The advantages and disadvantages of bone conduction headphones are compared with new technology. We will describe are bone conduction headphones safer for your ears or not.
Speaking of bone conduction headphones, friends concerned about sports headphones may be familiar with general in-ear or Bluetooth headphones.
Because bone conduction headphones are often praised as sports headphones, especially when running or cycling, what are the differences between bone conduction headphones and traditional headphones?
Today we will talk about bone conduction headphones, let us have a deeper understanding of this “black technology”.
Are Bone Conduction Headphones Safer for Your Ears?
Principle of Bone Conduction Headphones
For friends who are not familiar with bone conduction technology, or do not know the working principle of this kind of earphone very well, let’s explain the working principle of bone conduction earphone first.
There are two ways of sound transmission under normal environmental conditions: through the air and a particular medium. The traditional headphones we use naturally transmit sound through the air. While bone conduction headphones transmit sound using a specific medium, and this medium is our bones.
Bone conduction headphones can directly transmit sound to the auditory nerve in the form of sound waves through the head’s temporal bones, without passing air to the eardrum and then to our auditory nerve to achieve the effect of listening to sound.
This explanation does not seem to be clear enough, so let’s use a few examples to understand the working principle of bone conduction headphones. When we usually brush our teeth or chew food, we feel the sound is loud, but we can’t hear it.
The sound of someone chewing something is because the sound is transmitted directly to our auditory nerve through the bones, rather than through the air to our ears.
Another common situation is that when we scratch our heads, the sound will also reach the auditory nerve through bone conduction, and these are the most common examples of bone conduction principles in life.
How Bone Conduction Headphones Work?
The main reason why bone conduction headphones are near sports is that bone conduction headphones can overcome many of the shortcomings of traditional headphones during exercise.
It may be said that bone conduction headphones are designed to overcome traditional headphones during exercise. Designed for shortcomings, so bone conduction headphones have been inextricably linked with sports headphones since their birth.
Simultaneously, because there is no need to transmit sound waves through eardrum vibration when people get older or have the disease, the performance of people’s eardrums will decline to a certain extent, and using bone conduction to feel sound will not adversely affect human hearing.
This is the superiority of bone conduction technology in hearing aids. Bone conduction is a way of sound conduction: by converting sound into mechanical vibrations of different frequencies, and transmitting sound waves through the human skull, bony labyrinth, inner ear lymphatic fluid, spiral organs, auditory nerve, and auditory center.
Compared with the classic sound conduction method that generates sound waves through the diaphragm, bone conduction eliminates many sound wave transmission steps. It can achieve exact sound reproduction in noisy environments, and sound waves will not be affected by diffusion in the air.
Type of Bone Conduction Technology
Bone conduction technology is divided into:
- Bone conduction speaker technology and
- Bone conduction microphone technology.
01. Bone conduction speaker technology
Bone conduction loudspeaker technology is used to receive speech, and the speech is to hear the sound. Air conduction speakers convert electrical signals into sound waves (vibration signals are transmitted to the auditory nerve.
Bone conduction speakers are sound waves converted from electrical signals (vibration signals) directly transmitted to the auditory nerve through bones. The transmission medium of sound waves (vibration signals) is different.
02. Bone Conduction Microphone Technology
Bone conduction microphone technology is used to send a voice, and the voice is collected. Air-conducted speech transmits sound waves through the air to the microphone, while bone-conducted speech is transmitted directly through the bones.
These bone conduction technologies are called bone conduction earphones, also known as bone conduction earphones, bone-sensing earphones, bone-transmitting earphones, and bone-sensing earphones.
What are The Advantages of Bone Conduction Headphones?
1. Listen with open ears and be safer
The significant advantage of bone conduction is to reduce noise because when air transmits sound, all surrounding sounds will be transmitted to the inner ear through the eardrum. In contrast, bone conduction only transmits the sound you want to hear directly to the inner ear through the skull.
Therefore, the sound does not need to enter the eardrum through the ear canal to generate vibrations to hear the sound. When we listen to music with bone conduction headphones, we do not need to plug the ears with headphones. The advantage of this is that it allows us to Get rid of traditional headphones’ shackles on our ears.
At the same time, “the other big advantage of open-ear listening is that the earphones will not block your ear canal, so you can hear the sound of the environment around you while listening to music.
