Rather than a speaker or an ear canal, these headphones transmit audio vibrations through your cheekbones. The malleus, incus, and stapes bones amplify the sound vibrations and send them to the inner ear where they are processed as sounds. Bone conduction headphones allow you to hear music and your surroundings while avoiding eardrum contact, and some models include microphones for hands-free calls.
Many of the best bone conduction headphones with mic feature noise-canceling to minimize outside noises like wind, traffic, and voices. For those who want to hear their surroundings and use their headphones for calls, this is an essential feature. Whether you are listening to podcasts on your commute or exercising with music to motivate you, a good pair of bone-conduction headphones can make all the difference.
In addition to sound quality, the features that set the best bone-conduction headphones apart from one another are comfort and durability. Many pairs of bone-conduction headphones offer a sweatproof design, making them perfect for runners and cyclists who need to be able to hear their environment but don’t want to wear traditional headphones with cords that can get tangled or fall off their ears. Others, like the AfterShokz OpenRun Pro, have touch controls and an IP67 rating that protects against water and dust.
Most bone-conduction headphones are wireless, with most using Bluetooth connectivity to connect to your phone or other devices. You should check the Bluetooth interface of a headset before purchasing to ensure it works with your desired devices. Some models also have onboard storage and can play audio from a mobile device without being connected to your phone, a useful feature for people who want to listen to their own music in the gym or while working out. bone conduction headphones with mic