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10 Best Bone Conduction Headphones [2022]

Let’s sift through what makes a good pair of bone conduction headphones and the best bone conduction headphones you can find today.

NameIP RatingBattery LifeConnectivityPrice
AfterShokz Aeropex Best OverallIP678 hoursBluetooth 5.0BUY
AfterShokz Trekz Air Strong Runner-UpIP556 hoursBluetooth 4.2BUY
MilanSo Bone Conduction Headphones Budget PIck #1IP556 hoursBluetooth 5.0BUY
Zulu Exero Budget Pick #2IPX56 hoursBluetooth 5.0BUY
AfterShokz Xtrainerz Best for SwimmingIP688 hoursInternal StorageBUY
AfterShokz OpenComm Best for CallsIP5516 hoursBluetooth 5.0BUY
Easycat BC900 Best WiredN/AN/AUSB-ABUY
Forbrain Auditory Feedback Headphones Best for Auditory ProcessingN/AN/AN/ABUY
YouthWhisper Lite Bone Conduction Headphones Best for RunningIP548 hoursBluetooth 5.0BUY
myFirst Bone Conduction Headphone Wireless Best for KidsIPX65 hoursBluetooth 5.0BUY

How to Pick the Best Bone Conduction Headphones

Imagine being able to experience sound through the vibrations in the bones of your jaw and cheeks. Bypassing both the outer and middle ear, imagine the soundwaves vibrate directly through to your inner ear using your bones as a conductive current.

The entire process might sound more sci-fi than reality, but this technology has been around for over a decade.

Bone conduction headphones (or bone phones) are widely used by individuals suffering from hearing loss, avid urban sports enthusiasts, and even by the military as an essential form of communication.

Choosing the right pair of headphones is confusing enough for some people. But choosing the right pair of bone-conducting headphones is a different beast altogether.

Besides, they’re not designed not to match nor outdo the capabilities of traditional headphones. They’re there to give consumers a choice that’s perfect for their active lifestyle.

In the next few sections, we’ll outline what to look out for when selecting the right pair of bone conduction headphones for you. While they may seem similar to selecting a pair of traditional headphones, there are some differences that while minor, make them otherwise.

Design and Comfort

Comfort and fit are just as important in bone conduction headphones the same way it does with traditional ones. No one will want to wear headphones that will cause some discomfort after prolonged use. It’s therefore important that you choose a pair of conduction headphones you’re comfortable with.

At first glance, it may appear that bone conduction headphones are very much different from traditional headphones. But they actually share the same basic design, i.e. two earpieces connected by a headband to hold them in place.

However, unlike traditional headphones, bone conduction headphones have no earbuds to insert inside or ear cups to cover your ears. They use a pair of magnetostriction drivers instead. These are then positioned on your jaw/cheek bones where they send the signal to your inner ears.

This design frees up your ears from any soreness or potential ear infections, which are exclusively associated with prolonged use of regular headphones.

When it comes to fit, choose a pair of bone conduction headphones that fit snugly on your ears. But make sure they don’t become loose in any way. That way you’ll get the most out of your experience.

It’s also best to choose a pair with materials that will complement the comfort you feel while wearing them. A lot of bone conduction headphones are made of touch plastic, which can cause some soreness on the sides of your head in prolonged use. As a general rule, go for those with more flexible materials like rubber or titanium.

Moreover, to relay sounds, bone conduction headphones’ drivers transform electrical energy into mechanical wave energy. In layman’s terms, this means that the audio signals are transformed into physical vibrations. These vibrations are then relayed from your jaw/cheek bones into your inner ear where they are translated as sounds.

With your ears free, users are allowed better environmental awareness while listening to music. There’s just one drawback to this process though. At higher volumes, the vibrations get stronger, causing discomfort to the user.

Durability

Bone conduction headphones found its market niche way back in 2008, when they were sold for use in sports. Since then, almost all bone conduction headphones were marketed to fit people’s active lifestyles.

Bone conduction headphones gave athletes spatial and environmental awareness that regular headphones could never provide.

In line with this, most bone conduction headphones are given high IP ratings. For those not in the know, IP Ratings are a grading system used on most consumer electronics. Except for some regions in the world, it’s used universally.

The IP in IP ratings stands for Ingress Protection. It basically grades how much protection an electrical, mechanical or electronics device has in terms of intrusion.

The first digit measures protection against solid particles, i.e. dust. The second digit meanwhile grades how much protection it has against liquids

If you’re looking for a good pair of bone conducting headphones to match your active lifestyle, don’t settle for a rating lower than IPX4. Choosing a pair of headphones on par with an IPX4 guarantees that they will be sweat proof at the very least.

However, if you plan to listen to music while swimming or while engaging in other water sports, an IPX4 rating won’t suffice. In fact, you’ll need something a bit higher in the IP ratings system to get that water protection on your headphones.