This is particularly important for outdoor activities or sports. It is beneficial. It can prevent us from being “ear blind” when running and listening to music and avoid dangerous situations.
This is also the most recommended advantage of current bone conduction headphones. The advantage of open-ear listening with bone conduction headphones allows you to hear any sound around you even in a high-decibel earphone music environment, which satisfies people’s desire to work while listening to music.
2. Listen with open ears, comfortable and healthy
Bone conduction earphones open both ears when worn and will not block the ear canal, which solves the shortcomings of in-ear earphones and headphone-wearing discomfort.
Simultaneously, because bone conduction earphones do not need to be placed in human ears, it is beneficial to maintain hygiene inside the ears.
However, when traditional earphones are put into human ears, the air in the ears is blocked, and the sweat secreted cannot be evaporated, which takes a long time. , It will breed bacteria, cause eardrum disease, and cause hearing loss.
Also, traditional earphones have electromagnetic waves, which can cause damage to the human brain and hearing nerves. Bone conduction earphones do not produce electromagnetic waves.
Simultaneously, the surface of bone conduction earphones is smooth and easy to clean, while traditional air conduction earphones are comfortable to deposit bacteria.
Bone conduction headphones are beneficial to people’s health, which is one of the fundamental reasons why bone conduction headphones are suitable as sports headphones.
3. Lightweight and portable, suitable for sports
Bone conduction headphones, given the name of sports headphones, naturally cannot ignore their natural advantages in sports. In addition to the advantages mentioned above, bone conduction headphones also have more advantages than sports headphones.
First of all, bone conduction headsets are generally tiny in size and light in weight. Take this AfterShokz Trekz Titanium bone conduction sports headset in my hand as an example.
It adopts an ear-mounted design and is much lighter than ordinary Bluetooth headsets. Simultaneously, the material used in the headset is also very soft, which can well adapt to the needs of bending and wearing. For sports headsets, this is also extremely important.
4. Get rid of the “stethoscope” effect
When we exercise, we do not focus on the earphones’ sound quality, but ordinary wired earphones will transmit all kinds of annoying friction and collision sounds to the ears when we exercise.
This is what we often say “Stethoscope “Effect”, and bone conduction earphones completely solve this problem, avoid the generation of “authentication noise,” and give people a better sports music environment.
What are The Disadvantages of Bone Conduction Headphones?
1. The sound quality is not perfect
Bone conduction earphones have always been well known as sports earphones, which shows their advantages in sports scenes and highlights the lack of sound quality of bone conduction earphones. People will only exercise in this specific scene.
Continue to use bone conduction headphones instead of headphones to listen to songs daily, mainly because bone conduction headphones still have some gaps in sound quality compared with traditional headphones.
For example, lack of bass and sound leakage still exist. Secondly, when comparing the sound quality with headphones of the same price, it does not have a price advantage.
2. The sound leakage phenomenon still exists
Although major manufacturers are currently working hard to improve the lack of sound leakage of bone conduction headphones, according to bone conduction headphones’ current status, sound leakage still exists in the latest bone conduction headphones.
Still, the sound leakage situation is more than before. There will be no apparent sound leakage in a typical outdoor environment; secondly, because the bone conduction headphones will feel a slight vibration when listening to songs.
These are also some of the disadvantages of the bone conduction headphones themselves. The author suggests that you can generally choose to wear earplugs for better listening effects, which can effectively improve the sound quality of headphones.
Earphones using this principle transmit sound signals to the skull through the metal block’s vibration inside the speaker and then directly enter the auditory nerve through the bones.
Therefore, bone conduction headphones are products that are worn outside the ears. It bypasses the ear canal, reduces sound damage to the eardrum, and can still hear surrounding sounds freely after wearing it.
As a bone conduction headset under the condition of a brand-new sound conduction technology, it has its clear advantages compared with traditional headsets. For example, it is an ideal listening tool in sports, communication, driving, and other scenarios.
Enjoying the fun of music in the ears and protecting the health of the ears has become one of the best choices for people when choosing sports headphones, rather than just the existence of “black technology”.
However, due to the particularity of its technology and other reasons, the sound quality needs to be further improved so that bone conduction headphones have a better experience during exercise and can be used as a weapon for daily listening to songs. This is also the truest for bone conduction headphones.