In this review, we are looking for the Best Bone Conduction Headphones. However, is the idea of bone conduction headphones a new thing? Was bone conduction ever used before?
The final movement in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was written while the composer was completely deaf. Along with Mozart, Bach, Strauss, and others, it fell to him to elevate genius to a level never achieved again. The 9th became one of the most famous and recognizable pieces of music ever written. And as the audience gave it a rapturous standing ovation in 1824, Beethoven didn’t hear a thing.
But he could hear the vibrations of his music when he wrote it.
As he laid on the floor with a piano with no legs writing, the sound waves traveled into his bones through his head. He could ‘feel’ and hear the vibrations of the music, and thus he could hear it.
Bone conduction headphones work in exactly the same way. They take the sound waves and make them into vibrations. These vibrations are received by the Cochlea, a hollow spiral bone in the inner ear, missing out on the eardrum. The sound reaches the ear through vibrations through the bones. Just like our genius from Bonn in Germany. All hearing devices like a hearing aid remain untouched.
Just a bit, and today we have these headphones. So, let’s take a look at some of the very best options of Bone Conduction Headphones currently available and find the perfect ones for you…
- Top 7 Best Bone Conduction Headphones To Buy 2020 Reviews
- 1 AfterShokz Air Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
- 2 AfterShokz Titanium Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
- 3 AfterShokz Titanium Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones, Ocean Blue
- 4 Vidonn Bone Conduction Headphones Bluetooth
- 5 Vidonn Bone Conduction Headphones
- 6 Bonein Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
- 7 Pyle Bluetooth Bone Conduction Sport Headphones
- Best Bone Conduction Headphones Buyer’s Guide
- More Traditional Headphone Options
- So, What Are The Best Bone Conduction Headphones?
Top 7 Best Bone Conduction Headphones To Buy 2020 Reviews
1 AfterShokz Air Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
These headphones are an open-ear design that allows an all-round periphery of sound. This guarantees that you have an awareness of what is going on around you while you listen to your music.
They are designed for activity rather than sitting at home listening to music. They weigh just 1.06 ounces, astonishingly lightweight. The sound vibrations are picked up through the cheekbones. This makes sure your ears are not involved in the sound process. Oher sounds can still clearly be heard.
They have a wrap-around design that is made from titanium hence the weight. They have a flexible frame that provides a comfortable fit. You will hardly know you are wearing them. They are extremely comfortable, but the wrap-around design and materials also make them very stable during use.
Bluetooth 4 connectivity is included, and they must be considered as one of the best Bluetooth bone conduction headphones. They will pair with any iOS or Android device, including phones and tablets.
They have an IP55 rating, which means they are protected against dust and natural moisture, like sweat and even a reasonably heavy rain shower.
The battery will give you up to six hours of playtime from one charge. If you have to recharge from a no power situation, it will take about two hours. There is a basic EQ to allow you to modify the sound to boost the bass if required. They are fitted with microphones that are noise canceling.
They will remove any unwanted external sound while speaking on the phone. This will automatically make your own voice clearer to the listener. There is a built-in voice prompt that assists you with basic control functions. Manual controls are located on the left piece and right arm.
Sound-wise they are not going to win too many awards, but it is more than acceptable. Not the cheapest headphones you are going to find, but a quality product.
- Well-made with good materials and a good lightweight fit.
- Designed for use in activities with an IP55 rating.
- Might be expensive for some.
2 AfterShokz Titanium Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
Aftershokz specializes in making headphones with a difference. They are a partnership between Chinese headphone manufacturers Voxtech and the Syracuse company. They have offices in Syracuse, New York, but are currently on the move down to Austin, Texas.
The Titanium open-ear headphones are one of their products that really catch the eye. They are a stylish pair of bone conduction phones. Made from Titanium with a silicone coating, they are very lightweight. They are really designed for runners and fitness enthusiasts. To that end, they have an interesting extra supplied.
The open ear design means you can listen to your music but still be fully aware of what is going on around you. These wrap-around headphones are specifically designed to be able to be worn for lengths of time. In doing so, their lightweight design and flexibility make them comfortable for periods of extended wear.
Battery life is reasonable without being exceptional at 5 to 6 hours, and A recharge takes up t 2 hours. Controls are well-placed and easy to use. There is a multi-function button on the left earpiece. This handles music controls and calls answering — also a power and volume button on the right arm of the neckband.
They have Bluetooth V4 connectivity and are compatible with iOS and Android devices. The sound, as with most of these headphones is not stunning but adequate. It has quite a wide frequency range and decent low frequencies. The microphones used for taking calls are noise-canceling, allowing you to speak clearly.
