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9 Best Bone Conduction Headphones (for Perfect Awareness) 2022

Last updated: 6 months ago
9 min read

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If you’re looking for an alternative to regular headphones, here are the best bone conduction headphones in 2022.

Bone conduction headphones sound almost as good as normal headphones, though, to be honest, they don’t sound the same (more on that below).

On the other hand, they have best-in-class fit, comfort, high durability, and offer perfect environment awareness.

Check them below:

Rating Price Battery Water protection Connection More info
Shokz OpenRun Pro Best overall
Shokz OpenRun Pro
4.5
Under $180
10 hours
IP55
Bluetooth 5.1
AfterShokz Aeropex Runner-up
AfterShokz Aeropex
4.6
Under $160
8 hours
IP67
Bluetooth 5.0
4.6
Under $120
7 hours
IP55
Bluetooth 4.2
3.9
Under $100
8 hours
IP67
Bluetooth 5.0
4.5
Under $80
6 hours
IP55
Bluetooth 4.0
4.6
Under $80
6 hours
IP55
Bluetooth 5.0
4.5
Under $160
16 hours (talk), 8h (music)
IP55
Bluetooth 5.0
4.1
Under $50
6 hours
IP55
Bluetooth 5.0
9 Digital N1 Best budget
9 Digital N1
4.1
Under $50
6.5 hours
IP53
Bluetooth 5.0

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 an especially suitable replacement for workout headphones. And lately, they’ve gotten better than ever before (thanks to AfterShokz).

Did you know you hear your own voice deeper than it actually is because bone conducts lower frequencies better than air? That’s why your voice sounds different than you expect.

See the best bone conduction headphones below.

CONTENTS (show more)

    Related:

    Best workout headphones

    Best running headphones

    Best waterproof headphones for swimming

    The Advantages & Disadvantages of Bone Conduction 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 lightly sit 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 certified 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.

    The Best Bone Conduction Headphones

    1. Shokz OpenRun Pro

    1st-place Editor’s pick
    Shokz OpenRun Pro bone conduction headphones

    The best in the bone conduction headphones market today.

    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
    • Improved sound quality with more bass
    • Longer battery life (10h)
    • Comfortable fit
    • Vibrating transducers
    • Proprietary charging cable

    While bone conduction headphones aren’t known for audiophile sound quality, the OpenRun Pro boast some impressive results.

    Newly renamed Shokz (previously AfterShokz) have managed to boost the bass response, making your favorite tunes sound fuller and with punchier bass.

    However, that comes at the cost of slightly more noticeable vibrations. Thankfully, they’re only distracting when playing near full volume.

    Otherwise, Shokz OpenRun Pro offer the same quality as the Aeropex model. They’re as comfortable and lightweight, so you can easily wear them on longer jogs, while the Bluetooth 5.1 maintains a stable connection.

    Furthermore, the new bone conduction headphones have 10 hours of battery life and fast charging support. Also, they’re IP55 rated and fully resistant against sweat while also having the ability to deflect dirt.

    2. AfterShokz Aeropex

    2nd-place Runner-up
    AfterShokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones

    Slightly old but still among the best bone conduction headphones out there.

    AfterShokz are a household name in the bone conduction headphone market. As they don’t cover your ear lobes, you can still hear what’s happening around you while listening to music.

    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
    • Stable fit for all types of sports
    • Perfect environment awareness due to open-ear design
    • Lightweight (almost 30% lighter than Air)
    • Waterproof and dustproof (IP67)
    • Good battery life (8 hours)
    • Improved bass response from previous models
    • Vibrating transducers might be annoying
    • Sound quality is suffering (compared to regular earphones)
    • Lack of bass

    These bone conduction headphones have improved bass from the other AfterShokz bone conduction models, but it’s no high-fidelity sound. These use PremiumPitch 2.0 to make the sound better. Sadly, no EQ settings available.

    The Aeropex have quality, rubbery ear hooks and stay in place while you exercise. They’re designed for a full-on active lifestyle and offer plenty of stability thanks to the hooks.

    Waterproof and dustproof design (IP67) protects them from water and small particles like sand and dust. So, you can confidently use them in harsh conditions like the best waterproof Bluetooth headphones.

    The AfterShokz Aeropex offer a 3-button control scheme with a power button and two volume buttons. They’re located on top for easy access during workouts.

    AfterShokz Aeropex review

    3. AfterShokz Trekz Air

    AfterShokz Trekz Air bone conduction headphones

    AfterShokz Trekz Air are the previous flagship model that has been upgraded with the Aeropex but they’re still a great option.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 4.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Bone conduction | Battery life: 6h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: Multipoint support
    • Open-air desing ensures better awareness
    • Comfortable, stable fit
    • Clean, balanced sound
    • Lack of bass
    • Poor battery life

    Their sound signature is somewhat balanced with a slight lack of bass. Mids are more in front, so the vocals are crystal clear. But if you want to listen to bass-heavy music, you might look elsewhere.

