I still remember my excitement when the first 1GB hard drives went on sale. These new drives represented an incredible breakthrough, allowing home computers to run extremely sophisticated programs and games.
Although this thrilling technical advance is well in the past, I refer to the incident because my new bone-conduction headphones are fitted, almost as an afterthought, with a drive capable of storing 16GB of music.
This set of headphones weighs 1.2 ounces and is mainly composed of smooth black plastic.
A thin, flexible titanium wire neckband fits loosely around the back of the wearer’s neck. Connected to each end of the neckband are small modules that house the headphones’ batteries and electronic components.
The module behind the user’s left ear is fitted with the device’s charging point as well as its power, mode, and volume controls.
A short and solid extension protrudes from these modules, looping over the top of the wearer’s ears and terminating in a bone conduction transducer. The Heyplus’s transducers push gently against the user’s cheekbones, just forward of their ears.
This device can play music from a connected phone using Bluetooth or its internal 16GB storage. The package contains headphones, a charging cable, and a user guide.
- Brand: Heyplus
- Model: E2201
- Type: Boneless conduction
- Weight: 34 grams (1.2 ounce)
- Battery: 180 mAh li-ion
- Charging time: 2 hours
- Playtime: 5 hours
- Bluetooth version: 5.0
- Bluetooth chip: Lanxun 5335
- Transmission distance: 10 meters (32 feet)
- Frequency range: 20hz – 20khz
- Compatibility: Android and iOS
- Onboard storage: 16GB
- Water resistance: IP67
Bone Conduction Fundamentals
These devices create sound waves that can be deciphered by the inner ear rather than relayed by the eardrum.
The headphone’s transducers sit atop the wearer’s cheekbones just forward of their ears. As they vibrate, the cheek, jaw, and skull bones transmit these pulses to the inner ear, where the information is translated and directed to the auditory nerves and brain.
Because the wearer’s ears are completely unobstructed, surrounding sounds can be clearly heard. Those that jog along busy streets while listening to music will appreciate the ability to detect warning shouts or engine noise.
Due to their lightweight construction and transducer placement, bone-conduction headphones are significantly more comfortable than earbuds or over-ear headphones. And, unlike earbuds, they will not become caked with earwax.
Bone-conduction headphones will remain securely in place during sporting activities. Although the lack of noise cancellation will slightly detract from the wearer’s enjoyment of their music, they will be aware of everything that happens around them.
Comparing Earbuds, Bone Conduction, and Over-Ear Headphones
While bone-conduction headsets reproduce music well, a quality set of earbuds can take advantage of the unique capability of the wearer’s eardrums, producing a fuller and more immersive sound. This is further aided by the earbud’s tendency to block outside distractions.
Over-ear headphones represent an even better option for indoor use. These devices, like earbuds, emit sound vibrations that are echoed by the wearer’s eardrums and fed onward to their inner ears. The vibrations are then converted to a signal that can be sent along the auditory nerve to the listener’s brain.
Because over-ear headphones are fitted with soft foam cushions held in place by the pressure of a headband, they are significantly more comfortable than earbuds. Often, these devices are equipped with a noise-canceling system that completely isolates the wearer from outside sounds.
Those who listen to music indoors will be best served with a good set of over-ear Bluetooth headphones. If, however, the cost is a concern, a decent set of earbuds presents an attractive option.
Bone-conduction headphones are the only realistic option for listening to music outdoors. While their sound output does not quite meet the high standards of a quality over-ear headset, the wearer will be fully aware of the surrounding sounds. And that is important if you are out on a run along a busy street.
The Indoor Test
I paired the Heyplus bone conduction headphones to my phone and used Amazon Music to play a selection of country music.
While the music was reproduced accurately, the nearby and extremely noisy air purifier detracted from my enjoyment. The situation significantly improved as I exited the kitchen and wandered throughout the house.
My Bluetooth connection proved excellent, waning only when blocked by several walls as I entered my front porch.
Overall, the experience was good, but I prefer wearing my over-ear headphones inside the house.
The Outdoor Test
During this test, I abandoned my phone, relying on a large selection of MP3 music files I had preloaded to the headphones.
To enter this mode, I double-clicked the device’s power button much as I would double-click a mouse. Once in this mode, I could adjust the volume with a quick click of the plus or minus buttons. A longer press allowed me to replay the previous song or skip to the next.
I experimented, constantly adjusting my speed while nodding and shaking my head vigorously. The headphone set remained in place, its transducers maintaining comfortable contact with my cheekbones.
Because this device does not obstruct outside noise, I could easily gossip with my neighbors and keep an ear open for oncoming traffic.
The Heyplus bone conduction headphones appear to be the perfect device to wear outdoors, especially during sporting activities or in high-traffic areas.
If you are relaxing in your living room, listening to your favorite music, nothing beats a set of quality over-ear headphones. When venturing outside, however, their superb noise isolation impedes the detection of surrounding sounds that might indicate danger.
Earbuds are, at best, a compromise. They reproduce music well but are typically uncomfortable and tend to fall out when you are engaged in vigorous activities.
The Heyplus bone conduction headphones are a great option when listening to music outdoors. Audio quality is decent, and the wearer is always conscious of what is happening around them. I should note, however, that bone-conduction headphones lack the sheer eardrum-shattering volume that some earbuds can produce.
This set of headphones remains in place when jogging, and I’ve found them comfortable during extended use. The Heyplus bone conduction headphones are an excellent option for those that love to play their music outdoors.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Walter Shillington