For this, you should get something that’s at least rated IPX8. That way, you can rest assured that they will last even when submerged underwater. If money isn’t an issue, you can opt to go for a pair of headphones with a rating of IP68 for extra protection.

Don’t assume that a pair of headphones are totally waterproof just because it has an IP68 rating. There’s some fine print that comes with said rating. An IP68 rating only means an electronic device, e.g. your headphones, can be submerged up to a depth of 1.5 meters for up to thirty minutes only.

Wireless or Wired Connectivity

The debate on which is better between wireless or wired headphones will probably never die down, even with bone conduction headphones. Both sides have their own advocates and valid arguments. In the end, the choice will always be yours, as the consumer, to make.

We’ve provided the respective advantages and disadvantages of both wired and wireless headphones below. Hopefully, they can help you narrow down your choice.

Wired Headphones

What We Like
  • Doesn’t suffer from any signal interferences and latency (delayed audio) problems.
  • No batteries to charge. There’s also no possibility of being cut off during calls or video conferences.
  • Plug and play operation allows easy access for everyone. Headphones that require USB connection will install their drivers automatically.
  • Since there are no internal batteries or circuits for wireless connectivity, they’re produced much cheaper and sold at a lower price.
What We Don't Like
  • The connecting cable may become obtrusive. Especially if the cable provided is short.
  • The connecting cable requires maintenance. If the cable is replaceable, then there’s no problem. But if they’re not and they get damaged, you’ll have to buy a new pair of headphones.
  • You’re basically grounded to the device you’re connected to. Moreover, if you’re using a desktop, you’re mobility is limited

Wireless Headphones

What We Like
  • Increases your mobility. You’re only limited by the wireless range.
  • No dangling cables to worry about.
  • Compatible with most Bluetooth devices.
What We Don't Like
  • May suffer from signal interference and audio not syncing properly in real time.
  • Requires constant charging of internal batteries to function. They’re basically useless when their batteries are fully drained.
  • They are sold more expensively than wired headphones.

After all that’s been said and done, it’s worth noting that most bone conduction headphones sold in the market today are wireless. You may have to put some effort to find some that are wired and actually good, as we’ll see later in our best bone conduction headphones list.

Sound Quality

A bone conduction headphone is never going to sound the same as a pair of traditional over-ear or in-ear headphones. One of the challenges for bone conduction is that they have to replicate the full frequency range (20 Hz to 20000Hz) that a human can hear. Accomplishing this range via vibration is not an easy task and not many companies have done it. Industry leader, Aftershokz, is one of those few companies.

So does Aftershokz’s bone conduction headphones sound amazing? Not really.

Overall, we can sum up their sound quality as ‘good enough’ for the general population to appreciate music or podcast while keeping your ears free to hear your surroundings.

In fact, there are subjective studies that are done to show that bone conduction headphones provide the same amount of entertainment values as conventional headphones.

It definitely isn’t audiophile quality, but it ain’t so terrible for people to trash it completely.

Just don’t expect thumping bass and bright treble. Instead, expect forward mids to be its sound signature.

Long story short, if you are looking for pure music headphones, look away from bone conduction headphones.

Usage

Selecting your bone conduction headphones also depend on the main reason you’re buying one. Some bone conduction headphones offer additional features that will help in specific circumstances. Here are a few samples:

Bone Conduction Headphones as Hearing Aid

So how does bone conduction headphones help those with poor hearing? To be able to answer that, we need to understand how hearing loss can actually occur.

As a person grows older or constantly bombarded by loud noises, the hair-like nerve cells in the cochlea will experience degeneration. In time, these nerve cells will become inefficient. They’ll be unable to send electrical signals effectively unlike before. The end result is hearing loss where some tones can sound muffled or almost none are heard at all.

This is where bone conducting headphones come in. With the help of their transducers, each one placed on top of the person’s cheek/jawbone they transform sounds into mechanical vibrations. The headphones then bypass the damaged eardrums and effectively relay these vibrations through the inner ear. The transmitted vibrations are then interpreted as sounds.

It’s actually no surprise that bone conduction headphones have specially designed headsets for the hearing-impaired. Bone conduction headphones trace their roots to hearing aids. Back then they were called Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA).

For Outdoor & Water Sports

Ever since the first bone conduction headphones were sold for mass consumption in 2008, these headphones have always targeted people who have active lifestyles or engaged in sports. The main selling point ever since then was that they promote awareness of surrounding environments while listening to music.

This was only possible thanks to the technology being used on these types of headphones. With no intrusive elements present, i.e. earcups and earbuds, the users’ ears are free to listen to external noises. With their primary usage in various sports and outdoor activities, it only made sense to make them durable to match with the activities they’re in.

It’s also no coincidence that they have IP ratings. With high IP ratings, bone conduction headphones had another selling point to add to their roster. There were even bone conduction headphones created just for swimming and other water activities.

Legality and Safety while Driving

Depending on where you live, it is illegal in many states to drive a vehicle, cycle, or even cross a street wearing traditional headphones.

