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7 Best Bone Conduction Headphones in 2024 (Tested)

Last updated: 5 months ago
12 min read

Here are the best bone-conduction headphones for perfect situational awareness.

They’re perfect for the most extreme activities in all situations. Apart from standard criteria, we ranked them on:

  • Stability of the fit during activity
  • Durability: Water & dust protection
  • Ease of use

Check them below:

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Read more Price Battery Water protection Connection
Mojawa Run Plus Best overall
Mojawa Run Plus small image
Under $160
8.5 hours
IP68
Bluetooth 5.2
Shokz OpenRun Pro Longest battery
Shokz OpenRun Pro
Under $180
10 hours
IP55
Bluetooth 5.1
Under $160
8 hours
IP67
Bluetooth 5.0
AfterShokz OpenMove Best cheap
AfterShokz OpenMove
Under $80
6 hours
IP55
Bluetooth 5.0
CONTENTS (show more)

    Headphones on our list are evaluated based on 9 key factors (Sonic9Score).  We looked at their overall performance but specifically stability during movement, durability, and ease of use. See our testing and ranking methodology.

    Wireless bone-conduction headphones are an exciting alternative to regular headphones.

    Unlike traditional headphones, they send vibrations through your temporal bones to your ears (leaving your ears open), offering a unique way to experience sound.

    They’re great for:

    • Working out and running
    • Swimming (waterproof models)
    • All outside activities where you need your ears open

    For regular headphone alternatives, see the best workout headphones, running headphones, and Top headphones for swimming.

    Or check the top bone conduction headphones below.

    Best Bone Conduction Headphones

    1. Mojawa Run Plus

    1st-place Best Sounding & Best Overall
    Mojawa Run Plus on a rock

    Mojawa Run Plus are the best bone-conduction headphones we’ve tested. The best-sounding ones and a top pick for all activities, including swimmingMojawa Run Plus review.

    Key Features:

    • 32GB MP3 player & Bluetooth connectivity
    • IP68: Fully waterproof for swimming
    • Quick charging: 0-100% in 50min
    • Best-sounding bone conduction headphones
    • Multipoint: Connect them to 2 devices at the same time
    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: Magnetostrictive driver
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Bone conduction | Battery life: 8h | Wireless range: 50 feet (15.2 meters) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 50 min – quick charge – proprietary charger | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP68 | Features: App, multipoint, EQ presets, MP3 player

    Pros & Cons

    • Most balanced sound from bone-conductive headphones
    • Stable fit, suitable for intense sports activities
    • Onboard MP3 player for outdoor runners & swimmers
    • Quality build with an IP68 rating
    • Bluetooth multipoint support
    • Mediocre call quality muffles your voice
    • Pretty noticeable bass distortion

    Sound quality: The Mojawa Run Plus stand out among the bone-conduction headphones with their balanced sound quality. These produce a decent bass punch and rumble compared to alternatives.

    The midrange is notable, delivering natural-sounding vocals and instruments. The treble is also commendable, providing a pleasant texture and shimmer to the music.

    This makes the Run Plus a great choice for all music genres, though it may fall short in classical music due to its inability to capture finer details. But who listens to classical music when doing sports?

    Comfort & fit: These headphones are a dream for sports enthusiasts, offering a stable fit during intense activities and comfort for extended use. Their construction, combining silicone, plastic, and titanium, ensures both lightness and durability. Initially, they might feel unusual, but like a new pair of glasses, you soon get used to them.

    Durability: The Mojawa Run Plus are built to last. With an IP68 rating, they can withstand submersion in water, making them perfect for swimmers. Put a swimming cap over them, and you’re ready to plunge into the water.

    They’re also dust-resistant, which is useful for outdoor runners and cyclists. The titanium frame adds to their robustness, ensuring they can handle the rigors of active use.

    Mojawa Run Plus battery comparison
    Their battery is among the longest, surpassed only by open-ear headphones (not bone-conducting).

    Battery life: We tested the battery life at 8 hours and 43 minutes per charge. This is reliable playtime for extended sessions.

    They charge quickly too, reaching full charge in just 50 minutes. So, if you forget to charge them, plug them in for 10 minutes, and they’re ready for a workout.

