Listening to music with regular headphones can limit your awareness of your surroundings quite notably. If that’s something that you’re looking to change, you should definitely invest in a pair of high-quality bone conduction headphones. But exactly are bone conduction headphones?
Bone conduction headphones enable the user to listen to music through the bones in their Skull, rather than through their eardrums by transmitting sound waves directly to their inner ear. This is a technology that people with hearing impairment can benefit from significantly.
However, just as there are various models of regular headphones, there’s also a broad range of bone conduction headphones, which can make the selection process quite hard. Today, we help make it easier for you by showcasing the best bone conduction headphones on the market.
Top 5 Best Bone Conduction Headphones
We’ve scoured the web far and wide looking for the best bone conduction headphones, and we can confidently say that the following headphones are the best in their department.
AfterShokz Air AS650SG-BR
The AfterShokz AS650SG-BR bone conduction headphones are designed for nighttime safety, as they feature a reflective strip on the back that helps alert other drivers up to 500 feet behind you. Compared to the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium, the AS650SG-BR is 20% lighter in weight.
The AS650SG-BR feature wireless connectivity via Bluetooth v4.2 and they’re compatible with both Android and iOS devices. As far as battery life, these headphones feature a battery life of up to 6 hours. The AS650SG-BR stays in place even during the most intense workout routine.
When it comes to sound quality, the AfterShokz AS650SG-BR offers an astoundingly dynamic range and rich bass, thanks to PremiumPitch+. The unit is also equipped with the Leak Slayer technology to help control natural sound leakage. Highly recommended for sports purposes!
Reasons to Buy
- Comfortable and stays in place
- Provides excellent sound quality
- Controls natural sound leakage
- Features impressive battery life
- Open-Ear Design - Patented bone conduction technology delivers premium audio through the cheekbone, keeping you connected and aware of your surroundings.
- Multifunction Button - Easy controls to play, pause, skip, activate voice assistant, and answer calls.
- Sweatproof & Durable - IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust, and moisture. Perfect for withstanding even the rainiest runs.
AfterShokz Aeropex AS800
Equipped with high-quality, rubbery ear hooks, the AfterShokz Aeropex is arguably the best pair of headphones when it comes to remaining in place during the most intense workouts. This is a pair that’s designed primarily for the active lifestyle, so you should expect remarkable stability.
The headset features a dustproof and waterproof design, so you don’t have to worry about dust, sand, or water rendering it useless. The Aeropex is the more enhanced version of the Air. If you put the two against each other, you’ll notice that the former has better battery life and is lighter.
As you would’ve probably guessed, the Aeropex is also more expensive than the Air version, so it may not be the best option for someone who’s restricted by a tight budget. However, as far as bone conduction sound quality, it doesn’t really get better than the AfterShokz Aeropex.
Reasons to buy
- Offers remarkable sound quality
- The lightest headset on this list
- Ideal stability for intense sports
- Resistant to both water and dust
- 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 connected and aware of your surroundings.
- Lightweight & Comfortable - Experience unmatched comfort with our most lightweight and comfortable sport headset, featuring a bud-free, pain-free design for all-day listening.
AfterShokz Titanium AS600OB
Stealing the third spot on this list is the AfterShokz Titanium AS600OB with its incredibly durable construction and stylish design. While not as lightweight as the Trekz Air, the Titanium still offers a ton of value and we’d recommend for anyone new to bone conduction headsets.
The neckband on this headset is made out of titanium, hence the name. This is the reason why this pair of headphones is extremely durable compared to other models. The weight of this unit helps grant it excellent stability that you’ll highly appreciate during your most intense workouts.
Just like the rest of AfterShokz’s lineup of bone conduction headsets, the Titanium is Bluetooth compatible for Android and iOS devices. It’s also equipped with PremiumPitch+ technology, so you should expect it to offer top-notch sound quality that won’t limit your spatial awareness.
Reasons to Buy
- One of the heftiest on this list
- Uncanny stability and balance
- Premium Pitch for ideal sound
- Impressive vibration reduction
- 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.
- Secure & Comfortable - An open-ear design enables bud-free listening and a partial titanium frame keeps the headphones in place through any activity.
Vidonn F1 Titanium Headset
The Vidonn F1 is arguably the most affordable bone conduction headset that works well. This is a headset that can go head to head with some of the big-budget units on the market in terms of comfort and weight. But as far as sound quality, we have to say that it’s mediocre.
The titanium alloy that this headset features make it extremely flexible. It also grants it excellent durability that’s fitting for high-intensity sports purposes. We’re also quite fond of how stable this pair of headphones is, which makes it a perfect pair for running or cycling.
The Vidonn F1 is equipped with a few cool features, including a built-in Microphone and remote control buttons. The headset also houses a rechargeable battery that can last for up to 6 hours. All in all, the Vidonn F1 surely offers a great deal of value for the price that it’s available at.
Reasons to Buy
- Highly affordable headphones
- The battery life is quite striking
- Very flexible yet highly durable
- Super lightweight construction
AfterShokz Sportz AS401XB
You’re looking for a high-quality pair of wired bone conduction headphones, you should certainly give the Sportz AS401XB a try. The Sportz headset rests on your cheekbones and transmits the music vibrations to your cochlea, allowing you to hear the music with uncovered ears.
The headset features several controls that grant you total control over its performance, including buttons for playing/pausing songs, answering phone calls, skipping tracks, and a bunch of value adjustment buttons. It also features a noise-canceling microphone for answering phone calls.
