Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Among the huge assortment of headphones of all stripes, form factors and price categories, there is a very narrow layer of rulers that function on a completely different principle. In them, the sound is transmitted to the inner ear precisely through the bones of the skull, bypassing the eardrum. Functional models for the mass consumer appeared relatively recently and there are still very few of them in the mass of traditional headphones. Nevertheless, the 'bone', as they are also called, headphones quite firmly substantiate their small niche. The editorial staff and analysts of the service https://rankquality.com/ have prepared for you an overview of the most remarkable models available on the Russian market.
- Why are 'bone' headphones better than regular ones?
- Rating of the best bone conduction headphones
- Best wired bone conduction headphones
- AfterShokz Sportz Titanium
- AfterShokz Sportz Titanium with mic
- Best Bone Conduction Wireless Headphones
- AfterShokz Trekz Titanium
- Rombica FIT X-01 Black
- Baseus BC10
- AfterShokz Trekz Air
- AfterShokz Aeropex
- AfterShokz Xtrainerz
Why are 'bone' headphones better than regular ones?
The immediate answer is nothing. Bone conduction headphones are no better or worse than usual. They are just different and have a slightly different application.
The key difference between bone headphones and ordinary ones is not even functional, but purely practical. The fact is that they do not need to be inserted into the ears or applied, thereby isolating yourself from external sounds. The transmission of sound vibrations goes through the contact surfaces adjacent to the temporal areas, while the ears remain free. This means that all surrounding sounds are heard without any obstacles, only against the background of what the headphones are broadcasting.
The closest areas of application of this headphone format are office (you can talk on Skype and at the same time hear everything around, bosses, clients and colleagues), caring for small children (you can watch TV at full volume and at the same time perfectly hear if the child wakes up and cries), for people with hearing problems and the elderly (the bone of the earphone is indifferent to the condition of the eardrum, the shape of the ears, deformation of the ear canal), for cyclists, runners, pedestrians (you can simultaneously listen to music or an audiobook, and at the same time safely cross the road, hear the barking of a dog that gets stuck, shouts passers-by, etc.).
Finally, a little explanation for a complete understanding. Bone conduction headphones should not be considered in line with traditional headphones that use this technology, no matter how big the letters are written about it in the promotional materials. The fact is that headphones with elements of this technology use bone conduction to transmit heavy bass through the bone, which can actually damage the eardrum. At the same time, they cover the ears exactly like all headphones. The same models that we will be considering today use exclusively bone conduction technology and do not cover the ears at all. This is their main advantage.
Rating of the best bone conduction headphones
|Nomination||a place||Name of product||price|
|Best wired bone conduction headphones||1||AfterShokz Sportz Titanium||RUB 3,490|
|2||AfterShokz Sportz Titanium with mic||RUB 3,222|
|Best Bone Conduction Wireless Headphones||1||AfterShokz Trekz Titanium||RUB 5,990|
|2||Rombica FIT X-01 Black||RUB 3,990|
|3||Baseus BC10||RUB 5,599|
|4||AfterShokz Trekz Air||RUB 6,712|
|5||AfterShokz Aeropex||11 345 RUB|
|6||AfterShokz Xtrainerz||RUB 12,990|
Best wired bone conduction headphones
Let's start with a mini selection of wired bone headphones. They are not exactly the best, but just the only ones. Yes, as of February 2020, the Russian market with the choice of bone conduction headphones, things are, to put it mildly, unimportant. The only trademark in the assortment is AfterShokz. The rest of the models that can be found in online stores are mostly sold out long ago and no restocking is expected. Exactly the same goes for wireless models.
AfterShokz Sportz Titanium
First, consider the wired Sportz Titanium model, which is positioned by the manufacturer as 'for sports'. Actually, no one forbids using these headphones as you like, but the set direction is generally correct – with their help, you can perform exercises with rhythmic music, while listening to the coach's commands.
The design here is made in the form of an overhead bow-headband with piezo oscillators at the ends. Fixed at the back of the head. The body is made of good plastic in various combinations of the main black color with an additional one to choose from – red, blue or the same black. This accessory weighs only 39g. The delivery set includes a special case for carrying and protecting.
From a technical point of view, these are headphones of a dynamic type, capable of transmitting vibrations with a frequency of 20 to 20 thousand Hz – this range is more than enough to cover all the reasonable possibilities of human hearing.
