The 6 Best Bone Conduction Headset Reviews (2018 Guide!)

A note can be heard by vibrating your skull at the right frequency. Beethoven, in his soundless days, bit on a rod attached to his piano to hear the music. This is what has been coined as bone conduction. While the term might sound new, the experience is more common than you think. It is through conducting sound by bone a recording of your voice rings wildly different than in your head. The shutter of the illusion singing was a talent you possessed happens because your skull conducts lower frequencies of sound more efficiently than air conduction. The military and medical field have been harnessing the benefits of this alternate portal to sound for years. In the past decade, markets have been flooded by commercial bone conduction headsets. The question lingers, then, why should you toss your ear plugs for bonephones?

Bone Conduction Headsets Comparison

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Why should you buy them?

With conventional headsets, sound hikes through the air canal to reach the ossicles and finally vibrate the hair cells on the cochleas. Bone conduction, on the other hand, uses a direct route. Skull to hair cells. Your ears can still process the information of your surrounding environment. In a battlefield that means survival. The military, prompted by the situational awareness of bone conduction, planted headsets in helmets. There are other occupations that demand your ears as well. Factory workers, a graphic designer who wants to keep an ear out for her totalitarian boss, athletes and so forth. In fact, well-shaped people conquering the streets with their running feet frequently appear on their advertisements. That is not without substance. They are weightless, wireless, sweat-proof and keep your ears free for any looming dangers.

The degree of their safety extends to the potential damage your ear canal can receive. Headphone plugs, particularly, have shown to be irredeemable to the health of your ears. A damaged ear canal has also been a perennial adversary for traditional hearing implants. Medical technologies have heavily invested in bone conduction to defeat deafness. Same rules apply to modern bonephones. They perform the miracle of giving back the ability to experience music. Although the wonder extends only as far as the healthy cochlea.

Situational awareness and hearing efficiency aside, you might just be a gadget enthusiast. There are very few wearable technologies that can boast such a vast uptake.

Cons:

It is a blessing in disguise innovative technologies have room to improve. Their growing potential denotes their achievable standards. Until they reach that point, users express a few complains. For bone conduction headsets, it is the quality of sound yet not up to par with traditional air conduction.  Of course, given the circumstances you will use them a slight dip in quality might be an acceptable consequence. The maniac driving with 80 miles on a residential street wouldn’t be out of your hearing shot while taking your daily jog.

There is also the matter of vibration. The more dense a material is, the more energy will be required to transmit an information. Your rigid jawline, then, is more demanding than your limber ears. Your new gadget will begin to vibrate on your temples the higher the volume gets. The new sensation can become unsettling on the first tries. Over time, however, it might grow on you. It will be another layer of tingling fun while pedaling your worries away.

Top Features:

Music Play Duration

The wireless nature of bone conduction headsets is powered by a battery. It will be inconvenient if your music abruptly stopped before your workout routine. It is important, then, to make sure they have the same endurance you will like to built. The best gadgets in the market will offer you a play time between 4 and 6 hours.

Charging duration

At the state the technology is, they are rendered useless when charging. The less time they spend plugged, the more time you will have them at your disposal. Especially, if like us, you are plagued by procrastination and their recharge is a last minute affair.

Dust and Water Resistance

Studies have shown the average person sweats about 24.7 to 47.3 ounces during a workout.  It will be impractical, and potentially expensive, if your electronic wireless headsets got wet. The IP code,International Protection Marking, has created categories indicating resistance to water and dust. The classification is done on two digit levels, both ranging from 0 to 6. The first digit refers to dust resistance. The second measures the protection against water ingress. Anything above IP44 classifies your headset as dust and sweat proof. You have to go up a step on the list, though, to protect them against the rapping rain.

Pairing

You are likely imagining Bluetooth pairing as a cordless two-way street between two devices. That might imply your headset and your phone, shifting between listening to audio and taking calls. For an hour of cycling this two-way connection seems like a perfect scenario. We do live, though, inside a digital bubble and our lives are paired with more than one devices. Laptops at work, tablets and smart TVs at home. Having just one connection with one device at a time doesn’t correspond with our reality. Do look out for bone conduction headsets that have multi-point pairing.