Currently, it is illegal to wear headphones while driving in the states of Colorado, Maryland, Louisiana, and Rhode Island. Please check your local laws for full details.

If listening to music or taking a call can’t be avoided while driving, bone conduction headphones free up your ears, so you do not risk receiving a fine in locations where typical headphones aren’t allowed.

While manufacturers deem bone conduction headphones safe to use (thanks to their products freeing up the ears and prompting spatial awareness). Some concerns have been raised as to how safe they really are. With the main argument being that it serves as a distraction and thus a potential danger to people on the road.

Sound Leakage

Many people mistakenly assume that bone conduction headphones do not leak sound because they think that no sound is truly produced, only vibrations.

The fact is that bone conduction headphones do leak sound. However, It is not as bad as a pair of open-back headphones.

This tends to happen when the volume gets loud. If someone is standing near you, they can definitely hear some sound leakages but not to an extent where they hear the music clearly.

10 Best Bone Conduction Headphones in 2022

AfterShokz Aeropex

Best Overall
Close look at AfterShokz Aeropex (From: Amazon)
Close look at AfterShokz Aeropex (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Weight: 0.92 ounces
  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • In-line Controls: Yes
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0

With the AfterShokz Aeropex, AfterShokz has added another product to their lineup of quality headphones. The Aeropex feel comfortable to wear. They’re lightweight, weighing in at little less than an ounce; and stylish, with their matte rubber headband.

The headband may seem thin but it’s flexible and durable. It allows the Aeropex a variety of movements without being damaged. The Aeropex gives just enough clamping force to fit snugly on your head. But they never feel tight in any way even after prolonged use.

The Playback button rests on the left transducer while the Volume controls are on the opposite end. When you click on the Power Button (when there’s no music playing), it will tell you the battery status. It doesn’t break new grounds, but it does enhance the listening experience.

Overall, the sounds are good. The bass is loud (sometimes too loud) enough but the forward mids are average at best. Volume levels are also loud enough for headphones of this type. The built-in microphone is also good, despite capturing some background noises during calls.

Battery life can last up to 8 hours of continuous playback time. It also utilizes Bluetooth 5.0 for improved connectivity with your audio source. Overall, the AfterShokz Aeropex are an excellent pair of bone conducting headphones.

But don’t go thinking that the Aeropex is perfect. In fact, they aren’t. Our main concern is that the bass can sometimes be too loud that the vibrations may cause some level of irritation on the users’ ears.

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AfterShokz Trekz Air

Strong Runner-Up
Close look at AfterShokz Trekz Air (From: Amazon)
Close look at AfterShokz Trekz Air (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • IP Rating: IP55
  • Weight: 1.27 ounces
  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • Inline Controls: Yes
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2

AfterShokz has been around for a long time and as such, gained the distinction of being the leading brand in Bone Conduction Headphones. That’s why it’s no surprise that the AfterShokz Trekz Air are AfterShokz’s second entry in this list. And they’re definitely not going to be the last.

Despite their positives, the Trekz Air can only manage a runner-up position behind the Aeropex. The reason? The Aeropex are an upgrade of the Trekz Air, retaining what went right with the latter and improving upon them. Like having a better control scheme, better battery performance and a higher IP rating. They’re also lighter than their predecessors.

As with most bone conduction headphones, don’t expect the sound quality of Trekz Air to rival traditional headphones. But compared to other headphones of this type, the TrekzAir are definitely a few notches above the rest.

This is all possible thanks to AfterShokz’s patented PremiumPitch Technology. It allows the Trekz Air to emulate music to sound as they were intended to be heard.

The Trekz Air’s sounds are above average. Their strong bass complemented by a good mid-range. This combination works especially well with Pop, Hip Hop or R&B and keeps the vocals crisp. The microphone is also clear and precise during phone and video calls. Additionally, the battery life lasts up to 6 hours of playback.

The only thing that’s gonna keep you from buying the Aftershokz Trekz Air is knowing that the Trekz Air already has an upgraded version — the Aeropex. These improve upon the Trekz Air’s best features in almost every way. So if you have a few more cash to spare, it may be more recommended to go the the Aeropex instead.

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MilanSo Bone Conduction Headphones

Budget Pick #1
Close look at MilanSo Bone Conduction Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at MilanSo Bone Conduction Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • IP Rating: IP55
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • Inline Controls: Yes
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0

The MilanSo Bone Conduction Headphones are some of the most affordable bone conduction headphones in the market today. But, while the price is lower than other bone conduction headphones in this list, they still deliver a good package. They may clock in at 5 ounces but their build still feels lightweight. The band also has a non-slip surface finish.

The MilanSo’s sounds are generally above average. They can reach higher volume levels than most other bone conduction headphones. They’re best for playing music but vocals tend to sound muddied at times. The reason? The treble range is limited while the bass is boosted.

