What are Bone Conduction Headphones?

  • 14th Oct'21
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When smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, headphones have resulted as a by-product of this companionship. Almost everyone with a smartphone is sure to have a headphone go with it. Many smartphones even include headphones (more specifically, earphones) as an accessory in their package. So, if I ask you to have headphones become our necessity, many would likely agree to it. It is evident that people, while sweating it out in gyms, commute to work, morning walks, and even during chores at home, etc., are known to prefer some music to their ears. Yes, the music industry remains a critical element of making headphones a daily life essential. But that's not it.

Today, the earphones and headphones combined have cemented themselves as the global market business valued at a colossal USD 25.1 billion in 2019. From there, the trend has only scaled upwards owing to the rising consumer preferences for better headphones, the booming music industry, and the grown ease in internet availability coupled with constant improvement in mobile technologies. Apart from it, the headphone industry has evolved with time when technological advancement has continuously pushed its growth. The evolution of headphones has seen it losing wire to becoming wireless headphones due to the emergence of notch-less smartphones. Also, the headphone market is ripe with several headphones brands to select from as per one's choice. There is Bose, JBL, and the expensive AirPods, and likewise, many other headphones and earphones that sell both wired and wireless headphones. However, none of the brands so far sells the latest path-breaking invention in the headphone industry – Bone-conduction headphones. Also, may like to check 10 futuristic tech to look out for just like bone conduction headphones. 

 

Headphone
 

Bone Conduction Headphones

So far, the world has grown familiar with the various in-ear and over-ear headphones apart from being wired or wireless. Now, people with hearing issues can hear equally the same as others with bone conduction headphones. The bone conduction headphones also get referred to as "bonephones" sometimes. Bone conduction headphones work on the principle of bone conduction discovered by Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven is considered the most incredible musician of all time, and he was almost deaf. If this is any indication, bone conduction headphones are the headphones that support hearing impairment.

 

Working of Bone Conduction Headphones

The hearing process goes through three ear parts that we can define as the inner ear, the middle ear, and the outer ear. The outer ear collects the sound waves and transmits them through the ear canal into the middle ear. The middle ear sends the sound waves further into the inner ear, receiving it on the eardrums. The eardrums then create a vibration into the cochlea (inner ear), making a sound in our brain. However, people with hearing disabilities struggle to hear due to partial or complete damage to either or all ear parts. Bone conduction headphones bypass this loophole to directly connect with the cochlea that produces sound in our brain.

 

How Bone Conduction Headphones Produce Sound?

The fundamental difference between traditional headphones and bone conduction headphones is the former depends on the ear to transmit audio while the latter doesn't. The bonephones rely on bone conduction audio technology to transmit audio. Here, instead of placing the headphone on the ears is placed on the skull. A transducer in the bone technology method uses the skull bones as a medium to transmit the sound waves directly to the cochlea, which then sends a signal to the brain. It may also become a part of human augmentation in the future.

 

Advantages of Bone Conduction Headphones

Like any traditional headphone, bonephones also have their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore let's look at the advantages first and then move on to its disadvantages.

 

  • The primary advantage of bone conduction headphones is that they don't use the ears to transmit sound waves. As a result, people can use them effectively to listen to their headphones while simultaneously remaining attuned to the outside world.

  • Bone conduction headphones are no less than a blessing for people with hearing disabilities. Also, the clarity provided by the bonephones will enable deaf people to identify the audio more clearly.

  • Bone conduction headphones represents the future of healthcare by further eliminating the risk of hearing damages with traditional headphones when used at high volume.

  • Its designs are uniquely different from regular headphones, which may come across as appealing to people.

 

Disadvantages of Bone Conduction Headphones

The primary disadvantage of bone conduction headphones is the lack of awareness amongst the people.

 

  • The technology still requires more optimizations as the current bonephones do not provide quality audio. Users have mostly reported that the sound quality is lesser than the traditional headphones and has weaker frequencies.

  • Bone conduction headphones are more expensive compared to even the rich brand headphones. Besides, when it comes to regular headphones, people have the extensive price range to buy their headphones.

  • While some people may like bone conduction headphones, others will not.


 

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About the author:

Sunny Samanta, OpenGrowth Content Team

A lone wolf by definition, a writer by heart, and a lost star with ambitions to light up the dark both inside and around me, sometimes by immersing myself into books or video games or traveling with a backpack to an uncertain destination believing that life is all about the choices we make and we don't.


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