The cable is connected to one side of the headphones and has a standard 3.5mm minijack on the other end. Plug shape – L-shaped. Since these headphones operate on a different principle, phantom power from the audio jack will not be enough for them. Therefore, they are equipped with a built-in lithium-ion battery. Approximate operating time – up to 12 hours, depending on the intensity of use. In standby mode – up to 1440 according to the passport. Full charge time is 2 hours.
The Sportz Titanium is the second generation of the AfterShokz bone-in earphones, which redesigned the body, improved sound absorption and improved sound quality.
- sufficiently high sound quality;
- quality materials;
- comfortable fit;
- inconvenient location of the battery pack.
AfterShokz Sportz Titanium with mic
Now let's look at a modification of the above-described bone conduction headphone model, but which is already equipped with a microphone. These headphones are half or even twice the price of the previous ones, depending on the markup at a particular point of sale.
Actually, there is not much to write about here, since the modification of this headset is almost completely identical to the previous model. And this includes battery capacity, frequency range, shape and even color options. The only difference is the built-in microphone.
Separately, we just remember such a detail as the outside control units and the battery. If users still agree with the control unit on the wire for obvious reasons, then the 'hanging' battery is not to everyone's liking, especially in an inconvenient place. On the other hand, the removed battery relieved the headband, which thus weighs almost nothing – only 20g, which is much less than even the super-light flagships AfterShokz Xtrainerz.
- all the advantages of the previous model;
- inconvenient location of the battery pack.
Best Bone Conduction Wireless Headphones
Now let's get to know the much larger group of bone conduction headphones – wireless. Here, too, the AfterShokz trademark will dominate in assortment. We remind you that this is the situation on the market in February 2020. Perhaps in the near future, the assortment will be more interesting and varied.
AfterShokz Trekz Titanium
First, we will consider one of the most popular models, and finish with the most expensive flagship. So, Trekz Titanium is also an updated version of the previous generation AfterShokz bone headphones. They got their 'surname' from the titanium core of the bow, which was equipped with the updated AfterShokz Trekz.
Like the above-described wired options, yes, indeed, the entire AfterShokz line, they are positioned as sports. The design is laid on, the headband is attached to the back of the head. Materials and build quality do not cause any complaints either from ordinary users or from picky reviewers. Available in a range of six body colors. The headset weighs 36g.
The device reproduces oscillations in the same range as the two models described above – from 20 to 20 thousand Hz. The sensitivity is 100dB. Two microphones are built into the body for stereo effect. The signal is transmitted via Bluetooth – channel (version 4.1) with a standard range of 10 meters. Supports control profiles Headset, A2DP, AVRCP, Hands free. There is a status LED on the case.
The control unit, in combination with a microphone, allows you to control a wearable gadget to which the headphones are connected, for example, a smartphone. So, with simple manipulations, you can hold a call on hold, go to waiting, answer a call, end a conversation, call the last number. There is a voice dialing function.
The headphone case has IP55 protection – it will protect it from dust and splashes, but dropping them into the water and even more so diving in them is strictly not recommended. Autonomous operation is based on a built-in lithium-ion battery. Approximate time of continuous work – up to 6 hours, depending on the intensity. The device can spend up to 240 hours in standby mode. Full charging time is from 1.5 hours.
- quality materials and assembly;
- stylish design;
- lightweight and comfortable;
- good (as for bone headphones) audibility;
- wearable gadget control functions;
- claims of users to vibrations transmitted to glasses.
Rombica FIT X-01 Black
Consider now, for a change, two models of bone headphones from other manufacturers, which are still available on the Russian market, although not in such an assortment as AfterShokz. The presented model Rombica FIT X-01 Black is a good option of Chinese production.
From the previous series, these headphones are noticeably different in appearance – they have a more massive black plastic case. Dimensions – 14.5x15x5cm. The rest of the characteristics are similar, although they differ in nuances. The rim is fixed at the back of the head. Secure fixation thanks to the rubber band.
The range of reproducible vibrations in Rombica varies from 100 to 18 thousand Hz. Sensitivity – 82dB. Impedance – 8 ohms. Membrane size – 15mm in diameter. There is a built-in microphone. There is a status LED on the case.