The microphone is just a middling effort, but the inclusion of Bluetooth 5.0 technology provides a reliable connection and long signal range from your device of choice. The built-in 200mAh lithium battery also provides continuous playback time of up to 6 hours. And, a 2-hour charge can last up to ten days in standby mode.

With its high IP rating, the MilanSo is best suited for budget-minded people with an active lifestyle. They’re designed with enough protection against dust and sweat while on the go.

Just keep in mind that they’re best for playing music rather than podcasts or audiobooks because of the limited treble range. If you can get past that one downside, then the MilanSo Bone Conduction Headphones may be for you.

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Zulu Exero

Budget Pick #2
Close look at Zulu Exero (From: Amazon)
Close look at Zulu Exero (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • IP Rating: IPX5
  • Weight: 3 ounces
  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • Inline Controls: Yes
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0

The Zulu Exero is one of Zulu Audio‘s latest efforts in the bone conduction headphones market. With their myriad of features, the Exero doesn’t disappoint despite having a lower price. Their design doesn’t look cheap and is built to deliver good audio.

What sets the Exero apart from most bone conduction headphones is how they’re designed. Most bone conduction headphones rest their transducers on the middle part of the cheekbones. But with the Exero, they rest on the upper portion of the cheekbones.

This positioning may seem odd, but there’s a good reason for it. It allows the headphones to be closer to the ears. Closing the gap allows the Exero to deliver better and louder sounds.

One point of contention for most bone conduction headphones is that when you raise their volume, the vibrations on the cheeks tend to cause some discomfort. That’s not the case with the Exero: even at their lower volume levels, the sounds are audible enough. There’s no need to crank up the volume to max just to improve the listening experience with the Exero.

The Exero’s inline controls allow for easy access to the volume. The other staples of headphones, Play/Pause, Mute and Answer functions can also be accessed with just a button click.

When fully-charged, the Exero can last for up to 6 hours. These headphones utilize Bluetooth 5.0 for improved wireless connection and longer range.

However, the Zulu Exero’s connection stability may hinder you from getting the best listening experience. Connection dropouts and latency is almost inevitable, especially because of its limited range for only having Class 2 Bluetooth.

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AfterShokz Xtrainerz

Best For Swimming
Close look at AfterShokz Xtrainerz (From: Amazon)
Close look at AfterShokz Xtrainerz (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • IP Rating: IP68
  • Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • Inline Controls: Yes
  • Microphone: No
  • Connectivity: Internal Storage

The Aftershokz Xtrainerz are a bit different from the other entries in this list in that it’s neither wired nor supports wireless connectivity. The Xtrainerz is actually a pair of MP3 player headphones.

That may sound a bit odd for a pair of bone conduction headphones. But when you factor in that they’re purposefully designed for swimming, then it all makes sense. Removing any wireless connectivity was pretty smart too: water can interfere with Bluetooth connections after all.

The audio quality is average at best. Music plays with enough clarity even when underwater. This is all thanks to the Underwater Mode, which allows the Xtrainerz’s music to adapt to underwater environments by changing the pitch when submerged.

The 8 hours of battery life is definitely more than enough to please any swimmers or triathlon athletes. Given they’re rated with a high IP rating, the Xtrainerz are definitely built to last against dust, water and other weather elements.

As there’s no wireless connectivity, you have to connect the Xtrainerz to your desktop when adding or removing files. Aside from MP3s, the Xtrainerz can also play AAC, FLAC, WAV, and WMA file formats. The Xtrainerz playlist can only hold up to 4 gigabytes of music files. Another caveat: there’s no support for external SD cards.

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AfterShokz OpenComm

Best For Calls
Close look at AfterShokz OpenComm (From: Amazon)
Close look at AfterShokz OpenComm (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • IP Rating: IP55
  • Weight: 1.06 ounces
  • Battery Life: 16 hours
  • Inline Controls: Yes
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0

This is the fourth and last product from AfterShokz in this list. The AfterShokz OpenComm were designed with remote and office workers in mind. It’s easy to see why: the built-in microphone is best used for calls and online video conferences. The OpenComm can deliver clear vocals over the lines with little to no problems.

The OpenComm are quite comfortable and designed for prolonged use. They even sport that “professional look” which makes them appealing during video conferences. The battery life can last up to 8 hours — that’s just enough to last through an entire day in the office! There’s even a quick charge function so you can continue using it with little waiting time.

While they may be designed for office settings, the OpenComm sits just as well in an outdoor environment. Their high IP ratings means they’re well protected from dust and various weather elements.

If there’s a major drawback to OpenComm’s design, it’s that the inline controls have a high learning curve. It’s best to refer to the manual and practice as much as possible. Some functions require double and even triple presses just to activate the basic Play/Pause, Next/Previous and Answer/End Call functions.

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Easycat BC900

Best Wired
Close look at Easycat BC900 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Easycat BC900 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Weight: 0.71 ounces
  • Inline Controls: No
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB- A

The Easycat BC900 are specifically designed for people who find the constant charging and maintenance of batteries to be cumbersome chores. They’re designed for use at home and in the office where a desktop is readily available for plugging in.

