Bone conducting headphones

I usually listen to audio-books on my phone by inverting the phone (so speaker upwards ) in my shirt or jacket pocket and listen to stories.

It has a few issues:

  1. sometimes the stories are recorded quietly and there is no way to boost the sound so you’d carry the phone near your ear
  2. It distracts and annoys people around you
  3. when driving the engine noise is louder than the story, so its hard to enjoy the story. On long distances I have the phone wedged in my shoulder under my jacket.
  4. On the beach you have to put your arm up to reflect the sound so you can hear as background noise sometimes overwhelms the sound.

So there is a bit of frustration with listening to audio-books.

Zoe has given me some Headphones that are bone conducting. They are great. You can hear the story you are listening to as well as hearing surrounding environmental sounds.

Earbuds and headphones I generally do not like. they irritate my ears and cause me discomfort for a few days. I prefer to use the phones speaker to listen to stories. This method does not irritate my ears. But there are negatives as discussed above

Bone conducting headphones

The headphones are AfterShokz Air and they are older headphones , but I really love the idea of them. They give high quality sound and you can hear what is going on around you.

I’ve just broken my phone ( a howya, after 3 years) and bought an Oppo A91, it pairs with the headphones as well as the car Bluetooth sound system (the Howya didn’t) so that is good. Maybe I needed a more powerful phone, but all is working now.

Zoe’s friend commented that the Chinese phones fail quicker, but was surprised when I said that the one phone that lasted me 3 years was the Chinese phone.

So suddenly I have access to playing audio books in the car (pairing with the car system) and also with the bone conducting headphones.

The headphones are more transportable in that once paired you can continuously listen to them, so you don’t have to re-pair with car and headphones, but I presume that the batteries will run down more quickly.

I do like that:

  1. You can listen to audio-books without distracting people around you
  2. The sound quality is sufficient that you can hear the story
  3. You can switch ears by moving the headphone but forward/backward so main sound only coming from one direction. Stereo or Mono, but realistically you’d have both sides conducting.
  4. even with bone conductor sometimes surrounding sound still too loud
  5. It has button to allow you to stop the tape on the phone, so it pauses it, that is great, no fumbling for the phone app to pause it.

I wonder if it works when going to bed? I think they may be uncomfortable. I’ll give them a trial though, so as not to disturb the dog more than I have to.

Positives so far

  1. Continuity. I can listen to story at home and walk to car and drive and at beach the story continuous and the sound quality is consistent
  2. Not as irritating to surrounding people
  3. After pairing the sound quality is better than I’d get with just the speaker for the phone
  4. It has button to allow you to stop the tape on the phone, so it pauses it, that is great, no fumbling for the phone app to pause it.
  5. Apparently waterproof so handy on a rainy day walking dog.

They work with glasses and hat too. That was a nuisance with headphones normally in that they interfere with wearing a hat.

Negatives so far

  1. Ears are irritated even though head phones do not cover ears
  2. Sea noise is still overwhelming story , you put on loud and they vibrate on side of head.
  3. Discomfort of headphones, something that I’ll have to try and get used to
  4. I’m still trying to figure out the charging. They are supposed to last for 6 hours. It needs a road test.

Controls on head phone

On the left earphone there is a button,. If you press it it stops the connection between phone//headphones, so stops audiobook. That is handy

On the RIGHT headphone, further back is the volume control, so you can make louder or quieter.

End comment

I’m new to the headphones and am enjoying the use of them. They don’t irritate my ears as they are in front of them. I need to use them more and get used to having them on my head.