Are Bone Conduction Headphones Good For Running? Are They Right For You?

Are you tired of dealing with the annoyance of traditional headphones while hitting the pavement? Do you want to improve your running experience without compromising on peripheral awareness?

Well then, bone conduction headphones may be just what you need!

When choosing wireless headphones for your runs, there are many factors to consider – from comfort and fit to durability and sound quality.

And what about SAFETY? How do you hear the sounds of the environment, like passing cars when you run? Well, it is easy: with the best open-ear headphones.

So let’s dive into whether bone conduction headphones are the right choice for you when running.

How Bone Conduction Headphones Work

Bone conduction headphones are a relatively new technology gaining popularity in the running community.

Unlike traditional headsets that sit inside or over your ears, bone conduction devices rest on your cheekbones and use VIBRATIONS to transmit sound directly into your inner ear.

This method of transmitting sound allows you to hear music or audio while being AWARE of your surroundings, so open-ear devices are safer than earbuds.

With regular earbuds, noise-cancellation can block important sounds like traffic or other runners approaching from behind.

Bone conduction headphones have an open-ear design, which means you can listen to music without compromising situational awareness.

As with any headphone, you must be mindful of volume levels to protect your hearing health when using open-ear headphones during runs.

Bone Conduction Headsets For Running

Bone conduction earphones are an excellent option for runners who want to enjoy music or podcasts without sacrificing their awareness of their surroundings.

These devices transmit sound waves through the bones in your skull rather than through your eardrums. This allows you to hear your music or podcast while still being able to hear critical environmental cues like traffic, other runners, or wildlife.

Since you can still hear your surroundings, you’re less likely to be caught off guard by a car or a cyclist. This can be especially important when running in a busy urban area or on a trail with many other users.

If you use bone conduction headsets in a noisy environment, the external noise comes to your ear because it is open.

Bone phones are more comfortable than earbuds. Since they don’t go inside your ear canal, you won’t experience the discomfort or ear fatigue that can come from long periods of use. This can be especially important for runners training for long distances or prone to ear infections.

Open-ear headphones are often more durable than conventional headphones. Since they are designed to be worn during exercise, they are often made from sweat-resistant materials. They are built to withstand the rigors of outdoor activities.

This means you can use them for years without having to replace them, making them an excellent investment for runners who are serious about their sport.

Comfort And Fit Considerations of Open-Ear Design

Unlike conventional over-ear headphones or in-ear earbuds, bone conduction models rest on your cheekbones just in front of your ears. This means the ear canal is left open and less susceptible to IRRITATION from sweat buildup during exercise.

Finding a comfortable pair of bonephones requires trial and error since our heads differ. Some models come with adjustable straps or clips to help you find the best fit for your head size and running style.

Finding a well-fitting pair of bone phones will ensure you enjoy optimal sound quality without sacrificing running comfort.

Once you’ve found the suitable model, investing in a bone conduction device can take your running experience to the next level. They provide music or other audio while keeping you safe and aware of your surroundings.

Sound Quality of Bone Conduction Headsets

Sound quality is a common concern for many fitness enthusiasts. Since bone conduction technology uses vibrations to transmit sound through your cheekbones and directly to your inner ear, it’s natural to wonder if the sound quality will be as good as traditional headphones.

For the most part, bone conduction headphones are suitable for casual listening to music and podcasts.

  • Sound quality can vary depending on the brand and model.
  • Some brands like Shokz have worked hard to improve their sound quality and offer a rich, clear sound that almost rivals standard headsets.
  • Others may not be as strong in this area and may not provide the same level of sound quality that you’re used to with earbuds.

Note that bonephones don’t have active noise-canceling features; if you prioritize this, look for regular in-ear headphones!

  • Thanks to their built-in mic, you can use these devices for phone calls when connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth.
  • The sound quality is usually sufficient for occasional needs.
  • Some devices have a noise-canceling microphone for making and receiving calls.

Sound quality is NOT the only factor when choosing a headset for running. These open-back workout headphones are designed to allow you to hear your surroundings while you move, which is essential for safety.

They also tend to be more comfortable to wear for longer periods. They can be a great option for runners who struggle with traditional earbuds falling out or causing discomfort.

Ultimately, whether or not open-ear headsets are good for running depends on your personal preferences and needs. If listening to music with high-quality sound is your number one priority, you may need traditional headsets.

Choosing The Right Open-Ear Headsets For Your Needs

There are a few other factors to consider when choosing open-back headsets for running.

First and foremost is sound leakage. Since these types of headphones don’t go inside your ears, they rely on vibrations through your cheekbones to deliver sound.

This can lead to some sound escaping and being heard by those around you. If this concerns you, look for models with minimal sound leakage or adjustable volume controls.

Another essential factor is battery life. Running requires long periods of use without access to power sources, so you’ll want an earpiece that can last at least several hours on a single charge.

Look for models with extended battery life options or quick charging capabilities if you need a boost during your run.

Not all open-ear headsets are created equal, so find one that best suits your needs based on features such as sound leakage and battery life.


Bone conduction headphones are not that expensive, but the price range varies depending on the brand and features.

Entry-level bone conduction products may cost around $20-$50, while high-end models can cost upwards of $150. On the other hand, earbuds can range from $10 for basic models to over $250 for models with superb audio and active noise-cancellation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Bone Conduction Headphones Be Used Underwater?

Some bone conduction headphones are designed with water-resistance rating underwater compatibility in mind. They typically have internal music players and storage.

You can’t listen to apps like iTunes or Spotify from your phone as Bluetooth connection is inefficient underwater.

The sound is slightly muffled when you use these headsets underwater.

The best part is using the same earphone while running, cycling, and swimming.

Are Bone Conduction Headsets Safe For People With Hearing Aids?

Some hearing aids are designed to work with bone conduction headsets (in-the-ear ITE or invisible IIC hearing aids). If you have this type of hearing aid, you should be able to use these devices.

Some other types of hearing aids are more susceptible to interference from outside sources, including bone conduction devices. In these cases, using bone conduction may cause discomfort.

Do Open-Ear Headsets Have Active Noise-Cancellation Features?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. While these types of headsets allow you to hear your surroundings while still enjoying music or podcasts, they don’t offer any active noise cancellation effectiveness.

You need to use separate earplugs to block outside sounds with open-ear headsets.

How Long Does It Take To Get Used To Open-Ear Headphones?

It typically takes a few days to get used to bone conduction cans, as they are a unique alternative to traditional earbuds or over-ear running headphones.

The adjustment period is necessary because the sound travels through your cheekbones and jawbone instead of directly into your ears.

Once you become accustomed, you may find these pair of headsets more comfortable and safer for running since they allow you to hear ambient noise while still enjoying your music.

Can Open-Ear Headsets Be Used For Other Activities Besides Running?

Bone conduction headsets are not just for runners. They can be used for a myriad of activities!

Whether hiking in the mountains or biking through the city, the comfortable open-ear design gives you situational awareness while still enjoying your favorite tunes.

The Bottom Line

Bone conduction technology allows you to hear your surroundings while still enjoying music or podcasts, which can be important for safety during outdoor activities like running.

If sound quality and active noise cancellation are your top priority, a traditional headset may be a better option.

Pair of bone conduction headphones may be right for you if you listen to audiobooks or podcasts with less critical sound quality.

If comfort and safety are your priority, bone conduction may be your first choice.

Related: Bone conduction headphones pros & cons.

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