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8 Best Bone Conduction Headphones in 2020

8 Best Bone Conduction Headphones in 2020

If you love music, but you worry about your hearing with traditional earbuds, the latest evolution in personal audio is bone conduction headphones. Worn behind the ears, they conduct sound through the bones of your skull rather than directly into your ear canal.

This means bone conduction headphone wearers aren’t blasted with high decibel sound directly toward the eardrum. Health experts say bone conduction headphones may help prevent some forms of hearing loss, if worn correctly and in place of louder, more direct sound.

You may be wondering where to start with, and how to find, the best bone conduction headphones to suit your needs. Luckily, we did our homework.

After many hours of research and review, we came up with a refined list of the eight top-rated bone conduction headphones. Here’s a great start to finding the perfect bone conduction headphones for your needs.

​OUR #1 OVERALL BEST CHOICE

AfterShokz Trekz Air AS650MB

AfterShokz Trekz Air Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones, Midnight Blue, AS650MB

  • ​Top choice among verified users

  • ​Ultra-lightweight design (20% lighter)

  • ​Premium Pitch Plus for superior sound

BEST VALUE

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium AS600OB

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones, Ocean Blue, (AS600OB)

  • ​Comfortable for all-day wear

  • ​Great price

  • ​Sweat/dust/moisture-repellent

If you think the sound from a bone conduction headphone is lower quality, guess again. The components and mechanics in this category of headphones are truly amazing.

So, what’s really different about bone conduction headphones? They allow us to hear external sounds while listening to music, ebooks or other audio. With traditional equipment, sound is delivered via external speakers or headphones/earbuds.

Because bone conduction headphones don’t plug up or obfuscate your ears, not only is your eardrum protected from damage, you’re safer walking or running while listening to music.

View the 8 Best Bone Conduction Headphones Below

 #1

AfterShokz Trekz Air AS650MB

AfterShokz Trekz Air Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones, Midnight Blue, AS650MB

Our hat is off to AfterShokz for taking a relatively new technology and making it even cooler. The design of this model is amazing both functionally and for the “wow” factor. This is the perfect gift for that music enthusiast in your life. (And if that means you, gift yourself ––  these really are a great buy.)

The wraparound design is 20% lighter than standard bone conduction headphones. That means greater comfort for wearers, including during running or working out.

The piece has Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with iOS and android phones, Mac and PC laptops and tablets. Premium Pitch Plus gives a dynamic range, including amazing bass quality. You really feel like you’re inside the sound when you put these on.

Why We Like It

  • ​20% lighter-weight than comparable headphones

  • ​Superior sound quality

  • ​Anatomically shaped for comfort, all day long

​​Our Rating

 #2

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium AS600OB

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones, Ocean Blue, (AS600OB)

We couldn’t believe the price point on these durable, lightweight go-everywhere headphones. If you’re new to wearing this type of headset, this pair is the perfect place to start. Hardcore bone conduction headphone wearers love them too.

This set is ideal for wearers looking to work up a sweat. Put them on for your run or for playtime (sports, cardio, etc.). They’re uniquely crafted to be resistant to damage due to sweat, dirt and dust.

Like other AfterShokz products, these are Bluetooth compatible for iOS or Android phones and tablets. They offer Premium Pitch technology users want for full, rich sound that doesn’t interfere with the ability to hear outside noises.

Why We Like It

  • ​Reduced vibration during workouts

  • ​Standard Premium Pitch for great sound

  • ​Sweat and dust-repellant

​​Our Rating

 #3

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium AS600SG-BR

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones with Brilliant Reflective Strips, Slate Grey, AS600SG-BR

This sleek headset includes colored strips for reflectivity. That’s an additional safety feature we can really get behind. Choose from 5 different colors. (Check color availability when you purchase; some appear to run out of stock sooner than others.) The price is just right for either your own use or as a gift.

Lightweight and flexible, this set is designed for long-term wear. Bluetooth connectivity to both iOS and Android is standard.

AfterShokz says the color strips allow for visibility up to 500 feet away under normal weather conditions. Users say they love the combination of visual appeal, safety and reliable performance with this headset.