Fit

You will need to avoid an expensive mistake of buying an inordinate size. Measure the circumference of your head with a tape and make sure your headset will comfortably sit. The tighter they are, the more uncomfortable will be their tendency to shake at higher volumes.


Reviews

Bone Conduction Headphones

AfterShokz Trekz Air 

AfterShokz Trekz Air

AfterShokz was the first company to introduce bone conduction technology into headsets back in 2013. Being the leading horse in the race gave them an unparalleled advantage against the explosion of competition in later years. It is not without merit their latest gadget in a long line of production is the best bonephone in the market. The AfterShockz Trekz Air bolsters a design born from the heart of minimalism to meet the every demand of sports enthusiasts. With a size of merely 1.12 ounces, the lightweight gadget will feel like a breeze on the wind as you ascent the laborious uphill. Even though the Trekz Air are the most expensive of the bunch, their unmatched functionality and stability is well worth the price.

What do we like about them:

  • They belong in the IP55 class, repelling anything from dust to sweat and rain
  • A Lithium Polymer battery that can last up to 6 hours of continuous play
  • The battery is fully charged in 2 hours
  • Wrapped with a titanium alloy, the Trekz Air is flexible, comfortable and stable
  • Multiple Bluetooth pairing, matched with iOS and android devices
  • There’s a conveniently placed button on one earpiece for taking calls
  • Audrey, the voice assistant, will guide you through its various functions

Cons:

  • Some users have complaint they needed to spike the volume to hear better
  • Some users said it feel uncomfortable at the back of the neck

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JUHALL Bluetooth V4.2 Earphones

Juhall Bluetooth Sports

JUHALL was given life from the market’s need to have diversity in bone conduction headsets. To differentiate themselves, the company has created a product that is designed for multiple purposes. Whether that is athletic activities, or a particular boss who delivers loudly instructions while you are hearing the second verse of Bohemian Rhapsody. Although, the headset’s snug fitting and 0.16 ounces weight will be highly appreciated by cyclists.

What do we like about them:

  • The sleek design comes with lively tints of serene blue and vinyl red
  • Lithium Metal batteries that can last up to 6 hours
  • Charged in 2 hours
  • The Bluetooth has a range of 30 feet, allowing your devices to be connected even in different rooms
  • Multiple pairing
  • Dust and sweat resistant
  • Juhall offers 90 days money back or free replacement if your bonephones have any quality issues.

Cons:

  • Users have complaint the size is too small for heads that ranged between 58 and 59 inches.

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Borofone Titanium Wireless Headset

Borofone Titanium

Long has been the reign of Germans in technology. Whether it is engines or household appliances, any product stemming from that spatial dimension of the Old Continent has been earmarked with quality. That couldn’t but include bone conduction headsets. BOROFONE has dedicated its brand name in striving to provide bonephones that stand out in design and sound quality, without boring a hole in your wallet. Their wireless headset carries only 38 grams of weight and their titanium skeleton allows just enough flexibility. Of course, as everything on this list, BOROFONE perceives their market audience to be runners, hikers and cyclists. We do believe, though, this weightless sound portal will find a home in your office.

What do we like about them:

  • Their battery allows them 4 hours of continuous play, or half a shift conversely
  • They can last 240 hour in standby mode 
  • Only 2 hours to recharge
  • Classed IP55 to provide strong protection against the ingress of water and dust
  • A large remote button augments hand control for music playback and accepting phone calls

Cons:

  • Some users complaint the sound bleeds at high volumes

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Bone Conduction Sunglasses

Black Zungle Bluetooth

When it comes to smart sunglasses vibrating sounds directly to your cochleas, the same rules governing bone conduction headphones will apply. There is, though, one vital consideration you need to take solely attached to shades that relates to their predominant purpose. Their ability to protect your eyes from the sun’s radiating light. Your safest bet is to buy shades that provide UV 400 protection against ultraviolet radiation, which is considered to be an impenetrable fortress for your eyes. As your cool new smart shades will decor your face outdoors, having polarized lens that reduce glare is a much needed feature as well. Let’s see, then, the best bone conduction sunglasses roaming the market.

