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Rather than sending sound vibrations through the air like normal headphones, bone-conduction headphones send vibrations straight into the top of your jaw. What's appealing about them is that they don't isolate audio like regular headphones do, making them a good choice of headphones for runners, cyclists, construction workers, or just people who want to pay attention to their surroundings.
They offer a much duller sound compared to traditional headphones or earbuds, and they have a weaker bass response and quieter volume. On the plus side, most pairs are wireless, sweat-proof, flexible, and comfortable, and they have easy-to-use controls built-in for quickly adjusting volume and switching songs.
If you still want to hear the birds, cars honking, or people calling out your name to get your attention while you're listening to tunes, you'll love them — but if you want something to block external noise, consider a pair of noise-canceling headphones or our other wireless earbuds picks instead.
Check out our favorite bone-conduction earphones below — happy listening!
If you want the best bone-conduction headphones money can buy, you can't go wrong with the AfterShokz Trekz Air.
They're wireless, lightweight, comfortable, and completely water-resistant, and they tout a 6-hour battery life. This pair doesn't suffer from as much audio leaking as other bone-conduction headphones, so you won't be outed for listening to "Let It Go" from Frozen on repeat on the subway. They also have dual microphones for phone calls.
The Vidonn F1 headset is an affordable wireless pick that pairs to your smartphone over Bluetooth. Weighing in at just 1 ounce, the headphones are incredibly lightweight and comfortable.
They're made of titanium, so they'll survive drops, and they're also impervious against sweat, making them a great pick for runners and cyclists. The headphones offer 6 hours of battery life, and they even have a built-in microphone that comes in handy for phone calls.
This set from AfterShokz is resistant against sweat, dust, and moisture. Plus, it's made from titanium for added durability. The headphones come in red, black, and blue. While they are cheaper than other AfterShokz pairs, these aren't wireless. However, they still offer impressive audio quality and a comfortable fit.
Rather than having integrated controls like AfterShokz's bone-conduction headphones, Besteker's headphones instead have a remote that you clip to your shirt, which can be a little annoying. The headphones, which come in green or orange, have a 6-hour battery life, and they're sweat-resistant. They don't feel too heavy, and they pair to your smartphone easily over Bluetooth.
Their microphone doesn't offer impressive audio quality during calls, but if you're looking for an inexpensive pair of bone-conduction headphones, these are the cheapest ones you can buy.
We think this pair of bone-conduction headphones is one of the best pairs for athletes. They're water-resistant, so you can sweat buckets without breaking them, and they have integrated controls for easily controlling music playback and skipping songs. Additionally, the headphone's neckband adjusts to accommodate several different head shapes. This pair weighs just under 2 ounces, is equipped with a 5.5-hour battery life, and comes in black.
The Trekz Titanium is another pair of bone-conduction headphones from AfterShokz. They feature a water-resistant design that's perfect for runners or cyclists. Besides having a lower price than the Trekz Air, they take a half an hour longer to charge and weigh a half an ounce more. They offer impressive audio quality and 6 hours of battery life, and they come in more color configurations, including gray, pink, blue, green, and red.
Longee's bone-conduction headphones don't offer as strong an audio quality as other headphones, but they come in several color options, feature a sweat-proof design, and connect to two devices simultaneously. Their built-in 150mAH battery offers 4 hours of battery life — which is less than most pairs. We like that there are integrated controls for controlling music playback and answering calls, but the design of the headphones could be better.