For a time, true wireless earbuds are the go-to earpiece for many. In the time since it first made its appearance in the market, a lot of developments have already been done to this earpiece. This includes the integration of noise-canceling technology and more improvements to the sound quality they produce. So much is the hype, that not most of us know another type of earpiece has been developed to rival the true wireless buds and address some of its issues. We are talking about bone conduction headphones.
Bone conduction headphones are earpieces that produce sounds and send the signals directly to the inner ear instead of passing through the ear canal and eardrums first. That’s the first and foremost difference between true wireless and bone conduction headphones. As a result, you would still be able to listen to music or take calls without drowning out the ambient sound around you.
Also read: Best True Wireless Earbuds (Buying Guide)
Best Bone Conduction Headphones
We have narrowed the choices available in the market for the best bone conduction headphones for you and came up with this buying guide.
The AfterShokz Aeropex is the top-of-the-line AfterShokz bone conduction headphones unit and buyers can’t get enough of this earpiece that has garnered an average of 4.7 ratings from stores. This earpiece does boasts upgrades not seen before in other AfterShokz units which, some people say, justify the price tag of $159.95.
For one, the AfterShokz Aeropex boasts an IP67 water-resistant rating, which is the highest rating on any AfterShokz unit. This quotient makes this earpiece the top choice for outdoor activities even under a heavy downpour. In terms of battery life, AfterShokz did ramp up the active performance hours in the AfterShokz Aeropex. This piece can perform for up to eight hours of active time. More importantly, the new PremiumPitch 2.0+ technology under its hood delivers the best sound quality compared to other products.
Despite its smaller built, the AfterShokz Aeropex still made a room for physical volume controls. Considering how AfterShokz scaled the size of Aeropex, it did not go small in terms of improving bass performance, less vibration, and sound leakage.
AfterShokz Air Bone Conduction Headphones
The AfterShokz Air is a lightweight wraparound bone conduction headphone that has Bluetooth 4.2 under its hood. Its connectivity is powerful that any device can be paired with this earpiece from a distance of up to 33 feet. On top of that, this earpiece supports connection with both iOS and Android devices.
Battery life is pretty much improved in comparison to the previous models that came out. The AfterShokz Air can last up to 20 days on standby mode. On active playtime, this earpiece can perform up to six hours. These bone conduction headphones have improved microphones as well, which is an edge compared to the OpenMove units of AfterShokz. In terms of weight, it’s a little heavy compared to other AfterShokz units, weighing at 30g. And, similar to other AfterShokz earpieces, the AfterShokz Air also boasts IP55 water-resistant rating.
Other than those mentioned features, the AfterShokz Air promises to have the same pros as the AfterShokz Aeropex. But it’s the PremiumPitch+ technology under its hood which makes this pair of bone conduction headphones one of our top choices.
Vidonn F1 Sports Open Ear Headphones
Similar to our top bone conduction headphone choice, the AfterShokz OpenMove, the Vidonn F1 Sports Open Ear Headphones also comes with Bluetooth 5.0 technology. It’s super lightweight on just under 1.3 ounces, considering its ABS plastic and titanium alloy material. On top of that, this device boasts an IP55 water-resistant rating, making it a good companion for any active sports and outdoor activities like cycling and running.
What makes this our best choice, apart from the obvious features that are at par with the AfterShokz units, is the CVC and the noise-reduction feature under its hood. It’s also capable of performing for up to six hours, an impressive playtime for a full-charge pull in just two hours.
For bone conduction headphones under the $50 price tag, the Vidonn F1 Sports Open Ear headphones compete perfectly with those priced at $100. With an exception to the absence of a carrying case and clean bass sound, this is a decent option for budget-friendly earpieces.
AfterShokz OpenMove Headphones
This Bluetooth 5.0 earpiece can last up to six hours with up to 10 days of waiting time. Considering its design, the device is considerably lightweight and has an IPX5 water-resistant rating. This earpiece contains an upgrade, in contrast to the pricier AfterShokz Air in terms of the Bluetooth technology under its hood.
The AfterShokz OpenMove is a decent choice and is a welcome entry point into the bone conduction headphones scene. However, we can’t help but feel a little drawback about two things: (1) the AfterShokz OpenMove tends to feel uncomfortable over time, especially where the hooks hinge on the ears, and (2) the device is powered by a lithium-polymer battery; a better option would have been using the efficient lithium-ion battery.
Nonetheless, with the price and upgrade on the Bluetooth technology that is compatible with any iOS and Android device, we share the same sentiments with the majority of buyers out there.
Naenka Runner Pro Headphones
These aerodynamic bone conduction headphones are perfect for an athlete who constantly sweats or any Olympic swimmer in training who yearns to have a good time in the water. That is because this earpiece has an IPX8 water-resistant rating, which means the device can go as deep as one meter. Connection-wise, the Naenka Runner Pro boasts Bluetooth 5.0 under its hood.
Did we mention that this is a music player in itself? Yup! The Naenka Runner Pro has an 8GB internal memory, which is capable of housing up to 1500 songs. Plus, it comes with a mic so taking calls (outside the water) should be no problem.
Design-wise, the Naenka Runner Pro is lightweight due to the flexible titanium alloy material used to produce this earpiece. In terms of performance, this earpiece can last up to 15 days on standby mode. Additionally, it can perform up to six hours of active playtime.
