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Orange O Bones Review

Last updated: 3 days ago
8 min read
Editor
rating
3.5
Orange O Bones on a wooden log

Orange O Bones are decent bone conduction headphones with excellent comfort and stability for sports activities. But they won’t blow you away with their sound quality. Find out why in the Sound category below.

Bone conduction technology transmits sound waves by vibrating your facial bones directly into your middle ear, leaving your ear canal fully open. Learn more about how bone conduction headphones work.

However, providing you with full awareness brings many drawbacks, like the poorer sound quality and strange, tingling sensation from the vibrating drivers.

But let’s say you want to listen to music yet remain perfectly aware of your surroundings. Are Orange O Bones the headphones for you? How do they perform outdoors?

Find all the information in our detailed review down below.

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  • Excellent comfort & stability for exercising
  • Above-average indoor Bluetooth range of 60 feet
  • Decently durable with rubber coating and an IPX4 rating
  • Excellent battery life of 10+ hours and USB-C fast-charging
  • Dissapointing sound (compared to other headphones)
  • Mediocre microphone performance
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CONTENTS (show more)

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    Sound

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    Orange O Bones output decent bass, a harsh midrange, and a quiet treble. On the other hand, the sound feels very spacious.

    Music fidelity was never a strength of bone-conducting headphones. Vibrations have to cross many obstacles to get into your ear, which is the reason they sound quite muffled and lack detail.

    So, don’t expect Orange O Bones to replace your studio monitors or even budget earbuds.

    However, despite the poor sound quality, headphones’ primary function is to play music, so let us dissect how well the O Bones do.

    Orange O Bones bone conduction headphones
    Orange O Bones headphones in all their glory.

    Bass: Pleasing quantity but only in a quiet room

    Lower frequencies are a known Achilles’ heel of bone conduction. However, at least with Orange O Bones, they seem to somewhat resolve the issue.

    Sure, there’s practically no sub-bass, but the upper region is decently punchy, especially on higher volumes.

    Bass prominent songs like “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk sound quite pleasing, letting you hear both the drum kicks and bass guitar licks.

    Of course, to hear any bass, you have to listen to them someplace quiet. Using them outdoors quickly sucks away most of the low-end, forcing you to raise the volume.

    One solution is to use the included earplugs. However, those isolate you from the outside world, and the entire point of this type of headphones is to make you aware of potential dangers.

    Furthermore, ear plugs drastically boost the bass, making the sound overly muddy and bloated.

    Midrange: Quite sharp in the upper region

    Mid-frequency response is a bit uneven, especially in higher registers. Lower mids are relatively natural, which is evident in the previously mentioned “Get Lucky” song.

    Orange O Bones driver unit
    The soft rubber cushions are a contact point that vibrates your bones.

    However, the upper midrange gets shouty and thin very quickly, even on lower volumes. That makes songs like “The Night We Met” by Lord Huron hard to listen.

    Metal tracks with lots of electric guitar distortion play especially badly on the O Bones, resembling earbuds you get for free at the museum.

    Also, the entire midrange lacks detail. There’s very little texture in vocals and instruments, even string ones. The sound truly isn’t meant for analytical listening.

    Treble: Smooth but very quiet

    The lack of detail continues in the higher frequencies. Overall, the treble performance is smooth and quite pleasing. However, it’s so quiet that it gets easily masked by the shouty midrange.

    Interestingly, the shy treble doesn’t hurt the imaging accuracy. You can very distinctly hear sounds moving from left to right. As long as you aren’t listening to cymbals.

    Since the treble is so quiet, you can barely hear the cymbals floating around your head in Haken’s “Atlas Stone” track.

    Moving to the soundstage, it’s big, pushing sounds further out of your head. However, a big soundstage only works well when paired with good detail. In this case, it only makes you feel like you’re listening to music in an echoey hall.

    Orange O Bones from above
    Sound quality isn’t bone conduction’s strength.

    To summarize all the facts, Orange O Bones (and all bone-conduction headphones in general) aren’t for those seeking audio quality.

    Bone conduction’s main purpose is to safely listen to music while jogging on the streets and not sonic fidelity.

    Also, they’re the only solution for people with outer ear medical conditions or deformations that are otherwise unable to use regular earbuds.

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Orange O Bones are incredibly comfortable and stable headphones that could’ve gotten the max score. However, the tingling drivers can be annoying.

