The major difference between earbuds and headphones is that bone conduction headphones are inserted inside the ear and earbuds are attached to the jawbone to produce sound. If you don’t know, bone conduction headphones do not have any speakers like earbuds. Instead, they produce sound with vibrations between the jawbone and bone headphones drivers.

On the other hand, as you know, earbuds have sound drivers that contain tiny speakers to produce sound. Since these tiny speakers reside in the ear canal, they have exceptional sound quality.

In this article, I will share my personal experience with both bone conduction headphones and earbuds by comparing some important aspects that almost every headphone user seeks for.

Let’s get started!

Bone Conduction Headphones Vs Earbuds

Price Range

Even top-quality earbuds are way cheaper than mid-level bone conduction headphones. The reason behind this is earbuds are very old in the market and developed but bone headphones are new and still evolving.

So, if you are not curious and just looking to buy headphones for music, go for earbuds.

Environmental Awareness

As mentioned earlier bone conduction headphones are not inserted into the ears so the ears always remain open. Because of this, the users can always hear their surroundings. On the other hand, earbuds are always inserted into your ears, that’s why you can’t hear your surroundings even with low volume. The reason behind this is earbuds usually have a tight fit into the ear canal, so even with just plugging in without the sound, you will not be able to listen to your surroundings.

So, it’s clear that bone conduction headphones give exceptional environmental awareness. If you do some physical activity like construction work, jogging, gym, etc., you should look for bone conduction headphones to avoid any accidents.

Sound Quality

Again, as you know, earbuds block the ear canal to minimize environmental awareness, so they have great sound quality. Moreover, earbuds have little speakers very near to the eardrum, so you always get loud and clear sounds unlike bone conduction headphones in a noisy environment.

However, if you don’t know, some bone headphones also come with earplugs to increase sound quality and loudness. But they decrease environmental awareness, so the basic purpose dies of buying bone headphones. Also, even with an ear plugs plug-in, you will not have that sound quality that you will get from earbuds. The reason behind this is the sound technology of earbuds is way ahead of bone conduction headphones.

Comfort Level

As you know, not every person has the same type of ears but earbuds especially without earplugs come in the same size for all the users. So, users who have very big or very small ear canals may have to face some issues with the nice and comfortable fit. However, if you get earbuds with earplugs, you will get different sizes of earplugs, to avoid any issues with the exact fit for your ears.

On the other hand, bone conduction headphones do not have any problem with ear fits but as you know they stay on your jawbone and also surround your back head. So, there can be some problems with big or small heads. In the case of small or big heads, however, you can look for adjustable bone headphones.

Overall, you have to do some experiments to get headphones that will nicely fit you, in both cases bone conduction headphones vs earbuds.

Physical Activities

No doubt with earbuds you can have problems during physical activities like irritation or sweating that will never happen with bone conduction headphones. Bone conduction headphones will even provide you comfort and boost when you listen to music while doing any physical activity.

Moreover, as mentioned earlier, bone conduction headphones are best with environmental awareness, so you are protected from any unwanted incident because of not listening to your surroundings while doing any physical work,

Battery Backup

As you know, earbuds have a box with extra battery backup, so even with relatively less battery in the drivers to avoid heaviness, you will always have a backup.

On the other hand, bone conduction headphones have both drivers and a battery inside and do not have an extra box to insert and charge the headphone. So, bone headphones companies give big batteries inside the drivers to give you some extra battery backup.

Now, it’s up to you what you will like, an extra battery backup container or a big battery inside drivers.

With an additional battery container, you have to get your box with you, and with bone headphones, you have to bear some extra weight on your jawbones.

Waterproof Technology

As you know, bone conduction headphones do not have speakers, so there is very little chance of degrading their sound quality, however, their circuit can be damaged if they are not waterproof. Because bone headphones users tend to use them in water, brands usually, even in cheap bone headphones, include waterproof or water resistant technology.

On the other hand, earbuds also have waterproof technology but are not like bone headphones. The reason behind the tiny speakers. Because they are inserted into the ears, they are not bad inside water but if you are testing them in water without plugging them into the ears, they can be damaged easily even with top-notch waterproof technology.


As you know, earbuds are old in the market, so you will obviously get exceptional microphone technology in them. Also, brands use this technology for noise cancellation. In bone headphones the same microphones technology is used, so here in competition ties.


As with microphones technology, earbuds have exceptional low latency transmission between the earbuds and the device connects with earbuds. Same in the bone conduction headphones you can get very low latency headphones.

However, Bluetooth technology is not 100% reliable in detractions. So, you always have to look at the distance between your headphones and the mobile phone.

Why Should You Buy earbuds?

Firstly, if you want to listen to music and that’s all, don’t go anyway, just buy earbuds. You will get exceptional sound quality that you will never get from any bone conduction headphones.

Secondly, if you are looking for exceptional battery backup, earbuds are way ahead of bone conduction headphones, that have batteries inside drivers and after the low battery warning, you have to look for a charger.

Why should you buy bone conduction headphones?

Firstly, if you are looking for environmental awareness, don’t look for earbuds, bone conduction headphones are specially made for environmental awareness. Whether you are doing any physical activity or just washing pots in the kitchen, you can both listen to the music and look after the children.

Secondly, bone headphones have their own comfort level. Think you are hearing music without blocking your ear canal. You are always breathing and there is no way of virus inside the ears.


Bone conduction headphones are way ahead of earbuds in terms of surroundings and earbuds are way ahead of bone conduction headphones if you are looking for sound quality. Both have their own advantages and drawbacks. 

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