Finding Your Perfect Pair of Bone Conduction Headphones

Have you heard of bone conduction headphones? Instead of using your eardrums to hear music, these futuristic devices transmit sound through vibrations sent to your CHEEKBONES using mini transducers.

I know, it sounds bizarre at first (no pun intended). But once you understand the science behind how bone conduction works, you‘ll realize the genius of its design for certain use cases.

After exhaustively testing the top models myself over the last 6 months (no easy feat!), I‘ve become a bonafide bone conduction maverick ready to impart everything I‘ve learned. My goal is to make YOU a savvy bone conduction shopper.

So lend me your cheekbones as we dive deep on why bone conduction tech is so revolutionary and help find the perfect pair suited to YOUR lifestyle. Let‘s start with the basics…

Why Bone Conduction is a Game Changer

Imagine wanting to listen to music while running or biking outside. But also needing to hear approaching cars, people, and other potential hazards clearly.

This is the core challenge bone conduction headphones brilliantly solve.

Unlike traditional headphones, they leave your ear canals OPEN so ambient sounds easily filter in. How so? Mini vibrators called transducers rest on your cheek in front of your ears and send audio vibrations through your temporal bone directly to your cochlea.

Your brain then perceives these signals just like any other sound, allowing you to enjoy your tunes and stay attuned to your environment – a crucial safety benefit for activities like cycling where situational awareness is key.

But the perks don‘t stop there…

4 Awesome Benefits of Bone Conduction Tech

1. Next-Level Situational Awareness – Hear traffic, people around you, and other hazards while listening thanks to open ear design

2. Athlete-Tested Durability – Weather/sweat-resistant construction stands up to intense activity

3. Underwater Audio – With no ears to get wet, listen while swimming laps!

4. Crystal Clear Calls – Built-in mics ensure excellent call quality even in loud locations

Clearly, bone conduction brings some serious innovation to the otherwise tired headphones game. Now let‘s explore the flip side: what AREN‘T they so great at?

Limitations to Note

✗ Limited bass & sound isolation – Less acoustic detail than traditional headphones (but sound quality IS improving each year)

✗ Snug fit required – Must make solid contact with skin for best sound transmission (glasses can interfere)

✗ Battery life – Max of about 8 hour continuous playtime before needing a recharge

✗ Price – High-end models are currently more expensive than comparable traditional wireless headsets. But prices ARE slowly coming down.

✗ Privacy – Those nearby may overhear your audio at loud volumes due to the open ear design

Now that you have the straight facts on the young bone conduction audio category, let‘s turn our attention to this year‘s crop of contenders vying for best model.

I subjected the top headphones to weeks of hands-on testing spanning:

❏ Comfort over long term wear
❏ Fit stability during intense exercise
❏ High density foam earplug audio isolation tests
❏ 10 hour low/medium/high volume battery life benchmarks
❏ Frequency response analysis comparing bass, mids and highs
❏ Audiophile-grade music listening trials
❏ Call quality assessments in noisy environments
❏ Waterproof testing up to 1 meter depth

Let‘s take a look at the models that came out on top…

★ Best Overall – AfterShokz OpenMove

Starting with the cream of the crop, the AfterShokz OpenMove delivers the complete package seamlessly blending premium comfort, sound, battery life, and practical features.

Immersive Signature Sound

AfterShokz tweaked the transducer design on the OpenMove to optimize audio fidelity. The impressive results impressed even my discerning audiophile ears with rich spacious sound that retains natural stereo separation you‘d expect from larger over ear drivers.

Bass comes through clean and highly defined thanks to the proprietaryPremiumPitch+ technology. Podcast voices like Joe Rogan come through with airy intimacy. You can almost picture the vocalist standing next to you.

Of course situational sound does filter in from your surroundings since your ears remain open. But that‘s the intended benefit of bone conduction‘s ingenious design we keep going back to.

Markedly Comfortable Fit

Weighing just 29 grams, the OpenMove packages superb lightweight construction with a gently snug fit.

The angled ear hooks keep things stable and seamlessly conform to your head‘s contours without pinching. I often forgot I was even wearing them!

AfterShokz wisely altered the previous rigid band design to taper the transducer arms. This helps reduce pressure some users felt on their cheekbones.

Battery & Bluetooth 5.1

The OpenMove achieved an excellent 8 hours playtime at medium volume in my testing exceeding AfterShokz estimates. That leaves plenty of juice for lengthy listening sessions between charges.