We mentioned extras. As these are designed for runners, you are supplied with reflective strips that will stick easily on clothing for those who like to go out at night. They make you visible from up to 500 feet away.
A very well-designed and attractive set of phones finished in slate grey; these have a lot going for them. They could also be on the list of the most affordable bone conduction headphones, and they are priced to make them very competitive.
- Well-made from great materials and very lightweight and comfortable.
- Decent sound and easy to control.
- The battery level at 5-6 hours is not so good.
3 AfterShokz Titanium Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones, Ocean Blue
Another set of bone conduction headphones from what is clearly one of the market leaders. As with other products from this company, they are full of good features and well-made.
Once again they are a wrap-around design made from Titanium, they weigh just 1.28 ounces. So on days when you are wearing them for a long time, you will hardly know they are there.
The battery life is maybe a little light at 6 hours, and a recharge takes about two. So using them for a very long time is not possible without a recharge.
They have Bluetooth v4 connectivity with multipoint pairing with your iOS and Android devices, including phones and tablets. The quality means they must be considered one of the Bluetooth bone conduction headphones.
These, like most Aftershokz headphones, carry an IP55 rating. That makes them ideal for the fitness enthusiast as they are dust and sweat-resistant, running, cycling, or gym work will not be a problem for these phones.
Sound-wise they use the Aftershokz Premium pitch technology, which is built-in to most of their headphones. The sound is not brilliant. It couldn’t be, but it is quite good and certainly nothing to complain about. Comfort is also high on the list of positives with the silicon rubber coating, making a big difference.
These are another attractive looking set of bone conduction headphones this time finished in Ocean Blue.
Set at a decent price point, these are worth considering.
- Good wrap-around design with very good materials.
- Decent sound quality and very comfortable.
- As with most Aftershokz headphones, the battery level is a bit low.
4 Vidonn Bone Conduction Headphones Bluetooth
These are a set of bone conduction headphones from Vidonn. These follow a similar design pattern to many others in that they are a wrap around. This design is most suitable as it allows easy access for the conduction and is a stable fit. As these are likely to be used for running or other activities, that is an important point.
Of course, sport isn’t the only potential use, but that seems to be the most popular use. Allowing freedom to the ears is important at times to maintain some contact with the outside world.
The headband is titanium, which makes it flexible and lightweight. It also means it is going to be comfortable when worn.
Battery life is what seems to be a standard length for this type of headphone at 6 hours. To recharge takes about two hours. There is an LED light that shows red when it is charging and turns blue when charged.
Well, it might have as it has the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology. That might just make it one of the Bluetooth bone conduction headphones. Version 5 is fast and more stable than other versions. It still has an average of 33 feet signal distance, assuming there are no obstacles. It also has a microphone to allow calls to be taken.
Controls are placed conveniently and are very basic. Volume up and down and play and pause for the music. Also, a multi-function button that handles more music controls and your calls.
Sound is about average and quite acceptable — but possibly a little light on the lower frequencies. However, at this price point, they represent good value. If we are to find fault with them, it is only that one they are one size. Without being adjustable, they could fit quite tightly.
- Nicely designed, made with good materials.
- Acceptable sound at a good price point.
- Not a very comfortable fit for some people.
5 Vidonn Bone Conduction Headphones
Another set of bone-conduction headphones from Vidonn. This pair is very much a budget set, but still with many good features.
This is another set of headphones specifically designed for those wanting music and contact while exercising. The titanium headband has a familiar wrap-around design. This makes it very lightweight and portable.
There is a certain amount of flexibility with the fitting. It has no formal adjustors through, and you are relying upon their flexibility. Being titanium, there is a certain amount of movement. But possibly not enough for everyone.
The design, of course, means you can hear your music whilst still running or cycling and this, of course, is very important for safety.
Battery life is six hours, and it takes about two hours to gain a full charge. In our view, not as long as it could be. They are Bluetooth 5.0 connectable, which is the latest version. Pairing is quick and easy, and it has a good connection. Calls can be answered using simple controls. These also allow you to control your music.
These are a budget set of headphones, as we said. Possibly what makes them a bit cheaper is the sound quality. We wouldn’t say that these are the best. If you are looking for headphones with good sound for music playback, these may not be the ones.
For the money, good value providing you are not expecting too much.
- Nice design using good materials.
- Very affordable price, suitable for providing music during exercise.
- Sound quality, not all it could be.
6 Bonein Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
Many of the products we have looked at so far have a similar design, and the idea behind them is the same. This is fine, of course, and each has its own attributes. However, these headphones are a little different.