This earpiece can easily compete with AfterShokz Aeropex in terms of features. To be specific, the Naenka Runner Pro has an edge when it comes to water resistance.
Vidonn F3 Bone Conduction Headphones
In terms of design, this headphone pair is extremely lightweight and easy to wear. It also boasts an IP55 water-resistant rating, making it a decent choice for outdoor active pursuits. This pair of earpieces also has a built-in microphone, which ensures that you can take calls despite on the run or in the middle of a workout session.
For a lesser price, the Vidonn F3 Bone Conduction Headphones have a small window of dissimilarity with AfterShokz headphones. Both earpiece brands produce good quality Bluetooth 5.0 products that are capable of producing clear sound with almost similar sound leakage.
Vidonn F3 can last up to seven to nine hours of active playtime. At this rate, it goes head-to-head with the AfterShokz Aeropex in terms of battery life.
Tayogo Bone Conduction Headphones
Tayogo is a Chinese brand and is also often unheard of like Vidonn. The Tayogo Open Ear headphones offer the best of both worlds because they can be used both on land and water. Much like its competition, this Bluetooth 5.0 device lasts for six hours on active playtime.
The Tayogo earpieces are slightly bulkier considering there are physical buttons to adjust the volume and for track navigation. On top of that, it has a built-in mic for taking calls. If bulkier earpieces are no issue for you, this device delivers on the sound front.
Considering its built, this Tayogo earpiece fits fine. When doing heavy workouts while sitting down, they remain in place. This is also beneficial if we factor in how snug earpieces are perfect as bone conduction headphones.
AfterShokz OpenComm Wireless
The AfterShokz OpenComm Wireless is the first bone conduction headphones we are featuring with a physical mic piece, in comparison to its competition whose mics are built-in. But the elephant in the room is that this earpiece is designed for the everyday corporate employee as opposed to an active sports user.
The boom mic in the AfterSgokz OpenComm can deliver up to 16 hours of talking time and has a noise-canceling feature for a better audio experience. This Ip55-rated water-resistant device can last up to 14 days while on standby mode and boasts Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and can be fully charged in just two hours’ time.
While not the best out there, and definitely not replacement-worthy for the most conventional headphones, the AfterShokz OpenComm bone conduction headphones offer good range connectivity and frequency. The quality noise cancellation feature in this device is to be expected since AfterShokz units are known for this.
MOING Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
One common feature these bone conduction headphones have is being wireless. They are often connected by a neckband which can be uncomfortable at times, although that still depends on the materials used to produce the band. The MOING Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones are preferred by those who fancy a thinner and flexible wire neckband. The wire material, as opposed to plastic, is lightweight — making it comfortable for long use.
Moreover, this earpiece can last, on average, for eight-point-five hours of active playtime. On top of that, this boasts Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, a built-in microphone, and an IPX5 rating for resistance.
While all these features are great and all, it’s a little off-putting in terms of bass quality and audio range, which you can get from the top options we have on this list.
AfterShokz New Xtrainerz Headphones
Capping up our list of the best bone conduction headphones is the new AfterShokz Xtrainerz headphones in sapphire blue color. The Xtrainerz unit comes as an MP3 player itself and can be used underwater. That is because this one has an IP68 water-resistant rating. Furthermore, its slim and lightweight design means it is perfect for such active sports because it fits fine and won’t let loose when in motion.
The device, essentially, has a 4GB internal memory and can play music files in MP3, FLAC, and AAC file extensions. In terms of battery life, it can compete with the AfterShokz Aeropex for lasting an average of eight hours of active playtime.
The only drawback is, of course, you can’t stream music or take calls while submerged underwater. Also, with almost the same features as the AfterShokz Aeropex, the hefty price tag seems a little offputting. Nonetheless, it’s a great option and a decent bone conduction headphone choice.
Are Bone Conduction Headphones Safe?
Before buying any of the bone conduction headphones we listed, let’s go over some important details and questions.
First, bone conduction headphones possess a physics and biology feat that true wireless earphones don’t. Sounds are vibrations that pass through our ear canal, eardrums, before sending the vibrations in the middle ear where three bones amplify the sound before it travels down to another part of the ear called the cochlea. Bone conduction earphones completely bypass the eardrum and send the sound directly to those three bones. In the process, we aren’t completely zoning out the noise we hear around us. Thus, we can still listen to our music or audiobooks while being able to respond to conversations around us.
So, you might ask: are these earphones safe?
In general, bone conduction headphones are safe. However, it is worth mentioning that our ears can only take in sounds up to a certain extent. Sounds at or below 70 dBA are generally considered safe. While we can debate how low a volume should be or high to fall within that decibel metric, the safe thing to do is to ensure the volume of our earpieces is modulated to protect our inner ears from damages.
Pick the Bone Conduction Headphones for You
Choosing the right headphones depends largely on your budget. There is no denying that these options can be perceived as pricey, but there should be one that’ll surely fit your budget like the Vidonn F1 and F3. If budget is not an issue at all and you are looking for a feature-filled option that will not compromise sound quality, we suggest going for the AfterShokz options like Aeropex and Air. Another consideration to look into is whether connecting the headphones to your mobile device is supported. Because let’s face it, some devices are not compatible.
We hope this article helps you out with your buying. Bookmark this article and share it with your friends! Let us know what you think.