How good is bone conduction?

In the holiday shopping spree I’ve been getting ads from

Bone conduction seems interesting for sports but I do have a set of Bose Pulse that I love. Does anybody have any experience with bone conduction earphones… uh… maybe it’s bonephones??

Is it close to regular earphones or would nobody ever confuse the two? Do they not exist for audiophiles?

My coworker was asking about this the other day for cycling. I have no idea, but curious to hear any experiences.

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I have a set of Aftershokz Titanium. I bought it with the intention to use it while doing chores around the house, watching the baby, or walking around with friends. While it works perfectly for those situations, the SQ is really bad. You get better sound out of those free earbuds you got with your smartphone 7 years ago. For these purposes, any of the Audeze iSine IEMs do a much better job since they produce excellent sound with zero isolation.

However, for situations where you need complete awareness and resistance to wind noise, like cycling or snowboarding, bone conduction might do a better job. I can see the iSine IEMs being quite bad with wind blowing across the shells. Also, I wouldn’t want to get any sweat around an iSine, whereas the Aftershokz are quite sweat-resistant.

Overall, I think bone conduction is an interesting technology, but not suited for audiophiles at all. At best, the sets allow you to have background music while keeping your ears free.


Thank you! That’s exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for!

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Back in the day of As Seen On TV marketing, I saw and tried the original blue Bone Fone. A few people owned them around me. The effect is real but “one note.” All the owners gave up after at most 2 years.

If you ever owned a cheap one note subwoofer you’ll understand. But modern cheap subwoofers are often better. The new Bose collar had no apparent bone conduction when I tested it, and I’m sure they researched the possibility.


Yeah, I’ve looked at that Bose collar too, how did you like that?

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Please see my comments in the Wearables topic. On mobile now.


Excellent! Here’s the link - Bose Wearable

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I had a Jabra Bone Phone headset. Not bad in windy environments. This was strictly a talk on your cellphone one ear headset.

Just a bump on this thread, I finally had a chance to check out the AfterShokz Titanium yesterday. One thing that surprised me is that even when they are not on you can hear them, part of it is traditional headphone (I thought they would be silent when not on your head, that’s not the case.)

Bass is definitely lacking and it seems like you could get better sound from an open IEM at a lower price. In its defense I thought it would sound much worse. It’s far better than the non-Bose sunglass wearables I’ve tried.

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They’re great for podcasts when you’re on the go, but I just couldn’t make their fit work for me in most cases, especially laying down or wearing any shirt with a collar. If you plan to use them for anything but vocals, you’ll probably end up disappointed.

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Are the Bose sunglasses headphones using bone conduction?