In today's world, with the rise of artificial intelligence, while wireless headphones have always been in the spotlight, the combination of bone conduction technology and artificial intelligence seems to be the latest trend.
In fact, for most people, bone conduction might just seem like a buzzword that brands use to promote their products. Every company attempts to link their products with artificial intelligence, showcasing their integration of AI chips to help wearers record and analyze their daily lives.
Bone conduction headphones have a deep-rooted history in the hearing aid industry, but there are both critics and staunch fans. But beyond the glitzy decorations, let's analyze whether bone conduction technology is just a gimmick or something more substantial.
We're here to help you understand everything about bone conduction technology and determine if it's what you need.
1.What is Bone Conduction Technology?
2.Why Do We Need Bone Conduction?
3.Bone Conduction That Fits You
What is Bone Conduction Technology?
Origin of Bone Conduction:
Bone conduction transmission, in simpler terms, is sound transmitted to the inner ear via the skull. This technology was first applied in the 18th century to composer Beethoven, who was almost completely deaf. He sensed vibrations from the piano by clenching a stick connected to the piano with his jaw. This early application laid the foundation for the principle of bone conduction. When vibrations from the piano reached his jaw and transmitted, he felt the sound. Although bone conduction doesn't seem like a novel concept now, it was initially used in the military. Through several crucial improvements, this technology gradually entered commercial applications.
In the 1500s, Italian physician and mathematician Girolamo Cardano documented his discovery that he could hear through a stick placed between his teeth. This discovery of auditory phenomena later became the basis for bone conduction hearing. It proved that sound could reach our auditory system through a medium other than the eardrum, namely our skeletal structure.
How Bone Conduction Works:
Most sounds, as we understand them today, are heard through our eardrums, which convert sound waves into vibrations and transmit them to the cochlea (or inner ear). In fact, this is one way you hear your own voice. In certain situations, sound is transmitted directly to the inner ear without needing to vibrate the eardrum, bypassing it to be heard by the inner ear. This is bone conduction transmission, where sound vibrations travel to the inner ear (cochlea) through the skeletal structure, meaning the listener keeps their ear canal open, and sound is transmitted to the inner ear via the skull bones.
In short, bone conduction transmission is the direct delivery of sound to the eardrum through the temporal bone. Bone conduction headphones provide a swift listening experience. However, your music won't achieve the same audio quality as traditional earbuds.
Therefore, don't view bone conduction products as a whole and appreciate their advantages (such as an open-ear listening experience and potential solutions for hearing-impaired individuals).
The difference between bone conduction headphones and traditional headphones lies in not covering the eardrum. Bone conduction headphones adopt a wraparound design behind the skull. They keep the ear canal open, allowing you to be aware of your surroundings. Audio waves or vibrations are transmitted directly to the inner ear from behind the cheekbones.
Why Do We Need Bone Conduction?
Have you ever encountered an awkward situation at work where you couldn't hear what was happening around you while listening to audio through headphones? Especially if you're cycling in dangerous situations, this could lead to unfavorable outcomes. For people using public transportation or working but still needing to avoid this awkward situation, bone conduction headphones might be a good idea.
Or, when you've finished a tiring day and want to relax, whether you're taking a walk outside or resting at home, bone conduction headphones can help you avoid sudden dangers. You won't miss calls from family members, whether it's an invitation to go out or a warning about soup boiling in the kitchen.
This is one of the reasons I recommend bone conduction.
While we have daily habits of cleaning our bodies, some places are blind spots, such as the ear canal. If you enjoy listening to music with earplugs, congratulations, your earplugs host more than 100,000 colonies of bacteria, thanks to your kindness. While you silently enjoy the charm of music under the stars, perhaps the bacteria are also appreciating "Love Story" with you.
However, if you change your listening method, avoiding creating a breeding ground for bacteria, and still enjoy your favorite tunes without as many accompanying listeners, bone conduction might be a good idea. It produces sound from the bones outside your ears, not invading your ear canal. You know how to choose.
This is another reason I recommend bone conduction.
Besides individuals with hearing impairments being forced to choose bone conduction, it doesn't mean people with normal hearing can't use it. As you know, human hearing loss is an irreversible condition, but we can make the utmost effort to protect it.
Air Conduction Listening: Air → Ear Canal → Eardrum → Ossicles (Middle Ear Bones) → Inner Ear Canal → Cochlea → Auditory Nerve
Bone Conduction Listening: Jawbone → Inner Ear Canal → Cochlea → Auditory Nerve
Comparing the two, it's clear that using bone conduction for listening eliminates many steps in sound wave transmission. Moreover, it bypasses the eardrum and the ear canal, reducing the risk of various diseases caused by eardrum damage and avoiding the ear canal swelling and itching from prolonged earplug wear.
This is another reason I recommend bone conduction.
Bone Conduction That Fits You
Shokz OpenRun Pro – Premium Open-Ear Bluetooth Sports Headphones:
OpenRun Pro is hailed as Shokz's highest-quality headphones ever. The latest 9th generation bone conduction technology redefines everything you know about open-ear listening, adding two bass boosters to optimize the weaknesses of open-ear headphones. The headphones are sweatproof, adjustable for fit, and incredibly comfortable to wear.
VocalSkull Sport – True Bone Conduction Open-Ear Bluetooth Sports Glasses:
If you find it cumbersome to wear both headphones and glasses simultaneously, yet you want to protect your eyes and enjoy music, you'll fall in love with VocalSkull Sport bone conduction sports glasses. It integrates everything you desire into one. The two elastic legs emit clear, rich sound through vibrations, and it features anti-wind noise with dual microphones for worry-free communication. The standard sunproof lenses protect your eyes from sun exposure, making your outdoor activities more relaxed.
BOCO EarsOpen – The World's Smallest Bone Conduction Device Earphones：
Introducing the world's first clip-on design, BOCO EarsOpen reduces unnecessary vibrations to the minimum, allowing you to still hear your surroundings while using them. Whether you're cycling or walking, they provide ample safety. Moreover, if you have hearing impairments, there's a special model tailored just for you.