AfterShokz Aeropex wireless bone conduction headphones
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Shokz School: Bone Conduction vs Open Audio Air Conduction

Since 2011, AfterShokz has been at the forefront of creating innovative audio products by harnessing the power of bone conduction technology and perfecting our signature open-ear design. Now that open-ear headphones are becoming more widely available and used, it’s no surprise that consumers may be unsure which product is the best fit for their needs. We’ve done a deep dive into audio technology to help you understand the differences between bone conduction open-ear headphones and air conduction open-ear headphones. 


What Is Bone Conduction? 

Bone conduction is the transmission of sound vibrations to the inner ear (cochlea) bones of the skull, which allows you to perceive sound without blocking the ear canal. Even more simply put: it’s sound that is delivered directly to the inner ear without needing to pass through the eardrum. Think of bone conduction as a shortcut to hearing sounds. 


Have you ever plugged your ears and sang a song, but wondered how you can still hear the tune? Or heard the sounds generated from brushing your teeth or eating potato chips? That’s bone conduction at its finest, and, along with more commonly used air conduction, your ears have been transmitting sound that way all along!



The Difference Between Bone Conduction Open-Ear Headphones and Air Conduction Open-Ear Headphones

What Are Bone Conduction Open-Ear Headphones?

The popularity of open-ear headphones has proved the importance of environmental awareness for consumers, and AfterShokz bone conduction headphones allow for the most natural open-ear listening experience with minimal sound leakage, don’t fatigue the outer or middle ear, and stay put through any activity. By nature, it’s hard for bone conduction to out-perform air conduction in terms of bass, but AfterShokz have been praised by experts worldwide for their overall audio quality, specifically with Aeropex, featuring 8th generation bone conduction technology for deeper bass, crystal-clear midrange, and crisp high-frequency performance, while also being ultra-lightweight and ergonomically designed for a comfortable, snug fit. 


What Are Air Conduction Open-Ear Headphones? 

Open-ear headphones powered by air conduction work a little differently. With this design, two holes are added on the earbud; one hole, located close to the ear, transmits sound through the air to the ear. The other hole, located on the opposite side of the earbud, reduces sound leakage using anti-phase sound. While this open-ear design delivers some situational awareness, it requires a louder volume to ensure sound clarity (therefore drowning out ambient noise) and a larger battery capacity, which causes an increase in the weight of the earbuds or headphones. This combined with their loose fit could cause the earbuds to move and shift during high-impact activities. 


Are you still interested in learning more about our open-ear headphones? Learn more about How Bone Conduction Really Works next!