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A consumer stereo bone conduction headset. The two transducers fit slightly in front of the ears.

Bone conduction is the conduction of sound to the inner ear through the bones of the skull. Bone conduction transmission can be used with individuals with normal or impaired hearing.


Bone conduction is one reason why a person's voice sounds different to him/her when it is recorded and played back. Because the skull conducts lower frequencies better than air, people perceive their own voices to be lower and fuller than others do, and a recording of one's own voice frequently sounds higher than one expects it to sound.[1][2]

Musicians may use bone conduction while tuning stringed instruments to a tuning fork. After the fork starts vibrating placing it in the mouth with the stem between the back teeth ensures that one continues to hear the note via bone conduction, and both hands are free to do the tuning.[3]:6

Hearing aids[edit]

Some hearing aids employ bone conduction, achieving an effect equivalent to hearing directly by means of the ears. A headset is ergonomically positioned on the temple and cheek and the electromechanical transducer, which converts electric signals into mechanical vibrations, sends sound to the internal ear through the cranial bones. Likewise, a microphone can be used to record spoken sounds via bone conduction. The first description, in 1923, of a bone conduction hearing aid was Hugo Gernsback's "Osophone",[4] which he later elaborated on with his "Phonosone".[5]

After the discovery of Osseointegration around 1950 and its application to dentistry around 1965, it was noticed that implanted teeth conducted vibrations to the ear. As a result, bone anchored hearing aids were developed and implanted from 1977 on.


Bone conduction products are usually categorized into three groups:

One example of a specialized communication product is a bone conduction speaker that is used by scuba divers. The device is a rubber over-moulded, piezoelectric flexing disc that is approximately 40 millimetres (1.6 in) across and 6 millimetres (0.24 in) thick. A connecting cable is moulded into the disc, resulting in a tough, waterproof assembly. In use, the speaker is strapped against one of the dome-shaped bone protrusions behind the ear and the sound, which can be surprisingly clear and crisp, seems to come from inside the user's head.[6]

Use in the 21st century[edit]

The Google Glass device employs bone conduction technology for the relay of information to the user through a transducer that sits beside the user's ear. The use of bone conduction means that any vocal content that is received by the Glass user is nearly inaudible to outsiders.[7]

German broadcaster Sky Deutschland and advertising agency BBDO Germany collaborated on an advertising campaign that uses bone conduction that was premiered in Cannes, France at the International Festival of Creativity in June 2013. The "Talking Window" advertising concept uses bone conduction to transmit advertising to public transport passengers who lean their heads against glass train windows. Academics from Australia's Macquarie University suggested that, apart from not touching the window, passengers would need to use a dampening device that is made of material that would not transmit the vibration from the window.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zhi Cai; Alan G. Madsen; Douglas G. Richards; Martin L. Lenhardt (2002). "Response of Human Skull to Bone Conducted Sound in the Audiometric to Ultrasonic Range" (PDF). Response of Human Skull to Bone Conducted Sound in the Audiometric to Ultrasonic Range. Virginia Commonwealth University. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Brent Zupp (2003–2012). "Why Does Your Voice Sound Different on a Recording?". Wanderings. Brent Zupp. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Dan Fox (1996). Teach Yourself to Play Mandolin. Alfred Music Publishing. ISBN 9780739002865. Retrieved 3 July 2015. 
  4. ^ US 1521287, Gernsback, Hugo, "Acoustic Apparatus", published 19 May 1923, issued 30 December 1924 
  5. ^ Kennedy, T. R., Jr. (1958). "From Coherer to Spacistor" (PDF). Radio-Electronics (Gernsback Publications) 29 (4): 45–59. 
  6. ^ Banks, Lindsey. "Bone Conduction Headphones". Everyday Hearing. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  7. ^ Charles Arthur (2 July 2013). "Google Glass – hands-on review". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Catherine McMahon; Phillip Nakad (12 July 2013). "Bone conduction: the new front in guerilla advertising". The Conversation Australia. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Leo Kelion (3 July 2013). "Talking train window adverts tested by Sky Deutschland". BBC News. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_conduction — Please support Wikipedia.
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14323 news items

The Indian Express

The Indian Express
Sat, 03 Oct 2015 23:05:51 -0700

While our regular headphones try to cut the sound around us by using noise-cancelling technique, the bone-conduction technology used in Batband actually lets users hear the sound around them without hindering the music that's actually playing since the ...


Fri, 25 Sep 2015 09:07:30 -0700

Long bike rides are an easy way to burn calories without terrorizing your knees, but it helps to have some tunes to keep things fun. My rides usually take me through bustling urban streets and isolated stretches of waterfront, so pumping out a ...
Mon, 28 Sep 2015 08:11:15 -0700

Marsboy bone conduction headphones transmit sound at a frequency that can be conducted through the bones of the skull. The headphone pads sit on your cheekbones and the sound quality is not compromised too much if the pads are on the hair.
Digital Trends
Wed, 16 Sep 2015 09:04:25 -0700

This new “bone conduction” headphone from London-based StudioBananaThings doesn't rest near your ear. While other bone-conduction headphones, like the Aftershokz, rest in front of your outer ear to transmit vibrations through a bone in your head, ...


Fri, 11 Sep 2015 13:19:29 -0700

The Batband isn't the only bone-conduction headphone set currently raising money via crowdfunding. AfterShokz has been in the market making audio gear with this tech for several years and is now running an Indiegogo project for its new Trekz set. If ...

The Gadgeteer

The Gadgeteer
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 10:54:59 -0700

Recently, I've been trying to put more of an effort into working out and exercising. Like many other activities I do, I won't even consider exercising without having music or TV playing in the background. My house is littered with wired earbuds, but ...


Thu, 10 Sep 2015 10:09:50 -0700

BAE Systems is in the process of developing bone conduction technology for use by soldiers on the battlefield. The helmet-based system will leverage the same basic technology as that found in commercial bone amplifying headphones, and should have the ...


Tue, 15 Sep 2015 05:00:00 -0700

The prototype system is designed to improve soldier safety and drive mission success by harnessing the body's natural ability to transmit sound through bone conduction, transferring messages directly from the soldier's helmet to the inner ear. It is ...

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