While exercising, you can be aware of your surroundings by wearing the best bone conduction headphones. They are therefore ideal for sports like cycling and running where being cut off from the outside world could be dangerous. But one activity that these headphones are also perfect for is swimming.
Compared to earbuds and conventional over-ear headphones, these headphones transmit sounds differently. The way bone conduction headphones convey the vibrations is different, even if it is your brain that transforms them into sound. They use tiny transducers to transfer the vibrations via your bones to your ears rather than employing drivers to vibrate the air directly into your ears.
Because of their open-ear design, bone conduction technology is popular among runners. Running may be entertaining while keeping runners fully aware of their surroundings because ambient noise is not blocked by headphones. That is helpful when running in crowded cities and along busy roadways. In fact, so many races have outlawed the use of traditional in-ear headphones from the bone conduction headphone market.
Table of Contents
Best Bone Conduction Headphones
AfterShokz Aeropex – Open-Ear Bluetooth Bone Conduction Sport Headphones
- Rebranding Update - Aftershokz Aeropex has been renamed as Shokz OpenRun. Welcome to SHOKZ!
- Open-Ear Design - Patented bone conduction headphones deliver premium audio through the cheekbone. Unlike over ear headphones, Aeropex keeps you...
- Lightweight & Comfortable - Experience unmatched comfort with our most lightweight and comfortable sport headset, featuring a bud-free, pain-free...
AfterShokz makes some of the best bone conduction headphones, and its newest model, the Aeropex, has proven to be the best. The new PremiumPitch 2.0+ technology produces a sound that is superior to that of competing items. This is combined with a revised angle on the transducers, allowing for higher volume while reducing vibration. Wearing the Aeropex is a pleasurable experience. They’re both light and fashionable, weighing just under an ounce and featuring a matte rubber headband.
Although the headband appears to be thin, it is both flexible and robust. It permits the Aeropex to move around in a variety of ways without being destroyed. The Aeropex has just enough gripping force to keep your head in place. They never feel tight, even after a lengthy period of use. On the left transducer, the Playback button is located, while the Volume controls are located on the other end. When you press the Power Button (when no music is playing), the battery status is displayed. It doesn’t break any new ground, but it does make listening more enjoyable.
Overall, the sound quality is excellent. The bass is strong (often too strong), but the forward mids are only decent. For headphones of this type, the volume levels are likewise sufficient. Despite picking up some background noises during calls, the built-in microphone is also good. The battery life on this device can last up to 8 hours of continuous playback. It also employs Bluetooth 5.0 for increased audio source connectivity. The AfterShokz Aeropex are the best bone conduction headphones in 2023.
AfterShokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Rebranding Update - Aftershokz has been renamed as Shokz. Welcome to SHOKZ!
- Open-Ear Design - Patented bone conduction technology delivers audio through the cheekbone, keeping you connected and aware of your surroundings.
- Comfortable & Durable - Experience comfort with our wraparound titanium frame for a light and flexible design.
The AfterShokz Air is the best budget bone conduction headphone that nonetheless provides superior audio quality in a light and safe headset. The Air has a lot of the same advantages as the Aeropex. It contains a titanium frame for further security around the back of the head, even during intense workouts, as well as a microphone for convenient phone calls.
The Air is under 30 g and employs PremiumPitch+ technology to convey quality audio through the cheekbones while keeping the ears open to ambient sounds. This model is IP155 certified to repel perspiration, dust, and moisture, despite not being completely waterproof. Expect the sound quality of the Trekz Air to be inferior to that of regular headphones, as it is with other bone conduction headphones. However, when compared to other headphones of this type, the TrekzAir are a cut above the rest. All of this is made possible by AfterShokz’s exclusive PremiumPitch Technology. It enables Trekz Air to reproduce music in the manner in which it was intended to be heard.
The Trekz Air has above-average audio. The bone conduction headsets has powerful bass is balanced with a decent mid-range. This combination is particularly effective with Pop, Hip Hop, and R&B, as it maintains the vocals sharp. During phone and video calls, the microphone is also clear and precise. Furthermore, the battery life is up to 6 hours of continuous playback.
The only thing stopping you from purchasing the Aftershokz Trekz Air is the fact that it already has an improved version – the Aeropex. In practically every manner, these outperform the Trekz Air’s top features. If you have a little extra cash to spare, the Aeropex may be a better option.
Vidonn F1 Sports Open Ear Wireless Headset Sweatproof
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The F1 headphones have the same degree of durability and comfort as the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium for all active activities. The sound falls slightly short of the AfterShokz line, and a stronger degree of bass would be beneficial.
Both the CVC and noise-reduction technologies are on par with those seen in more pricier models. The F1 is also sweatproof, with an IP55 rating. You’ll get six hours of battery life here, which isn’t really great, but on the plus side, it supports Bluetooth 5.0, which is unexpected given the low price. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a pair of bone conduction headphones but still want to try them out, this is a good option.
