This article will explore the top 7 bone conduction headphones available in 2023 and answer some frequent questions about such headphones.
Bone conduction was discovered and used as a hearing aid in the 15th century. However, it wasn’t until the last couple of decades that truly saw the technology’s surge into the commercial market as headphones. Many people prefer bone conduction for their potential health benefits and safety nowadays.
Bone conduction headphones work by placing sound transducers on your skull to vibrate the bones, passing the sound to the inner ear and bypassing the outer ear canal. Some hard-of-hearing people with functional inner ears can enjoy music and media using bone conduction headphones.
Furthermore, such headphones help you avoid ear wax buildup and infection while improving traffic safety since your ears remain fully uncovered. It offers a revolutionary way to listen to music while staying connected to the real world and ambiance.
Bone conduction headphones do have some disadvantages, though. They may not have the same sonic quality compared to regular good headphones. Similarly, bone conduction requires more power and might cause low battery life. Some people might also get headaches and dizziness due to the bone vibration.
Nonetheless, if you have no problem with bone conduction headphones, they offer convenience, safety, and a potential solution to deafness!
Do Bone Conduction Headphones Leak Sound?
Yes, bone conduction headphones do leak or bleed sound, but they don’t leak as much as open-back or semi-open-back headphones. They mostly only bleed sound when turned up loud. So, if you listen to your music at a moderate volume, any leakage should be virtually inaudible to the people in your immediate surrounding.
Do Bone Conduction Headphones Have Good Bass?
Yes, bone conduction headphones have good bass. However, they do not surpass or equal traditional headphones’ bass quality and depth. Bone conduction transfers the audio frequencies directly to your skull instead of using air movement, which removes air pressure, an important factor for experiencing bass.
Will Bone Conduction Technology Work For Deaf People?
Yes, bone conduction headphones can work for deaf people with damaged outer ear, canal, eardrum, or inner ear bones. However, they won’t work for people with a damaged cochlea, nerve, or auditory cortex (brain part for hearing). An audiologist can help you learn about your issue before buying such headphones.
How Do I Know If Bone Conduction Headphones Will Work For Me If I’m Deaf?
Bone conduction headphones will work for deaf people if the cochlea, hearing nerve, and brain aren’t damaged. So, an easy way to verify is to grind your teeth and chomp. Bone conduction headphones will work for you if you can hear your teeth. If possible, though, I suggest visiting an audiologist to confirm.
Let’s check out the best bone conduction headphones available in 2023:
Top 7 Bone Conduction Headphones 2023
1. SHOKZ OpenRun Pro
OpenRun Pro by Shokz is the brand’s flagship bone conduction headphones, offering great battery life and sound quality.
Previously called the Aeropex Pro, the new iteration adds faster charging and other general improvements. The headphones use the brand’s latest 9th edition bone conduction technology, Shokz TurboPitch, which offers improved sonic clarity, loudness, and bass.
Furthermore, Shokz has been manufacturing bone conduction headphones for over a decade, making their products some of the most reliable and comfortable.
OpenRun Pro is sold in two sizes: Standard and Mini. Measure the length of the back of your head from the base of one ear to another. Then, select Standard if the length is longer than 9.25″ (23.49 cm) and Mini if the length’s equal to said measurement or shorter. Learn the process here.
- Excellent Battery Performance
Shokz OpenRun Pro has excellent battery life, even compared to regular headphones. It offers up to 10 hours of music playback. Furthermore, it sports a fast charging feature, which can power up your device for 1.5 hours of battery life in merely 5 minutes! It’s handy when you forget to charge your headphones but enjoy listening to music while running errands.
The headphones feature a microphone that allows you to answer calls easily. Furthermore, Shokz has equipped the mic with dual noise-canceling technology to ensure crystal-clear conversations. It means the main mic uses a secondary mic to receive ambient noise, which is phase-inverted to remove noise from your voice.
The Shokz App is available for Android and iOS. It allows you to pair your device to your headphones and offers tips. Furthermore, you can choose between two EQ presets, Standard and Vocal Booster. The latter is great if you want to hear the voice in a song/podcast better or when you’re answering a call.
Shokz has a great reputation among bone conduction headphones users. So, it’s no surprise that their flagship product has some excellent features. Beyond its impressive battery life, noise-canceling microphone, and customization features, OpenRun Pro is water-resistant.
