It's summer and that means more time well spent outdoors, gathering with friends, and enjoying nature. Which means, you may be taking more long walks or running outside.
So, you may be in need of a new pair of headphones to compliment those nature walks or your daily run. And, that’s where bone conduction headphones come in.
There’s a lot of options on the market right now, with varying tech specs and functionality. How do you pick the best ones?
As an audiologist, I am often asked about different types of headphones and earbuds. Bone conduction can be a less intrusive way to experience audio while staying aware of your surroundings.
And, just how do these devices work? Simply put, bone conduction headphones use vibrations to conduct sound to your inner ear through your cheekbones instead of traditional earbuds that use speakers in your ear canal.
In this article, I'll shed light on the mechanics behind bone conduction headphones, what to look for when buying a pair, and my top picks for the best bone conduction headphones on the market so you can make an informed decision about which one should accompany all of your summer fun.
What are bone conduction headphones and how do they work?
Ever wonder how you can stay aware of the world while enjoying your favorite songs? That's a job for bone conduction headphones.
Bone conduction headphones use a technology that allows sound to be transmitted through vibrations that travel from your cheekbones to your inner ear.
Here’s how it works:
- Instead of blocking outside noise, this technology enables you to hear both your music and the world around you.
- The headphones are placed on your cheekbone directly in front of each ear.
- The vibrations then travel through your skull bones to the inner ear.
Note: As with any headphone, it's still important to listen at safe levels regardless of type.
What To Look For In A Pair Of Bone Conduction Headphones
Getting the right device is vital, but what features should you be on the lookout for?
First things first: Comfort is key. You want a set that sits securely and feels comfortable on your cheekbones.
Sound quality is also crucial, but the audio experience differs from traditional headphones since bone conduction provides environmental awareness. You'll appreciate great sound quality, but don't expect a bass-heavy experience with the open-ear design.
And here is when you’ll want to consider your lifestyle and preferences. For starters, look at these considerations:
- Consider battery life: Do you enjoy streaming music for hours at a time? Engage in long-distance running? Most bone conduction headphones last four to eight hours, and some offer recharge capabilities that are lightning-fast.
- Think about protection: This includes device protection like warranties and waterproofing. Some models are water resistant or waterproof, the latter being ideal for swimming.
- Charging and cables: Depending on the battery you want and functionality (i.e. waterproof), you might need speciality charging cables.
Bone conduction headphones are the perfect tool to balance safety with music motivation.
- Whether you're taking your run to a whole new level, upgrading your cycling ride, or just trying to stay safe while you exercise, these bone conduction headphones have top-notch features to immerse you in sound without being cut off from your surroundings.
- When selecting a pair, it's essential to consider factors such as comfort, battery life, and overall audio quality.
With this in mind, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect pair of bone conduction headphones to suit your needs.