Those who use Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones make some pretty bold claims; “I’ll never go back to traditional headphones”, “You can feel the music instead of just hearing it”, to choose a couple. It appears they’ve stumbled upon something magical and after experiencing it for myself I’m inclined to agree.
On one of my previous blogs, I discussed my own personal journey with headphones, from when I was a child to a busy adult. I’ve always had a penchant for portable audio devices and I’m always keen to try new innovative technology to see if it improves my listening habits. I have a tendency to be disappointed when something doesn’t add the improvements I’m looking for and overjoyed when it does.
So, for this article, I’m going to share some of the benefits that I and other users of Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones have reported. But first here’s a brief explanation of what they are and how they work:
Feeling The Rumble!
Bone conduction technology works by allowing the sound to reverberate through our bones instead of going directly through our eardrum. While some Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones do have an earbud that does transmit sound into our eardrum, or near it, the technology takes advantage of bone conduction by rumbling through the device and into our inner ear through our skull.
This is why so many users claim they feel the sound’ instead of simply hearing it the normal way. Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones achieve this usually by letting the sound travel through the whole headset instead of just going into our ears through the earbuds like normal headphones/earphones.
I can personally attest to “feeling the sound” instead of just hearing it after using a pair of Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones for an extended period of time. There is a surround sound quality to the music or spoken audio that other headphones don’t capture.
It really is something unique. You are hearing it in the usual way through the earbud (if you opt for such a model), but the sound is also magnified, and the vibrations are bypassing the eardrum and soaking through directly into my inner ear, more specifically the cochlea, the organ that manages our sense of hearing. Some users claim to not feel this, but I certainly do.
They Feel Secure In The Gym And Elsewhere
If you’ve read my previous blogs, then you’ll know I often bring my Apple Beats to the gym. Although recently my beloved Beats have taken a backseat while I experiment with my Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones. Where my Apple Beats will continue to be my number one for long car journeys, flights and working away, my Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones are likely to become my permanent gym buddies going forward.
I feel like I’m cheating on my Beats, but I can’t ignore the benefits. Due to the bar fitting snuggly around my cranium my Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones feel more secure. They don’t slide off my ears and around my neck when I get sweaty on the treadmill or bike. I can’t do a backflip, but if I could I’d be willing to bet money they would remain attached.
If you do any other task that requires movement while you listen to music or other audio, then Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones come highly recommended. Running, riding or working on your feet all day can make listening to earphones, earbuds, and headphones problematic. Each has a tendency to fall off or slide out. If this is an issue, then we may have just found you a solution.
Are There Safety Benefits To Bone Conduction Headphones?
Yes, Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones do indeed come with some safety benefits too. In fact, we’ve written another article examining this in more detail, busting some of the myths associated with Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones.
But for this article, suffice to say there are safety benefits, as long as one always remembers that no matter what headphones we use, excessive noise is always damaging to our ears. Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones are no different in this regard. So always be mindful of too much volume.
Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones work in the opposite way to noise-canceling headphones. Instead of funneling all the sound through the eardrum, Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones allow noise from all around to seep into our inner ears.
This means we can still hear other noise going on around us which from a safety point of view is very beneficial. Those listening to music or spoken audio while running or cycling in an urban environment will be able to hear the traffic or other hazards while they enjoy their music. It allows the user to continue listening to their chosen audio but still retain a high level of awareness of what’s going on around them.
Some cyclists and joggers feel uneasy about using headphones while they exercise due to the reduced situational awareness it can bring. This is especially true if those headphones are noise canceling. Bone conducting headphones eliminates this issue and is almost certainly safer in this scenario.
Other Awareness Benefits
Not only can Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones be safer by allowing us to stay aware of our surroundings, but this brings other added benefits too. I often find myself listing to audio in various public places. Noise-canceling headphones can sometimes make me feel slightly ignorant. I often fear that if I’m wearing my Apple Beats (which aren’t fully noise-canceling like my Skull Candy’s, but sometimes feel like they are), I may not be able to hear someone calling out to me. Or I may not register certain things.
When I walk my dog, I often pass other dog walkers, due to where I live being such a small neighborly area, dog walkers often greet one another. I walk my dog in headphones several times a day listening to podcasts and I almost always need to pause them or remove my headphones to say hi to my fellow dog walkers.
My Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones mean this is no longer the situation. Now I can hear what they say instead of just seeing their lips move in a predictable “Hi” motion. I’m often paranoid that if they asked a follow-up question, I’d not hear it which may make me seem rude. Naturally, if I realized they had asked a follow-up question after “Hi” such as “How is your family?” I’d pause my podcast and answer. But having my Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones means I’m no longer worried about missing an additional question. Even if my podcast is on loudly, I’d still hear it.
This may not sound like much but if you need a pair of headphones that allow you some semblance of awareness outside of your audio then Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones are the way to go. In fact, many Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones don’t have earbuds, leaving your ear completely free to hear the world around you.
It Allows Those With Hearing Disabilities More Freedom
Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones started out as technology for the military, but the technology was soon adapted to help those who suffer from hearing disabilities. The hearing-impaired community has used this kind of technology in hearing aids for decades.
Those who suffer from hearing problems related to their eardrums have benefitted from this technology more than anyone else. As most normal forms of earphones transmit the sound directly through the eardrum to the cochlea, Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones reach this same organ through other parts of the skull or ear. Meaning the disability, for some, has been bypassed.
Those who have a full functioning cochlea but damage to their outer ear can now listen to headphones like the rest of us. Their disability is no longer a barrier to enjoying music or spoken audio. Of course, many problems still persist, but for a select few who suffer from hearing impairment, Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones have been a real blessing.
Those who are visually impaired can also feel the benefit, it’s important for them to keep their sense of hearing attuned as they arguably rely on it more than the rest of us. Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones means they can take in external stimuli, while still enjoying wireless audio as we all do.
From the Perkins School for the Blind Website Article: Earbuds/Bone Conducting Headphones for Students with Visual Impairments
“Bone conducting headphones are a great option for students with visual impairments and blindness. Bone conducting headphones allows the student to hear sound through vibrations of the cheek or jawbones. This means that the sound waves bypass the outer and middle ear and directly stimulate the inner ear. Functionally, this means that the student can hear the information passing through the headphones (screen reader or music) while hearing the environmental noises (people talking, traffic or ambient environmental sounds). Bone conducting headphones were originally created to help people with some types of hearing loss. Recently, bone-conducting headphones have gained popularity with sports enthusiasts who want to listen to safely listen to music while exercising.”
They Are A Unique Audio Experience
Finally, Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones provide a listening experience that is absolutely unique from what has come before. While it can take some getting used too, I confess it was a little alien at first, the benefits soon become plain to see. There are options with earbuds for those who want a full experience or options to rely on bone conduction technology solely. I would recommend trying both, although each one has its benefits depending on what you need them for.
If it’s for staying alert as you run or cycle, then I would recommend Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones that have no additional earbud. If however, you want to lose yourself in your own personal surround sound then opt for the ones that give you the best of both worlds.