It can withstand rain, sweat, and moisture while staying firmly where you place them on your temples. Furthermore, it can alert you about moisture while charging to keep the headphones and yourself safe. And finally, it uses Bluetooth 5.1, allowing you to connect OpenRun Pro to two devices simultaneously.
OpenRun Pro features a single multifunctional button on one side with volume controls on the other. Using the multifunctional button to rewind and forward songs can be fidgety as it requires you to click it three times and two times.
Similarly, despite the advertised 10 hours of battery life, it might last less if you turn up the volume too much. And since bone conduction headphones are quieter than regular ones, you might turn it up a bit, especially outdoors. Other than that, OpenRun Pro might seem a bit overpriced.
2. H2O Audio Tri Pro Multi-Sport (Playlist+)
Tri Pro Multi-Sport is a fully waterproof bone conduction headset with offline music playback.
As the company’s name suggests, H2O Audio produces many products for swimming, from swimming caps and goggles to headphones and speakers. Tri Pro Multi-Sport (Playlist+) is their flagship pair of bone conduction headphones with features that allow you to record audio streams and save audio files directly into the headset.
Furthermore, it uses Bluetooth 5, allowing you to connect to multiple devices simultaneously. It’s excellent for swimming, triathlons, and other activities that do not allow you to carry your phone. Let’s look into the headphones’ main features in detail:
- Offline Player
Tri Pro Multi-Sport features a built-in audio player to play FLAC, MP3, M4A, WMA, and APE files. You can connect the headphones to your computer via USB, which shows the headset as an external drive. Then, once you’ve purchased your required songs, podcasts, or audiobooks, download the files and copy them into your headset’s internal storage. Tri Pro Multi-Sport has an internal memory of 8GB.
Playlist+ goes beyond the above feature by allowing you to record any audio the headset is playing in its internal memory. This feature saves music and podcasts from online streaming sites that do not allow downloads. However, recording audio happens in real-time, making it tedious if you intend to record a long audiobook or podcast. Tri Pro Multi-Sport allows you to charge the headphones while you record audio, which is helpful for prolonged loading sessions. Furthermore, you can use the H2O Audio App for Android and iOS to manage the files in the headset wirelessly, record audio into Playlist+, create folders, delete or rename files, etc.
These headphones are certified IPX8 waterproof, the highest in the industry. You can fully submerge them up to 12′ underwater. So, feel free to use them while swimming, raining, or inside a calm office. The excellent bone-conducting transducers ensure high-quality audio whether you’re underwater or dry. Furthermore, it even features a water-sealed microphone that lets you answer calls during a swimming break!
- Included Earplugs
The headphones ship with earplugs designed for swimming use. They help reduce water noise at the pool and increase the perceived volume of the headset. However, avoid using them while doing other activities like biking or walking for safety. Earplugs can block out sound even more than regular headphones.
Tri Pro Multi-Sport is the only model currently available with three audio playback technologies. You can play via Bluetooth from your phone or laptop, add audio files using your computer, and record any playing audio (via Bluetooth) to your headset.
Furthermore, its 8 GB internal memory allows you to store thousands of songs and podcasts easily. Its built-in mic is also handy for calls and using the voice assistant.
The headphones are fully waterproof and submersible up to 12′ for as long as you want, although Bluetooth stops functioning underwater. The H2O Audio app is great for managing your music files without connecting the headset to your computer. Finally, its excellent design ensures good audio quality in any situation.
While the Playlist+ feature is innovative, recording audio in real-time might not be a viable option for those intending to load audiobooks or an entire playlist on streaming sites. Similarly, Tri Pro Multi-Sports might feel “cheaper” than name brands. Its battery lasts about 5 hours, which is acceptable but not impressive.
3. SHOKZ OpenMove
OpenMove is the second Shokz product on this list, and it’s the perfect entry into the brand’s lineups at an affordable cost.
As the name suggests, OpenMove is suited for sports and daily life. The design is soft and comfortable, but it sits firmly over your temples regardless of how much you move. Furthermore, the water-resistant design ensures you can use the headphones in the rain, snow, or sweaty workout sessions.
OpenMove uses the 7th generation bone conduction technology and PremiumPitch 2.0, which offer pristine audio quality. Similarly, the transducers are quite loud, considering they leave your ears open and allow all ambient sounds in. So, it’s an excellent choice for all, especially if you want to listen to podcasts or music in public places.
