How Bone conduction headphones vibrate cheekbones instead of ears. Bone-conduction headphones, a subclass of wireless earphones, are gaining popularity. Bone conduction headphones, sometimes called “bone phones,” transmit sound via the skull bones rather than the eardrum. The device’s audio shakes the user’s skull bones, amplifying it and liberating their ears. This helps hearing-impaired people and those who use their ears for situational awareness. They started in hearing aids and have fans and haters. Can bone-conduction headsets work? Learn More.

Bone-conduction headphones function.

Bonephones are skull-mounted headphones. The transducer’s vibrations go through the user’s bones to the cochlea and brain through the auditory nerve. The user’s head is the gadget’s speaker. Conventional headphones vibrate the outer ear using ear canal speakers.

Sound is only particle vibrations. Sound travels through solids and liquids, not only air. Living flesh and bone can talk because solid particles vibrate. Solids transmit sound better than air or water due to their denser particle packing. Solids conduct sound best, followed by liquids and air.

This defies logic as listening through a liquid or solid distorts the sound. A speaker at sea level would make little sense underwater. Loud music next door generally sounds quieter. Both liquids and solids transfer sound via air before entering the other medium, which causes these modifications.

Bonephones account for this. Most feature a strap behind the head and pads that vibrate over each ear. The pads are shaped to fit securely over the user’s ears and prevent the device from sliding off. When the pads are rubbed on the user’s skin, the sound goes undistorted to the brain.


Like regular headphones, bone phones are worn by their users to allow for discrete, on-the-go listening. Bone phones, on the other hand, are unique because they do not rely on the outer or middle ears to transmit sound. Also, their distinctive design makes them perfect for on-the-go music listening. There are certain benefits of using these instead of regular headphones:

  • Those who are always on the go, such as gym-goers, and need headphones that stay put while they work out.
  • Joggers and cyclists who don’t want to miss a word someone says to them when they’re out on the road.
  • While listening in a group, it’s important to focus on more than just the words being said.
  • Users with hearing impairments, for whom the use of standard headphones may be problematic.
  • Those with hearing impairments may experience an improvement in sound quality when using bone conduction as opposed to more conventional auditory delivery techniques.


The most notable advantage of bone phones is that they do not need to enter the ear canal at all. As it enables listeners to use headphones without completely isolating themselves, many people will find this to be a convenient feature.

Bone phones might be useful for the hearing-impaired because, by avoiding the ears entirely, they provide a more natural listening experience. Bone phones are a way for the partly deaf to experience sound in stereo. The listener may keep their hearing aid in while using bone-conducting headphones.

Inappropriately loud music or podcasts may be listened to on bone phones without risking long-term hearing damage. The eardrum is far more fragile than flesh and bone, yet bone phones function on both.

Its portability and safety make them ideal for those who are often on the go. One manufacturer of bone phones, AfterShokz, designed its products with military use in mind. Most varieties of bone-conduction headphones have internal memory, so you may store your own music on them. For power users, this might be an added bonus.


Despite its unusualness and lack of practicality, consumers have had mixed responses to bone phones.

Many listeners feel that bone phones just can’t compete with the quality of regular headphones. There has been a noticeable drop in loudness and bass response, according to listeners.

There are also some issues with the physical arrangement. Some people experience an uneasy or unusual vibrating sensation on their faces while listening to music at high volumes. It’s not ideal for those who want to listen to music or audiobooks without disturbing others because of the way it was built. It’s possible that certain headphones, depending on the user’s head shape and design, might cause discomfort.

Bone-conduction headphones are far more expensive than standard earphones. In the year 2020, a pair of bone-conduction headphones will cost around $120 more than a regular set of Apple earbuds. Customers might buy normal headphones that sound far better than any bone-conducting variety now offered for the same price. There are few really reasonably priced bone phones, but the great majority are far more costly.

Why acquire bone-conduction headphones?

Bone-conduction headphones are said to help the deaf and increase safety. Outdoor runners need situational awareness. As they don’t seal around or touch your ear canal, you may still hear approaching cars, other pedestrians, and other threats.

Hearing aid users may also use bone-conduction headphones. Bone-conduction headphones reduce jostling and hearing aid interference. These headphones provide stereo sound for unilaterally hearing-impaired listeners. Bone conduction headphones provide a first-time hearing for certain listeners.

Bone-conduction headphones help hearing-impaired people, but they won’t convert audiophiles. Dismissing the technology as a novelty would be unjust to its numerous uses. Yet, calling them the biggest breakthrough since the TRRS plug is a leap. Wireless and genuine wireless earbuds for normal hearing are abundant. Hearing-impaired people love bone-conduction headphones.

Best bone-conduction headphones?

Most Shokz bone-conduction headphones (previously AfterShokz). Shokz leads this market since its products are better. The Shokz OpenRun, a rebirth of the AfterShokz Aeropex, is the best bone-conduction headphones for most people. The Shokz OpenRun has Bluetooth 5.1, high-speed charging, and eighth-generation bone conduction. It’s annoying, but the company’s two-pin connection might be worse. Amazon’s OpenRun costs $99.95, although it’s typically reduced over the holidays. The Shokz OpenRun Pro, the company’s first mobile app-compatible bone-conduction headphones, is the best. The OpenRun Pro’s audio output is less affected by jaw movement, and the headset has more bass for the price, but it’s still expensive (see Amazon).


Bone conduction headphones are different from traditional headphones because they transfer sound vibrations along your cheekbones rather than via the air. Best bone conduction headphones have the apparent virtue of not forcing anything into your ear canal, but their actual attraction is that you may continue your outdoor activities while still being able to hear everything that’s going on around you. Some persons who have trouble hearing may find that bone conduction phones help them since the sound travels directly through their bones rather than their eardrums. In reality, the technique was first used in hearing aids before it caught on with headphones. Relax in the beautiful outdoors while listening to your favorite tunes.