    Features: The Run Plus have a built-in MP3 player with 32GB storage for offline listening, which is a huge plus for swimmers and runners who prefer to leave their phones behind. But you can also connect them to your Bluetooth device (smartphone, tablet) and allow you to connect to 2 devices at the same time (multipoint support).

    Mojawa Run Plus app front page
    Mojawa Run Plus app – find all the features in the review

    They come with an app. In it, you can toggle between different EQ presets to adjust the sound to your liking.

    Noise isolation: As with all bone-conduction headphones, the Run Plus keep you aware of your surroundings by leaving your ears open. This is crucial for safety during outdoor activities.

    Bluetooth: The headphones boast a stable Bluetooth connection with a good indoor range, ensuring uninterrupted listening. They support basic Bluetooth codecs, making them compatible with most devices.

    Mojawa Run Plus volume controls

    Should you get mojawa run plus?

    If you’re looking for bone-conduction headphones with clear sound, robust build, and practical features like offline music storage, the Mojawa Run Plus is an excellent choice. They’re particularly suited for active people who value durability and comfort in all situations.

    Longest Battery Life Bone Conduction Headphones

    2. Shokz OpenRun Pro

    trophy Bone Conducting Headphones for Long Battery Life
    Shokz OpenRun Pro bone conduction headphones

    If you’re looking for long battery life, Shokz OpenRun Pro are the best bone-conduction headphones playing for 10 hours straight.

    Key Features:

    • 10-hour battery life – more than competitors
    • Bluetooth connectivity
    • IP55: Dust-proof & water-resistant
    • Moisture detector, sound presets
    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction transducers
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Bone conduction | Battery life: 10h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1h – quick charge – proprietary port | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: TurboPitch, moisture detector

    Pros & Cons

    • Fun sound quality with more bass than other bone-conducting headphones
    • Long 10-hour battery life with quick charging (0-100% in 1 hour)
    • Ergonomic and lightweight, Comfortable and stable fit for all activity
    • Vibrating transducers can be annoying
    • Proprietary charging cable

    Sound quality: Ever felt like your workout playlist needs a bit of oomph? Well, the Shokz OpenRun Pro headphones are here to amp up your music. These headphones are equipped with the latest ninth-gen bone conduction tech.

    What does that mean for you? Imagine deeper, richer bass that makes your music more immersive than ever. Whether you’re sprinting in the park or pumping iron at the gym, these headphones keep your beats crisp and consistent. Say goodbye to dull workouts!

    However, that comes at a slight cost of more noticeable vibrations when playing near full volume. They can get itchy!

    Comfort & fit: We all know how annoying it is when headphones just won’t stay put. Designed with your comfort in mind, the OpenRun Pro features a lightweight titanium frame that’s sturdy and flexible. The rubberized coating enhances the grip on your cheekbones but also makes it easy to use with sweaty hands.

    The headband is perfectly tensioned to ensure stability without causing discomfort, making these headphones ideal for long workout sessions.

    Durability: The OpenRun Pro are pretty tough. Boasting an IP55 dust and water-resistance rating, these headphones can handle sweat, splashes, and any amount of dust and dirt.

    They’re not exactly swim buddies, but they’re tough enough to handle whatever your workout throws at them.

    Battery life: Ever been in the middle of a great workout, and your headphones die on you? With a battery life of 10 hours, the OpenRun Pro keep you powered through multiple workouts.

    The fast charging feature is a real game-changer, offering 90 minutes of playtime with just a 5-minute charge. Less charging, more grooving!

    Features: The OpenRun Pro is not just about great sound and durability; it’s also packed with practical features. The mobile app support allows for firmware updates and EQ mode switching, ensuring your headphones stay up-to-date and tailored to your preferences.

    Love listening to podcasts or audiobooks during your workouts? The Vocal EQ preset makes sure you catch every word.

    Noise isolation: The OpenRun Pro’s open-ear design lets you jam to your tunes while keeping an ear out for traffic and other hazards. Safety first, folks!

    Bluetooth connectivity: The OpenRun Pro uses Bluetooth 5.1 for a connection as stable as your squat form. But there is no onboard storage like with the Mojawa Run Plus.

    Should you get Shokz OpenRun Pro?

    If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that combine excellent audio quality, comfort, durability, and the longest battery life among bone-conduction headphones, the Shokz OpenRun Pro are a top choice.