The signal is transmitted over the channel Bluetooth version 4.0. The radius of confident action is 10 meters. Headset, AVRCP and A2DP control profiles are supported. Automatic pairing.
Autonomous operation is provided by a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 200 mAh. On a full charge with continuous operation, the accessory can function for up to 5 hours. Charging from zero – within one and a half hours via the Micro-USB socket.
From the headphone controls on the case are the power button and volume control. The rim is not adjustable in size.
- quality of materials and workmanship;
- sound good, but quiet;
- secure fit thanks to the rubber band.
- the rim is not regulated;
- rather quiet sound – not for the city.
Another alternative brand of bone conduction headset is Baseus BC10. This model is similar in appearance to the previous one, but it will be more interesting in terms of characteristics.
Here we see a similar black body, relatively massive against the background of AfterShokz headsets. Inside, under the polymer coating, there is a steel frame that ensures a snug fit of the emitters to the temporal areas.
Remarkable is the outer case material chosen by the manufacturer – durable ABS plastic and hygroscopic silica gel. The latter is used to compensate for profuse sweating during sports. There is even IPX5 water resistance. The headset has an interesting design with rounded edges wherever possible, a pleasant to the touch surface. Weighs 25g.
The range of reproducible vibrations for this model is from 20 to 20 thousand Hertz. Sensitivity – 100dB. Impedance – 8 ohms. Signal-to-noise ratio – at least 80dB. The signal is transmitted over the channel Bluetooth 5.0. Within 10 meters, the signal is even and stable. Supported profiles A2DP, AVRCP, Hands free, Headset. On the case there is a power button and a volume control.
The headphones are powered by a lithium-polymer battery with a capacity of 150mAh. This is enough for 200 hours in standby mode and up to 8 (actually – up to 5-6) hours of active work, depending on the volume control. Fully charged within 1.5 hours. Charging interface – MicroUSB.
- minimum weight;
- good sound;
- Bluetooth 5.0 .;
- material – silica gel and durable ABS plastic;
- attractive design;
- pleasant to the touch.
- no complaints were found, as well as objective flaws.
AfterShokz Trekz Air
And again, back to the AfterShokz bone conduction headphones. Consider now another super popular and more expensive Trekz Air model.
Compared to Trekz Titanium, there will be a lot of similarities. We will list them all by the express method in a single list, and then talk about the differences and features. The range of reproducible frequencies here is standard – from 20 to 20 thousand Hertz, sensitivity – 100dB, weight – 30g, mount – occipital arch, two microphones, wireless communication – Bluetooth 4.2, radius of reliable signal reception up to 10 meters, support for profiles A2DP, AVRCP, Hands free, Headset, lithium-ion battery, autonomy 6 hours in operation and up to 480 hours in standby, full charge – 2 hours.
Now about the individual features of AfterShokz Trekz Air. In this model, we notice first of all, naturally, her appearance. It is very expressive, futuristic, no sharp corners, but only smooth transitions. There are four color options to choose from in combination with the basic black – green, red, gray and blue.
Like the Trekz Titanium, this model has been updated with a titanium headband. This was done as part of the manufacturer's struggle to minimize the weight of the bone earbuds.
The package bundle, though modest, is interesting. It includes the headset itself, a charging cable, documentation, a convenient carrying case and a pair of earplugs sealed in a transparent bag.
Even without a case, you can carry the headphones in any pocket without any problems. It is almost impossible to break, as they are easily cushioned – they bend and return exactly to their original shape.
It is worth mentioning separately that in this and subsequent models protection against sound leaks is implemented. Since this is an open type headset, some outward audibility is still present, even for the bone conduction concept. The developers have come up with a way out – a special shape of small holes in the case work in antiphase to sound vibrations, thereby reducing the audibility to those around to a barely discernible minimum.
In general, this model stands out significantly against the background of all the previous ones for the better. The only thing that can objectively be considered a drawback is the absence of any indication – it is unclear whether the headphones are on or off, and the battery level can only be found from the 'announcement' of the built-in voice notification when turned on.
- quality materials and assembly;
- they are easily amortized, it is impossible to break accidentally
- good sound;
- minimal sound leakage;
- sophisticated futuristic design;
- there is no indication.
Further in our review are bone conduction headphones, also of the AfterShokz brand, but even better, even lighter and even more expensive. This is the Aeropex model, which can already be used with certain reservations for swimming.