    Orange O Bones are lightweight and distribute their weight nicely. As a result, you barely feel them (apart from feeling those vibrating drivers).

    Drivers press gently against your skin, so you don’t feel any clamping pressure. The silicone touching your skin will eventually get sweaty. But you won’t get hot around your ears like when wearing leather over-ear headphones.

    What’s even more impressive is how stable these headphones are. The design uses ear hooks to keep them in place, and it’s very successful at doing so.

    Orange O Bones on a rock
    Orange O Bones offer a secure fit that doesn’t budge, even during intense workouts.

    You can shake your head hard; they don’t budge. That makes them perfect for sportspeople.

    Even the non-adjustable “neckband” design isn’t an issue. It hangs in the air, so you don’t hit it with your shoulders when you look up.

    Overall, I’m impressed by how comfy, and stable Orange O Bones are.

    However, those 16mm drivers vibrate pretty hard, especially on higher volumes.

    The tingling vibrations are most noticeable when listening in a quiet place. On the other hand, you can barely feel the vibrations when you walk or run. However, at that point, you also barely hear the bass.

    It’s worth noting that the tingling sensation is present on all bone-conducting headphones. They feel strange at first, but like with most things, you get used to them over time.

    Durability

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    Orange O Bones have a flexible body with a mixture of plastic and rubber. Sportspeople will enjoy IPX4 water-resistant rating, protecting headphones from excess sweat and moisture.

    Despite using an all-plastic design, Orange O Bones feel nice and sturdy, possibly capable of surviving a few accidental drops on the hard floor.

    Orange O Bones come with a soft carrying pouch that will protect them from scratches but not drops.

    Most of the body is coated in rubber, providing softer contact with your skin. Even buttons are made of rubber, although they can feel a bit mushy.

    The USB-C charging port is probably the weakest point. It isn’t nano-coated against liquids, so you have to keep it closed with a flimsy rubber cover.

    I predict the cover won’t survive one year of use, exposing the port to outside moisture.

    Battery

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Battery test results: Orange O Bones battery life lasts much more than what’s advertised. 10 hours and 48 minutes on a single charge. They charge via USB-C and support fast charging.

    Orange O Bones Battery Comparison

    Orange O Bones battery comparison

    While most bone-conducting headphones promise up to eight hours of battery life (even Orange advertises only 7 hours per charge), the O Bones reach much further.

    Like with all battery-powered headphones, I tested the Orange O Bones at 50% volume and got:

    • 10 hours and 48 minutes of playtime when fully charged.

    That’s almost 4 hours more than what Orange advertises. Or 3 hours more, even they can’t decide whether their headphones last 7 hours or 8 hours on their official website.

    Nonetheless, it’s always nice to see headphones performing better than expected.

    Furthermore, O Bones charge via USB-C, unlike their competition Shokz, which insists on proprietary charging ports.

    On top of that, headphones support a fast-charging feature:

    • A 5-minute charge should give you 1.5 hours of extra runtime.

    Features

    Star Rating
    2.5 Average

    Orange O Bones are pretty light on features, offering basic playback and volume controls and mediocre microphone quality.

    Like most bone-conducting headphones, the Orange O Bones have only essential features. Those involve onboard controls and a built-in mic.

    Starting with controls, you have separate volume and playback buttons.

    Volume controls are located under the right module (behind the ear). You can quickly find the two protruding rubber buttons with your fingers.

    Likewise, you find a playback button on the right transducer under the Orange logo (the left side has the same button-like plate, but it doesn’t click). Or you use voice control for truly hands-free use.

    Orange O Bones on a concrete
    The playback button is located on the right transducer (with the “O” logo).

    Orange O Bones controls:

    • Play/pause/answer/end call – single press on a transducer button
    • Volume up – single press the “+” button
    • Volume down – single press the “-” button
    • Next song – hold the “+” button
    • Repeat/previous song – hold the “-” button
    • Voice assistant – double press on a transducer button

    Microphone Quality

    Orange O Bones offer a mediocre call quality with only one built-in microphone.

    Orange O Bones Microphone Test

    The built-in mic is positioned on the bottom of the right transducer, directly facing your mouth. However, it doesn’t offer the best quality. Even in a quiet room, O Bones make your voice somewhat muffled and compressed.

    The clarity degrades even further when stepping into a noisier environment. Background noise reduction kicks in and further silences your voice.

