If you’re looking for the best bone conduction headphones under $50, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of bone conduction headphones and help you find an affordable pair. We got our first exposure to this innovative technology over 10 years ago. At the time, Beats by Dr Dre, who, by our investigation, is not a real doctor, was the talk of the town in the headphone industry. Then, Aftershokz Bluez dropped it like it’s hot and created some disruption. It wouldn’t called it a full-on earthquake, but some tremors could be felt, notable in the bones conducting the sounds.
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Top 9 Bone Conduction Headphones Under $50
Bone Conduction Headphones For Tiny Ears
Headphones are always a bit of a frustration to me. Traditional airpods are terribly uncomfortable. Even Airpod Pros can get uncomfortable after a while, plus mine tend to fall out after a while or with a lot of movement. Also, sharing them can be very unhygienic. When you have them in, you also block out other sounds, which is very unsafe if you run or bike outside.
Headphones that Don’t Go in Your Ears?
My mind was nearly boggled at the thought of using headphones that don’t go in your ears. I kept wondering: How does that work? It seemed like something new and fantastic and futuristic even. But this technology has actually been used for years by the military. They get everything first! GPS, satellite imaging, and now Bone Conduction Technology.
What Is Bone Conduction Technology?
Bone conduction technology, a novel approach in audio transmission, operates distinctly from traditional headphones. Rather than sending sound waves through the air into the ear canal, bone conduction headphones utilize vibrations that pass through the skull and jaw bones. These vibrations directly reach the inner ear (cochlea), bypassing the outer and middle ear. This method is not only unique but also health-conscious, as it mitigates the risk of ear damage from prolonged exposure to loud noise and keeps the ear canal open, maintaining ambient awareness.
How Does Bone Conduction Technology Work?
The principle behind bone conduction is that sound is fundamentally a vibration of particles. While most people associate sound with vibrations in the air, it can also travel through solids and liquids. In the case of bone conduction, the user’s skull acts as the speaker. A transducer in the headphones converts audio data into vibrations, which travel along the bones to the cochlea. The cochlea then transmits these vibrations as signals to the brain. This process allows sound to be heard without using the eardrums, offering a unique listening experience that is different from traditional headphones, which emit sound through speakers near or in the outer ear.
Advantages and Uses of Bone Conduction Technology
Bone conduction headphones, also known as ‘bonephones,’ provide several advantages and practical uses. They are especially beneficial for people who need to remain aware of their surroundings, like joggers or cyclists, or those who engage in physical activities where traditional headphones might be cumbersome. Furthermore, bone conduction technology is a boon for individuals with hearing impairments. It allows them to experience clearer audio than traditional earbuds could provide. For example, a person who is deaf in one ear can hear stereo audio through bonephones. Additionally, because bone conduction bypasses the eardrum, it reduces the risk of hearing damage from listening to audio at high volumes.
Historical Context of Bone Conduction Technology
The concept of bone conduction is not new. It dates back to the time of Beethoven, who, despite his hearing loss, found a way to hear the piano by using his jawbone to transmit sound vibrations to his inner ear. In the 20th century, bone conduction technology began to be used in medical applications, particularly hearing aids for those with conductive hearing loss. By the early 2000s, this technology had evolved into consumer electronics, with the first bone-conduction headphones entering the market, initially gaining popularity among athletes and outdoor enthusiasts before broadening their appeal.
As you might imagine, bone conduction headphones function by leveraging a technique called bone conduction. They rest over the top of your ears to the front rather than inside or covering them. That may sound weird (no pun intended), but not if you stop to think about how you hear sound in the first place. What happens inside your ears when sound penetrates them is vibration in tiny bones, your brain then translates into sound. So, how the sound reaches those bones isn’t a major factor. This video gives a little more detail on bone conduction.
Bone Conduction Headphones are Bluetooth Devices
Compatible with smartphones and most other devices supporting Bluetooth, bone conduction headphones provide a loud, crisp sound without the discomfort of earbuds. Most will hold a charge for about 6 hours of continuous playtime and up to 10 days of standby time. The built-in mic allows you to answer calls when paired with a smartphone.
Why are Bone Conduction Headphones Better for You than Conventional Headphones?
There are several advantages that bone conduction technology has over traditional headphones.
- Bypassing the eardrum decreases the likelihood of potential damage from listening to music at extreme volumes.
- Reducing the amount of contact with your ear canal with objects that can harbor bacteria can help decrease the risk of ear infections you can encounter with earbuds.
- If you are a runner or a bike rider and like to listen to music while you exercise, you will increase your safety by not having your ears obstructed so that you can hear cars that may be around you. Decreasing the risk of being hit by a car can have a pretty significant impact on your health!
Personal Experience with Bone Conduction Headphones
I have enjoyed using these types of headphones and was surprised at the quality of the audio. It was a very odd feeling to be listening to music but also able to hear everything around me. I was interested in these headphones for 2 primary reasons:
- I suffer from frequent earaches.
- I work from home with small children that I need to listen out for.
The fact that these headphones don’t go on or in your ear it helps decrease the possibility of bacteria transfer to my ear canal.
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