Bone conduction technology is relatively new. If you are anything like us here at RunWay Running, you will want to know how they work, what the advantages and disadvantages of them are and what the best versions on the market are for you. If you read on, you’ll find the answers to these questions and much more.
What is bone conduction earphone technology?
When you hear a sound, something nearby has created vibrations in the air around your ears, which in turn vibrated the tiny bones in your ear. These tiny bones are connected to your brain which turns the vibrations in to electrical signals that we know as sounds.
For years, we have been sticking devices that vibrate the air in and around our ears. Usually we stick them in our ears. But this has caused problems for runners all over the world. Although many companies have sought to fix these problems, such as getting rid of flappy wires, and putting earhooks around and in our ears to anchor the earphones, one problem persisted.
You see, if you’re like me, you run in places where pedestrians don’t give you a lot of space, forcing you in to dangerous situations by stepping off the pavement and closer to moving traffic. But if you’re like me, you don’t want to leave your music at home when you go running. Relying solely on the sense of sight, you risk not hearing what’s going on in your surroundings.
A similar issue arises for military personnel. Putting an earpiece in your ear reduces your hearing ability, which could lead to a soldier missing something important. So, bone conduction technology was a direct answer to this military problem.
Bone conduction audio technology leaves your ears free to do the job they’re supposed to do, while you still hear the same high quality audio that you are used to with your in-ear earphones.
This technology was then brought to runners all over the world to solve the same problem.
But RunWay, does bone conduction audio actually work as well as traditional audio?
Yes! Yes it does. And may I also add, that they provide higher quality audio than some of the traditional earphones we have tested in the past!
Just remember, instead of sending vibrating sounds in to your ear, these earphones are vibrating the bones in your ears directly.
What does it feel like to use bone conduction earphones?
It feels no different to your traditional earphones as the vibrations are light, but you obviously don’t have a piece of plastic sitting in your ear, which is even more comfortable than traditional earphones.
Are bone conduction earphones worth the price?
Bone conduction earphones are not much more expensive than regular high end earphones. The audio quality is comparable to that produced by the Bose Soundsport earphones which will set you back £150/€168/$185.
The high end Bluetooth wireless Aftershokz Aeropex bone conduction earphones will set you back the exact same amount of cash.
So if you are looking for something different, or you don’t like the feeling of traditional in ear earphones, these are for you.
So is there any option OTHER than Aftershokz?
Unfortunately, no companies have been able to create a bond conduction earphone better than Aftershokz. They have stolen the show here.
One interesting product which uses a similar idea, whereby one gets to listen to music without having their ears blocked, are the Bose Frames.
The Bose Frames do not use bone conduction technology. Instead, they play music in to your ear by playing it from the end of the bulge on the leg of the glasses
They’re comfortable, and in true Bose fashion, they have amazing sound quality, but one must ask, why did Bose not use bone conduction technology in this product? The speakers bleed sound, and if you have them turned up too loud, those around you can hear exactly what you’re playing.
Maybe they will in the Bose Frames 2, which we hope to see very soon.