As with other bone conduction headphones, the overall design is lightweight. It’s complemented by a plastic band that’s flexible but durable. The BC900 remains comfortable even with prolonged use.

As the BC900 isn’t wireless, they must connect to a desktop via USB-A cable connection. This keeps the BC900 grounded well within your workstation. You can’t use these headphones outdoors unless you’re using a laptop. But even then you would have to be stationary at the very least.

While this may sound like the BC900 have limited usage, but the opposite is true. True, they require constant connection to a desktop (or laptop). But it also frees up the BC900 from any latency problems inherent in almost all wireless headphones. Plus, there’s no need to recharge. You can use these for as long as you’re in front of your workstation.

The sounds are also quite good with decent bass, mids and trebles. This was clearly designed for online video conferences in mind, as the vocals that go through the built-in microphone are clear.

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Forbrain Auditory Feedback Headphones

Best For Auditory Processing
Close look at Forbrain Auditory Feedback Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at Forbrain Auditory Feedback Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • IP Rating: N/A
  • Weight: 11.84 ounces
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Connectivity: N/A

The Forbrain Auditory Feedback Headphones were marketed as educational therapeutic tools to improve speech memory and attention of people with speech delays and those with ASD. These are unique in that they are the only pair of bone conducting headphones in this list to be marketed as an educational tool.

These bone conduction headphones technically cannot be used for music listening. Their main function is to aid in speech recognition, therapies, and musical pitch perception.

And while we’re here to neither prove or disprove such claims by the manufacturer, one thing is certain: the quality inherent in Forbrain headphones are worth noting.

The Forbrain were basically designed with kids and adults in mind. Their headband is comfortable and it’s been designed for prolonged use. These headphones allow the users to hear themselves while they speak in real time. The vocals heard can then be evaluated by the user for any mistakes, allowing speech impediments to be corrected.

Needless to say, the vocals produced by the Forbrain are clear and crisp. Their built-in microphone captures voices clearly. The headphones then relay them to the user in the same quality.

Unlike most bone conducting headphones, the Forbrain comes packaged in a bulky, black carrying case. This case can hold the headphones, manuals, charging cables and other accessories. It gives the Forbrain a premium, professional look.

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YouthWhisper Lite Bone Conduction Headphones

Best For Running
Close look at YouthWhisper Lite Bone Conduction Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at YouthWhisper Lite Bone Conduction Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • IP Rating: IP54
  • Weight: 0.88 ounces
  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • Inline Controls: Yes
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0

The YouthWhisper Lite Bone Conduction Headphones were positioned to be sold in the midrange market. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re light on features, nor are they entry level bone conduction headphones.

The YouthWhisper feel comfortable and lightweight when worn. They sport a flexible and durable headband with a soft silicon patch. Sounds are decent and never sounds muddy.

The 200 mAh lithium battery can achieve a full charge within 2 hours. When full, playback time for music can last up to 8 hours. The standby mode can last for up to a whopping 480 hours. There’s also support for fast charging: a 15-minute charge will give you about an hour of talk time.

The YouthWhisper Lite also supports Bluetooth 5.0 and allows for multi-pairing. It’s quite useful when you need to connect to 2 devices at once. You don’t need to disconnect from one device just to hear and answer another.

With this plethora of features, it’s easy to see why the YouthWhisper Lite Bone Conduction Headphones are ranked as the Best for Running in this list. With its high IP rating, they’re definitely designed for running and other outdoor activities. Plus, they’re lightweight and overall comfortability basically make you forget you’re even wearing them.

One thing the manufacturers overlooked on the YouthWhisper Lite’s design is their microphone. There are noticeable background noises while taking calls. That may be a deal breaker if you’re going to take lots of phone or video calls with the YouthWhisper Lite.

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myFirst Bone Conduction Headphones

Best For Kids
Close look at myFirst Bone Conduction Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at myFirst Bone Conduction Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • IP Rating: IPX6
  • Weight: 0.92 ounces
  • Battery Life: 5 hours
  • Inline Controls: Yes
  • Microphone: Yes
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0

As the name and branding suggests, the myFirstBone Conduction Headphones are definitely designed with kids in mind.

They feature soft rubber contact points to provide comfort for children even on long rides or flights. There’s also no discernible clamping pressure on the headband. But they never feel loose when worn either.

The package comes with the manual, charging cables and stickers. As expected of a product aimed for kids, the fun combination of colors and overall design make them appealing for children of any age. The inline controls are also intuitive and easy enough to understand even for kids.

They’re also lightweight and easy to carry around. One full charge lasts for up to 5 hours of playback time. Moreover, the sound quality is actually decent.The built-in microphone also delivers clear and understandable vocals. If there’s one caveat, it’s that it tends to catch background noises at times while taking phone or video calls.