Why We Like It

  • ​Comes with your choice of color strips for high visibility

  • ​Low cost, reliable performance

  • ​Flexibility to fit your own anatomy perfectly

​​Our Rating

 #4

Vidonn F1 Titanium Wireless Sport Headset

Bone Conduction Headphones, Bluetooth 5.0 Vidonn F1 Titanium Open Ear Wireless Sports Headset(Grey-Yellow)

The design of this headset makes wearing it amazingly comfortable. It’s small and slender compared to some conduction headphone styles. The fit features an anti-drop design. You can really get down to business on your walk, run or workout without the set slipping off.

A 180mAh lithium battery delivers up to 6 hours of play time or 240 hours of standby time. The headset is ultra lightweight at just 38 grams. Users say this headset is very portable; take it anywhere.

Wireless connectivity is reliable up to 10 feet from your iphone or tablet. There’s also a microphone, which we absolutely love. Choose from 3 colors.

Why We Like It

  • ​Built-in microphone with high clarity

  • ​Ergonomic, anti-drop design

  • ​Loads of play time with 180mAh lithium battery

​​Our Rating

 #5

AfterShokz Bluez 2 Wireless Stereo Headphones AS5000

Aftershokz Bluez 2 Open Ear Wireless Stereo Headphones, AS500, Color: Black

AfterShokz nails it again with quality sound and superior comfort. In sleek basic black, this headset was designed with patented PremiumPitch dual–suspension transducers. That means clear, lifelike sound quality every time you put them on.

This is another headset that repels moisture, so it’s ideal for running or sports. Choose on trend black or red.

Another positive feature is the price, which is low enough for a first try in case you’re just dipping your toe into the water with bone conduction headphones. The sound quality is great; this headset has dual microphones for clear communication, even in noisy environments. With this versatile headset, quality is definitely not sacrificed in the lower price point.

Why We Like It

  • ​Unisex; two cool colors

  • ​Low cost with great quality

  • ​Repels sweat during your workout

​​Our Rating

 #6

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium: Smaller Fit AS600MOB

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Mini Wireless Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones, Shorter Headband Size for Smaller Fit, Open-Ear Design, Ocean Blue, AS600MOB

Teens and those with a smaller head size will love this headset. The AS600MOB has the same up to the minute look as other AfterShokz conduction headphones. At the same time, it’s designed for younger/more petite users.

The titanium frame is comfortable for long term wearing. The extra long battery life delivers 6 hours of sound. The headset includes PremiumPitch Plus for amazing sound quality.

You’ll also appreciate the cool LeakSlayer technology which reduces sound leakage for a clear and enjoyable listening experience. Switch between listening to music and making calls with the built-in microphone.

Why We Like It

  • ​Smaller size for tweens, teens and smaller adult head size

  • ​LeakSlayer keeps sound clear and crisp

  • ​Microphone allows you to make calls

​​Our Rating

 #7

Bonein BN-702 Bluetooth Headphones

Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones Sweat&Water-proof Open-Ear Wireless Headset with Build-in Microphone Bonein BN-702 (Black)

We’re all about convenience, so we love that these can be folded. The design gives them a unique look plus 180 degrees of flexibility. Fold to hang them on your bag in between activities.

They’re sweat-proof and have an ergonomic design so they won’t slip during periods of activity. They’re also great for preventing sound leakage so you get great, consistent sound in different noise environments.

As far as looks go, this is one cool headset. The ears have a hexagon design in bold red on shiny black. From the more practical side of things, the headset includes 4.0 Bluetooth tech and up to 11 hours of play time with a 220mAh lithium battery.

Why We Like It

  • ​220mAH battery delivers 11 hours of listening

  • ​Seller currently offers a great warranty

  • ​Flexible; fold them and take them along

​​Our Rating

 #8

AfterShokz Trekz With Brilliant Reflective Strips

Aftershokz AS650SG-BR Trekz Air Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones with Brilliant Reflective Strips, Slate Grey

They’re not kidding with the name ––  the color strips on this headset really show up. In the buyer’s choice of 4 colors, the color strips can be seen as far as 500 feet from the wearer in street or car lights. During the day, the colors appear more rich and subtle to blend in with the rest of your gear.

They’re Bluetooth 4.2 ready for iOS and Android. This set offers anti-sound leak technology so you get plenty of sound no matter what environment you’re in.

The headphones wrap organically around the head for secure wear during activity. They also have a nice, long battery life so you have access to your tunes all day.

