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Listen to music without damaging your ears with these top bone conduction headphones

Bored with your regular headphones? The best bone conduction headphones will transform your listening experience, focusing on vibrations that help you to feel each note.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Allison Murray

You may have heard that headphones and earbuds are not the greatest for hearing health, but how else can we listen to our favorite podcasts or music? Aside from over-the-ear headphones and earbuds, there are also bone conduction headphones, which may be the best option for your hearing. 

Bone conduction headphones may not be as well-known as other traditional forms of headphones, but they are some of the very best. Since the headphones emit vibrations to your inner ear, you can feel each note and every beat for a new way of enjoying your favorite content.

We've rounded up the best bone conduction headphones to listen to music in a new way. 

More: 

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Comfortable and secure fit
  • IP67 rating
  • Decent battery life
cons
  • Slow charging
More Details

Tech specs: Waterproof rating: IP67 | Weight: 1.06 oz. | Battery life: 8 hours

The AfterShokz Aeropex is a pair of on-ear bone conduction headphones featuring a comfortable open-ear design. They are lightweight and skip the in-ear buds of many other headphones. For connectivity, they employ Bluetooth 5.0 technology, and there is a single button to control your music and use your voice assistant. 

There is an eight-hour battery life, plus an IP67 waterproof rating that allows you to take them to the pool or beach with you. Your charger will even let you know if it detects moisture when charging. 

Read the review: AfterShokz Aeropex review: Impressive bone conduction headset with long battery life, solid performance

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Noise-canceling boom microphone
  • Long battery life
  • Bluetooth 5.1 technology
cons
  • Some pairing issues
  • Pricey
More Details

Tech specs: Waterproof rating: IP55 | Weight: 1.16 oz. | Battery life: 16 hours of talk time and 8 hours of listening time

For remote workers on calls all day, these bone conduction headphones from Shokz are a great alternative to earbuds or over-the-ear headphones that will provide you with all-day comfort. The mic here is what really shines: an adjustable DSP noise-canceling boom microphone blocks outside noise while you speak, making it ideal for use in a range of workplace environments.

These headphones also use Bluetooth 5.1 technology, meaning you can stay connected up to about 328 feet away. However, you can also use the Loop 100 USB-A wireless adapter, the headset and the computer can establish a more stable and continuous connection between your PC and the headset, so you can be sure no work calls will drop. 

The Shokz OpenComm UC can also quick charge if needed: a five-minute charge can last you up to two hours of talk time. In comparison, a full charge will take you one hour. 

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Built-in 8GB of storage
  • Extremely waterproof
  • Secure fit to stay on even underwater
cons
  • Bluetooth connection doesn't work well in water
More Details

Tech specs: Waterproof rating: IPX8 | Weight: 1.13 oz. | Battery life: 9 hours

These bone conduction headphones from H2O Audio are rated IPX8, meaning that they are water resistant up to 12 feet/3.6 meters of water. They are also super comfortable to wear—both underwater and above it. 

Aside from their waterproof rating, what makes these bone conduction headphones stand out is their built-in MP3 player that can store up to 8GB of music. Transferring music from your computer to these over-ear bone conduction headphones is easy with the micro-USB cable provided. 

Read the review: These $99 bone conduction headphones work underwater -- and when you don't have your phone

However, you can still connect these headphones to your smartphone or other device to listen via Bluetooth, but keep in mind the Bluetooth range is only 4 inches when underwater. 

You can expect up to nine hours of battery life with these headphones, but this varies depending on volume level and whether you are listening via MP3 or Bluetooth mode.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Immersive sound
  • Quick charge support
  • Lightweight and comfortable
cons
  • Limited to IP55
More Details

Tech specs: Waterproof rating: IP55 | Weight: 1.02 oz. | Battery life: 10 hours

Shokz OpenRun Pro also shares an open-ear design, skipping the in-ear buds so common with other types of headphones. To help them stay in place during your workout, there is a Shokz headband included with your bone conduction headphones. 

Shokz TurboPitch engineering and Shokz ninth bone conduction technology mean excellent sound with fantastic clarity and bass for a listening experience that is far from jeopardized by your workout. The titanium frame simply wraps around your head for a lightweight fit that is easy to wear when you are most active.

Read the review: Shokz OpenRun Pro review: Outstanding bone conduction headset for safe training

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Rated for swimming
  • Great clarity
cons
  • No Bluetooth
  • On the pricier end
More Details

Tech specs: Waterproof rating: IP68 | Weight: 1.06 oz | Battery life: 8 hours

Here we have another option from Shokz with its OpenSwim bone conduction headphones. These open-ear headphones skip the in-ear buds and incorporate excellent IP68 waterproofing, so these are ideal for swimming and other water activities. A SHOKZ nose clip comes included. 

These are also unique in that they include internal MP3 storage with room for up to 1,200 songs, so you can have all your favorite tunes during your swim. Simply use your bone conduction headphones to control your music, whether it is skipping a song or hitting the pause button.

What are the best bone conduction headphones?

The best bone conduction headphones are the AfterShokz Aeropex, an IP67 waterproof set with built-in Bluetooth technology. With their traditional over-the-ear design and lightweight build, they earn our vote for the best bone conduction headphones. 

To see how they stack up, here is an overview of our picks.

Bone conduction headphones

Cost

Battery life

Waterproofing

AfterShokz Aeropex

$140

8 hours

IP67

Shokz OpenComm UC

$200

16 hours of talk time and 8 hours of listening time

IP55

H2O Audio TRI

$100

9 hours

IPX8

Shokz OpenRun Pro

$180

10 hours

IP55

Shokz OpenSwim

$150

8 hours

IP68

Which bone conduction headphones are right for you?

Our expert suggestions can help you find the best bone conduction headphones for your needs.

Choose these bone conduction headphones...

If you want...

AfterShokz Aeropex

Performance and value

Shokz OpenComm UC

Bone conduction headphones to make work calls

H2O Audio TRI

Affordable waterproof bone conduction headphones

Shokz OpenRun Pro

Bone conduction headphones keep up with your workout

Shokz OpenSwim

A pair of bone conduction headphones for swimming

How did we choose these bone conduction headphones?

To find the best bone conduction headphones, these are some of the factors we considered.

  • Type: There are many different types of headphones, such as over-the-ear or in-ear bone conduction headphones. Everyone has a preference, so it all depends on the style of headphones you want and how you intend to use them. 

  • Battery life: It is important to consider the battery life of bone conduction headphones, so you know how long to expect each set to last before requiring a charge.

  • Waterproofing: If you are a swimmer, you may want to consider a pair of bone conduction headphones that are rated for water resistance or waterproofing, so you do not risk damaging them.

  • Cost: We chose bone conduction headphones that meet a variety of different budgets to help ensure that there is something for everyone.  

What are bone conduction headphones?

Bone conduction headphones use vibration transmitted through the cheekbones and jaw. It skips the eardrum, which is typically affected by most headphones, and instead sends vibrations directly to the cochlea, or your inner ear. 

Are bone conduction headphones waterproof?

Not all bone conduction headphones are waterproof, so it is important to check the waterproof or water-resistant rating on a set before making a purchase.

How much do bone conduction headphones cost?

Bone conduction headphones can vary significantly in price, depending on the manufacturer and model that you choose. Our picks for the best bone conduction headphones range in cost from $100 to more than $200 each.

Are there alternative bone conduction headphones worth considering?

Outside of these five bone conduction headphones, there are also a handful of others that caught our attention. Brands like AfterShokz and Pyle Bone make great alternative choices. 

Editorial standards

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