Many people are curious about how bone conduction headphones work. Where does the sound come from? Where are the speakers? This article will help you understand these innovative headphones better.
Bone conduction headphones work by transmitting sound vibrations along your cheekbones instead of through the air. It’s the same technique that sea mammals use underwater and composer Beethoven used to make music when he lost his hearing. It all comes down to sound vibrations.
Most of the sounds that reach our ears do so by air conduction. Sound vibration travels through the air, down the ear canal causing your eardrum to vibrate. Your brain processes these vibrations and interprets them as sounds.
But there is another way we can hear things, using bone conduction. This is a when sound waves bypass your eardrum and is heard directly by the cochlea, aka the inner ear.
Beethoven – who started to experience hearing loss as he grew older – discovered this by holding his conducting baton between his teeth as he played piano.
The baton allowed the sound vibrations made by the piano to travel through to his inner ear so he could still hear the notes.
How do AfterShokz headphones work?
So, how do AfterShokz work? In a similar way to Beethoven and his conductor's baton. AfterShokz bone conduction headphones use vibrations to transmit sound directly to your inner ear through the bones located in your upper cheek and jaw.
Your cochlea, inner ear, does not realise that the sound is coming from the bones rather than the eardrum. Your brain processes the sounds vibrations in the same way as if they came via your ear-drum, meaning you can hear sound clearly.
With bone-conducting headphones such as the Aftershokz Aeropex, you can listen to music or podcasts and the sound is carried to your inner ear directly via the bones in your face without impairing sound quality.
How well do bone conduction headphones work?
Bone conduction headphones and bone conduction headsets work amazingly well! They have huge advantages over in-ear and over-ear headphones. Thanks to bone conduction technology your ear canal remains open to hear other ambient sounds, ensuring you remain aware of your surroundings. The headphones are more hygienic as germs are not transferred from your ear to speakers, as they are with in-ear buds, plus you don't have the pressure or nuisance of headphones in or on your ear.
Bones conduction earphones allow situational awareness for outdoor safety, a dry and hygienic ear canal for sports and a completely comfortable listening experience.
How do animals use bone conduction?
Bone conduction is a natural part of hearing, used throughout the animal kingdom, that AfterShokz has harnessed with bone conduction headphones. In 2015, scientists discovered that baleen whales hear via vibrations in the whale’s skull.
When an elephant stamps its foot it is sharing a message with other elephants, often miles away. Elephants use their feet to sense seismic vibrations on the ground, as with bone conduction headphones the vibrations are sent up the bones directly to their inner ear.
So the next time you are out running with your Aftershokz headphones on, take a moment to marvel at how the song you are listening to is reaching your ears in the same way a whale’s call reaches its mate’s ear through miles of water.
For more on the benefits of bone conduction headphones
5 BENEFITS OF BONE CONDUCTION HEADPHONES
Find out exactly how bone conduction can make a difference to the way you hear
BIG "INVENTOR": BEETHOVEN
How did Beethoven become an inventor? Read more about how his discovery influenced the discovery of bone conduction technology, and in turn, the Aftershokz range of headphones
DO YOU KNOW HOW DIRTY YOUR HEADPHONES ARE?
In-ear headphones go hand in hand with a lot of bacteria – find out more about what’s lurking inside your earbuds!