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Notable Mentions

Listed in this section are some of the bone conduction headphones that didn’t quite make the cut in our top 10 list. But don’t expect them to be inferior in any way. It just means that competition was fierce in the bone conduction headphones market, with each manufacturer trying to outdo the competition as best they can.

As you look through their specs, you’ll find none of them are bad. In fact, they performed quite well in their respective test runs. Maybe by next year, their manufacturers will have released upgraded versions. Hopefully, they’ll make it to our 2022 list.

Aftershokz OpenMove

Close look at Aftershokz OpenMove (From: Amazon)
Close look at Aftershokz OpenMove (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Bluetooth v5.0 connectivity
  • IP55 dust and water-resistant
  • 3 EQ Settings: Standard, Vocal Booster, & Earplug Mode
  • Only weighs 29g
  • 6 hours of continuous playtime
  • Signal range of up to 33ft.
Aftershokz OpenMove has the same sound quality as the industry-leading Aeropex, but at a more affordable price. So for everyone looking at Aeropex but doesn’t want to spend too much, this one is for you!

However, because of the price differences between Aeropex and OpenMove, expect a few compensations to the build and comfort.

Experience great sound for a lower price

Despite the relatively lower price range compared to other Aftershokz headphones, Aftershokz OpenMove still measures up to the Aeropex when it comes to sound quality. Both are equipped with an improved PremiumPitch™ 2.0, which ensures a richer and more detailed audio quality even in noisy environments.

OpenMove also enables users to customize their listening experience with 3 EQ Settings. These are:

  • Standard Modefor regular listening
  • Vocal Booster Mode – for podcasts and audiobooks
  • Earplug Mode– for when you’re using the free foam earplugs.

Great for athletes and people on the go

The Aftershokz Openmove has IP55 dust and waterproof rating. This means that this can withstand harsh weather conditions and can last through athletes’ intense training sessions.

Another outstanding feature is its great sound leak prevention. This helps users to keep their music to themselves on busy commutes.

Connect easily to multiple devices

Equipped with Bluetooth v5.0, Aftershokz OpenMove offers faster pairing with audio devices and a more stable connection. This can also provide a reliable connection for up to 33ft of distance away from the audio source.

Aside from that, the OpenMove also allows multipoint pairing. This lets you simultaneously pair with two different audio devices as well as get notified for incoming calls and automatically connect to the right device to answer them.

Woman wearing Aftershokz OpenMove (From: Amazon)
Woman wearing Aftershokz OpenMove (From: Amazon)

Drawbacks

Due to the cheaper price point, it is understandable that Aftershokz has to make some sacrifices on the build quality and comfort level.

Unlike other Aftershokz bone conduction headphones, the OpenMove is made from harder materials with fewer curves. This build may prevent the OpenMove from sitting snugly depending on the ear and head shapes or sizes, causing discomfort after a few hours of straight listening.

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Genso’s Bone Conduction Headphone

Genso’s Bone Conduction Headphone

Key features:

  • IP55 (Waterproof and sweatproof)
  • Lightweight design
  • Ergonomic design creates a comfortable slip-proof fit
  • Modern Bluetooth v5.0 technology for fast pairing and file transfer

Nothing is more frustrating than taking a long jog or bike ride and halfway through the activity, your music ceases to play because your battery has run out of juice. However, with the Genso’s Bone Conduction Headphones you don’t have to worry about the batteries failing. The headphones features a built-in 200mAh lithium battery that charges in as little as two hours. The standby time is 10 days and the play time is around 10 hours.

Rugged Design

These headphones are made for outdoor or indoor sports use. The IP55 waterproof rating makes the bone conduction headphones resistant to light rain and able to stand up to sweat. The headphones are lightweight but highly durable with a comfortable fit.

Bluetooth v5.0 Technology

Like other headphones, the Genso’s bone conduction headphones are wireless, so there’s no hassling with wires. The modern Bluetooth v5.0 technology provides a fast pairing, stable connections plus a 33-ft signal transmission, and extremely fast file transfer.

Drawback

One major drawback to Genso is that the sound quality of their microphone appears to lacking during phone calls.

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Tayogo S2

Close look at Tayogo S2 (From: Amazon)
Close look at Tayogo S2 (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • IP55 waterproof rating
  • Bluetooth v5.0 connectivity
  • Flexible design
  • Up to 6 hours of playback
  • Compatible with Android and iOS

The Tayogo S2 is your best option if you are looking for good bone conduction headphones that won’t break the bank. It’s great for people who are curious about this technology and simply want to try one at an affordable price without compromising on quality.

Stable long-distance connection

Similar to other bone conduction headphones that cost significantly higher, the Tayogo S2’s connection is stable for up to 30 feet of range.

Also, Tayogo’s bone conduction headphones support the latest Bluetooth v5.0. This guarantees faster pairing and a more reliable connection across different devices. You can quickly pair it not just with smartphones, but also with tablets, laptops, or even wearables like smartwatches.