    The sleek, over-ear design makes them suitable for all situations, from sports to office jobs. AfterShokz headphones are extremely lightweight. They’re extremely comfortable to wear for hours. You could probably wear them the whole day.

    On top of a comfortable fit, they are amazingly stable. You can use them for all types of sports, even for fast running. IP55 casing protects them from dust and water, so you’re safe in any weather.

    Also, you get remote buttons to manage your tracks and a good-sounding built-in mic for when you answer calls. Long battery life can last up to six hours. Plus, you can simultaneously connect them to multiple devices via Bluetooth.

    Looking for regular wireless headphones at a lower price? Best Bluetooth headphones under $100.

    4. Mojawa Mojo1

    Mojawa Mojo1 bone conduction headphones

    Bone conduction headsets with a good bass response and safety features.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction transducers
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Bone conduction | Battery life: 8h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 80min – proprietary port | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: IP67 | Features: Safety strip
    • Good bass for this type of headphone
    • Comfortable fit
    • Low sound leakage
    • Transducer vibrations on bass-heavy song
    • Proprietary charger

    Due to larger transducers than the other bone conduction headphones, the Mojo1 can produce a tighter, more rumbly bass.

    On the other hand, they lag a little in overall resolution and can also vibrate on higher volumes. However, at the lower asking price, that’s something you can forgive them for.

    The design is a bit bulkier but doesn’t feel heavy (just over an ounce). They’re perfect for outdoor running, equipped with a reflective strip. That way, the passing car can easily spot you.

    While Mojo1 aren’t fit for swimming, you’ll be glad to know they’re rated for IP67. Meaning they survive full submersion. On top of that, one full charge will last you 8 hours in total.

    5. AfterShokz Trekz Titanium

    AfterShokz Titanium bone conduction headphones

    Trekz Titanium are one of the best bone conduction headphones in terms of great value.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 4.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Bone conduction | Battery life: 6h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Only mic | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: Included earplugs
    • Better awareness due to their design
    • Balanced sound with a bit of bass
    • No remote buttons

    The sound signature is rather balanced, with some bass which is surprising for this type of headphones. Their overall audio quality is enjoyable with all music genres while perfectly hearing your surroundings.

    Their name comes from their design – the neckband is made out of titanium alloy. That’s why they are highly durable.

    You can use bone-conducting headphones for outdoor exercise as they are stable for workouts.

    Although this AfterShokz headset isn’t completely waterproof, it has an IP55 rating, which makes it sweat and water-resistant. This means you don’t have to worry about sweat damage and light rain, although be careful around water.

    Also, six hours of battery life on a full charge makes them comparable with premium workout headphones.

    Check best headphones for running.

    There are no wired bone conduction headphones because they’re outdated.

    6. AfterShokz OpenMove

    AfterShokz OpenMove bone conduction headphones

    New best value affordable bone conduction headphones from AfterShokz with improved audio quality.

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

    Considering they transmit sound through ear bones, they output good quality audio. It is more detailed than other models (like the Air one), especially if you use them in earplug mode. Although that eliminates the benefits of bone-conducting headphones.

    OpenMove are new affordable bone-conducting earphones from AfterShokz. They have a lightweight design and offer good fit with ear hooks, and use the same PremiumPitch technology and LeakSlayer technology (the latter reduces sound leakage).

    They have also minimized that tickling sensation when you listen to music at high volumes. With an IP55 rating, they’re fully sweatproof and dust resistant.

    Bluetooth version 5.0 provides a reliable connection without any stutters and supports multipoint pairing to different Bluetooth devices. They use USB-C for charging, with a total of 6 hours of battery life on a single charge.

    Want other options around 100 bucks? See the best headphones under $100.

    7. AfterShokz OpenComm

    AfterShokz OpenComm bone conduction headphones

    Bone conduction headphones with a dedicated microphone for office and videoconferencing.

    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: 16h (talk) & 8h (music) | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1h + quick charge – proprietary charger | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: Flippable microphone
    • Great microphone
    • Clean call quality
    • Full ambiental awareness
    • Good battery life
    • Clear vocal rendition
    • Not the best for music listening
    • No passive noise isolation
    • Proprietary charger

    Most bone conduction headphones don’t offer the best audio quality. It’s the same with OpenComm.

    Unlike other AfterShokz models, these primarily focus on vocals, rendering them with great clarity, even at high volume.

    Having to wear headphones at work for more extended periods can start hurting, which is why OpenComm are a godsend.