- Adequate Battery
Most people use bone conduction headphones during their workout sessions or whenever possible at work. So, lasting around 6 hours with a full charge, the Li-Poly battery in OpenMove should cover most of your day. Although, if you intend to use the headphones all day long, you might have to recharge in the middle of your day. The headphones require 2 hours to recharge fully.
- Clear Calls
OpenMove features a dual noise-canceling microphone. The primary mic captures your voice. Conversely, the secondary mic captures the ambient noise and inverts it to clean the noise from the voice. It allows you to have clean phone calls and an easier time commanding your device.
- EQ Settings
The headphones offer two equalizer styles: human voice mode and standard mode. The prior increases the middle frequencies and suits media like podcasts, vocals in songs, acapella, etc. Contrariwise, the standard mode keeps the audio spectrum flat and natural.
OpenMove offers one of the best audio quality in its price range. Many bone conduction headphones lack high and low frequencies, making it difficult to understand voices or enjoy music. So, the 7th generation bone conduction technology in OpenMove, alongside its PremiumPitch 2.0, ensures better transfer of the entire audio spectrum to your inner ear.
The noise-canceling mic allows you to have clean phone calls. Its Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity allows you to connect the headphones to multiple devices. Similarly, its excellent design allows you to use it in various situations, whether running, working out, sitting indoors, or walking in the rain.
Despite being the most affordable model by Shokz, it’s still fairly higher priced than other brands, although many swear by its reliability and sound quality. OpenMove isn’t available in multiple sizes; Shokz has tailored it for average and larger heads.
Furthermore, since the volume isn’t very loud, you might need to turn it up, which will consume the battery quicker. The battery is already only acceptable. So, it might not last long enough if you intend to wear this model throughout the day.
4. YouthWhisper SuperQ3 Pro
YouthWhisper SuperQ3 Pro is an excellent bone conduction headset with a built-in boom microphone.
Many people use headsets with built-in mics for phone calls in the office, especially those in the customer service department. However, using on-ear headphones for an entire workday for many days can result in ear issues and stress. So, I recommend YouthWhisper SuperQ3 Pro to help keep your ears safe and have excellent audio quality both ways of the call.
SuperQ3 Pro features a rotatable boom microphone that you can keep folded when unnecessary. It ensures clear audio since the mic stays close to your mouth. Similarly, its comfortable yet secure fit allows you to use the headphones indoors or biking and working out. Let’s check out some of its main features in more detail.
- Boom Mic
While the boom mic isn’t a gooseneck design, it can rotate up to 220°. So, it can rotate back towards the back of your head or to the front, resting at the exact position of your mouth. If you look closer at the microphone, you’ll notice two small holes, one facing toward your mouth and another facing away. These are the primary and secondary mics, of which the primary mic captures your voice, and the second one captures the environment. So, the headset can remove 90% of the ambient noise from your voice using Qualcomm’s CVC 8.0 and ENC noise reduction technology.
SuperQ3 Pro uses Bluetooth 5.2 for connectivity with multipoint pairing. So, you can connect to two devices at the same time, which helps improve work efficiency. Its reliable Bluetooth connection ensures a stable listening experience even when you move around in your room up to 33′ away.
The headphones feature volume control buttons, with the volume up button doubling as the power button when held for a couple of seconds. Similarly, you’ll find a multifunctional button below where the boom mic starts on the right transducer. This button allows you to play/pause the music, answer/end calls, skip forward to the next song by double-pressing, and return to the previous track by triple-pressing. The buttons are easy to find since they protrude well from the surface.
- Great Battery
SuperQ3 Pro has a 200mAh battery, which lasts about 6 hours for playing music and 8 hours for phone calls. Note that the numbers assume you’ll use about 80% volume, which might be too loud for indoor use. Furthermore, the battery supports fast charging. So, 5 minutes of charging gives you up to 1 hour of talk time, which is handy when caught off-guard at work! The headset features a USB type-C charging port, which fully charges the battery in 2 hours.
YouthWhisper’s SuperQ3 Pro is one of the best bone conduction headphones with excellent sound quality and a built-in boom mic. It’s perfect for people who receive calls often or work in a noisier environment and would benefit from a mic that sits closer to the mouth.
Furthermore, it is IP55-rated water-resistant, which means it can easily endure sweaty activities and even some rain. Its quick-charging battery is convenient. And its reasonable price is the icing on the cake.
While the rotatable boom mic is great, it might make reaching the multifunctional button awkward when flipped back. It sits right above the button by default, although you can move it up a little for convenience. Similarly, the sound lacks some bass from higher-end models. However, they’re both quite nitpicky complaints. So, SuperQ3 Pro is pretty much excellent!
