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"Bone Conduction Audio"-A new category of headphones on the streets lets listeners enjoy music without wear the headphones on the ears

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Published on - 28-Jul-2015 11:26 pm

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A new category of headphones on the streets lets listeners enjoy music without sacrificing situational awareness, and thus safety. The technology is called “bone conduction audio,” and takes advantage of the fact that our ears can “hear” sounds from inside our bodies — bypassing the traditional outer ear and eardrum — by picking up vibrations with our inner ear via our skull bones.

The "Cynaps Mint", by Max Virtual , is a 3-D-printed bone-conduction headset that fits within your choice of helmet, whether it’s made for cycling, motorcycling, snowboarding or another activity where your noggin needs protection. It works by pressing the two transducers (devices that create vibrations) to the sides of your head using the included headband or by mounting them inside the helmet. Because the transducers are wired to a combination battery pack and receiver, you can pair the device with any Bluetooth-capable audio player, like a smartphone. Want to take a call en route? There’s also an embedded microphone.

Compared to regular headphones, however, the sound falls a bit, well, flat. Freeman says the audio quality isn’t exactly “hi-fi”: Some of the high and low frequencies are lost with bone conduction. But when you also need to hear the outside world, sound quality is never going to be as pristine as with typical headphones.

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