Black Zungle Bluetooth Headphones Sunglasses

Zungle incubated inside the Kickstarter cocoon, until it spread its wings with more than 2 million dollars of funds. That tells you the magnitude of desire from people to add tech in the simplest of products. The company didn’t fail its beneficiaries and produce a spectacular set of wearable technology. At first paired with Google Glass for their bone conduction technology, Zungle continued to innovate improving their sound quality. While their design appears bulkier than their unintelligent counterparts, they weight barely 45 grams leaving no strain on your head. And, since appearances do matter, their charging USB port is neatly hidden. Gadget enthusiasts will rejoice with these slick shades.

What do we like about them:

  • UV 400 Protection and polarized lens
  • They rank IP45, which protects them from sweat, dust and rain
  • Their play time goes up to 4 hours and 100 hours of standby
  • They will charge in 1 hour
  • Multiple pairing
  • The smart glasses come with a touch control panel for ease of use
  • Their shades come in a variety of 7 colors

Cons

  • Users complaint at sound bleed in higher volumes
  • Snug fitting that’s not suitable for larger heads

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VocalSkull Bone Conduction Sunglasses

Vocal Skull Wireless Sports

VocalSkull is another company that stem out of the bone conduction battlefield and has dedicate its entire existence in the technology. The quality of sound is the benchmark that separates them from the pack. The tech company bolsters to have reduced sound bleeding by 70%, which is one of the complains users of the technology have expressed. You can easily have a chat with your best pal while defusing stress with jabs on a punchbag. Beyond that, their simple design distributes the mere 32 grams of weight proportionally across the skeleton which perfectly fits on the head. That will come in handy on the first set of push ups.

What do we like about them:

  • Their acrylic lenses offer UV 400 protection and anti-glare
  • A Lithium battery gives them a playtime up to 4 hours and 300 hours on standby mode
  • They are fully charged in 2 hours
  • Their can be paired on multiple devices
  • Myopic lenses can be installed on their skeleton

Cons:

  • Users complaint their buttons are stiff, which might be frustrating as you try to skip a song stubbornly existing inside your playlist

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Jarb Original Sunglasses With Bone Conduction Technology

Jarb Original

Jarb invites you to drum your beat into the future with style. The company might be one of the newest players in the game, however their innovative product has earned them a spot among the elites. The minimal soundglasses add the inconsequential number of 42 grams on your skull. They have nothing to feel jealous in comparison to the design your traditional shades have. In fact, people will be confused to hear you having a conversation with a pair of glasses. However, JARB isn’t about style over substances. Their bone conduction technology has received many accolades, giving them a spot in the Startup 100.

What do we like about them:

  • Their lenses offer UV 400 protection along with anti glare properties
  • Their battery can last up to 5 hours and 100 hours on standby
  • Fully charged in less than 2 hours
  • A slick touch control panel makes your life easier
  • They are water, sweat and dust proof
  • Multiple pairing
  • It offers voice assistant integration with Siri and Google Now
  • Prescription lenses can be fitted on their skeleton
  • If anything goes south, or you simply didn’t like them, JARB offers a 30-day-money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • We couldn’t find any drawbacks

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Final Thoughts

While we are dealing with bone conduction headsets as a general category, it seemed befitting to announce our top picks in two separate categories.

For bonephones, AfterShockz has brought to the limelight a disruptive technology and has never looked back. The Trekz Air smoothly transitions through the various needs of the digital life. From shooting hoops to listening your favorite Harry Potter book on audio, the wearable tech deserves every lolly spend. In soundglasses, the absence of negative feedback for JARB is proof of their quality. Also, the additional features and the 30 year guarantee makes their purchase an irresistible affair.

And, for a few last tips before buying a bone conduction headset:

  • Make sure they fit their purpose for which your are buying them. If, for example, you are simply interested in having situational awareness, then investing in a cheaper model might be best.
  • Their ability to withstand weather conditions and your profuse sweating will be the difference between bitter disappointment and elation for your new gadget. Always check, then, their IP class.

 

Scott Moey
 

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