5. Panadia DG08
Panadia DG08 is a lightweight and reliable pair of bone conduction headphones that stands out in its price range.
This model is quite cheap, and headphones in this price range often have bad build, uncomfortable design, and poor sound quality. None of that is true for DG08. Instead, it offers excellent loudness, crisp audio quality, and a design that sits flawlessly over your temples. Note that the product is better suited for smaller to average-sized heads.
DG08 uses Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity, which supports multipoint pairing. Its connectivity range is quite reliable. So, you could leave the room and move around in your house without audio issues. Furthermore, it’s even louder than many name-brand bone conduction headphones!
- CVC 8.0 Microphone
The proprietary built-in microphone is a noise-canceling mic, which allows you to have clear phone calls. Although, the noise reduction is not quite as good as higher-end products. So, you might have issues in rowdy environments. You can also use the mic to command your voice assistant (Google Assistant or Siri).
- Easy Controls
DG08 has a pair of volume control buttons and a multifunctional button. The volume up button doubles as the power button when long-pressed. Conversely, the multifunctional button allows you to play/pause, answer/reject calls, skip track, go to the previous track, etc. Similarly, holding the multifunctional button enables the voice assistant.
- Water Resistant & Plugged
Like most bone conduction headphones, DG08 is water-resistant and certified IPX7 waterproof. So, you should be able to use it while working out or even in the rain. Furthermore, Panadia ships the headphones with a pair of earplugs. You can use them to isolate yourself during a meeting call.
Panadia DG08 ships and feels like a premium product despite its affordable price. It’s exceptionally loud and has great sonic quality. Furthermore, its Bluetooth connectivity is very reliable. You can move around in your room as much as you want without connection loss. Lastly, its battery lasts 6 hours per charge, and charging needs 1.5 hours.
Dg08 has virtually no major disadvantages. However, some have complained that humid moisture sometimes enters the headphones, although rarely, causing minor malfunctions.
Similarly, while the battery life is sufficient for most people, you might not find it adequate if you intend to listen to music constantly for an entire workday.
6. Oufuni X1
Established in 2018, Oufuni manufactures a variety of electronic devices, including bone conduction headphones and smartwatches.
Oufuni currently has three models of bone conduction headphones. Two are for swimming, whereas the one I’m writing about is for general use. So, while it’s not fully waterproof, it’s water-resistant enough to endure sweat and rain easily.
For the price, the headphones offer good audio quality, albeit somewhat boxy. So, I find them better for podcasts and calls than music. However, that could be said for any bone conduction headphones! It’s a matter of getting used to the different experience.
- Excellent Battery
X1 offers upwards of 6 hours of battery life in most use cases. And it can reach up to 10 hours of battery life when used at moderate volume. So, the headphones should get you through your day with ease. X1 also features magnetic fast charging. It lets you charge your headphones for about 1 hour of battery life in 5 minutes. Furthermore, charging full requires around 1.5 hours only.
- Comfortable Design
The build is somewhat different from other famous bone conduction headphones. While other headphones are softer and sit over the temples, X1 has slightly firmer transducers that sit closer to the ears. So, the back of your head, from one ear end to another, must be below 10″ for these headphones to fit. It’s often more comfortable for people wearing glasses too.
X1 features three buttons, all on the right side. They include volume controls and a play/pause button. The two volume-control buttons also allow you to go to the next and previous songs by long-pressing them. Similarly, holding the play/pause button toggles the headphones’ power.
The headphones also let you answer calls using the multifunctional play/pause button. The built-in mic offers a clear sonic quality in most environments. Although, if you’re in a noisy place, you might not want to use the headphones or its built-in mic.
The build quality is impressive, and its water resistance is adequate for everyday use. Its battery life is also excellent, providing enough juice to last your day.
Similarly, while X1’s audio quality may not meet those of top products, it’s certainly not a big difference, especially considering the price and its exceptional loudness. So, its overall quality, built-in mic, and low cost make this model an excellent choice for many people.
Oufuni has placed all of its buttons on the right side instead of placing the multifunctional one on the left, as is often typical. So, some people might find the buttons a bit fiddly. Similarly, X1 doesn’t offer multiple sizes, making it a better fit for people with the global average or smaller heads.
I recommend measuring to ensure the back of your head is smaller than 10″ before purchasing, as an ill-fitting set could cause discomfort.
