How Bone Conduction Headphones Function How

how bone conduction headphones function how

How Bone conduction headphones, in contrast to traditional headphones, transmit sound vibrations along your cheekbones. Although genuine wireless earbuds have been all the rage recently, bone-conduction headphones are becoming more popular as a subset of wireless earphones.

Bone conduction headphones, sometimes known as “bone phones,” are a kind of headset in which sound is sent to the user through the skull bones rather than the eardrum. The user’s skull bones will shake in response to the device’s audio, amplifying the sound and freeing up the user’s ears. Those who have trouble hearing or who rely on their ears for situational awareness can benefit from this. They have their origins in the field of hearing aids, but they also have their fair share of detractors and ardent supporters. How do bone-conduction headsets work, and do they even work? Discover More Here.

How bone conduction headphones work

Bonephones are headphones that transmit sound through the skull. The user’s bones are used as a conduit for the vibrations generated by the transducer, which eventually reach the cochlea in the inner ear and are sent through the auditory nerve to the brain. The user’s own head acts as the gadget’s speaker. In contrast, conventional headphones produce sound by vibrating the outer ear through speakers positioned in or near the ear canal.

Technically speaking, the sound is only the result of particle vibrations. Sound is often associated with air vibrations, but it may also travel through solids and liquids. Because particles in a solid may also vibrate, living tissue and bone can serve as a speaker. Since solids have denser particle packing than either air or water, they are superior at transmitting sound. Due to their ordered particle arrangements, solids are the finest sound conductors, followed by liquids and finally air.

This goes against common sense since hearing anything through a liquid or solid often results in a distorted sound. Underwater, the words of a speaker at sea level would make little sense. When there is loud music playing next door, it usually sounds softer to the listener. These changes do not result from the liquid or solid being worse sound conductors than air, but rather from the fact that in both cases, the sound is first transmitted via air before entering the other medium.

Bonephones are made with this consideration in mind. Most designs have a strap that goes behind the wearer’s head, with pads that generate vibrations resting on the skin above each ear. The pads are contoured to fit snugly over the user’s ears and prevent the gadget from falling off. Since the pads are pressed up to the user’s skin, the sound is undistorted as it travels from the pads to the user’s head.


Bone phones, like traditional headphones, are worn by their users to enable private, mobile audio consumption. Bone phones, on the other hand, are distinct since they avoid both the external and middle ears altogether. In addition, their one-of-a-kind style makes them ideal for moving about while listening to music. They have a few advantages over standard headphones:

Folks who do a lot of physical activity and require headphones that won’t fall off their heads, like those who go to the gym.

  • Persons out for a run or ride who don’t want to miss any sounds or voices around them.
  • Listeners in a group setting should pay attention to more than just the content of the audio being played.
  • users with hearing loss, for whom the use of conventional headphones may be made impossible by their equipment.
  • Bone conduction might improve sound quality for individuals with hearing loss compared to traditional aural delivery methods.


Bone phones have the primary benefit of bypassing the ear canal entirely. Many listeners will like this feature since it allows them to listen via headphones without shutting out the world.

Hearing-impaired users may also benefit from bone phones since they allow them to hear sound with more clarity than they were able to use traditional earbuds because they circumvent the ears. A person who is just partially deaf, for instance, may use bone phones to hear the sound in stereo. Bone-conducting headphones also allow the user to keep their hearing aid in while listening to music.

You may listen to music or podcasts at unsafely high volumes without worrying about permanent hearing loss while using bone phones. Bone phones work on flesh and bone, but the eardrum is far more delicate.

They are great for those who are often on the go because of their lightweight and secure build. AfterShokz, one producer of bone phones, created its devices with the military in mind. Several models of bone-conduction headphones also provide storage space, allowing music to be downloaded straight to the headphones. This might be an additional selling factor for power users.


Consumers’ reactions to bone phones have been varied, despite their novelty and limited utility.

Bone phones, according to many users, can’t compare to the sound quality of traditional headphones. In particular, listeners have noted a decrease in volume and bass response.

The physical layout also has certain drawbacks. When music is played loudly, some listeners feel an unsettling or peculiar vibrating feeling in their faces. Its design also results in some sound leakage, which might be an issue for those who prefer to listen to music or audiobooks in a calm environment without bothering others. Depending on the head and the model, headphones might be painful for certain users.

The cost of bone conduction headphones is far more than that of regular earbuds. In the year 2020, the price difference between a pair of standard Apple earbuds and a pair of bone conduction headphones is around $120. For that cost, customers could have regular headphones that sound far better than any of the bone-conducting kinds now available. Certain bone phones are really cheap, but the vast majority are substantially more expensive.

What are the best bone-conduction headphones?


Most bone-conduction headphones are manufactured by Shokz (previously AfterShokz). Shokz dominates this specific market since its offerings are superior to those of its competitors. The Shokz OpenRun, a reincarnation of the legendary AfterShokz Aeropex, is now the greatest pair of bone-conduction headphones for most people. The Shokz OpenRun is equipped with high-speed charging, Bluetooth 5.1, and eighth-generation bone conduction technology.

The company’s unique two-pin connection is a pain, but it might be worse. The OpenRun normally retails for $99.95 on Amazon, although it is often discounted for the holidays. The Shokz OpenRun Pro, the only pair of headphones made by the firm that is compatible with mobile apps, is the greatest set of bone-conduction headphones money can buy. The OpenRun Pro’s audio output is less susceptible to drastic changes when jaw movement displaces the headset, and the headset itself has a little bit more bass for the price, but it’s still rather pricey (see on Amazon).

Why you should get bone conduction headphones.

Well, so supporters of bone-conduction headphones argue that the technique is advantageous for the hard of hearing and promotes safety. Specifically for runners, situational awareness during outdoor exercises is crucial. You may still hear oncoming traffic, other pedestrians, and other dangers since they don’t seal around or contact your ear canal.

Bone-conduction headphones are also a good choice for those who have trouble hearing or who rely on hearing aids. Bone-conduction headphones avoid the problems that traditional earbuds and headphones have with jostling and interfering with hearing aids. Listeners with unilateral hearing loss may also benefit from the stereo sound provided by these headphones. For some listeners, bone conduction headphones provide a feeling of hearing for the first time.

Bone-conduction headphones have a useful function for those with hearing loss, but they aren’t going to win over audiophiles any time soon. It would be unfair to the technology and its many applications to dismiss it as a mere novelty. Nonetheless, it would be a huge stretch to declare them the greatest innovation since the TRRS plug. For those with normal hearing, the market is flooded with excellent wireless and true wireless earbuds. Best bone-conduction headphones are a fantastic choice for anyone who has trouble hearing.

Top bone conduction headphones

Because of their slim form, bone phones are often sold to athletes. Find out what else is available by browsing our list of the best bone-conduction headphones:


In short, While the notion of utilizing bones as an amplifier may seem futuristic, it has been around for ages. Beethoven, the classical music composer, employed bone conduction to assist him to continue producing music when he became deaf. He would place one end of a rod in his mouth and the other against the piano, enabling him to “hear” the music he was playing via the rod. Some animals may also communicate through bone vibrations.

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