- The SHOKZ OpenMove Sport bone conduction headphones are stylish and light on the head, but also provide clear two-way audio through a dual noise-canceling microphone array.
- The YouthWhisper Lite headset has traditional controls–there are small buttons for power and volume control and a multifunction button that allows you to take calls and perform other tasks.
- The SHOKZ OpenSwim Headphones use 4GB of onboard storage for your music, and 7th generation bone conduction technology provides the soundtrack while you swim.
Bone conduction headphones have an interesting design are unique way of transmitting sound. Some of the top speakers make you aware of your surrounding while listening to music or podcasts. What’s more is, you can also use them underwater. We’ve done some serious research and found the best four models for 2022.
- Best Overall: SHOKZ OpenMove Headphones
- Best for Swimming: SHOKZ OpenSwim Headphones
- Best Budget: YouthWhisper Lite
- Best for Communication: SHOKZ OpenComm
|SHOKZ OpenMove||SHOKZ OpenSwim||YouthWhisper Lite||SHOKZ OpenComm|
|Battery Life||6 hours||8 hours||6-8 hours||16 talk, 8 music|
|Charging Time||2 hours||2 hours||2 hours||1 hour|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.1||Internal Storage||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 5.1|
|Range||33 feet||N/A||33 feet||33 feet|
|Weight||29 grams||30 grams||24 grams||33 grams|
|Warranty||2 years||2 years||1-year||2 years|
Best Overall: SHOKZ OpenMove Headphones
- Open-Ear Headphones - Experience unmatched comfort with our lightweight, secure fit, featuring an earbud-free design for all-day listening without ear fatigue.(Rebranded version of AfterShokz...
- Safety & Connection - Stay motivated with your favorite audio without compromising on safety. Unlike over-ear and in-ear headphones, OpenMove keeps you connected and aware of your surroundings.
- Secure Fit - From light jogs to everyday commutes, a wraparound titanium frame keeps your bone conduction headphones in place during a range of low impact activities.
- 6 Hours of Music & Calls - Enjoy six continuous hours of music, calls, and podcasts on a single charge with our bluetooth headphones.
- High Sound Quality- Enjoy balanced audio, optimal volume and rich bass delivered through your cheekbone, anytime, anywhere with this premium OpenMove headset.
SHOKZ OpenMove Headphones from SHOKZ is comfortable, affordable, and suitable for indoors and outside use.
Bone conduction headsets serve a wide range of needs, which makes it challenging to find a model that’s suitable for everyone. The OpenMove Sport bone conduction headphones have a similar design to the rest of the company’s headsets, but with a partial titanium band and slightly redesigned transducers. These headphones are stylish and light on the head, but also provide clear two-way audio through a dual noise-canceling microphone array.
It takes 2 hours to bring these headphones to a full charge and the battery will last for around 6 hours. The headphones can also last for 10 days on standby time before the battery runs dry and needs to be recharged. Other notable features include Bluetooth Multipoint and IP55 certification which makes the headphones resistant to sweat or dust outdoors.
We feel the OpenMove Sport provides the best overall experience for users compared to the other bone conduction headsets from SHOKZ. It doesn’t have the battery life of the UC or OpenSwim, but utilizes the same technology and has a more attractive price tag. You also get a 2-year warranty and four colors to choose from with Grey, Pink, Blue, or White.
- Multiple colors
- Sweat and Dustproof
- Dual noise-canceling microphone
- Bluetooth Multipoint
- Battery life could be better
Check out the SHOKZ OpenMove Headphones on Amazon.
Best for Swimming: SHOKZ OpenSwim Headphones
- Open-Ear Comfort - Our open-ear design powered by bone conduction technology ensures bud-free, comfortable listening all day, in or out of the water. Includes SHOKZ nose clip.(Rebranded Version of...
- Internal Music Storage - OpenSwim swimming MP3 has internal music storage for a library of up to 1,200 songs ready to play at the touch of a button. Supports MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, and FLAC for...
- IP68 Waterproof Rating - OpenSwim swimming MP3 has an IP68 waterproof rating and can be submerged in water up to two meters deep for up to two hours.
- 8-Hours of Music - With 8 hours of battery life and easy commands such as play, skip, pause, and back-a-track, you can enjoy your music lap by lap.
- Secure Fit - OpenSwim swimming MP3 is comfortable under a swim cap or helmet and weighs just over 1oz for all-day comfort.