Hours of comfortable listening

Tayogo S2 lets you forget about discomfort and focus on your music for up to 6 hours of straight use on a single charge.

The full wrap-around design of these open-ear bone conduction headphones also hugs the head just right. The soft rubber pads sit snugly on your cheekbones without getting in the way of the vibration transmission. These design factors prevent the Tayogo S2 from slipping off even during intense workouts and rough rides.

Great value for money

Because bone conduction headphones uses more niche technology than other types of headphones, they usually come at a relatively higher price. However, this pair begs to differ.

Despite being the most affordable pair on the list, the Tayogo S2 still holds its own with higher-priced bone conduction headphones in terms of quality and functionality. So if you’re curious about bone conduction technology and want to try one without burning a hole in your pocket, this could be on top of your list.

Man wearing Tayogo S2 (From: Amazon)
Man wearing Tayogo S2 (From: Amazon)

Drawbacks

Hearing your music clearly may be a problem when using Tayogo S2, especially when used in a loud environment. While you could push for a higher volume on your paired device but there is noticeable tingling on your cheekbones as the vibrations get more intense. The good thing, though, is that it comes with a pair of earplugs to help minimize ambient noise.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Bone Conduction Headphones

How Do Bone Conduction Headphones Work?

The key to understanding bone conduction headphones is to familiarize yourself with how sound travel into our inner ear (cochlea).

Air is the most common channel for sound to reach your inner ear. The sound wave travels from the source through the air to your outer ear, down to your middle ear and finally to your cochlea. Once in the cochlea, the sound is processed into a signal that is sent to your brain.

As long as sound can reach your cochlea, you can technically hear it.

Bone conduction headphones exploit this theory by transmitting sound through a different path to the ear. It sends vibrations through the bones in your face to the temporal bone (the bone surrounding the cochlea).

The vibration of the temporal bone causes the cochlear fluid to move, which sends signals down to the auditory cortex where the sound is heard.

Example of Bone Conduction Headphones transmitting sound
Example of Bone Conduction Headphones transmitting sound

Bone conduction technology is a lifesaver for people who are hard of hearing and unable to get cochlear implants due to outer ear damage. For people who need bone conduction to hear, they wouldn’t exactly wear headphones all the time. That would be too cumbersome.

Instead, they can choose the route of surgically implanted aids such as the Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA). WIth BAHA, a magnet is embedded just underneath the skin. An external microphone will receive sound and transmit it to the magnet. The magnet will then send vibrations through the skull, reaching the inner ear.

Is Bone Conduction Headphone Safer Than Conventional Headphones?

No, bone conduction headphones are not safer than conventional headphones. Nor are they any more dangerous too. There is a lot of false advertising by consumer headphones brands out there. They claim that since bone conduction headphones do not affect the eardrum when transmitting sound, users can listen to music without risking ear damage. This is simply untrue.

Eardrums cannot be damaged/perforated through listening to earphones or headphones. No matter how loud the music is blasting, it just doesn’t have the required impact to perforate the eardrum. However, it is the cochlear that we need to be concerned with.

Both bone conduction headphones and conventional headphones can damage your cochlear if they are overused at an unnecessarily loud volume. Prolonged exposure to loud noises may then cause gradual hearing loss that is not noticed until it becomes a pronounced problem.

Bone Conduction Headphones vs Traditional Headphones: Which should you go for?

Unlike the debate between wired versus wireless headphones, the choice here is much easier to make. You just have to ask yourself some questions:

  • Do you have an active lifestyle?
  • Do you want to listen to music while engaging in your sports?
  • Would you be willing to sacrifice some audio quality to do both?

If the answer is yes to all three, then bone conduction is probably for you. But the final choice will still be yours to make.

The case against Bone Conduction Headphones

No High-Fidelity Sound

Bone conduction headphones do not produce the sound quality found in traditional headphones. Even top-of-the-line bone conduction headphones do not compare to an average pair of conventional headphones. If you are seeking high-fidelity sound with lots of bass, then you should stick to standard headphones to experience cleaner sound and punchier bass.

Sound Leakage

Like open-back headphones, bone conduction headphones does leak sound. Thus, it is not recommended to be used in quiet settings like a library or a workplace. Bone conduction headphones are popularly used for sports purposes as those places have no issues with sound leakages.

Unsuitable for driving

Due to the vibrating sensation of bone conduction headphones, it is said to be more distracting for drivers compared to conventional earphones. However, research has shown that there are no significant differences in distraction for bone conduction headphones. And in fact, since the ears are kept open, they are more recommended for drivers.

The case for Bone Conduction Headphones

Maintain Spatial Awareness

Unlike traditional headphones, bone conduction headphones leave your ears open and uncovered. During certain sports, such as cycling or jogging, it is imperative that you remain aware of your surroundings to maintain safety.

Bone conduction headphones allow you to listen to music or audiobooks while indulging in such sports without taking away your ability to hear what is happening around you.

