The grace and refined trend that bone conduction headphones bring are impossible to ignore. People often talk about the new tech to know more deeply and build their trust in the product. I did the same before buying bone conduction headphones. As a user, I often get queries on social media platforms, like Are bone conduction headphones safe Reddit?
What do you think? Are bone conduction headphones worth it, and are they safer than other headphones? Indeed, they don’t close your ear canals, and they are safe when played at a low volume.
Let’s look at the topic deeply and figure out some advantages and disadvantages of bone conduction headphones. Furthermore, I will discuss the safety of these headsets concerning cycling, tinnitus, and how they affect your ears as a whole. But let’s know the difference between conventional and bone conduction hearing mechanisms.
Air conduction vs Bone conduction
Using the way the body detects sound bone conduction technology acts by using the human body’s ability to detect sound. We receive sound through both air conduction and bone conduction through our ears. The two methods of receiving sound are different.
Air Conduction Technology
Sound waves need a medium to travel, and humans hear through the air conduction mechanism. Sound waves enter the ear and travel through the external auditory canal. They are then struck by the eardrum, which vibrates. It further passes the signals to the cochlea.
The cochlea is a part of the inner ear (the part that looks like a snail) that is essentially responsible for hearing. Our brain converts waves and vibrations into nerve impulses for our brain, and then the auditory cortex translates the audio signals from the inner ear.
Bone Conduction Technology
Bone conduction is the mechanism in which bone serves as the medium to transfer sound waves through vibrations and impulses. These vibrations directly hit the cochlea part ignoring the conventional way of transmitting sound in the ear. It uses different body parts like cheekbones, jaw bones, and skulls.
In bone conduction headphones, the cochlea is the primary organ that codes the vibrations into impulses and transfers them to the brain, where the cortex translates them. Luckily, many people with conductive hearing loss are using different hearing aids to take advantage of bone conduction technology.
Are Bone Conduction headset Safe?
As I tested and experienced various bone conduction headphones from different companies, I learned about the headphones’ safety and sound, and build quality. Undoubtedly, bone conduction headphones have significant benefits, most notably the awareness and alertness about the surroundings.
When it comes to AfterShokz Aeropex, which I have been using for a year now, I am delighted with the ease and utility they bring to my everyday workout routine. They keep me alert while jogging and even skateboarding.
If you ask me about ear fatigue and tinnitus, I can undoubtedly comment that they are much better than my Beats over-ear headphones. The beats are good, but playing games for a long time gives my ear fatigue and a sense of vertigo. On the other hand, I enjoy the free ears while playing my FIFA or EA Sports games.
Certain things that are concerning and make me go nuts are sensations and headaches that I get with the continuous use of the headsets. Keeping these minor issues aside, I would suggest using the best bone conduction headphones as they are perfectly safe.
Why should you buy a Bone Conduction Headphone?
How safe are bone conduction headphones? Do they make a difference, or are they just a gimmick? Indeed, bone conduction headphones might not be for everyone; however, there are still several benefits they offer.
Using Headset as a Hearing Aid
Although bone conduction headphones have been considered a hearing aid, they are not an all-encompassing solution since hearing loss can manifest in a wide variety of ways. Conversely, bone conduction headphones are a convenient and safe alternative for individuals unable to wear conventional headphones due to obstructions in the outer ear.
Open-ear Design of the Headphones
I like these headphones’ open ear design as they pick up auditory information from your skull and jawbone using a bone conduction mechanism. My ears are independent of the device and cannot be interfered with, and I can hear the traffic while taking sharp turns while skating.
It’s important to note that this has a significant safety benefit. This adequate alertness enables those working in noisy or busy environments, such as construction sites or other hazardous workplaces, to listen to music and calls without compromising their situational awareness.
Advantages for Professional
Bone conduction headphones are used for several different purposes depending on the job. For instance, law enforcement officers can use bone conduction headphones to communicate at an unprecedented level.
As the name suggests, bone conduction headphones transmit sound through the bones. Officers can whisper to one another without the suspects hearing them. Moreover, bone conduction headphones do not pick up ambient noise, which means a wireless signal will be less susceptible to interference.
Compatibility with Safety Helmets
Whenever I used to go for my cycling or skateboarding, I needed to take off my Bose headphones, and that will ultimately deprive me of my music. But now, I can wear my Giro Register MIPS Adult Recreational Cycling Safety Helmet with my Aeropex.
Most bone conduction headphones allow you to enjoy your favorite music while wearing your helmet. Since the helmet does not obscure your view, you will not lose situational awareness while wearing it.
Why should you not buy a Bone Conduction Headphone?
Even though bone conduction headphones can significantly assist certain people, they can cause discomfort and damage others. It is also essential to know that you will still risk damaging your ears if you misuse these headphones. To determine if these headphones are right for you, you must test them yourself.
Possible Damage to the Auditory System
This statement about bone conduction headphones not causing hearing loss is, in my opinion, a lie. According to the CDC, prolonged exposure to loud noises can result in hearing or conductive hearing loss. Doesn’t that make it unsafe? Well, yes, the continuous use will do damage to the cochlea.
The inside of the ear and cochlea can still be damaged by the noises produced by bone conduction headphones. In addition, hearing loss is often irreversible due to inner ear damage and damage to the auditory neural system.
Are bone conduction headphones safe for tinnitus?
What is Tinnitus? “The conscious perception of an auditory sensation in the absence of a corresponding external stimulus.”
Usually, the sensation is simple; you can describe it as hissing, sizzling, or ringing, although more complex sounds like voices or music can occasionally be heard. In some studies, vibration stimulation from bone conduction headsets may improve speech perception in people with tinnitus. So, yes, bone conduction headphones are safe for tinnitus.
Are bone conduction headphones safe for cycling?
I have been cycling since I was young, but it was not as safer as using bone conduction headphones. The bone conduction headphones allow me to continue doing so while maintaining my ability to hear what is happening around me along with the music. They are also undoubtedly a safer alternative for runners and cyclists than earbuds that block out sound.
Final Verdict | Are Bone conduction headphones safe?
Under my thorough research and experience using bone conduction headphones, I have used different bone conduction models and concluded that they are perfectly safe for ears and health. Moreover, they provide the most satisfying and reliable surrounding awareness with a downside of irritation and sensation on the skull when used for a long time. So, use wisely and oblige this new tech with open arms.