    Best Affordable Bone Conduction Headphones under $100

    3. Shokz OpenRun

    dollar Best Affordable Under $100
    AfterShokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones

    If you prefer an affordable option, the Shokz OpenRun are the best bone-conduction headphones under $100 we’ve tested. These are an older model but still among the best – Shokz OpenRun review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction transducer
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Bone conduction | Battery life: 8h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h – Proprietary cable | Mic & Controls: Yes, built-in | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IP67 | Features: Moisture detect alert, EQ, multipoint

    Prons & Cons

    • Stable fit for all types of sports
    • Perfect environment awareness due to open-ear design
    • Lightweight
    • Waterproof and dustproof (IP67)
    • Good battery life (8 hours)
    • Improved bass response from previous models
    • Vibrating might be annoying to seom
    • Lack of bass compared to regular headphones

    Sound quality: These headphones are all about enhancing your music with a touch more bass with PremiumPitch 2.0, keeping your energy high and your motivation higher.

    While they might not give you the deep, booming bass of traditional earphones and no EQ options, they offer a unique listening experience that’s comparable to the best sounding options.

    Comfort & fit: The Shokz OpenRun are so lightweight and comfy, you’ll forget you’re wearing them! Thanks to rubbery ear hooks they sit snugly on your temples, ensuring a stable fit no matter how much you move. Whether you’re sprinting, lifting, or cycling, these headphones stay put.

    Just a heads up for the weightlifters: the headband gets in the way during bench presses.

    AfterShokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones
    Rubbery ear hooks stick to ears strongly.

    Durability: The Shokz OpenRun have an IP67 rating, they’re fully waterproof and dustproof. Whether you’re sweating it out or caught in the rain, these headphones won’t let you down. They’re built to last, with a flexible and rubbery body that can take a beating.

    Battery Life: With up to 8 hours of battery life, these headphones are ready for a marathon. And with two charging cables included, you can keep one at home and one in your gym bag – always ready to go.

    Features: The Shokz OpenRun comes packed with features like moisture detect alert, sound presets, built-in 3-button controls and mic, and multipoint connectivity. However, there’s no app for additional customization, which might be a bummer for some. Find more details in our review.

    Noise isolation: The open-ear design means you can jam to your favorite music while still hear what’s going on around you – perfect for when you need to be aware of traffic.

    Bluetooth: Equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, the Shokz OpenRun offers a reliable and stable connection. But there is no MP3 storage, so you need to carry a music device.

    AfterShokz Aeropex black

    Should You Get Shokz OpenRun?

    If you’re looking for affordable bone-conducting headphones under $100, the Shokz OpenRun are the top choice.

    While a bit older they combine excellent audio quality (for bone conduction technology), comfort, durability, and practical features. They’re great for all athletes who need to stay aware of their environment while enjoying their music.

    Looking for regular wireless headphones for $100? See the best Bluetooth headphones under $100.

    Best Cheap Bone Conduction Headphones

    4. Shokz OpenMove

    dollar Best Cheap
    AfterShokz OpenMove bone conduction headphones

    Shokz OpenMove are the best budget bone-conducting headphones. These perform similarly as the best models for a lower price.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction transducer
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Bone conduction | Battery life: 6h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: /

    Pros & Cons

    • Good sound quality
    • Affordable price
    • IP55 water and dust resistant
    • Not the most comfortable

    Sound quality: The OpenMove uses 7th-generation bone conduction technology, ensuring a decent sound experience. While they won’t deliver the deep bass that traditional earphones might, they do a fine job of keeping the midrange and treble clear with the same PremiumPitch technology you get in Shokz’ flagship models.

    This makes them suitable for general listening, especially spoken-word content. However, vigorous activities like eating can affect the audio quality due to the movement of the headphones.

    Comfort & fit: Weighing just 29 grams, they are lightweight and comfortable for extended use. The fit is secure, thanks to the titanium frame, but you need to adjust them occasionally, especially if you’re wearing glasses.

    Durability: With the IP55 rating they are dust-proof and water-resistant. They’re a durable option for outdoor activities like rock climbing, running, and cycling. But, they’re not be the best option for exercises that require you to lie down, like bench presses, due to headband getting in the way.

    Battery Life: Up to 6 hours of battery life and 2 hours to recharge via a USB-C charging port, they don’t offer fast charging, but a good-enough playtime for most users. These are a budget option after all.

