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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]


Bone conduction products are usually categorized into three groups:

  • Ordinary products, such as hands-free headsets or headphones
  • Hearing aids and assistive listening devices
  • Specialized communication products (e.g. for underwater or high-noise environments)

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.[citation needed]

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.[6]

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.[7][8]

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. ^ Charles Arthur (2 July 2013). "Google Glass – hands-on review". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Catherine McMahon; Phillip Nakad (12 July 2013). "Bone conduction: the new front in guerilla advertising". The Conversation Australia. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  8. ^ 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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Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:52:30 -0700

At first glance they might look like any other wrap-around pair of headphones but closely inspected, Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa's (PMMAF) recently launched Bone Conduction headphones are much more refined and lightweight with ...


Tue, 10 Feb 2015 16:01:50 -0800

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Thu, 04 Jun 2015 09:28:36 -0700

Since the beginning of April, seven new patent applications by AT&T (NYSE: T) for bone conduction technology have been made public for the first time. The rapidly developing communication method sends vibrations through the human body to transfer data ...

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Thu, 07 May 2015 23:27:33 -0700

Rather than sound travelling as vibrations through the air and into your inner ear, it can be transmitted through the bones in your head. We ditched the old ear-buds and tried out bone conduction technology to suss out the advantages and disadvantages.

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Wed, 29 Apr 2015 05:45:00 -0700

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EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y., June 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- AfterShokz, (www.AfterShokz.com) the brand known for its unique open ear headphones and patented bone conduction technology, was awarded the Best In Show Award at CE Week 2015 in the ...


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