Bone Conduction For Headphones
Headphones used to mean an over the ear cup and large ones at that. Now it stands for earbuds as well, obviously being much smaller and fitting inside the ear as opposed to going over the ear. A lot of tech and development and advertising has gone into company’s touting the quality of their earbuds, but the one thing they all have in common is that they go into the ear canal. And so you get different types of fittings to hold the driver (speaker) in that earbud in the ear, as well as making an issue about how tight a fit the earbud has relative to its being placed in the ear. We’re talking about surface noise but also about the comfort of having something placed in the ear for hours at a time.
But there is another way that earbuds can play their music “into” the ear without actually going into the ear. It’s called bone conduction and as the name indicates, it’s where (to simplify) the sound the driver is making is actually going into the ear through the cheekbones. Obviously there’s frequencies being driven through the bone but also obviously it’s not dangerous or nobody could get away with making a bone conduction headphones. Which are being made and wirelessly too, using Bluetooth like a conventional in the ear headphones would do.
But for the second disregarding all of the other advantages that bone conduction has over in the ear, one thing it doesn’t excel at is keeping the price reasonable. That is, at least, until HAYLOU came along to make their PurFree BC01 Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones available.
Design and Tech
Now it’s obvious that bone conduction is what makes the BC01 stand out, but let’s start with the design and follow that with the other, more conventional technology that these headphones have. For one thing, the BC01 isn’t two small independent earbuds, but instead is a connected cable with a sort of pad at each end: this “pad” lies flat against the front of the ear and is easy to navigate to put on. Because of the size of the BC01 — there not needing to be a tiny battery in each earbud — battery size can be big enough for the bone conduction/related tech to provide up to 8 hours of listening time. And that includes the dual-mic call noise cancelation that goes into effect when making/taking calls. As far as nice times go, it’s Bluetooth 5.2, so the latest iteration of Bluetooth is in effect for a more stable and better resolution signal than earlier iterations. Also IP67 so sweat and mild water interruptions won’t cause problems, but avoid showering with it on or doing some kind of Rom-Com scene in the rain without a hat on.
How It Works
So now to the nitty gritty of how it sounds. Putting in on (after having used the magnetically connected to charge it up), controls are found via a series of buttons and yes, there’s voice assistant use as well. Obviously you need to pair it with your Bluetooth enabled audio source (phone, tablet, etc.) and a final nicety is that you can pair with two devices and so switch back and forth without having to do the whole pairing process.
So how does it sound, let’s start with what you don’t hear is any unusual hiss or hums (other than what might be on the audio source, especially if playing low resolution MP3 files) or anything that screams “bone conduction.” Besides this, also keep in mind that you can’t compare this to other earbuds based on the size of their drivers (speakers) because the BC01 doesn’t work that way. But getting back to how they sound, they sound good, better than good and playing classical where there’s strong bass as well as the higher frequencies it’s hard to find any complaints Of course some equalization effort can improve on what’s being heard, especially with hard rock or (gulp) heavy metal. Regardless of the kind of music you prefer, these headphones do the job.
HAYLOU’s PurFree BC01 are lightweight bone conduction headphones and easily cleaned (as a bonus, there's less invasive bacteria possibilities), plus it retails for under $100 — yet that doesn’t seem to compromise on the specialized technology or the quality of the sound. For more details go to https://www.haylou.com/