    Features: You can use 3-button controls for volume, playback, and phone calls, making them easy to operate even wearing gloves. But there’s no mobile app for extra customization.

    Noise isolation: The headphones are designed to keep you aware of your surroundings, making them a safe choice for outdoor activities. LeakSlayer technology reduces sound leakage, so other’s don’t hear what you’re listening to.

    Bluetooth: With Bluetooth 5.1, the OpenMove offers a stable connection within a 10-meter range. They also support multipoint, allowing you to connect to multiple music devices simultaneously.

    Should You Get Shokz OpenMove?

    As one of the cheaper bone conduction headphones, the Shokz OpenMove offer excellent performance. If you prioritize safety and awareness during your outdoor activities, but don’t want to spend too much, they’re the best choice.

    While they’re not suitable for swimming or those wanting high-fidelity audio, they are a solid choice for athletes and pedestrians on a budget.

    Honorable Mentions Worth Considering

    5. Orange O Bones

    Orange O Bones on a wooden log

    Orange O Bones have a typical bone conduction headphone sound with minimized bass. They’re well-constructed and lightweight, weighing only 1.13 oz (32g). You quickly forget they’re on your head. Sweatproof IPX4 design is relatively low compared to the competition but suitable for sports. Their 11-hour battery life is impressive. But they’re harder to get, so we didn’t include them on the main list.

    Orange O Bones review

    6. Mojawa Mojo2

    Mojawa Mojo2 waterproof

    Mojawa Mojo2 are solid bone-conducting headphones. They have a stronger vibration on higher volumes that can be irritating. However, at the lower asking price, that’s something you can forgive. They’re also a bit bulkier with an IP67 rating. Perfect for outdoor activities, but not swimming. Their 5.5 hours is also a bit shorter than competitors. If you get them for a good price, they’re worth it.

    Mojawa Mojo2 review

    7. TrueFree F1

    TrueFree F1 listening music

    TrueFree F1 are technically not bone-conduction headphones but open-ear headphones that use speakers near your ears. They offer a similar listening experience, allowing perfect awareness. Their advantage is no annoying vibration

    TrueFree F1 review

    We didn’t include more models because most are worse than the ones we recommend. There is less variability among this type of headphones, and the top models are truly the best in more categories.

    How We Tested

    Headphones we recommend are objectively tested in 9 key categories. But for bone-conducting headphones we coudn’t measuring their frequency responses because the microphones in our testing rig don’t properly record sound from the bone-condcuting drivers. We relied on tester expertise to describe the audio quality.

    Mojawa Run Plus water splash
    Splashing headphones with water is part of our testing.

    Then, we also tested them for security of the fit at different levels of activity and their water protection rating by exposing them to different levels of water. Generally, we find the headphones don’t have problems handling water. After testing the key categories we also did the standard testing. See our testing and scoring methodology.

    How did we choose the models?

    As mentioned above, we primarily focused on 3 decision points: stability when moving, durability, and ease of use.

    All recommended headphones perform well in important categories. We choose from headphones we tested and tried. We tested 193 headphones if you include conventional and bone-conducting models. We ranked them for different use cases and at different budgets.

    Who is Bone Conduction Best Suited for?

    Bone conduction headphones are best suited for:

    • People who want to listen to music during activities while hearing their surroundings
    • People who have an eardrum-related hearing impairment (difficulties with detecting air conduction)
    • People who find regular earbuds and headphones uncomfortable
    • People who have conductive hearing loss, bone-conduction headphones are a great choice because you’ll actually hear them.

    Advantages & Disadvantages of Bone Conducting Headphones

    There are a couple of things you have to know:

    With an open-ear design, you remain aware of background noises

    Because you leave your ear canal open, you still hear your surroundings. This is especially useful for running in a city, cycling, or anywhere else you want to hear loud noises.

    Amazing fit and comfort

    For the same reason, they feel amazingly comfortable. There are no earpads or eartips that would touch your skin. They sit lightly next to your ears which is much less bothersome.

    The fit is also best-in-class. Usually, they come in a lightweight ear hook design. Once you put them on, they stay there, no matter the head shapes.

    Highly durable

    Because they are not using regular drivers, there is no air canal for sound waves. This makes them much easier to waterproof. For that reason, most come with a high IP rating which means high dust and water protection.