The build quality of this pair of headphones is nothing short of outstanding, which really doesn’t come as a surprise considering it’s manufactured by AfterShokz. The pair is highly durable and lightweight, so they won’t be a burden to have on while you’re driving or working out.
Reasons to Buy
- Highly affordable headphones
- Lightweight and super durable
- Offers several control buttons
- The audio quality is impressive
- Bone conduction technology creates mini vibrations, sending sound through the cheekbones, directly to the inner ears - for awareness and comfort.
- Enjoy twelve hours of continuous music on a single charge from the 1 inch x 2.5 inch battery compartment.
- Titanium headband is lightweight and flexible for durability and portability. Cord is 4 feet long to easily reach your phone on-the-go.
Bone Conduction vs Traditional Headphones
It’s vital to keep in mind that bone conduction headphones don’t really come close to traditional headphones when it comes to sound fidelity. In fact, an average pair of regular headphones are probably going to sound much better than a pair of bone conduction headphones.
You also need to know that bone conduction headphones, just like open-back headphones, are quite leaky, which means that they’re not suitable for use in quiet places like libraries. However, they’re excellent choices for sports purposes where sound leakage isn’t a big deal.
It’s also worth noting that bone conduction headphones aren’t the most fitting option for driving, as they tend to produce a vibrating sensation that can be distracting for drivers. However, other opinions affirm the opposite, as bone conduction units offer better environmental awareness.
This brings us to the aspect where bone conduction headphones are better than over-ear units, which is the fact that they don’t cover the ears. If you’re someone that can’t stand the feeling of having something covering your ear or inside your ear canal, bone conduction is for you.
In addition, there are certain sports such as jogging and cycling that require ideal environmental awareness in order to ensure safety. A study indicates that bone conduction headphones boost the extent of spatial awareness notably compared to regular headphones.
Who Are Bone Conduction Headphones For?
Bone conduction headphones aren’t only for people that suffer from hearing impairment, they’re actually great for people with normal hearing that are looking for headphones that they can wear while they’re cycling, jogging, or engaged in any other outdoor activity.
Again, the sound quality with bone conduction headphones aren’t perfect, so don’t expect to be immersed in the music. The main priority here is to remain aware of your environment. In some states, it’s illegal to drive or cross the street while having headphones on.
If you live in one of the aforementioned states, then you may want to consider investing in a pair of bone conduction headphones or settle for one headphone over your ear or one earbud inside one of your ear canals, which isn’t very convenient or comfortable at all.
People that suffer from hearing loss or different types of hearing impairment, on the other hand, are the most benefited from this innovative technology since bone conduction headphones don’t rely on the ear, ear canal, eardrum, or the middle ear in their performance whatsoever.
In other words, if your hearing impairment or hearing loss is linked to the damage or infection of any of the above-mentioned parts of the ear, then you’ll be able to hear music again with the aid of bone conduction headphones and you’ll be able to live with hearing impairment more easily.
Selecting the Right Bone Conduction Headphones
When you’re in the market for bone conduction headphones, there are a number of factors that you should take into consideration in order to ensure the most value for your money.
As we’ve already established, you can’t really expect excellent sound fidelity from a pair of bone conduction headphones, as they don’t function that same that regular headphones do. This type of headphones is typically ideal for listening to podcasts and certain music genres.
While we can’t specify exactly the type of audio you can listen to with the aid of bone conduction headphones, we can tell you what to anticipate from them before you buy one. Bone conduction headphones tend to offer decent highs, really detailed mids, and poor bass response.
Granted, bone conduction headphones don’t offer the same excellent sound quality that regular headphones do, but they do have the upper hand when it comes to comfort. These headphones are designed to rest directly on the listener’s cheekbones, not over or inside their ears.
We’re all familiar with the discomfort that a lot of in-ear and over-ear headphones tend to cause. With bone conduction headphones, you can forget all about this sort of discomfort. We also feel the need to point out that some variations tend to be more comfortable than others.
Here’s how you can inspect comfort in a pair of headphones: make sure they stay where they’re supposed to be even while you’re moving, make sure you can wear them for a long time without feeling irritated, and pay attention to customer reviews to see how the product worked for them.
Durability is one of these factors that you must look for in every product you buy. For avid music listeners, having to replace your headphones every couple of months due to how frequently you use them can be quite annoying, and it all stems from the lack of proper durability.
Bone conduction headphones are typically used for outdoor activities like jogging or cycling, and such activities tend to have one thing in common, which is high intensity. You want to make sure that the product you’re going buy can handle such high levels of intensity and abuse.
After you’ve ensured that the headphones you’re about to buy can handle high impact, you must make sure that they have an adequate sweatproof rating so that they won’t be rendered useless by moisture. Make sure the headphones are splash-resistant (IPX4), at the very least.
While there are a few models on the market that are wired, the vast majority of bone conduction headphones tend to be wireless. If you’re going to use your headphones for sports, you need to go with a wireless pair. For other activities, however, a wired pair won’t be that big of a deal.
If you decide to go with a wireless pair, then the first thing you need to inspect is the battery life. Obviously, the longer the battery life the more convenient the headphones are. Bone conduction headphones nowadays tend to offer a battery life of around 5 hours per single charge.
Another aspect you need to examine is connectivity. You need to pay attention to the range and quality of the Bluetooth signal. We suggest you try the headphones before you buy them. And if you’re ordering the product online, make sure it comes with a return or replacement policy.
There you have it, five of the best bone conduction headphones on the market today. Hopefully, you’ve found the information provided in this article helpful. Kindly let us know which one of the above-mentioned bone conduction headphones you think is the best.
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