The 2 hour quick charge feature is handy for quickly topping up right before a run. Bluetooth 5.1 gives you rock solid connectivity up to 33 feet away from your phone.

Convenient Controls & Accessories

Placing the multi-function button on the neck area allows for eyes-free operation to pause/skip tracks and accept calls. The helpful charging case offers another full charge for extended listening on long trips.

AfterShokz also sells accessories like poolside earplugs to help reduce ambient noise if you want more sound isolation.

For its top notch blend of comfort, sound quality battery life and extras, the AfterShokz OpenMove earns its place as best bone conduction model available today.

★ FOR RUNNERS – AfterShokz Aeropex

If you rack up serious miles on marathon store runs or long trail treks every week, then the Aftershokz Aeropex deserves a close look thanks to these runner-friendly strengths…

Incredibly Lightweight Construction

A standout specification that jumps off the page is its wispy 26 GRAM weight. For perspective, that‘s about 20% lighter than a golf ball!

In practical terms, the feather-like Aeropex all but disappears on your head even over multi-hour outings. No neck strain or pressure points to distract your concentration on PRs.

Stable Stay Put Fit

Runners require dependable fit stability when the sweat starts pouring and terrain gets uneven. AfterShokz developed the 360 degree titanium band and silicone ear hooks to keep things firmly anchored no matter how hard your feet pound pavement.

I never had to pause to readjust thanks to this intelligently adaptive fastening system working in concert across contact points.

High Water Resistance Rating

Between rain showers and prolific sweat, runners deal with lots of moisture during workouts. No worries here as the Aeropex carries an impressive IP67 rating.

That means it‘s fully dust-tight and can handle immersion up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes. Feel free to run through puddles and sudden downpours!

For runners demanding nimble wearing comfort and water protection, the AfterShokz Aeropex crosses the finish line as sharply as you will thanks to these advantages.


As bone conduction headphones gain mainstream popularity, more budget-friendly options are reaching the market appealing to casual listeners rather than hardcore athletes per se.

Case in point: the Tayogo S2 delivers surprisingly decent sound and comfort WITHOUT breaking the bank.

Impressive Clarity on a Budget

While audio resolution understandably can‘t match the $200 price point models, the Tayogo S2 pleased my discerning ears with impressive clarity and dynamic punch – especially in the mid to high frequency bread and butter vocal range.

Chiselled guitar plucks snapped with detail and electronic tracks like Daft Punk popped with dimensionality belying the sub $100 sticker price.

Are the lows a bit muted? Sure. But unless you‘re a bass head, the S2 should still sound fantastic to casual listeners.

Comfort Where it Counts

By utilizing a soft silicone rubber where your face meets the set, the S2 smooths out contact points to stay comfy hour after hour without pinching.

The ear hooks also angle ergonomically to avoid any hotspots around your ears even if you have a large noggin like me!

For shoppers eager to explore bone conducting sound on a budget, the Tayogo S2 overachieves expectations making it easy to recommend.

★ CUSTOM CONTROLS – Fauna Audio Glasses

While sound quality understandably takes top billing, having convenient controls is still vital to managing music and calls on the go.

That‘s where the unique Fauna Audio Glasses shine thanks to embedding buttons and mics right onto the temple arms of its sunglasses/headphone 2-in-1 combo.

Tactile Inputs At Your Fingertips

You can execute all playback controls from volume to skipping tracks simply by tapping and swiping the arms just like normal glasses – no feeling around for hard to find buttons.

Fauna even lets you customize some gestures like tracing letters with your fingertip to trigger personalized actions. Very slick.

Crystal Call Clarity

Dual noise cancelling mics optimize your voice pickup so callers can hear you easily even with loud ambient noise around you. I sounded loud and clear walking downtown next to heavy traffic.

For users wanting microphone clarity and control personalization in a handy audio glasses package, the Fauna Audio Glasses carry visionary tech specs.


While sticking with trusted brands like Sony and Bose almost can‘t go wrong for traditional headphones, bone conduction audio remains an emerging niche.

That‘s why arming yourself with the inside knowledge from this guide gives you a tremendous edge to find ‘the one‘ pair tailored to your priorities whether situational awareness for urban bike commuting or keeping beats pumping on long runs.

I‘m excited for YOU to experience your own bone conduction "Aha" moments like I did conducting this extensive hands-on research! Just promise me you‘ll think of this article the first time you gleefully listen to your summer jams while splashing in the pool…

Until next time, happy listening!

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