The SHOKZ OpenSwim Headphones bone conduction headphones are perfect for swimmers who don’t need to stream audio.
Some companies dabble in bone conduction technology, but SHOKZ is not one of them. They are the only manufacturer to make our list multiple times, and the aptly named SHOKZ OpenSwim is the best choice when you want to listen to music while you swim.
These headphones don’t rely on Bluetooth or wireless features that would be rendered useless underwater. You’ll use 4GB of onboard storage for your music, and 7th generation bone conduction technology provides the soundtrack while you swim. An IP68 rating ensures the headphones can withstand submersion in up to 2 meters of water for up to a few hours.
While you won’t get quick charging or multipoint with these headphones, the battery life is excellent at 8 hours per charge. That’s more time than most people will spend in a pool during the day, and you can recharge them in only 2 hours. Supported file formats for the OpenSwim bone conduction headphones include AAC, WAV, FLAC, WMA, and MP3.
Users found them comfortable, and while storage is somewhat limited, you can pack close to 1,000 songs on these headphones. They come with the SHOKZ nose clip and are available in two colors with Blue or Black.
- Waterproof up to 2 meters
- Excellent build quality
- 8 hours per charge
- Format selection
- No quick charge
Check out the SHOKZ OpenSwim Headphones on Amazon
Best Budget: YouthWhisper Lite
- Battery: 6hrs (music), 8hrs (phone call), 20 days (standby)
- Soft silicone and flexible titanium materials for superb comfort
- Bone conduction means that nothing goes inside your ears
- Bluetooth enabled
While there are some affordable alternatives, the best option for folk interested in trying the tech is the
Bone conduction technology isn’t new, but it has remained relatively expensive due to the unique nature of the headphones. The YouthWhisper Lite headset has a design similar to other headphones in this class, but with traditional controls. There are small buttons for power and volume control along with a multifunction button that allows you to take calls and perform other tasks. It has a universal design with a titanium band for additional strength and tips the scales at only 24 grams.
You can take these headphones outdoors without fear of the rain courtesy of IP54 certification. They have limited protection against dust and splashing but are not fully waterproof. The range is solid at 33 feet and a 200mAh battery provides between 6-8 hours of power depending on your usage. Standby time is fantastic at 20 days, although they take 2 hours to charge.
A big selling point of these bone conduction headphones is their price point, roughly a third of the price of a headset from SHOKZ. The battery life is comparable, although the quality isn’t, and you’ll only get a 1-year guarantee with the YouthWhisper Lite headphones.
- Budget-friendly price tag
- Solid battery life
- IP54 rating
- 20-day standby time
- Short warranty
Check out the YouthWhisper Lite on Amazon.
Best for Communication: SHOKZ OpenComm
- Optimized For Comfort. Ideal For Mobile Connection.
- All-Day Comfort - The open-ear design brought by bone conduction technology ensures that nothing will be in or covering your ears, ensuring long-lasting comfort, day after day.
- Safety & Connection - The open-ear design allows you to stay connected to your surrounding environment and pedestrians/vehicles on the road, providing security.
- Noise-Canceling Boom Mic - An adjustable DSP noise-canceling boom microphone blocks outside noise while you speak, making it ideal for use in a range of workplace environments.
- Bluetooth 5.1 - This level of Bluetooth connectivity means you can participate in a call without worrying about stability issues.
SHOKZ OpenComm is ideal for situations where you need to communicate while hearing the world around you.
SHOKZ has produced several headsets geared toward power users who use these headphones in different environments. Although on the other end of the spectrum from the OpenSwim, they rely on the same bone conduction technology. They use Bluetooth 5.1 like our top choice and have a water resistance rating of IP55. The headphones support a range of formats as well with SBC, A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, and HFP.
These full-wraparound headphones have a wireless range of 33 feet and provide 16 hours of talk time per charge. That number drops to 8 hours when you listen to music, however. Standby time is listed at 14 days. The noise-canceling boom microphone ensures crystal clear communication and you can sync up to more than one device thanks to Bluetooth multipoint.
The SHOKZ Opencomm is the top option for anyone that wants to communicate whether in an office or on the go. You can control the headset or call upon a voice assistant with a few simple taps, and there’s a variant that comes with a UC adapter if you want to make sure you have a stable connection from a PC.
- 16 hours of talk time
- Bluetooth Multipoint
- Noise-canceling boom microphone
- Quick charging
- Microphone pivots but can’t be removed
Check out the SHOKZ OpenComm on Amazon.