Let us first list the main characteristics. The frequency range is the same as that of the neighboring models of this brand – from 20 to 20 thousand Hz; sensitivity – 105dB; weight – 25 g; protection level IP67 from external factors; wireless communication – Bluetooth 5.0 with a signal reception radius of up to 10 meters; support for A2DP, AVRCP, Hands free, Headset profiles; battery with a capacity of 145mAh; autonomous operation – up to 8 hours of active operation or 240 hours of standby; full charge – 2 hours.
As soon as the AfterShokz Aeropex was unveiled, the impressionable dubbed them nothing more than a 'breakthrough in bone conduction technology'. The statement can quite rightly be considered an exaggeration, but if you look at the entire AfterShokz lineup, there are tangible improvements in Aeropex.
At the very least, they are lighter. Although only a mere 4 grams, but in the total mass it is significant. And besides weight, they have a number of design features. So, for example, decent protection against dust and water according to the IP67 standard is implemented here, that is, the headphones are not afraid of immersion under water 1 meter for up to half an hour. The entire body, all its elements are rubberized – from the rim to the buttons and the emitters themselves. The design is based on an unusually flexible titanium frame – the headset can literally be knotted, after which it will return exactly to its original state.
As part of the improvements, the developers also provided a built-in equalizer with switching settings by a combination of control buttons on the body. However, users are almost unanimous in the opinion that this feature is useless – without an equalizer, the headset sounds best.
The earbuds come in a stylish and colorful 'booklet' packaging and can be a good gift. The package includes earplugs, documentation, a stylish, tactile case and a proprietary charging cable. The connector on the side of the headphones is magnetic with a special connector, and it is highly undesirable to lose it. This is not a whim of the manufacturer, but the only way to ensure proper water resistance.
- Bluetooth 5.0;
- dust and water protection IP67;
- rubberized body;
- extremely flexible and shock-absorbing titanium frame;
- neck lace;
- exquisite design;
- beautiful packaging.
- useless built-in equalizer.
And the review of the best, according to the research group, bone conduction headphones is completed by the bright flagship of the AfterShokz trademark. The entire line of bone headphones from this brand serves as a role model for many other manufacturers, but AfterShokz remains the undisputed leader in this narrow market niche.
It's not even just headphones, or rather, not just a headphone as an accessory. This is a bone headphone with a built-in audio player. Now, to listen to music or audiobooks with open ears in any conditions, you don't even need a wearable gadget that broadcasts sound.
The presence of a player is not the only advantage of this model. It is also distinguished by its maximum water resistance. And if the previous model was positioned simply as protected, then the AfterShokz Xtrainerz is already actively promoted as almost the best (or even the only) most convenient form factor of headphones for swimmers.
In the updated version of AfterShokz Xtrainerz, which is now on sale, the manufacturer has made improvements in three areas – the body, the main sound, and the fight against sound leaks. The Xtrainerz headband is shaped from the Trekz Air and the headphone speakers have been completely redesigned from the ground up.
With leaks, the creators also managed to do the almost impossible – the leakage of sound outward and audibility for strangers were reduced to almost zero. Interestingly, if earlier it was possible to compensate for leaks with holes in the case, then in this model there are no holes due to the enhanced water protection. A truly titanic engineering work has been done, and the sound at Xtrainerz is officially recognized as the best in the entire AfterShokz line of bone headphones.
Now a few words about sad things. These headphones have a built-in audio player – that's good, but the wireless module has been removed. So, compared to other models in the lineup, this is no longer even a headset, or even a headset at all, but just a 'tricky' waterproof player with headphones in one monolithic flexible case. This is bad, as it deprives headphones of their main advantage – universal use.
It remains only to consider what the developers of the gadget suggested at least for storing the downloaded music. The situation is as follows – the size of the built-in memory is 4GB. It would seem enough, but only if we are talking about compressed files (formats MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, FLAC are supported). The latter hints that there will not be so many large audio files in good quality. But, on the other hand, bone conduction technologies still do not provide such high-quality reproduction that it makes sense to listen to lossless audio.
- built-in player;
- high-quality sound;
- impeccable materials and workmanship;
- the highest possible sound quality for bone headphones;
- full water resistance – recommended for swimmers;
- virtually zero sound leakage.
- no wireless connection.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.