Buying Guide to Bone Conduction Headphones (2020)

Like all other products, even headphones are constantly evolving and the technology is getting better, thus creating higher utility. The latest headphones in the market are bone conduction headphones, which have proven to be a blessing for athletes and cyclists, those who suffer from hearing disabilities, as well as for normal people.

However, a significant amount of people still don’t know much about bone conduction headphones, how they work, and how they can be used. Those who do know about it and want to buy them,  are unable to find adequate information or guides to help them purchase the best one.

That’s why, in this article, we’ve written all the important information you need to know about bone conduction headphones: what they are, how they work, and how to buy them. Read on if you want to get the whole scoop.

What Are Bone Conduction Headphones?

Bone conduction headphones are ones that sit on top of your cheekbones, and transport sound through the facial bones instead of through the ear canal like most other headphones do.

While anyone and everyone can use them, they’ve proven to be great for cyclists and runners, who need to be aware of their surroundings when they’re out on the road. They’ve also been a boon for people who have been unable to get cochlear implants due to damage caused to the outer ear.

How Do They Work?

Since it’s an entirely new form of technology, it can be a bit difficult for people to grasp it entirely.

So here’s a quick explanation of how it works, for a better understanding.

When we use normal headphones, the sound waves travel through the air and enter our outer ear first, then to the middle ear, and finally, they reach the cochlea. From there, the sound waves are translated into signals for our brain.

However, bone conduction headphones bypass the ear canal entirely and instead transmit sound through vibrations in our facial bones that reach the “temporal bone” i.e. the bone surrounding the cochlea. The vibrations received by the temporal bone causes the fluid present inside the cochlea to shift and send signals to the brain.

How To Choose The Best Pair of Bone Conduction Headphones?

Now that you know what bone conduction headphones and how they work, here are a few tips that will help you make the best purchase for yourself.

  1. Comfort

Since bone conduction earphones work much differently compared to regular headphones, you have to emphasize the comfort aspect. While it is up to you to decide what is comfortable and what is not, here are some ideas that can help. The headphones should rest lightly on your face, and not press down hard, as it may cause bruises. They should also fit comfortably, and not be too loose or too tight. If it’s too tight, it’ll begin to hurt your face and if it’s loose, the chances of them falling off are higher.

  • Durability

Bone conduction headphones are usually purchased for outdoor activities, which means greater exposure to the elements and consequently, higher chances of damage. It will also be exposed to a lot of sweat and grime, as it will sit directly on your face. Not only that but for those who are trying out such earphones for the first time, there is a chance that the headphones may fall a few times as you get the hang of them. So they need to be durable enough.

  • Sound quality

The primary reason why you’re buying headphones is to be able to listen to music and other audio seamlessly. So sound quality is another crucial aspect that you must take care to check. Now, the volume of the sound is comparatively lesser in bone conduction headphones as the technology is entirely different. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. Make sure that the headphones you buy have good bass and treble, and the sound doesn’t leak. The volume should also be good enough and there shouldn’t be any distortion in the sound.

  • Design

Although they’re comparatively new, bone conduction headphones are available in a variety of different designs and it is up to you to decide which kind you want. There are sleek and thin designs, as well as ones that are thicker and heftier than others. Every design serves a different purpose. For instance, some designs are most suited to sportsmen and can withstand more movement, whereas some designs are smaller and lighter and suited for day-to-day use. There are also different designs suited for different face shapes since bone conduction headphones sit on the frame of the face.

  • Price

Like all other things, bone conduction headphones are also available in a wide range of prices, each with varying features and characteristics. You can find $30 headphones as well as $200+ headphones, so it is up to you to choose whichever price suits your pocket best. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on buying such headphones. Instead, create a proper budget for yourself depending on what you need and stick to it. But at the same time, don’t cheap out and only go for cheap options, since you won’t be getting quality goods.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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