How do people hear voices? To put it simply, one is the air conduction method, in which the sound vibrates the eardrum through the ear canal, triggering hearing; there is also a bone conduction method, which transmits the sound to the auditory nerve through the skull, and skips the ear canal to perceive the sound through the auditory nerve. Applied to the earphone market, there are traditional earphones that we often use, and bone conduction earphones that have been launched by many brands.
Although bone conduction headphones are still relatively niche products in terms of current applications, their history is very long. The earliest bone conduction earphones were first used in the medical field in 1935, helping the hearing impaired to hear the information around them.
At the beginning of the 21st century, many manufacturers began to launch bone conduction earphone products for consumer electronics. The main function is to provide users with an open listening experience. While listening to music, they can still easily learn the surrounding sounds, which are loved by many sports people. It has gradually developed into a large category of sports Bluetooth headsets.
This time, I will share with you in detail what bone conduction earphones are, their differences from traditional earphones, what bone conduction earphone brands are currently on the market, and the future development trend of bone conduction earphones.
1. What is bone conduction headphone?
As the name implies, bone conduction earphones use bone conduction technology to convert sound into mechanical vibrations of different frequencies, and transmit sound waves through the human skull, bone labyrinth, inner ear lymph fluid, auger, and auditory center. Compared with traditional headphones, the participation of the ear canal and tympanic membrane is reduced in the process of listening, so it can provide an open listening experience, and can also be used by some people with damaged eardrums.
The core technology of bone conduction earphones mainly lies in the sound-generating device, the bone conduction vibrator. The pros and cons of the bone conduction vibrator directly affect the practical experience of wearing comfort, sound quality, and battery life. On the other hand, due to the unique pronunciation of bone conduction headphones, the technology for sound quality improvement is also the key.
At the application level of bone conduction earphones, according to its bone conduction sound transmission method, open wearing and other product characteristics, it is mainly positioned in the sports Bluetooth earphone market, which can provide sports users with a more comfortable and safe music listening experience.
At the same time, it is also very attractive for people who do not like the stethoscope effect of traditional earplugs, who wear small ear canals for a long time, and those who suffer from ear pain and hearing loss.
From the above, we have learned the two main characteristics of bone conduction headphones: bone conduction to transmit sound and open wearing. Let's take a closer look at the specific differences between bone conduction headphones and traditional headphones.
2. The difference between bone conduction headphones and conventional earphones
The first is the difference in wearing methods. In the current earphone market, the traditional earphones mainly include wired earphones, neck-mounted earphones and TWS earphones in earplugs, and the other is the over-ear wearing of headphones.
Both wearing methods close the ears, so the size of the earplugs and the ear canal will not correspond to the size of the ear canal, which will cause pain in the ear canal after wearing it for a long time. Wearing it in summer is hot, the air inside the ear canal is not ventilated, which leads to the rapid growth of bacteria, and the stimulation of high volume at close range for a long time. Hearing damage, etc.
In terms of the way of wearing bone conduction headphones, the products currently in the market are mainly worn on the ear, the memory neckline is located behind the head, and the bone conduction vibrator is located in front of the ear canal.
However, with the development of the market, the product form is also changing, such as Yiou's ear clip-type bone conduction headphones, and the true wireless ear clip-type bone conduction headphones, which are fixed on the ear cartilage to achieve bone conduction sound transmission Way.
Both forms are open wearing methods during use, and there is no need to block the ear canal when wearing and using, thus avoiding the problems that may occur when wearing traditional headphones.
Compared with traditional earphones, bone conduction Bluetooth earphones provide a new listening experience when listening to music. The open wearing method frees both ears, allowing users to easily obtain surrounding information while listening to music, and the long-term wearing experience is also more comfortable, while avoiding the risk of eardrum damage.
In terms of sound quality, the wearing of traditional earphones and earbuds provides a relatively independent space for listening to music, which can effectively reduce the interference of the external environment and achieve a clearer listening effect. And with the addition of active noise reduction, it has a more immersive music experience.
The sound quality of bone conduction headphones can also meet the needs of daily use, but the overall listening experience is slightly less than the traditional three-band performance, and the low-frequency performance is the most obvious, lacking the shock of traditional headphones. And for some music with very strong drum beats, there will be obvious discomfort that the vibrator vibrates the skin.
In terms of loudness, the opening of the ear canal will have an impact. Bone conduction headphones require a larger volume under the same hearing sense, which also leads to another problem - sound leakage, although with the development of technology, sound leakage has been greatly improved. Great improvement, but still obvious compared to traditional headphones.
At present, traditional earphone product forms include wired earphones, TWS earphones, neck-mounted Bluetooth earphones, head-mounted Bluetooth earphones, and sports ear-hook earphones, covering daily commuting, sports fitness, entertainment and other aspects.
Bone conduction earphones are relatively specific, and consumer-grade products are currently mainly positioned in the sports earphone market. The wearing method of the open ear canal enables you to always know the surrounding sound during jogging, cycling, mountaineering and other sports, and has a higher sense of wearing security. The sound transmission method of bone conduction can also better cope with wind noise.
In general, bone conduction headphones have an absolute advantage in wearing experience, but at the same time they also bring about deficiencies in music experience. The open wearing experience liberates the ear canal, but it is also accompanied by problems such as insufficient sound quality and sound leakage. And with the application of active noise reduction in traditional headphones, the disadvantage in audio experience has been further widened.
However, in its focused sports earphone market, bone conduction earphones have advantages that traditional earphones cannot reach, and can provide sports enthusiasts with a more comfortable and safe listening experience.
3. The future development trend of bone conduction headphones
As an important solution for current audio products, bone conduction earphones cannot reach the status of traditional earphones in application, but their open wearing experience and bone conduction sound transmission method can provide more comfortable and safe listening. The sound effect is also unattainable by traditional earphones, which is why bone conduction earphones can maintain stable growth in the outbreak stage of traditional Bluetooth earphones.
In terms of the market, many brands have joined the competition of bone conduction Bluetooth headsets, and the product prices range from one hundred yuan to thousands of yuan. However, unlike TWS headphones, the music experience only affects individuals. Bone conduction headphones will affect the surrounding people due to sound leakage, and have higher technical requirements. Therefore, high-quality products will continue to expand their advantages, and poor products will be quickly eliminated.