Many headphones currently use speakers to produce sound. This sound is then sent through vibrations passing through the air and into the eardrum. However, there are now bone conduction headphones that take a different approach to transmit sound to the brain – through the jaw and skull bones.
In this article, we’ll help you determine if you should buy bone conduction headphones. We’ll do this under a number of headings that are usually relevant to a potential buyer. Read through.
How Exactly Do Bone Conduction Headphones Work?
Before anything, it’s important to know how exactly these headphones work.
For normal headphones, the speaker produces a sound wave that travels from the outer ear to the eardrum. Then it goes from there to the middle ear, and to the cochlea, through hair cells, and to the brain. The same way we hear other sounds.
However, for bone conduction headphones, sound vibrations travel through the jaw and skull bones to the cochlea directly. In this case, the outer ear and eardrum are bypassed. Read more about how they work here.
Should You Buy Bone Conduction Headphones?
Are They Safe?
The first question you might ask is if these headphones are safe. Generally, bone conduction headphones are safe. However, like other headphones, they can cause hearing loss when used inappropriately. Using inappropriately can be listening to sound at very high volumes.
Also, because the headphones have speaker pads that are usually placed directly on the temples, there can be reports of headaches and skin irritations.
Still, on safety, these types of headphones are encouraged as they make users practice an open ear while listening to sound. Hence, the user is aware of their surrounding. This is opposed to normal headphones that cover the ear and block incoming sounds from the environment.
So, if you’re making a decision based on safety, bone conduction headphones are safe. Just use them appropriately as you would a normal headphone.
Are They Expensive?
These headphones are generally more expensive than normal headphones. However, you’d also find very affordable ones that’d likely match your budget.
On Amazon, you can find bone conduction headphones from as low as $40 to as high as $160. When you look through enough, you’d see something that’s great and affordable.
If pricing was your major source of hesitation, know that just like normal headphones, prices for these ones can vary largely and matches various budgets.
Have Hearing Problems?
If you have hearing problems – that occur as a result of damages to the outer and middle ear – these headphones can work for you. This is because while transmitting sound, they generally bypass the outer and middle ear.
However, they’ll likely not work for hearing problems that come as a result of damage to the cochlea or hair cells. Because these parts are still needed to transmit sound to the brain.
To Buy Bone Conduction Headphones or Not?
The decision to buy these headphones boils down to personal preferences. You should definitely get on them if you’re not comfortable being blocked out of your entire surrounding every time you use a headphone. They’re as safe as normal headphones.
Also, people with certain hearing issues will find them a great alternative to normal headphones.