    Mediocre sound quality

    The biggest caveat is their lack of bass. Due to different technology, the music transmission isn’t as clear. The details are a bit muffled, and they lack the deep-end rumble. Though you can still enjoy music and listen to audiobooks.

    Learn everything you have to know about bone conduction headphones and how they compare to traditional headphones.

    What are Bone Conduction Headphones?

    Bone conduction headphones play music to your inner ear via bones instead of through the ear canal like conventional headphones.

    Here is an in-depth explanation of the technology.

    They’re mostly sports-oriented headphones with a secure fit and high dust and water protection suitable for all activities, including swimming.

    How does bone conduction work?

    Simple explanation: Bone conduction headphones use a unique technology different from conventional headphones. Instead of sending sound through air and ear canal, they send it through skull bones, directly reaching your inner ear. This way the ears are open to the environment.

    Hearing through bone vibration

    It’s why your voice sounds different…

    Your voice sounds deeper to you than it actually is because bone conducts lower frequencies better than air.

    Are bone conduction headphones safe?

    Bone-conducting headphones are as safe as traditional headphones, if not safer.

    By bypassing the eardrums and going straight to the internal ear you eliminate the possibility of damaging eardrums, causing infection by ear tips, and so on.

    Also, because your outer ear is completely open to the air, you’re staying aware of your surroundings (no background noise isolation). You hear all sounds as if you didn’t wear anything.

    They’re the safest type of headphones for street runners and other outdoor activities where you need to listen to the world around you.

    However, prolonged use can still make you hearing impaired, so you should use them at moderate volumes. Here’s a good explanation of hearing loss and how they test it.

    Are bone conduction headphones as good as regular headphones?

    Bone-conducting headphones don’t have the same sound quality as conventional headphones and earphones.

    The main issue is that they lack bass, especially if you listen to them in a loud environment. Open ear design with conduction doesn’t produce the most bass.

    In terms of build quality, comfort level, and snug fit, the conduction headphones are the same, or better.

    Mojawa Mojo2 O Bones transducers

    Overall, they’re best sutied for for sports with a secure fit and high water and dust resistance. But regular headphones are better for daily listening.

    Considered Models That Didn’t Make The List

    • AfterShokz Trekz Air: These are too old to be competitive today
    • AfterShokz OpenComm: Most people are looking for bone-conducting headphones without a boom mic
    • Vidonn F1 Titanium: Budget bone conduction headphones that are hard to get

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    How do bone conduction headphones work?

    Bone conduction headphones send the sound vibrations directly to the Cochlea through the temporal bone, bypassing the outer ear (pinna and ear canal). Once the internal ear receives the sound wave, it creates a brain signal so you can hear it. It’s a simple technology that uses bone-conducting to transmit sound to the inner ear. Both normal hearing and hard of hearing people can use it effectively.

    Who invented bone conduction?

    Ludwig van Beethoven—a famous composer and pianist—invented it by losing most of his hearing health in his late 20s. He bit into a rod attached to a piano to hear music through bone. Though, allegedly bone-conduction knowledge has been known before by physician Girolamo Cardano in the 16th century.

    Can bone conduction headphones cause hearing loss?

    Bone conduction headphones can’t cause hearing impairments through ear drum damage but can harm the inner ear (Cochlea) injury if abused. You don’t have to worry about external and middle ear damage, but if used for too long at a louder volume, sound waves can still damage your Cochlea.

    Can a deaf person hear with bone conduction?

    Some deaf people can hear with bone conduction technology. If the eardrums are damaged and don’t send the sound vibrations to the inner ear (Cochlea), a person can use conduction to hear. But it isn’t effective if a person is deaf because of the inner ear or neural problems.

    Who uses bone conduction headphones?

    The technology has been mostly developed for the military, which uses it for communication on the battlefield, where spatial awareness is crucial. It’s also extensively used in hearing aids for users with conductive hearing damage. Lately, you can now find them for swimming and as workout headphones.

    Conclusion

    This was our gude on the top bone-conducting headphones. Let us know if you get any of the recommended headphones, we’d love to hear about it.

    • #1 Best Choice
    2 Comments
    1. Regarding the AfterShokz Air you state they have “been upgraded with the Aeropex…” What exactly was upgraded?

      Reply

      1. They’re lighter, sound a bit better, you get different sound presets, longer battery life, better water protection. Basically, they’re an improvement in every category.

        Reply

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