while performing any kind of exercise – whether you consider yourself a heavy sweater or not, I would highly recommend a pair with sweat-resistant capabilities. This means that your bone conduction headphones are protected from the risk of any form of damage from sweat and can even be used if you’re jogging or running outside in a light drizzle or even some heavier rain!

Weight and Flexibility

The flexibility of bone conduction headphones is very important as you will place it directly onto the bones on your face, so comfort is not something to overlook here. Additionally, if you’ll be using your bone conduction headphones for sport and exercise, be sure to evaluate the amount of head movement involved to ensure the headphones don’t fall off your head or get in the way of your activities. 

Suppose you’re wearing your bone conduction headphones for extended periods of time. In that case, the weight specification is another to take a good look at, as unnecessary weight can cause headaches and other pain in the head or face.

Wired or Wireless Functionality 

If you’re looking for a wirelessly operational set of bone conduction headphones, make extra sure to check the wireless capabilities to see if they meet your requirements. Some factors to consider are Bluetooth type, range, and code type used on the device. 

Form Factor

This refers to the placement of the bone conduction headphones on your face, and it all depends on how you plan on utilizing your new set of headphones. The placement will have an impact on comfort during certain tasks and activities. Common form factors include over the ear, in the ear, and on the ear. 

Battery Life and Charging Time

When dealing with wireless devices, this is a seriously vital factor to keep in mind. Ideally, you’d want a set of headphones that can charge quickly and will last a long time before the next charging session is required. A stronger battery will guarantee longer playtime between charges. 

Size, Shape, and Secure Fit

This specification can become complicated as all of our heads are different shapes and sizes; however, bone conduction headphones have been designed to fit most user’s heads and faces comfortably without any issues. If you suspect your head is on the larger side of the spectrum, try doing some additional research into each particular model’s sizing and comfortability. 

Cost

The cost of a set of bone conduction headphones ultimately implies improved functionality and superior technical and physical specifications. This is not always the case as some brands will use cheaper materials or forfeit other important design and technical considerations to improve on other aspects of the product. 

At the end of the day, it all depends on what you’re looking to spend on a pair of bone conduction headphones. If you plan to use them often, I would recommend spending the extra cash to guarantee a longer-lasting, more comfortable, and better-sounding product. 

Onboard Microphone

If you intend on receiving phone calls on your bone conduction headphones, an onboard microphone is necessary to provide an entirely hands-free experience. The quality of the onboard microphone available varies, so if this feature is important to you, be sure to do some extra research into the microphone on such headphones. 

Control Type

Different bone conduction headphones come with different types of controls- some on the side of the device in the form of buttons or knobs, and some can link wirelessly to your phone, tablet, or computer to be controlled. You cannot modify this feature, so make sure the control type suits your intended uses.  

Brand

When purchasing any audio-related product, especially something as niche as bone conduction headphones, it is necessary to research the manufacturer to learn more about their history in producing such equipment. 

Bone conduction headphone technology in the modern world is patented and being led by American manufacturers AfterShokz, so it is no surprise that these guys are producing top-of-the-range headsets. This does not mean that they are the only brand worth looking into- there are plenty of other beautifully built bone conduction headphones from companies worldwide, available at a wide range of price points to suit any budget. 

Durability

This all depends on how you plan on using your bone conduction headphones. For example, if you want to use them while running or at the gym, you might want a more heavy-duty pair rather than a flimsy set designed for quiet listening at your desk. 

Technical Specifications

When purchasing any audio device, it is important to familiarize yourself with the tech-talk used to describe a product’s performance. There are only a small handful of terms used for consumer-grade products that you should know. By understanding these concepts, you will be able to interpret technical specifications from reviews and websites and assess whether the product in question suits your circumstance. 

Some basic audio terminology used includes Frequency Response, Signal to Noise Ratio, Impedance, and data-related information.  When dealing with bone conduction headphones, the important ones would be frequency response, weight, form factor, control type, and battery life. 

Warranty

The available warranty is often an overlooked factor, but this can be very important if you’ll be using your new bone conduction headset outdoors or during strenuous activity such as cycling, running, at the gym, or swimming, where damage to the unit is a possibility. Most manufacturers offer pretty reasonable warranty terms, but it is worth ensuring the deal works for you.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Below are some important frequently asked questions we’ve seen floating around on forums and review sections for these products. We’ve compiled them all into one list to save you some time!

Are Bone Conduction Headphones Suitable for Running and Swimming? How Easy are They to Use?

Bone conduction headphones are great for running! When compared to traditional headphones and earbuds, they display a set of advancements, namely:

  • Travel – They do not move around or fall out when running or jogging
  • There is no cable to get in the way of your body movement while exercising
  • You maintain situational awareness, making it a safer option 
  • They are often sweat-resistant, allowing you to use them for extended time periods or even in harsh conditions such as dust and rain. 

I would not recommend using bone conduction headphones for swimming as the submersion may cause technical defects over time.

Bone conduction headphones are very easy to use- simply slip them onto your head, with the vibration emitters placed directly atop your cheekbones, and you’re all set!

Are Bone Conduction Headphones Appropriate for Individuals Suffering from Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a hearing complication that can occur from several causes and is described as constantly hearing sounds from within your ears, similar to how our ears ring after a loud concert. Bone conduction headphones may help listeners who suffer from tinnitus to eliminate the ambient noise and enjoy the music more comfortably.

Can Bone Conduction Headphones Help the Hearing Impaired to Listen to Media?

Bone conduction headphones can undoubtedly assist the hearing impaired to listen to recorded media such as music and spoken word, depending on the type of hearing damage the user suffers from. If it is an eardrum-related injury or defect, bone conduction will certainly help this individual hear music through these headphones. However, bone conduction headphones may not provide relief if the issue is based on the ear’s Cochlea or other crucial interpretation and transduction components. 

Can Bone Conduction Headphones cause Vertigo?

Vertigo is known as the feeling you experience where it appears that everything is spinning or moving around, similar to dizziness. Some bone conduction headphone users have reported experiencing vertigo, dizziness, headaches, and nausea when using these headsets. This would be due to the vibrations being applied to the cheekbones or temples. If this is an issue for you, try different positioning of the bone conduction headset. 

Can Bone Conduction Headphones Cause Hearing Loss? 

Bone conduction headphones can not cause hearing damage or loss in any way as your eardrum is not used in your perception of the music and remains open and safe. However, if the volume is set too high for very long periods of time, the constant heavy vibrations of the hair cells within your Cochlea may cause some temporary discomfort. 

Can I Use Bone Conduction Headphones if I Wear Glasses?

Bone conduction headphones are absolutely spectacle-friendly. Depending on the size or shape of your glasses frame, you may need to reposition the headphones on your face to find a comfortable space, but this should not be an issue.


Our Pick!

AfterShokz Aeropex Best Bone Conduction Headphones

AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction Headphones

The Aeropex is a great choice for any and all applications. The lightweight titanium frame provides long-lasting comfort along with powerful battery life and superior sound quality.

Written by
Matthew Cox
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