    The person on the other side of the line should still understand what you’re saying. However, try avoiding making long phone or video calls with the O Bones.

    The issue is probably using only one mic and a noise reduction algorithm to do all the work. Maybe next time, Orange will implement 2 mics to better filter out outside noise from human speech.

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    Orange O Bones headphones suffer from minimal wind noise but leak a lot of sound, especially on louder volumes.

    Bone conduction headphones have no noise isolation as they allow you to fully hear your surroundings and keep you aware. We rated the experience with wind noise and noise leakage.

    Bone-conduction headphones are great for sports because they have minimal noise from the wind.

    Though, while you get some noise in Orange O Bones, it isn’t too distracting. You can still enjoy music or listen to a podcast while jogging.

    What about sound leakage?

    16mm drivers can reach a surprisingly loud volume, which everyone around you can hear. If you plan to use them for commuting or traveling, be aware that everyone will hear your playlist.

    Orange O Bones driver openings
    Holes boost the bass and make it less congested; however, they also leak your music out in the open.

    Bluetooth

    Star Rating
    4.5 Almost Perfect

    Orange O Bones have a stable Bluetooth connection with an above-average range (but some occasional stutters; more on that later). There’s also no audio lag when watching videos.

    O Bones bone conduction headphones use Bluetooth 5.0, which is quite reliable. There are no random stutters when using the headphones close to your transmitting device.

    • Even the indoor range is impressive, receiving the signal up to 60 feet (or 18.2 meters) in the distance.

    When you reach around 45 feet in distance, or right after passing the second brick wall, the audio stutters yet continues playing as usual.

    The same thing happens at around 55 feet, with audio completely cutting off at 60 feet.

    Despite a few signal hiccups, that’s still an above-average Bluetooth range.

    How is pairing?

    Orange O Bones seem to initiate pairing automatically. No button pressing is required.

    • Just ensure that before you pair them to another device, turn off the Bluetooth on devices that are already connected to the O Bones.
    Orange O Bones controls and port
    USB-C port is covered with a flimsy rubber cover that could pinch off at any moment.

    What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Use?

    Orange O Bones come with standard SBC and more Apple-friendly AAC Bluetooth codecs.

    Adding high-quality codecs like an aptX wouldn’t make any sense and would only bring the cost up.

    Is There an Audio Lag?

    Unless you’re a mobile gamer, you can enjoy a lag-free watching experience. That means on both Android and iOS, as well as Windows computers.

    As mentioned, while apps like YouTube can compensate for the audio lag, mobile games can’t, so you’ll see some minor delay when gaming.

    Should You Get Orange O Bones?

    Star Rating
    2.5 Average

    Orange O Bones wireless headphones serve a particular purpose: to ensure complete awareness.

    Consequently, that makes them a good option for sportspeople who exercise outdoors and want to hear what’s happening around them.

    Also, bone conduction is the only solution for users with external ear damage to listen to music normally.

    Orange O Bones logo
    The Orange brand is mostly known for its guitar amps, like Marshall.

    However, bone-conducting headphones will never substitute regular headphones in terms of audio quality. So, these headphones aren’t for you unless you’re in a very tiny target group.

    Orange O Bones Alternatives

    AfterShokz Aeropex

    AfterShokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones

    A tad better sounding alternative with different EQ presets.

    Both models offer excellent comfort and stability, with AfterShokz having only 8 hours of listening time instead of 10+ hours on O Bones (AfterShokz also uses a proprietary charging port instead of USB-C).

    The Aeropex are durable, sporting an IP67 waterproof rating compared to an IPX4 on the O Bones.

    AfterShokz Aeropex review

    What’s in the Box?

    Orange O Bones accessories
    • Orange O Bones bone conduction headphones
    • Carrying pouch
    • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
    • Pair of earplugs
    • User manual

    Specifications

    Type: Bone conduction
    Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Back design: Open-air
    Drivers: 16mm dynamic transducers
    Frequency range: 80-5000Hz
    Impedance: n/a
    Weight: 1.13 oz (32g)
    Mic & Controls: Yes
    Water resistance: IPX4
    Battery life: 10h+
    Charging time: 1-2h + quick charge – USB-C
    Active noise cancelling: No
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
    Wireless range: 60 feet (18.2 meters)
    Microphone: Single mic

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