Why We Like It

  • ​Super-reflective Scotch Light color strips for safety

  • ​Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity

  • ​Shaped anatomically for comfort all day long

​​Our Rating


Bone Conduction Headphones – Buyer’s Guide

Why Should You Choose Bone Conduction Headphones?

Headphones are headphones. Right?

Not necessarily. Traditional activity headphones, while a step up from 60+ years ago due to their mobility and advances in sound, have their drawbacks. (This includes wireless ear-covering headsets.)

One issue is that when sound is delivered directly into the ear canal, damage can occur over time. It can be hard to gauge just how loud is “too loud” when it comes to ear-covering headphones.

Another potential danger is that when earbuds or ear-covering headsets are worn, outside sounds are blocked. While in the past this sometimes meant better sound (at least until bone conduction headphones came along), it prevents the wearer from hearing oncoming traffic or other dangers.

For these reasons, music and activity lovers and the hearing impaired have flocked to bone conduction headphones. The amazing technology delivers the vibrations of your music or audiobook directly through the bones of your skull ––  usually the cheekbones ––  with clarity and high quality. Meanwhile, the music is not being delivered directly to your ears, so you have a better chance of preserving your hearing abilities for years to come.

Usually, bone conduction headphones are lightweight and wrap around the back of the head. Along with the open design around the ears, they’re less intrusive and bulky than some headsets. And unlike most earbuds, they’re wireless. There’s not much, if anything, to get in the way of your safe, quality listening experience when you choose bone conduction headphones.

If this is your first venture into using this technology, here’s a list of what to look for in choosing your best bone conduction headphones.

1. The Size and Shape of the Bone Conduction Headphones

If you’ve ever gone shopping for a helmet (or for that matter, a hat or a pair of eyeglasses), you know that one size does not necessarily fit all. While many bone conduction headphones are made to accommodate a range of sizes, you really do need to wear a pair before deciding a particular pair is just right for you.

Luckily, a few bone conduction headsets are made specifically for larger or smaller head sizes. If you’re just slightly outside the average, you probably already know it. Look for bone conduction headsets that accommodate this.

You can also look for a flexibly designed set. This makes them adjustable not only to the size but shape of your head so they won’t slip off.

2. Bone Conduction Headphone Weight

A heavy headset can be a real pain ––  literally. If you’re prone to migraines or neck strain, the lightest weight possible is your best bet.

Most bone conduction headphones are made to be lightweight so you can wear them on the go. Again, this will be a matter of trying your new pair out while you’re in motion. You shouldn’t experience any kind of strain. If you’re totally comfortable you’ve found the best bone conduction headphones for you.

3. Battery Life and Total Play Time

Bone conduction headphones may or may not come with a rechargeable battery. Obviously, the fewer recharges you need, the better, but the total battery life will vary, so do check this out.

If you’re always on the go this will be even more important. You’ll have fewer opportunities to stop and recharge or switch batteries.

4. Bluetooth Connectivity

Bluetooth is one feature you really can’t do without. Find out what version of Bluetooth your bone conduction headphones can connect with.

We found that most quality bone conduction headphones offered both iOS and Android connectivity. Do make sure of this factor before you buy, however.

5. How Much Do Bone Conduction Headphones Cost?

Bone conduction headphones can range in price from about $79 to upwards of $500 or more. Cheaper isn’t always lower quality, but if you’re choosing from models within the same brand, it can be a gauge of how many features the headphones have and what the overall quality is. As with most electronics purchases, this will be a balancing act: quality v. cost.

Always read real-user reviews and find out what bells and whistles your headset includes. You may not need them all, and in fact you may be able to do with a less “do it all” bone conduction headphone set that is easier on your wallet.

​6. The Manufacturer/Seller 

A few brand names hit the ground running with bone conduction headphone tech. These tend to dominate the industry so far, though new brands seem to be popping up every day.

That doesn’t mean that you should always gravitate toward the currently most popular brand, though. Do your homework and find out not only how the headset performs but whether the seller is reliable and offers a warranty, a returns policy, and whether customer service is responsive to issues and questions.

Our hope is that this guide helps get you on your way to safer, more comfortable listening while staying active. That perfect bone conduction headphone set is out there ––  go get yours!

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