It’s likewise composed of titanium and has a silicone wrap around it. The headphones are IP55 rated and have a sturdy feel to them, making them ideal for workouts and other strenuous activity. The level of comfort is exceptional. They’re a little heavier than the AfterShokz headphones, but they’re just as comfortable. The arms of the neckband do not interfere with helmets or glasses, which is a great plus. Cycling with these headphones is a breeze.
The control scheme is straightforward. The right arm houses all of the buttons and the charging port. A LED indicator, a micro USB charging connector (covered by a flap), and two volume buttons are located on the bottom of the arm. The power/pairing button is also the volume up button. One multifunction button on the right earpiece is used to control playback and answer/end calls.
Overall, the F1 Titanium offers many of the same attributes as bone conduction headphones costing more than $100. What’s missing is a carrying case and sound that’s sharp, clean, and bass-heavy. Vidonn provides a one-year warranty, whereas AfterShokz offers a two-year warranty.
Shokz OpenRun Pro – Premium Bone Conduction Open-Ear Bluetooth Sport Headphones
- Open-Ear Comfort - OpenRun Pro features our best fit yet. Avoid the discomfort of in-ear headphones with our bud-free design. These headphones stay...
- Safety & Connection - OpenRun Pro ensures you enjoy your favorite audio with awareness of your environment for improved connection and safety compared...
- Premium Sound Quality - Experience premium audio delivered through your cheekbone with our 9th bone conduction technology. Engineered with Shokz...
Normally, choosing bone conduction headphones means sacrificing sound quality, but that’s no longer the case with the Shokz OpenRun Pro. These headphones have a set of new bass transducers that provide significantly richer sound than any other bone conduction headset we’ve tried so far, which is a big plus for activities like running where a steady beat may help you keep going. In the new Shokz app, you can even adjust the EQ settings to improve the sound for music or audiobooks.
The OpenRun Pro is fairly similar to the original OpenRun (below) in terms of design, but Shokz has made a few sensible design modifications, such as relocating the charging connection for easier access and increasing the size of the volume/power buttons. Even on the longest training runs, the headset remains light and easy to wear, and the quick-charging feature provides an hour and a half of playing on a five-minute charge.
The only drawback is that the new bass transducers can be a little tickly against your cheekbones at times, but that’s a small quibble. The OpenRun Pro are the greatest bone conduction headphones you can get right now, proving that choosing safety over sound quality doesn’t have to be a trade-off.
Tayogo Bone Conduction headphones
- 🎵【Bone Conduction Headphones & Open-Ear Headphones】- Tayogo bone conduction technology use the ear bone part to hear the headset sound instead...
- 🎵【High-Fidelity Sound & 5.0 Bluetooth Headphones】- Our open ear wireless headphones offer you premier sound quality for any music genre and...
- 🎵【Durable & Comfortable】- Bone Conduction Headphones weigh only 1oz, bone frame lightweight and strong toughness. It can be rotated 360...
Tayogo is a Chinese company that makes headphones that function on land and in the water, and has had a few of successful Kickstarter campaigns. These bone conduction headphones are specifically designed for usage on dry terrain and are among the best for the money. The Tayogo features a set of physical buttons underneath one of their hefty arms for volume adjustment, as well as a larger button on the end of the other arm for track skipping. They also make place for a microphone so you may make phone calls without having to use your hands.
These headphones have a larger design than the others on this list, which allows them to move around during intense workouts like HIIT sessions. They stay in place for steady runs and functioning while seated. The Tayogo have a robust sound for bone conduction headphones, but at high volumes, you’ll notice a noticeable tickling sensation when the sound is channeled to your ears. Six hours of battery life isn’t bad, and it’s only a few of hours less than the top-of-the-line Aftershokz headphones.
The fact that these headphones stay in place when running or exercising is appreciated by many users. The sound quality and balance are normally decent, yet when worn at high intensity, they may cause a minor tickling sensation. These may last up to 6 hours on a full charge, which is only a few hours fewer than significantly more expensive options. While some bone conduction headphones aren’t designed to work with glasses, these were created with glasses wearers in mind. The volume and power buttons are both easy to find and use.
Overall, these bone conduction headphones do a good job if you can deal with the slightly thicker shape.
H2O Audio Sonar Underwater Waterproof Headphones with MP3 and Bluetooth for Swimmers
- Bone Conduction Technology - Experience catchy music and amazing sound without full sound isolation. H2O Audio's underwater headphones for swimming...
- Drag & Drop - Our bone conduction Bluetooth & MP3 headphones are easy to use. Simply drag and drop music, podcasts, and audio recordings. With 8 GB of...
- Open Ear Headphones - Whether you are streaming from your smartwatch (attached with goggles) or using the built-in MP3 player to upload your favorite...
