Raspberry Pi of Death Blog
By N. Leveck
Bone Conduction Headphones
Entered on Alphasmart Dana
So, here it is 2130 on New Year's eve (GMT-7). I received my pair of Sportz Titanium bone conduction headphones by AfterShokz tonight. I have them plugged into my recently purchased Chinese MP3 player, and have been listening to a large selection of Black Metal, Death Metal, and Hard Rock for several hours now. I was skeptical to the sound quality with there being no direct coverage of my ear canals. Well, that is not a problem as it turns out. There is a definite sweetspot for the transducers to be placed, but music is audible with one touching any place at all on your skull.
Normally, my ears turn painful after about an hour of wearing headphones, or earphones. I know I could likely re-pad my studio monitor headphones, but I would have to purchase the pads online and what if they were still not right? It seems like a pain in the butt. After a few hours use, my ears are not hurting. I can still hear all that is going on in my house (currently my wife, youngest daughter, and two of her friends milling about). This fact means I can get away with wearing them at work. Pretty damned cool.
These do need to be recharged, I read up on bone conductive headphones before purchasing and all the models not having an integrated amplifier had complaints of too little volume. There is a standard micro-USB port for charging, and the battery is rated at 12 hours of continuous play. The unit arrived at my home precharged, so I have not had to recharge them yet. So far, so good.
They seem mildly robust. However, if you carelessly toss them into a backpack and pile stuff on them, they will likely get damaged. Mindfulness will be required to ensure a long life.
I also purchased a braided leather lanyard to hang my MP3 player around my neck. This setup will allow my media player and headphone cable (yeah, I am not a fan of bluetooth headphones and opted for a wired model) to be concealed under my work clothing. Most of my job is performed in my office, but I can end up working on heavy equipment and so handily securing my music device was a consideration.
One thing to point out is that high decibel sound is also conducted through your skull, so in loud environments these are no better than conventional headphones for listening to music. Follow standard hearing preservation practices to ensure you do not acquire a temporary threshold shift and damage your hearing permanently (as I have already done through long term exposure to 12 cylinder industrial diesel engines).
Happy New Year, gopherspace!---