How to Find the Best Bone Conduction Headphones
Shopping for bone conduction headphones is different than choosing earbuds or on-ear headphones. It starts with the design, but considering how sound is transmitted, the audio quality isn’t as important as battery life or the features. If you’re still torn between models, you’ll want to consider battery life and features before settling on a set of bone conduction headphones.
What are Bone Conduction Headphones?
Traditional headphones sit on the ear or over them unless you purchase earbuds that are inserted into the ear canal. Most people are familiar with both of these styles, but bone conduction headphones work in a completely different way.
These unique headphones rely on vibrations to transmit sound and don’t fit over your ears at all. Instead, they rest in front of your eardrum on a small bone that carries musical vibrations to your ears. The middle ear bones work the magic leaving your eardrums free from obstructions.
They have a completely different design from over-ear headphones or earbuds for this reason with small transducers replacing the tiny speakers commonly found in all other styles of headphones. If you’ve never used this type of headset, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons beforehand.
Pros and Cons of Bone Conduction Headphones
The biggest advantage to using bone conduction headphones is that they don’t sit on or in your ear. That means you can hear the outside world while still listing to your favorite podcast or music. If you’re outdoors or in certain environments, staying aware of your surroundings is critical.
Runners will appreciate this feature and they are ideal for people that find earbuds painful due to sensitive ears. They are lightweight and most users find them comfortable, even if many manufacturers stick to a one-size-fits-all model.
Want to swim underwater using headphones? Bone conduction headphones are the only way you can do that. From office use to swimming pools, there are a variety of places these headsets come in handy. They aren’t without their drawbacks, however.
Even budget-friendly bone conduction headphones cost more than a solid set of earbuds or on-ear headphones. The fit may bother some people as well, but the audio quality is the biggest downside. You won’t notice much difference in that from one brand to the next, and they can’t measure up to anything from Bose, Sony, or even the Echo Buds in terms of sound quality.
- Great for people with sensitive ears
- Allow you to stay aware of your surroundings
- You can use them in pools or underwater
- Audio quality
- Limited styles and sizes
Battery Life and Charging Times
Bone conduction headphones don’t have drivers like the best earbuds or a pair of over-ear headphones from a company like Sennheiser. What they do have in common are internal batteries, which allow you to listen to music or have a hands-free conversation.
Charging times in bone conduction headphones aren’t as good as you’ll find from their wireless counterparts. We found the average battery life is around 8 hours while charging times vary from 1-2 hours. Some models have quick charging features that allow you to top off batteries faster, but the feature is hit or miss depending on the brand.
Standby time is another factor to keep in mind. This refers to how long the headphones will last when charged, but not used. Newer models take advantage of the faster USB-C standard as well.
Bone Conduction Headphone Features
There aren’t many features with bone conduction headphones, but you’ll want to consider the controls and waterproof rating if you plan to use them outdoors. Audio quality is comparable to the best bone conduction headphones, and we found most have a degree of water resistance as well.
The IP rating lets you know how a device will do against water. It was developed by the IEC, and the higher the number, the better the resistance. Controls are generally based on one or both sides of the headphones, but some are limited in what they allow you to adjust.
If you’re purchasing bone conduction headphones that use Bluetooth, audio codes won’t be an issue. With underwater or swimming headphones in this class, you will want to check on the file formats. AAC, WAV, MP3, and WMA are common but some standards may not be supported.
What to Know Before Buying Bone Conduction Headphones
While we covered the most important areas to consider when choosing the best bone conduction headphones, there are a few more things to keep in mind if you’ve never worn this style of headset.
Do you have any sensitive skin? Some substances can irritate the skin like the nose pads on cheap sunglasses. Because these headphones are in constant contact with your skin, it’s something to keep in mind if certain materials cause skin irritation.
Bone conduction headphones that are too tight could also cause problems. Most have a “universal” size, which could cause issues with some users.
Using Bone Conduction Headphones: What it’s Like
If you’ve never worn bone conduction headphones before, you’ll be in for a surprise. They are unique, and something you really have to experience for yourself. These headphones have a band that goes around the back of your head and transducers that rest in front of your ears. Typical of anything, it’ll take some days to get used to these headphones. The good thing is they’re simple once you have them set up and synced.
Bone conduction headphones charge like other portable devices with internal batteries. The biggest challenge most users face is the fit unless you have a pair designed for use underwater.
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