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Bone Conduction Headphone: What is It? How Does It Work?

In the past few years, true wireless headphones have occupied the attention of wireless audio, but this is not the only wireless technology worthy of attention. Bone conduction headphone occupies a special area, especially suitable for outdoor sportsmen and certain people of hearing impaired.

1. What is a bone conduction headphone?

Bone conduction headphones do not prompt the tympanic membrane when sound waves travel through the air, but bypass the middle ear and vibrate through the jawbone.

Bone conduction technology originated from hearing aids, and its history can be traced back to the 1920s, when Hugo Gernsback invented Osophone (a bone conduction hearing aid).

Nowadays, bone conduction audio has surpassed the fields of health and medicine and has become an excellent tool for outdoor athletes. Because the headset can release the hearing of the ear, the listener will not ignore the changes in the surrounding environment, which is very important when running or hiking outdoors.

2. How do bone conduction headphones work?

Bone conduction headphones continuously vibrate the bones, thereby transmitting sound waves through the listener's skull. More specifically, the sound travels directly to the cochlea through the skull, avoiding the tympanic membrane, malleus, incus and bone. Then, the cochlea moves the tiny hairs (stereocili) within the Corti. This fluid movement triggers a series of chemical reactions that cause neurotransmitters to stimulate the auditory nerve. Once an impulse is sent from the auditory nerve, it is transmitted to the brain, which interprets this information as sound.

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