How do Bone Conduction Headphones work? Are they dangerous?


How do Bone Conduction Headphones work? Are they dangerous?

In: Technology

No they aren’t dangerous.

They use vibrations in the bone or skull to generate sound. This means you could listen to music while not having buds in and thus hear all ambient sounds aswell. Very convenient on a bike for instance.

Some hearing aids will have a screw in your skull and attach the device to it. The vibrations will travel to your inner ear and make you able to hear better (as I recall, correct me if I’m wrong)

Head bone is connected to the ear bone.

Have someone tap on your head with a spoon, then tap on their head. When they did it to you, it was loud, when you did it to them, it wasn’t. You can also tap on your knees and compare the sound to someone else doing the same. The difference is bone conduction. You can experiment wearing ear plugs.

Sound travels through a medium as a wave, just like ripples in water when you drop a pebble in it. Air is the most common medium, but it doesn’t have to be. When you put a string between two cans, the string is the medium. In space, the medium is gone. A loud speaker a foot in in front of your would give you no sound. If you put your forehead on the speaker cabinet, your head becomes the medium, and you will hear it. Bone conduction.

People who are around very loud things can only lower the sound so much by combining earplugs and earphones (about 40db max off the top of my head), because bone conduction will still make it loud. Covering the head with some types of helmets can further attenuate bone conduction (of which the skull is the primary contributor). Even then, you can only do so much.