how bone conduction headphones work

How Bone Conduction Headphones Work

Bone conduction headphones: a technical overview – Bone conduction headphones are different from standard headphones because they transfer sound vibrations along your cheekbones rather than via the air. bone conduction acoustic technology is what sets them apart, and it’s worth giving a go. Bone conduction headphones, sometimes known as “bone phones,” are a kind of headphones that send sound waves directly to the user’s skull bones rather than into the ear canal.

The user’s skull bones will shake in response to the device’s audio, amplifying the sound and freeing up the user’s ears. Those who have trouble hearing or who rely on their ears for situational awareness can benefit from this. The science behind bone conduction headphones – Bone conduction acoustic technology is what this employs. Now, I’ll break it down for you: Read here.

Bone conduction headphones: how they function

Bone conduction audio technology is what makes bone phones work. With this technique, the sound is sent from a transducer to the user’s skull and then on to the cochlea in the inner ear, where it is processed and sent through the auditory nerve to the brain. The user’s own head acts as the gadget’s speaker. In contrast, conventional headphones produce sound by vibrating the outer ear through speakers positioned in or near the ear canal.

From a scientific perspective, the sound is nothing more than the vibration of individual particles. Sound is often associated with air vibrations, but it may also travel through solids and liquids. As particles in a solid may also vibrate, this means that flesh and bone can serve as a speaker. Since solids have denser particle packing than either air or water, they are superior at transmitting sound. Due to their ordered particle arrangements, solids are the finest sound conductors, followed by liquids and finally air.

This goes against common sense since hearing anything through a liquid or solid often results in a distorted sound. Someone speaking above the surface would be incomprehensible to an underwater listener. When there is loud music playing next door, it usually sounds softer to the listener. When sound travels through the air first and then enters a liquid or solid, it becomes distorted. This is not because air is a worse sound conductor than the other material.

Bonephones are made with this consideration in mind. Most designs have an adjustable strap that may be fastened behind the wearer’s head to hold the vibration pads snugly on the scalp above each ear. The pads are contoured to fit snugly over the user’s ears and prevent the gadget from falling off. Since the pads are pressed up to the user’s skin, the sound is undistorted as it travels from the pads to the user’s head.


Bone phones, like traditional headphones, are worn by their users to enable private, mobile audio consumption. Bone phones, however, are distinct in that they avoid both the external and middle ears altogether. Unlike standard headphones, their innovative shape makes them ideal for use when moving about. They have a few advantages over standard headphones:

  • folks who do a lot of physical activity and require headphones that won’t fall off their heads, like those who go to the gym.
  • joggers and cyclists who value their hearing and wish to avoid missing any incoming traffic or important communications;
  • Listeners in a group setting should give at least some attention to what others around them are saying or announcing.
  • users with hearing loss, for whom the use of regular headphones may be made difficult by their specialized equipment.
  • Bone conduction might improve sound quality for individuals with hearing loss compared to traditional aural delivery methods.


Bone phones have the main benefit of not requiring the user to put anything in their ears. Many listeners will like this feature since it allows them to listen via headphones without shutting out the world.

Hearing-impaired users may also benefit from bone phones since they allow them to hear sound with more clarity than they were able to use traditional earbuds because they circumvent the ears. A person who is just partially deaf, for instance, may use bone phones to hear the sound in stereo. Bone-conducting headphones also allow the user to keep their hearing aid in while listening to music.

Listening to music or other sounds at unsafely high volumes, as might happen when using traditional headphones, is another problem that is avoided when using bone phones. Bone phones work on flesh and bone, but the eardrum is far more delicate.

Its sleek and secure construction also makes them a great choice for those who are always on the go. When AfterShokz first started making bone phones, they were intended for use in the military. Several models of bone-conduction headphones also provide storage space, allowing music to be downloaded straight to the headphones. For power users, this might be a plus.


Consumers’ reactions to bone phones have varied, despite their novelty and limited utility. The majority of consumers feel that bone phones can’t compare to more conventional headphones when it comes to sound quality. In particular, listeners have noted a decrease in volume and bass response.

The bodily form is not without its drawbacks. When music is played loudly, some listeners feel an unsettling or peculiar vibrating feeling in their faces. Its design also results in some sound leakage, which might be an issue for those who prefer to listen to audio in a calm environment without disturbing others. Some people have issues with the headphones since they don’t always provide a good fit, depending on the head and the model.

The cost of bone-conduction headphones is far more than that of regular earbuds. In the year 2023, the price difference between a pair of standard Apple earbuds and a pair of bone-conduction headphones is around $120. In comparison to a number of bone-conducting types, the sound quality of regular headphones would be much greater if people spent this much money. Although there are a few inexpensive bone phones on the market, the majority are far more expensive than the competition.

The best headphones for bone conduction

Bonephones are aimed at the athletic community due to their low profile. The following are examples of excellent bone-conduction headphones:

The notion of utilizing bones as an amplifier may seem futuristic, but it really dates back centuries. Beethoven, a master of the classical music genre, employed bone conduction to enable him to continue composing when he lost his hearing. To “hear” the piano, he would place one end of a rod in his mouth and the other end against the instrument, enabling the vibrations to travel up the rod and into his head. Bone vibrations are a kind of communication used by certain animals.


Bone conduction headphones are different from standard headphones because they transfer sound vibrations along your cheekbones rather than via the air. Although the lack of earbuds is nice, the true draw of bone-conduction headphones is that you can keep on with your outdoor activities without sacrificing your hearing. As was previously mentioned, conduction phones may help people with hearing loss because sound waves are conducted through the bone rather than the eardrums. In reality, the technique was first used in hearing aids before it caught on with headphones. Relax while listening to music and taking in the fresh air.

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