The H2O Audio Sonar are waterproof bone conduction headphones that attach to your swimming goggles and send sound to your auditory nerve without the use of earplugs (unless you choose to wear a pair). The buttons are large and have raised marks, allowing you to switch tracks by feel even if your hands are wet with a water resistance rating.
Unlike many other waterproof headphones, the H2O Audio Sonar can also play music over Bluetooth, albeit the range of Bluetooth underwater is limited. When the receiver is submerged, the signal is only about 4 inches wide, so you’ll need to link your smartwatch to your goggles to make this work (streaming from a phone isn’t possible).
If you use your watch to stream music frequently, having another alternative is nice, but most swimmers will be OK with the Audio Sonar’s huge 8GB on-board storage. If you have an Apple Watch, consider H2O Audio’s Interval headphones, which attach to the back of your swimming cap and allow you to listen to music from Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and other services.
Buying Guide: How to Choose Bone Conduction Headphones
Follow this buying guide when choosing bone conduction headphones to get the right fit, features and audio quality for your needs:
Since bone conduction relies on direct contact with your cheekbone, getting a stable and snug fit is crucial. Look for:
Adjustable frames to customize contact pressure
Multiple earhooks and tips to optimize angle against cheekbone
Lightweight construction to prevent slipping
Breathable materials if using for sports
Test headphones in person if possible to ensure a workable fit.
Consider Audio Quality
While sound fidelity is limited compared to earbuds, higher quality transducers will offer better frequency response. Seek:
Widest possible frequency range for richest sound
Any bass enhancing features to boost lower frequencies
Volume levels adequate for your intended use
Minimal vibration buzzing/distortion
Evaluate Battery Life
Since bone conduction relies on powered vibrations, battery capacity determines usage time. Look for:
At least 8 hour battery life for general use
Quick charge support to minimize downtime
Low standby power consumption to preserve charge
Replaceable batteries on some models
Carry extra batteries or a USB power bank for extended use.
Assess Intended Use
Determine how you will use the headphones to assess needed features:
Outdoors use? Seek waterproofing and sweat resistance.
Sports use? Ensure bounce-free stability and durability.
Hearing accessibility? Models with microphones can aid conversations.
Calls? Pick headphones with noise cancelling mics.
Choose headphones tailored for your specific lifestyle and needs.
The open ear access bone conduction headphones provide to your surroundings makes them perfect for staying alert and aware. Find the pair with the right fit, sound, and features for how you want to listen.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Bone Conduction Headphones work?
Bone conduction headphones use the concept that sound is essentially vibrations to send those vibrations into your skull’s bones. These headphones use plates that lie against the cheekbones to transfer sound vibrations directly into the cochlea through the jaw and skull bone. They leave the ear canal exposed, allowing sound from outside to enter.
Bone conduction headphones, unlike standard headphones, allow the user to hear what is going on around them. This makes these headphones ideal for outdoor activities when being able to hear oncoming vehicles or motorcycles can save lives. They’re also ideal for underwater swimming or for folks who wear hearing aids in their ears.
Can Bone Conduction Headphones cause hearing loss?
Unfortunately, any form of headset that is used at an excessive volume will cause hearing loss. Bone conduction headphones still shake the cochlea, causing it to be damaged in the same way that regular headphones do.
Are Bone Conduction Headphones any good?
Bone conduction headphones are not as good as in-ear headphones when it comes to audio quality. Headphones or earbuds provide the clearest, loudest audio quality.
Bone conduction headphones, on the other hand, are excellent. They provide you a lot of options for listening to music while maintaining situational awareness. This is especially useful when hiking, biking, or working from home.
What are the advantages of bone conduction headphones?
The main advantages are situational awareness, safety, and accessibility. You can listen to music and take calls while staying tuned into your surroundings, which is useful when running, biking, or in dangerous settings. They also provide audio options to those with certain hearing impairments.
Are bone conduction headphones safe to use?
Yes, bone conduction technology has been around for decades and is generally considered safe. The audio vibrations bypass the eardrum so they do not damage hearing like loud earbuds might over time. Just avoid excessive volume.
Do bone conduction headphones work for hearing loss?
Bone conduction headphones can help those with conductive hearing loss hear again by sending vibrations directly to the inner ear. However, they do not remedy sensorineural hearing loss involving inner ear damage. Those with partial impairment can amplify sounds.
How is the sound quality compared to earbuds?
The sound quality cannot match direct audio transmission through the ear canal using earbuds. However, bone conduction headphone audio has improved greatly as the transducer technology advances. Fidelity is adequate for phone calls, podcasts and casual music listening.
How long does the battery last?
Most bone conduction headphone battery life ranges from 5 to 10 hours of continuous playback on a full charge. Quick charging support can provide an hour or more of use from just 10 minutes of charging. Carrying extra batteries can also help for extended use.