Bone conduction headphones are a good fit in busy environments or for sports activities, like swimming, running and cycling. Unlike regular headphones, bone conduction headphones don’t seal in the eardrum and block out ambient sounds. They’re designed to let you hear your music or audiobooks but continue to remain aware of the sounds in your environment.
Key features to consider
Exceptionally comfortable: Most headphones will sit around your head and on your cheekbone. It needs to be a tight and snug fit that can’t be displaced by moving around or sweat. For most models, it’s one-size-fits-all and the looped headband style is the common form factor. Some products do provide standard and mini sizes, while others are designed specifically for swimming. Be sure to find the best products that fit your needs.
IP55 rating or higher: IR rating can tell you if the product is protected against intrusions of solid-state particles or liquid particles. Bone conduction headphones are rated from IP55 to IP68: at IP55, the bone conduction headphones are impervious to dust, moisture, and sweat; rugged enough for outdoor activities; at IPX8, the bone conduction headphones are fully waterproof, allowing you to dive in headfirst with music. Compared with IPX7, which means that a device will keep working normally after being submerged in water of 1 meter (3.3 feet) for 30 minutes, IPX8 means it’s designed to be suitable for continuous immersion in water — the test is usually conducted under 3 meters (9.8 feet) of water for at least 30 minutes.
High storage capacity: A bone conduction headphone with a storage capacity from 4GB (1,200 songs) up to 8GB (2,000 songs) is enough for a good mix of ebooks, podcasts, and music for an exercise session. It will let you hear music that pushes you to do one more rep, swim more lap, and run one mile farther. Supported formats include MP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC, and AAC.
Bluetooth 5.0: For wearable active gear, Bluetooth 5.0 is highly recommended as it can extend your range of mobility by an appreciable distance; connect you to multiple devices at once, which is especially handy; and consume less power than Bluetooth 4.0 does. But please be noted that such features only work if your phone supports Bluetooth 5.0.
Long Battery Life: It fluctuates depending on use case. Most headsets are advertised to last for 6~8 hours on continuous playback, while battery life on standby could be up to a week. Both Bluetooth and MP3-player types last roughly the same time but taking calls and streaming do affect Bluetooth headsets.
Inline controls: Those who might be using the headphones to take calls, but who don’t want interaction with their smartphone while doing so, should look for units with inline controls and a microphone, so you can stay hands-free.
Best bone conduction headphones
Lightest wireless: AfterShokz Aeropex 26g | 8 hrs battery life | Bluetooth V5.0 | IP67 (sweat & dust proof) Ultra-lightweight Superb battery life Waterproof at IPX6 rating Connect to multiple devices simultaneously Noise cancelation feature and dual mics Tickling sensation on the cheek at high volumes 26,384 Reviews $129.95 at Amazon Also at Sun & Ski Sports | Backcountry | B&H
Good value & audio quality: AfterShokz Titanium 36g | 6 hrs battery life | Bluetooth V4.1 | IP55 (sweat & light rain proof) Good audio quality for a bone conduction headphone Good battery life Comfortable for extended use Connects with other Bluetooth devices Compatible with helmets and eyeglasses Microphone is not noise-canceling Tickling sensation on the cheek at higher volumes 21,646 Reviews $129.95$87.71 at Amazon
Best for the buck: Tayogo S2 35g | 6 hrs battery life | Bluetooth V5.0 | IP55 (Sweat & light rain Waterproof) Budget-friendly Good battery life Comfortable with glasses Support Bluetooth 5.0 and multi-pairing Bulkier than other models Average sound performance Ear tickling sensation at high volume Dislodging and slipping issues 2,933 Reviews $49.99 at Amazon
Lightweight for working out: Vidonn F3 29g | 7-9 hrs battery life | Bluetooth V5.0 | IP55 (Sweat & light rain waterproof) Good price Decent battery life Light and comfortable Built-in microphone Pair with other Bluetooth devices Fair amount of sound leakage No volume button on the device 91 Reviews Price not available at Amazon
Rugged Stereo for Running/Sports: Pyle PSWBT550 40g | 6 hrs battery life | Bluetooth V5.0 | IPX6 (Sweat & light rain waterproof) Affordable price Side panel button controls Bluetooth enabled Built-in LED indicator Longer charge time Lower quality sound 207 Reviews $69.99 at Amazon Also at Adorama
Best IPX8 Rated for Swimming: AfterShokz Xtrainerz 30g | 8 hrs battery life | 4GB storage (no Bluetooth) | IP68 (designed for swimming) Virtually waterproof; perfect for swimming Great sound quality underwater Long battery life Built-in 4GB storage No Bluetooth connectivity 363 Reviews $186.99 at Amazon Also at Sun & Ski Sports | Paragon Sports | Fleet Feet | Mike’s Bikes
Best Smart Sports Audio Sunglasses: Bose Frame Tempo 49g | 8 hrs battery life | Bluetooth V5.1 | IPX4 (sweat & light rain proof) Unique design pairing the tech with a pair of sunglasses Best sound quality in all listed here Intuitive controls Stable Bluetooth connection Approved for prescription lenses May discomfort on large heads 1,578 Reviews $249.00 at Amazon Also at Bose.com | Lenovo.com | B&H | Staples
Long battery life – 8 hours of continuous playback time, 2 more hours’ worth of playback time than the average products.
IP67 waterproof and dust-proof rating – You can use these headphones while working out or running, even in the rain. However, NOT suitable for swimming.
PremiumPitch 2.0+ feature – Improves bass performance and offer less vibration and sound leakage.
Noise cancelation feature and dual mics that will allow you attend calls between listening to music.