Studies have shown that bone conduction headphones increase the amount of spatial awareness compared to conventional headphones.

Conclusion

By now, you should have acquired the necessary information on selecting the right bone conduction headphones for you. You probably can now dispel the myths surrounding bone conduction headphones and what they’re really like.

Hopefully, you chose one of the bone conduction headphone headphones listed here. We’d like to hear what your listening experience was like.

So, what did you think of this article? Was it informative on your side? Did you make the switch to a bone conduction headphone yet? Please drop us a comment below!

25 comments

  1. i am hard of hearing and bone conduction offers me advantages as an option to continuous high stimulation to my middle ear. The sound quality and convenience allow access to several options otherwise unavailable. However, with the emphasis on sport activity it appears to be totally wireless. It therefore can’t be used where bluetooth is not available, like airplanes and FM systems in theaters and lecture halls. Are wire connections available?

  2. No help, I need a 3.5 mm plug and cord to use it with my ham radio in the car. These are all bluetooth. Neither of my ham rigs have bluetooth.

  3. I have had aftershokz for nearly two years a great product but when something went faulty I am still waiting after 4 weeks for a possible warranty claim

  4. I would like yo to add the exobone bone conduction headphones to the comparison. I have had the titanium aftershokz mini version for a few years now and I love them but! I do think that I have pushed my ears to stick out further from my head from continuous wear. I would rather thinner behind the ear ones. I also don’t like the way they stick out behind your head so far. I bought the mini ones but even the mini still sticks out and when I wear a vest with a collar sticking up they bump into each other. I work as a gardener so have them on all the time listening to audio books and have found them to be a God send for making the time pass easily. I just wish they could make them flatter to your head to exclude the ear poking out thing and smaller reach around the back of the neck.

    1. I ordered them and it been over 6 week and they still haven’t shipped. All I get are automated responses. Very shady if you ask me.

  5. I absolutely love my bone conducting headphones. My only regret is the MIC is not great.

  6. I purchased Oasis bone conductive headphones in Hong Kong last November, they have been great, but now they won’t take a charge so I can’t use them, can you assist, can you tell me where the battery is located, I have nothing to lose if I try to get into the workings of the unit, I have done similar things before, replacing battery in iPod

  7. AfterShokz Aeropex
    In the article I missed the equalizer function. If turned on you’ll have much more bass. My question is this: can the battery be replaced after its lifetime or do I have to buy new headphones. I asked this at AftherShokz but did not get an answer.
    Anybody has an answer? Thanks.

  8. Thanks for all the helpful information and the reviews on the bone conduction headphones. What do you know about the Exobone headphones? How do they compare to the ones you have reviewed?
    Thanks

  9. all very well for music. I need the same system to hear everyday conversation using bluetooth tec. Has anyone done this? Is there a microphone that will work with amp technology to work through hi fi.
    There is a Baha SoundArc available through the national health but the bone part is behind the ear which interferes with glasses.
    BOSE do a hearing aid but only available in the US. Because we are not allowed to use these unless we go through a registered hearing consultant by law they are not allowed in the UK. The usual protection issue for hearing consultants.

  10. I would like to have the Exobone bone conduction headphones and the Aftershokz Open Move headphones to the comparison, please.

  11. I would like to have the Aftershokz Open Move headphones reviewed. Also the Exobone bone conduction headphones should be considered.

  12. Hi, i have not ordered this product yet. I have extreme hearing loss, but my bone conduction is in good shape, .. i THINK. Will have a bone conduction “hearing” test tomorrow, specifically for “hearing” MUSIC. It looks like all of the bone conductive headphones are for sports, underwater, jogging. Thus, the sound quality (bone conduction) product is compromised. Are there products that are made specifically for intense listening to music? Let me know soon, .. uh please. Thank you

    1. Glasses??? How do any of these perform with glasses? Aftershokz has no pictures of them with glasses either.

  13. Looking for swimming headphones, preferably bone conduction, with Playback Resume. They doesn’t seem to exist…

  14. hi, the aftershokz treks line got discontinued. due to the fact that the treks mini headphones are now 130usd on amazon, what would you say the best pick for small heads is?

  15. The link for MilanSo Bone Conducting Headphones takes you to a totally different brand on Amazon. Searching does not seem to locate them either. perhaps they are no longer available ??

  16. Roger Vaughan
    I tried TOUCHBONE Model BC-8 and found it good while riding my bike.
    i normally use hearing aids, so normal earbuds don’t work at all. Larger headphones are not compatible with wearing a bike helmet. My hearing aids are bluetooth linked, but the aids themselves get a lot of howl/whooshing while biking at any speed or in windy areas. Using bluetooth capable bone conduction headphones without wearing my hearing aids lets me hear traffic, pedestrians and other bikers, while listening to voice or music. The TOUCHBONE headphones are compact and light, fitting easily under my helmet straps.

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