The best bone conduction headphones aren’t designed to drown out the world like the best noise-canceling headphones. Instead, the goal is to allow you to hear your music or audiobooks while still being aware of the sounds around you in your surroundings.
They’re for anyone who doesn’t want to cover their ears with headphones, but still want to enjoy decent sound quality. This is why the best bone conduction headphones are a good option in high traffic environments when you need to stay aware or for outdoor activities, such as running and cycling.
But how do these smart bone conduction headphones work? You can hear sound through these headphones through a method that uses transducers. They can send vibrations through your cheekbones and jawbone to your inner ear. Your brain then processes the vibrations, turning them into content that is played through the headphones.
While bone conduction headphones are a fantastic option if you want a pair of workout headphones so that you can be more aware of their surroundings, they can also come in handy in any scenario where you would need to. hear a mix of your own music. and that background noise, as if you were walking on a busy street.
We’ve put the best bone conduction headphones on the market today to the test – read on for our top picks.
- How to choose the best bone conduction headphones:
The best bone conduction headphones of 2021:
- 1. Aftershokz Aeropex
- 2. Aftershokz Trekz Air
- 3. Vidonn F3
- 4. Aftershokz Xtrainerz
- 5. Tayogo bone conduction headphones
How to choose the best bone conduction headphones:
There aren’t as many bone conduction headphones to choose from as other types of headphones. But there are still a few key things to consider.
For example, if you are planning to invest in a pair of bone conduction headphones to use while exercising, be sure to check the IP rating (input protection). This will give you an indication of their effectiveness when you sweat.
Additionally, those who may be using the headset to take calls, but don’t want to interact with their smartphone while doing so, should look for units with built-in controls and a microphone, so you can stay hands-free. .
There is a lot more to consider, including design, fit, and budget. Let’s take a look at the best bone conduction headphones of 2021 to find out more.
The best bone conduction headphones of 2021:
The Aeropex sits at the top of the AfterShokz family and at the top of our list, offering the smallest, lightest design and a slight improvement in sound quality over competing bone conduction headphones.
They’re 30% smaller and 13% lighter than the company’s Trekz Air headphones, and feature an IP67 water resistance rating, making them a great option for exercise and use in the rain. .
Despite their slender frame, they include two physical buttons to control volume, and switching to a proprietary charging configuration helps them deliver an improved water resistance rating. Two noise-canceling microphones are also available for when you need to take calls.
Sound wise, AfterShokz has tweaked its approach to deliver audio to your ears to improve bass performance and offer less vibration and sound leakage than the brand’s other headphones.
The bass and clarity improvements are slight, but noticeable, and with improved eight-hour battery life and the same fast charging support as the Trekz Air, the Aeropex are the most expensive and best Aftershokz for a reason.
Read more: Aftershokz Aeropex Reviews
If you don’t want to spend a lot on the company’s Aeropex headphones, the AfterShokz Trekz Air offer many of the same features and overall audio quality for a lot less money.
While not as compact or lightweight in terms of design, the Trekz Air have an IP55 rating, making them suitable for sweaty workouts. Adopting the iconic wrap-around titanium frame, their 30g weight is evenly distributed to ensure they are comfortable to wear and stay put.
Paired with devices via Bluetooth, the headset has controls to adjust the volume and a mute button to quickly and easily mute music in busy environments – or if you need to have a conversation.
The sound quality is as good as what you’ll find on bone conduction headphones, although in busier environments they will have a hard time being heard. At full volume, you might experience a tingling sensation familiar to bone conduction, so it’s best to use them at moderate volumes.
Offering six hours of battery life, the Trekz Air also comes with a fast charge feature that will get you an hour of listening in just 15 minutes of charging.
Read more: Aftershokz Trekz Air Reviews
Vidonn might not be a household name, but the brand makes good quality bone conduction headphones for less than the cheaper pair of Aftershoks, delivering a great experience.
They are of similar stature and resemble the Trekz Air, weighing only 29g. As such, they are extremely light and therefore comfortable to wear. Plus, an IP55 water resistance rating means they are suitable for exercise use and will be able to withstand light rain.
They pair with your device via Bluetooth and a built-in microphone lets you take hands-free calls. Plus, they include a single, discreet button with which you can play and pause music, skip tracks, and take and reject calls.
Sonically speaking, the Vidonn F3 offers an experience that is not too different from a pair of Aftershokz headphones. The F3s are comparable in terms of power, clarity and definition, with a similar degree of sound leakage.
The battery life is 7-9 hours, which corresponds to the AfterShokz Aeropex, and it charges via micro USB. Just keep the very small hood that covers the charging port, to make sure you can keep sweat and rain out.
The Xtrainerz are the unique member of the AfterShokz family of headphones, as they are the only pair that come packaged in an MP3 player and can be used while swimming.
They offer a slim and light design much like the Aeropex, and a higher IP68 water resistance rating means they can withstand being submerged in water up to two meters for 30 minutes.
With 4GB of storage capacity, you can drag and drop multiple file formats including MP3, FLAC, and AAC, and they match the Aeropex for battery life, delivering eight hours of listening time.
The Xtrainerz sound great in water, providing excellent clarity when submerged. However, the lack of Bluetooth connectivity means you can’t stream music through apps, or make or take phone calls.
Read more: Aftershokz Xtrainerz Reviews
Tayogo is a Chinese brand that has seen a few successful Kickstarter campaigns, making headphones that work on land and in water.
These particular bone conduction headphones are firmly intended for use on dry land and are some of the most worthy of their cheap price.
Paired with devices via Bluetooth, the Tayogo has a set of physical buttons under one of their large arms to adjust the volume, as well as a larger button on the end of the other arm for skipping tracks. . They also make room for a microphone to take hands-free phone calls.
These headphones sport a bulkier construction than the other headphones on this list, meaning they can move around when used for energetic workouts like HIIT sessions. For regular runs and work in a sitting position, they stay in position.
The Tayogo features powerful sound for bone conduction headphones, but you will experience a noticeable tickling sensation at high volumes as they transmit that sound to your ears. Six hours of battery life is a decent performance, and is only a few hours of that provided by the high-end pair of Aftershokz headphones.
Overall, if you can live with that slightly bulkier design, these bone conduction headphones do a sound job.
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- I replaced the AirPods Pro with bone conduction headphones for running – here’s what wins
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- The best deals on cheap Aftershokz bone conduction headphones
- Shokz (Formerly AfterShokz) Launches Bone Conduction Headphones With Bass Boost