7. WANFEI BS01
Wanfei BS01 has left quite a few people loving bone conduction while staying affordable.
One of my favorite things about the BS01 is it’s lightweight and comfortable. The soft silicone transducers stay flush and stable on your skin, whether sitting or running. Furthermore, its sound quality is impressive, especially considering the price. Of course, comparing bone conduction headphones to regular ones would be unwise. Still, the BS01 is loud and has a fair amount of bass and clear highs.
- Few Controls
The BS01 headphones have only two buttons, both on the right side. One is the power button, which doubles as a volume control. So, you have to press once to increase the volume and twice to decrease it. Pressing the button for a couple of seconds toggles the power. However, it makes turning up the volume somewhat tedious as you need to wait between presses to avoid accidentally decreasing the volume. The advantage of this design is that you won’t accidentally press the wrong button.
Similarly, you’ll find a multifunctional button on the right transducer itself. You can play or pause, answer or end calls, reject calls, cancel a call, and toggle your phone’s voice assistant (Google Assistant or Siri). Again, you click the button multiple times or hold it to trigger various actions. Play/Pause and Answer/End Calls are the easiest as they require one click. However, going to the previous and next tracks requires a double and triple click. And lastly, holding the multifunctional button either rejects a call or enables your voice assistant.
- Good Battery
The headphones feature a 165mAh battery. Depending on your playback’s loudness, the battery lasts 5 to 7 hours on a single charge. Furthermore, indoor users have found it works for 8 hours at moderate volume! So, it should be aplenty for most people intending casual use. It takes around 2 hours to charge fully via its type-C USB port.
- Water Resistant
Similar to most bone conduction headphones, Wanfei BS01 is IP55 waterproof. So, you can use it in the rain or snow, while sweating, and in humid environments. Furthermore, its soft silicone build ensures the transducers do not become sleek when moist or wet. So, it should remain as comfortable in the rain as when dry.
- Bluetooth 5.0
The headphones connect to your devices using Bluetooth 5.0. Hence, it can work alongside other Bluetooth devices. It remains connected up to 32 ft. away from the device. Although, I find keeping your device and the headphones in the same room a good idea to ensure stable connectivity. The range can also change based on your phone or laptop.
Wanfei BS01 features a built-in mic around the multifunctional button on the right transducer. You can use the mic to answer calls or command your phone’s voice assistant. However, note that this microphone isn’t noise-canceling. So, while it works great indoors, it might not give you good results in raucous environments.
The biggest advantages of BS01 are its sound quality and price. It’s affordable, yet its sonic clarity and frequency range is more than satisfactory. Furthermore, the waterproof build and built-in microphone make the headphones even better. The battery is also quite impressive compared to cheaper models by name brands.
While fewer buttons make finding them easier, simple things like changing the volume or song become tedious. You can circumvent the issue by using your phone to control the sound instead. Furthermore, the built-in mic isn’t noise-canceling, which might cause issues in loud areas.
Bone conduction headphones are a boon for many deaf people and those who use headphones constantly. They help keep your ears safe by avoiding ear pressure on the ear drums. Likewise, they keep you safe outside or while working out. So, if it’s your first time purchasing such headphones, here’s a quick roundup:
Shokz OpenRun Pro offers the best sound quality and outstanding battery performance, but its high price might not be for everyone. So, the Panadia DG08 and Wanfei BS01 are two of the best budget alternatives alongside Shokz’s own OpenMove.
If you are a swimmer, nothing beats H2O Audio’s Tri Pro Multi-Sport with Playlist+ to let you record streaming audio. And finally, I highly recommend the YouthWhisper SuperQ3 Pro if you work in customer support or generally have to attend many conferences.
Before buying such headphones, measure the back of your head from one ear to another. Most headsets fit perfectly for those who measure 10″ or less. However, the first three products fit quite a variety of people thanks to Shokz’s dual sizes and the other brands’ flexible designs. Similarly, Wanfei BS01 and Shokz OpenMove fit average and larger heads well. Conversely, Panadia DG08 fits smaller to average heads better.
The sizes mostly become relevant when you move around too much. It will feel snug if extremely tight and even cause headaches after long uses. However, most of the headsets will fit just fine for a majority of the people.
Avoid large sizes if you have a smaller head because the headphones will keep slipping around and even sound awful because of the lack of proper contact on your skin.
I hope this list helps you select the perfect bone conduction headphones for you!