Advanced moisture detecting feature – It pings if the device is exposed or the cover-less charging port is wet.
Exclusive sport pack – Includes Aeropex bone conduction headphones and sport belt to keep you hands-free in style.
If you have a tight budget, you can also check out their newer, entry level model, AfterShokz OpenMove, which weights slightly more (29g vs 26g), has a lower IP rating (IP55 vs IP67), more vibration and less good sound quality, but otherwise still a popular choice that also costs significantly less.
For a more detailed comparison between AfterShokz Aeropex vs OpenMove, please see watch below review from One Less Car, a UK cyclist.
Good Value & Audio Quality: AfterShokz Titanium
IP55 rating – Prevent moisture, dust and sweat – the perfect fit to use during workouts!
Advanced Premium Pitch technology – Delivers a broad range of dynamic sound, and deep and rich bass.
Leak Slayer features – Can significantly reduce sound leakage to provide crystal-clear audio.
Bluetooth 4.1– Multipoint pairing compatible with iOS and Android Bluetooth-ready smartphones or tablets and Mac and PC computers and laptops.
Headband is made of titanium and flexible for ensuring the utmost comfort – Can be used for the long-term with more durability and flexibility.
These headphones are 100% compatible with helmets and eyeglasses.
6 hours of playback time.
Best for the Buck: Tayogo S2
Support Bluetooth 5.0 and multi-pairing – You can pair it with smartphones, tablets, laptops, or even wearables like smartwatches.
Stable long-distance connection within 30 feet of range with a built-in microphone – If you are hitting the gym while putting your phone on charge, it will still be working and keeping you engaged.
6 hours of playback time after charging for about 1.5 hours – It has a 200mAh battery, perfect for long calling hours; and one rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that comes with a guarantee to last long and offers a standby time of 10 days.
Use a set of physical buttons below chunky arms to adjust volume, plus a larger button on the end to skip tracks.
360-degree of violent bending for premium comfort.
IP55 water-resistant rating – You can use them in raining or extreme weather conditions.
Lightweight for Working Out: Vidonn F3
Weigh only 29g – These headphones feel extremely light and therefore comfortable to wear.
IP55 rated sweat and light rain waterproof – Suited to use for exercise and be able to withstand some light rain. However, not suitable for swimming.
Support Bluetooth V5.0 with a built-in microphone – You can take hands-free calls.
Compatible with iPhone and Android smartphone, iPad, Mac, Tablets, PC computer, TV, and a smartwatch with Bluetooth.
Dual battery structure for longer battery life – 1.5 hours full charged can continuously play music 7-9 hours; charge via micro-USB. Keep hold of the small cap that covers the charging port to ensure you can keep the sweat and rain out.
Just one discreet button with which you can play and pause music, skip tracks and take and reject calls. Sound must be controlled by the audio device transmitting as there is no volume button.
Rugged Stereo for Running/Sports: Pyle
IPX6 water resistant – Smart for outside fitness, workout, running, sports and cycling.
Bluetooth V4.1 – Can reach up to 35 feet of separation and ensures easy pairing.
Side panel button controls – Users can adjust volumes, play or pause the music.
Built-in LED indicator – Tell you about the remaining battery of the headphones and successful Bluetooth connectivity.
200 MAH rechargeable battery – Charge your device for 4 consecutive hours and then use it for as many hours as you want.
Optional adjustable earpiece strap to change fit to a large or small size – great for adults or kids.
IPX8 Rated for Swimming: AfterShokz Xtrainerz
IPX8 rated – Fully waterproof and suitable for swimming; can function perfectly up to 2 meters under water for 2 hours.
Dedicated “Swimming Mode” – To ensure great sound clarity performance underwater; not only will your ears be free from potential irritation incursions, you’ll be able to hear ambient noise, like the lifeguard blowing their whistle.
Paired with swimming goggles or a swim cap to keep them in place.
4GB internal storage – Can store up to 1200 songs; use USB cable to transfer audiobooks, music, and podcasts to the headphones; supported formats include MP3, FLAC and AAC.
Powerful battery of 8 long hours.
Do not support Bluetooth; does not work with other Bluetooth or audio streaming devices; can’t stream music via apps, nor can you make or take phone calls.
Best Sports Audio Sunglasses: Bose Frames Tempo
Bose Lenses Tempo Replacement Lens Trail Blue (28 percent VLT) for Trail Running 1,578 Reviews $39.00 at Amazon
Bose Lenses Tempo Replacement Lens Road Orange (20 percent VLT) for Cycling 1,578 Reviews $39.00 at Amazon
IPX4 water-resistance rating – Can handle light rain and being wiped down with a damp cloth, but be sure to avoid heavy water pressure from a faucet or submerging them.
Bluetooth V5.1 – Can be connected to one device at a time and keep track of the last eight devices to have paired and connected with them; is capable of stable operation at up to 30 ft (9 m); allow you to answer and end phone calls while stay hands-free.
Estimated battery life is up to 8 hours of audio upon fully charges in one hour via USB-C, or 4 hours of play from a short 30-minute charge. Results will also vary with volume levels.
3 different size/shape nose pad options – This is to ensure the best possible fit.
Swappable lenses – The default polarized, mirrored lenses are made from black tinted shatter- and scratch-resistant plastic, and the actual frame is built from black TR-90 nylon, a flexible plastic material often used for glasses. Also, Bose sunglasses are tested and approved for prescription lenses. You can purchase various colors that are tinted with specific uses in mind and varying degrees of VLT (visible light transmission).
Last update on 2022-02-12. Affiliate links and images from Amazon Product Advertising API.
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