    They offer full awareness (ears-free usage) and don’t press against your ears. And the best thing: they have a dedicated noise-canceling microphone with clear audio.

    On top of that, AfterShokz OpenComm have a 16-hour talk time with a quick charge function. They’re among the top picks if you want something more comfortable to wear at your work and you have to answer lots of phone calls per day.

    Want to check standard headphones with a great microphone? See the best headphones with microphone.

    8. Vidonn F1 Titanium

    Vidonn F1 Titanium bone conduction headphones

    Comfortable pair of bone conduction headphones with flexible design.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction transducer
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Bone conduction | Battery life: 6h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, aptX | Water resistance: IP55 | Features: Volume controls
    • Decent sound
    • Flexible aluminum alloy backbone
    • aptX Bluetooth codec
    • Quality control issues

    The sound quality isn’t impressing anyone, but they do an excellent job for budget headphones. Clarity is decent, with a good bass presence. Use earplugs for a fuller listening experience.

    The frame is ergonomically designed and very flexible, thanks to the aluminum alloy backbone. They provide great comfort, even during more intense moments.

    F1 earphones boast an IP55 weather-resistant ingress protection rating, protecting them from excessive sweating and dust.

    With their 10 days of standby time and 6-hour battery life, they can last you for a full training session before checking the battery status. Sadly, they still use a Micro-USB cable for charging.

    With the addition of the aptX Bluetooth codec, the latency is practically non-existing. On top of that, you get reliable Bluetooth connectivity.

    A built-in microphone is clear enough for taking phone calls with good ambient noise reduction technology.

    9. 9 Digital N1

    dollar Best budget
    9 Digital N1 bone conduction headphones

    The best bone conduction headphones on a budget if you want to listen to music and stay aware of your surroundings.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: Bone conduction transducers
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Bone conduction | Battery life: 6.5h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h – micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: IP53 | Features: /
    • Decent sound
    • USB charging port (albeit micro-USB)
    • Comfortable fit
    • Very little bass

    The sound quality of the N1 matches the budget price. They’re good for listening to midrange and vocal-oriented music but lack bass and sound muffled in the treble.

    In general, these bone-conduction headphones are well-made and extremely flexible, thanks to the titanium frame.

    Furthermore, they’re lightweight and comfortable. Although, due to light clamping force, you can’t lay on your back with them. The wire behind your head will push them forward and make transducers lose contact with your skin.

    You might want a better battery life than just 6 hours of continuous playback. But that’s okay for a full day of use. Thankfully, these bone conduction headphones use a USB port for charging, not some proprietary connector like Shokz models.

    Honorable Mentions

    Pyle PSWBT550 – For a more affordable price tag, Pyle bone-conducting earphones come with a high IPX6 waterproof rating and an easy-to-operate side panel. (Check PSWBT550 price)

    Tayogo Bone Conduction Headphones S2 – Great on a budget if you want to stream music and have great situational awareness. (Check S2 price)

    AfterShokz Xtrainerz – A mix of bone conduction headphones and an MP3 player with internal storage. These are a good option for swimmers, making them our choice for the best waterproof headphones. (Check Xtrainerz price)

    Questions About Bone Conduction Headphones

    Are Bone Conduction Headphones Safe?

    Bone-conducting headphones are at least as safe as traditional headphones, if not more.

    You bypass the eardrums and go straight to the internal ear. Consequently, you eliminate the possibility or damaging eardrums, cause 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 just like if you didn’t wear anything.

    It’s maximum protection for street runners or other outdoor activities where you need to listen to the world around you.

    And, at the same time, you hear the music play in your head loud and clear.

    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.

    Who is Bone Conduction Best Suited for?

    Open-ear bone conduction headphones are for most people who can hear normally or have an eardrum-related hearing impairment (difficulties with detecting air conduction).

    If you find regular earbuds uncomfortable, you might test these. The “earphones” don’t go into your ear canal or over your ear but just rest on the outer side of your skull.

    Also, if you’re poor hearing and know your inner ear works normally (conductive hearing loss), bone-conduction headphones are a great choice because you’ll actually hear them.

    Are Bone Conduction Headphones as Good as Regular Headphones?

    They don’t have the same sound quality as conventional headphones and earphones.

    On the other hand, in terms of build quality, comfort level, and snug fit, the bone conduction headphones are the same as normal, if not better.

    You can find other headphones with bone conduction technology that are good-sounding but don’t expect any Hi-Fi models.

    The main issue is that they lack bass, especially if you listen to them in a loud environment. Open ear design with conduction isn’t best suited for that.

    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.

    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 that uses it for communication on the battlefield, where spatial awareness is crucial.

    It’s also extensively used in hearing aids for most users with conductive hearing damage. Lately, you can now find them for swimming and as alternative workout headphones.

    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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