A fairly standard open-ear design, they are made from Nanomaterial, and they are at the same time durable yet comfortable. Designed for those who are exercising, running, and possibly cycling, they are sweatproof. All-round hearing capability when you are out running or on the bike is important. These offer that necessary feature.
They are designed so as to be secure on the head and not slip. They have a nice design which sets them apart from similar headphones. The addition of some color on the earpieces is a nice touch.
They are fitted with Bluetooth 4.0, which makes pairing easy and offers a decent reception. They will connect to both iOS and Android phones and tablets.
Unlike some headphones, they have a Lithium battery, which gives eleven hours of playtime. That is twice what some other headphones in this design scenario offer—a significant plus point in our book. If you are looking for a lower-priced set that might be considered as best value bone conduction headphones, these could be them.
Controls are easily managed with a multi-function button and volume controls on one earpiece. On the other, a micro-USB port and microphone for taking calls. Well laid out and easy to use.
We mentioned how these might be a little different, and we have mentioned the battery length and the splash of color. But more than this, they fold away after use. This also gives them 180-degree of flexibility. To us, this is a big advantage. And a feature not found on all headphones of this kind. Very convenient idea.
A great price point makes these great value for money. As usual, the sound quality is not the best. But for what they are designed to do, they are a cost-effective option.
- Nice design and attractive look with good materials.
- Cost-effective price with great battery life.
- Nothing at this price.
7 Pyle Bluetooth Bone Conduction Sport Headphones
Pyle needs little introduction as manufacturers of audio equipment. These are designed for use while exercising in the gym or running. They have an IPX6 rating, which means they are water-resistant Easily able to handle sweat.
The design, of course, is open ear, and the sound vibrations travel through the cheekbones. They are a wrap-around, which means they are flexible and comfortable to wear for long periods.
Controls are located on the earpieces and allow you to adjust the volume of the music and skip tracks. They have Bluetooth connectivity and are compatible with any iOS phone or tablet. You can only connect to one device at a time. There is a voice microphone to allow you to take calls. The power status is displayed using an LED indicator.
Whilst many of these types of headphones have similar designs, these are a little different. And it must be said sturdy looking but quite attractive. They are not adjustable, though, so for some, the fit might be a little tight.
The battery time on a full charge is only about 4 hours. To us, that is a very short time. If you are using them for an hour session in the gym or on the bike, it will be enough. Longer sessions will find you checking your watch. It takes almost that time to recharge them.
Price-wise they are very much a budget item. With that in mind, expectation levels must not be too high. The sound quality is not so good, but everything else is fine. And for the money, they do represent good value.
- Nice design with easy to use controls.
- Very affordable price.
- Battery life is very low.
Best Bone Conduction Headphones Buyer’s Guide
Things have come a long way since people were forced to cut the legs of pianos to hear a note. Now we have the technology. The interesting thing about these headphones is that they are designed with the athlete in mind. They will, of course, suit anyone with hearing defects, but it is the athlete that seems to be the driving force in the design.
Given that that is the case, let us identify the important issues…
Size & Fit
They are mostly one size without the ability to be adjusted. Getting a comfortable fit will then depend upon the flexibility of the materials. Some are made of Titanium with a silicone covering; This is fine provided they will stretch to you hear size or not fall off at the other end of the size scale.
Ratings For Sweat
They need to have a rating for resistance to water if you are using them for exercise. There are a number of different ratings, so make sure you get the right one.
It needs to be sturdy. It doesn’t need to be any more than that. You won’t be climbing Everest in them. But a stable build will be necessary in case they are ever dropped by accident. That can happen in an exercise session.
They all have Bluetooth connections. Some though, have better and later versions.
There are some interesting options with some we looked at. The fold away idea is good, and one had luminous stickers for when you are running at night — another good idea.
Prices do not vary greatly, so it’s really a case of what you want.
More Traditional Headphone Options
If you’re not 100% convinced about the advantages of bone conduction headphones, there are plenty of excellent more ‘traditional’ headphones on the market.
So, check out our reviews of the Best Headphones under 100 dollars, the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones, the Best Headphones under 100 dollars, the Best Headphones and Earbuds for Sleeping, and the Best Studio Headphones for Home Recording currently available.
So, What Are The Best Bone Conduction Headphones?
When all is said and done, most of the designs and features are very similar. We suppose that is not unusual. They have the same aim, to provide music and call facilities for those taking part in various activities. More than that, to encourage and also provide safety. After looking at them all, our recommendation would be the…
The battery level is not so good, but our exercise regime is unlikely to flatten the battery, so it is not an issue.
Good price, made with good materials, and with a good Bluetooth connection. All added together makes them our choice for the Best set of Bone Conduction Headphones on the market.