You’re in for a strange experience if you’ve never heard of bone-conduction headphones. They vibrate your head and are so silent that you won’t even notice them. If sound waves can’t go through the skull, how can you hear them? In recent years, bone-conduction headphones have become an increasingly popular new technology.
Bone conduction headphones are able to transfer sound waves via the bones in your skull, as opposed to the speakers on or in regular headphones. In this article, we’ll analyze bone-conduction headphones in detail, addressing some of the most often asked issues about them and drawing some final conclusions regarding their utility and efficiency.
How do bone conduction headphones function
Bone conduction headphones are able to transmit sound vibrations to the inner ear by way of the skull bones. The cochlea is responsible for transforming these vibrations into audible sound. Those with some types of hearing loss may still enjoy listening to music and other sounds by avoiding the outer and middle ear altogether with the help of this method.
Bone conduction headphones do this by placing tiny transducers on your cheekbones or temples, which transmits sound waves directly into your skull. As an audio signal is sent to these transducers, they vibrate to produce sound waves that are then detected by the cochlea of your ear. The end result is a one-of-a-kind listening experience in which you can take in both the music and your surroundings.
All Noise Is Just Vibrations
As a prelude to exploring bone conduction, let’s examine the physics of hearing. Sound, like light, moves in waves across the air. Yet whereas light can’t penetrate thick materials, sound can. This is why “pressure waves” is the common term for what we hear. They generate vibrations in intangible substances that may be felt.
Your ears are full with small sensory organs that respond to sound. That is to say, they are excellent vibrators. Your eardrum is the real show stopper; it’s a thin flap of skin that vibrates like the diaphragm of a microphone or the head of a drum. It stimulates the small earbones and other ear organs to vibrate. (On a related point, I wouldn’t recommend Googling images of the eardrum. That stinks.)
Your cochlea takes a glance around and makes a mental note of what’s happening whenever the ground begins to shake. The information is subsequently sent to the brain, where it is interpreted as the sounds you are hearing.
It seems that hearing is a rather straightforward procedure. And what do you know? The same simplicity applies to bone conduction.
Your Eardrums Are Ignored By Bone Conduction.
Well, so the eardrum’s job in normal hearing is to vibrate the myriad of tiny bones and organs deep inside your ear. While hearing is possible without an eardrum, without one the bones and organs of the inner ear would be inactive.
Can you predict the outcome? Bone conduction transmits sound waves directly to the inner ear without going via the eardrum. Your cochlea doesn’t recognize the difference until all the tiny bones and organs of your inner ear begin to move. It takes in the vibrations, transmits them to the brain, and then you hear sounds like music, podcasts, or those annoying videos that play automatically on news websites.
This, however, does not imply that bone-conduction headphones produce no audible sound. They are still audible (albeit noticeably quieter than earbuds), but they are engineered to transmit sound waves directly through your skull rather than into your ear canal.
To what end do bone conduction headphones serve?
Again, bone conduction headphones have several functions since they bypass the eardrum and don’t release a lot of sound into the atmosphere. One benefit is that you may wear them to block out ambient noise when working out, conversing, or even just driving. You may also use them to shield your ears from normal headphones’ potentially dangerous volume levels. In many ways, they are antithetical to noise-canceling headphones.
Bone conduction headphones are an intriguing option for those with hearing impairments, particularly those with conductive hearing loss. Bone conduction is so effective that it is used in certain hearing aids. Beethoven, who was profoundly deaf, is said to have composed music by placing a rod firmly in his mouth between his teeth and the piano.
Bone-conduction headphones transmit vibrations directly to the inner ear, bypassing the middle ear, which is often affected by conductive hearing loss. The effectiveness of bone-conduction headphones will, of course, depend on the severity of your hearing loss. Bone-conduction headphones are not as helpful for those with inner ear problems (such as those involving the nerves or the cochlea).
Can I Hear Sound Through My Bones?
Think about what you’ll be using the headphones for before going out to get a new set of bone-conduction headphones. Bone-conduction headphones are the way to go if you have trouble hearing or want to be aware of your surroundings even while you listen to music. (We aren’t being sarcastic; many bone-conduction headphones are terrible. Invest in a high-quality pair, or you risk being let down.
If all you care about is the best quality, then you should stay with what you’re already familiar with. The greatest bone-conduction headphones can never “sound” as nice as a high-quality set of headphones. Although bone conduction offers a number of advantages, it sacrifices audio quality in the process.
The use of bone conduction headphones is a novel and flexible way to listen to audio. These are an excellent substitute for regular headphones in circumstances when it is impractical to use them, such as while you are exercising or hiking in the great outdoors. Even if they aren’t ideal for audiophiles or very loud surroundings, they should still be on your short list if you’re looking for new headphones.
In contrast to traditional headphones, bone conduction headphones transmit sound vibrations along your cheekbones. Bone-conduction headphones are appealing not only because they don’t need earbuds but also because they allow you to continue your outdoor activities without compromising your hearing. Conduction phones, which transmit sound waves via the bone rather than the eardrums, may be useful for those with hearing loss. In truth, hearing aids were the pioneers of the technology before headphones popularized it. Kick back, turn on some tunes, and enjoy some outside time.