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You must have imagined a day when you will be able to enjoy music without putting earphones in your ears. Well, technology is introduced to us in the form of Bone Conduction Headphones. They are mainly designed for athletes who prefer working out while listening to their own music. Unlike traditional headphones, Bone conduction technology gives a whole different feeling.
So, are you ready to try out these headphones? If your answer is yes, then before you go online and make your purchase, take a look here and learn some important things about these Bone Conduction Headphones.
What are Bone Conduction Headphones?
With the name bone conduction, you can probably guess it has something to do with the bones. Well, you guessed right as the bone conduction headphones work on the principle that sound waves can travel better via bones.
How the Ear picks up Sounds with Regular Headphones
With traditional headphones, we are listening to sound waves.
- First, the sound waves travel through the air canals and to the eardrum.
- The eardrum starts to vibrate and the vibrations will, in turn, vibrate three small bones attached to the eardrum called the malleus, incus, and stapes.
- These bones will then send the vibrations to the cochlea, which has the shape of a snail.
- The cochlea will generate and send electrical signals to the brain which the brain will recognize as sounds.
How Bone Conduction Headphones Send Signals to Your Brain
Some creative minds found a way to make the pathway for the sound waves much easier, i.e. through bones. When the sound waves cause the bones of the head to vibrate, they are directly transmitted to the cochlea which further sends the electrical impulses to the brain via auditory nerves. The impulses that reach the brain are identical to the ones that are sent via the ear.
This is the whole bone conduction process which is used for the headphones. The technology has proven effective for the people who have hearing impairments. They are even used to treat hearing loss in the medical field. But the working of the headphones still suffers from some problems. So, in the next section, we are going to explore what are the various benefits and disadvantages of Bone Conduction Headphones. Let’s start with the positive side.
The Pros of Using Bone Conduction Headphones:
We all can agree to a simple fact that everything in our world has a positive side and a negative side. It solely depends on our perspective of the object. When it comes to the pros of bone conduction headphones, there are major advantages that you won’t be able to discard.
Increased Situational Awareness
Walking around with headphones in your ear is the perfect way to escape the world. But in the past decades, there have been many incidents that prove that walking with earphones is not safe. So, the bone conduction headphones resolve this problem in the best way possible. With these headphones, there will be no speaker over your ears which will prevent you from hearing horns, calling outs, or any other sound which may or may not be a risk to your safety.
You will be aware of the surroundings completely and still be able to enjoy music.
More Comfortable Fit
Every one of us has experienced this problem at some point. It is very hard to find the right fit for your ear. But Bone conduction earphones eliminate this problem entirely. From now on, you never have to struggle that the earbuds keep falling out of your hear or it hurts after some time. Whether you are going out for a run or you are doing any other chore throughout the day, the headphones will stay intact no matter what.
Unique Listening Experience
Running on your favorite songs and still being able to enjoy the sound of nature. This is something that every single human being cherishes. With the bone conduction headphones, you will be able to do that. You will have a unique listening experience and you will literally feel the music coursing through your veins.
As we already mentioned above, the bone conduction technology has already helped many individuals to repair their hearing. This is like a boon for the people who have never heard the sound of a clap, birds chirping, or a baby’s laugh.
Fun fact: Famous composer Ludwig Van Beethoven was nearly deaf and used bone conduction technology to help in listen to the music. He attached a rod to the piano and in the other end, he clenched the rod with his teeth. That way he could “listen” to the music through his jawbones.
The Cons of Using Bone Conduction Headphones
Along with the advantages, there are some serious disadvantages of the bone conduction headphones that you need to consider.
Some scientists believe that despite the usefulness of the bone conduction technology the sound travels through the same path. And it still has an impact on the cochlea that means there is a slight possibility that the cochlea cells will get damaged and result in hearing loss.
There are many complaints about the sound quality of the bone conduction headphones. This may be because they rely on air conduction of sound waves and the ability of those waves to pass through the inner ear. So, if the inner ear of a person has some issue then you will have to face some sound quality problems.
One of the biggest disadvantages of these headphones is that they are very costly. If you can’t afford the cool gadgets, then what is the point in having those available in the market? The cost has led to a major downfall in the customer base of the bone conduction headphones.
There are several bone conduction headphones in the market today. The one I would recommend is the AfterShokz Air Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones. It has a sleek design and has a lighter weight than most of the other brands. This makes it comfortable to wear and you can go for a long time forgetting you are even wearing them.
I hope you got some inspirations in this article if bone conduction headphones are something for you. Be listing the pros and cons you might see in what situations this technology is useful.
For instance, by looking at the pros, you might understand why so many active joggers like bone conduction technology so much. You get a better awareness of things like traffic and the headphones stay glued to your head.
But trying these kinds of headphones for the first time will most likely feel very weird as the experience is very unusual for most people. This might not be for everyone’s liking, so I would recommend going to a stereo store and try a pair out to see if it feels right for you.
Right now, some improvements are made in the bone conduction headphones so that the customers will start using them. Every new model that comes into the market is better than the previous one. As this technology has been in existence since the 2000s, the headphones are now better than ever. Of course, they cost slightly more than regular headphones, but it also has major advantages that other headphones do not provide.