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Do Bone Conduction Headphones Damage Your Hearing?

by Josh Koop | Last Updated:   7 months ago
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One of the concerns frequently asked online is do bone conduction headphones damage your hearing? This is most likely due to the technology being used and concerns that are frequently brought up about standard headphones when they are turned up far too loud when over your ears, so do bone conduction headphones damage your hearing?

Bone conduction headphones entirely bypass the eardrum, since they skip the eardrum they do not present a risk to that part of the ear, unlike standard headphones. This means the hearing concerns of standard headphones do not apply to bone conduction headphones.

Let’s jump into the possibilities of hearing issues when related to bone conduction headphones. While they are almost impossible it is never a bad thing to understand the possibilities to make sure you are always properly taking care of your ears as you only get one set.

Can Bone Conduction Headphones Damage Hearing?

Any sound which comes into your cochlea from stimulus always has the possibility to cause hearing damage, but this is far overblown in almost every post I read.

Since the biggest issue to your hearing being damaged is loud sound into your eardrums, bone conduction is one of the safest ways to hear do to not utilizing your eardrums, so are bone conduction headphones bad for your ears?

Bone conduction headphones are safer than traditional headphones due to their design and implementation. Since they aren’t driven air into your ears they have less chance to cause hearing issues directly related to your ear drum that normal headphones can cause when played too loud and long.

The largest portion of ear damage comes in on the eardrums when the standard headphones sit over your ear and push and pull air against your eardrums.

Anyone who uses bone conduction headphones or traditional air conduction headphones are at risk of cochlear damage. This is possible from all earphone types when over utilized and overused.

Just because an earphone uses bone conduction transducers doesn’t make them any safer for use by default, anyone who says so is selling something.

Any earphones, such as a bone conduction sound is still transduced in your cochlea just like standard air conducted sound.

Can Bone Conduction Headphones Cause Hearing Loss?

Most hearing loss is caused by long, continuous noise which is typical in a work environment featuring consistent noises like aircraft engines, jackhammers or similar loud and consistent noises.

MP3 player earphones are not capable of producing levels great enough to cause an eardrum perforation, so users would not be at risk of eardrum damage from any type of earphone.

Rather, listeners are at risk of cochlear damage from overuse of any type of earphone. The fact that these earphones use bone-conduction transducers does not inherently make them any safer than any other earphone, as bone-conducted sound is transduced by the cochlea similarly to air-conducted sound.

Cory Portnuff – AuD

Based on what the doctor states what you really want to manage is listening above 120db consistently and you will have no chance of issues.

Thankfully for most everyone portable devices like bone conduction headphones don’t typically have the ability to reach this level of sound.

Are Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones Really Not Harmful?

Now that you know they aren’t incredibly horrible for you we can move forward and discuss more about are bone conduction headphones safe for your ears?

While not harmful to your eardrums there is concern about possible issues with your cochlea should you listen at unsafe volumes. This doesn’t impact those who listen at normal volumes as the technology has been used for hearing aids from the 1970s making them long term tested and approved.

This will help you to understand that no headphones are truly 100% safe for you to use, any time you choose to run the volume at exceptionally loud volumes can damage the cochlea.

Final Thoughts on Do Bone Conduction Headphones Damage Your Hearing

Always remember you only have a single set of eardrums that you get for life and being safe around your hearing should always be something you keep in your mind.

Hopefully, we have helped you with your concerns today and gave you some reasons why you should look into bone conduction more, we offer many reviews over here.

Want a Pair?

Looking for the Best Bone Conduction Headphones, check out our Buyers Guide over here where we review what you need to know about your headphones prior to making your buying decision.