Bone conduction headphones are one of the hottest trending products in 2023, and for good reason. Thanks to leaps forward in battery life, signal strength, and sound quality, the time is right to buy.
That said, the Aussie wireless market is cluttered with cheap name brand knockoffs and dodgy internet sellers. Even well recognised brands are rushing to put out subpar product that is not worth your hard earned dollars. This is where we come in…
If you are thinking of purchasing new bone conduction or open ear headphones, our list (updated monthly) will help you make the best choice with a focus on sound and call quality, features, and overall value for your money.
Sonictrek Solo Pro 3: Editor’s pick for best bone conduction headphones – $159.99 at Mifo.com.au →
Where to buy the Sonictrek Solo Pro 3 bone conduction headphones in Australia
The best bone conduction earphones including commuting, the office, running, and all around gym use come from a brand that is new to Australia. But don’t let that scare you off, as these headphones are easily some of the best we have ever tested.
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So what makes the Sonictrek Solo Pro 3 the best all around bone conduction earphones?
- The best bone conduction headphones for active lifestyles, period. The Solo Pro 3 come with a bevy of features that improve the tasks of the day immensely, beginning with their form factor. Weighing in at just a few grams, the Solo Pro 3 headphones feel supremely comfortable, and easily wearable during a full day of activity. Further, once on it’s nearly impossible to get them to fall off. Readers may remember propensity to fall out was a major problem that prevented us from recommending Aftershockz in our last wireless review.
- Absurd battery life and durability. The Solo Pro 3 will play continuously for 7+ hours, a feat we tested over several days. Not only that, but the included USB-C charging cable offers rapid charging to restore hours of use in as little as 15 minutes. To boot, the headphones are built around a flexible, titanium alloy frame that retains shape even after being crushed or deformed. That’s welcome news as these headphones are meant to withstand the training regimen of professional athletes.
- Excellent sound with patented multi-point bone conduction technology. The Solo Pro 3 pack some of the best sound quality in any bone conduction headphones we have tested. Highs and mids are crisp, while bass is ample without being annoying. That’s particularly helpful if you prefer energetic tracks when pushing yourself to the limit.
- Australia-based customer support. We have been continuously disappointed with true wireless earbuds in the past, even from tech giants like Samsung. Part of that disappointment comes with poor or absent customer service. We tested Sonictrek on several occasions with questions and every time received proper replies within an hour. That demonstrates commitment to Australian market and contributes greatly to our award of Editor’s Pick.
AfterShokz Aeropex: Solid but pricey bone conduction headphones – $249.00 at Amazon.com.au →
Where to buy the Aftershockz Aeropex bone conduction headphones in Australia
If you aren’t price sensitive, Aftershockz may be the brand for you. These wireless bone conduction headphones come with fewer accessories than the Sonictrek Solo Pro 2, but offer a more generalist approach to the format.
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Why Aftershockz makes the list of best bone conduction earbuds for sports
- Good overall quality for bone conduction headphones. Since bone conduction headphones were invented, we have lamented at poor signal quality, dropped calls, and pairing fiascos. Aftershockz include top quality chipsets and firmware, and we can recommend the overall experience from unboxing to first use.
- Excellent marks for sound quality. While bass isn’t as rich as the Sonitrek Solo Pro 2, the overall high and low tones of the Aeropex are quite good. We’ll leave it to you to determine if they sound $250 good. The rigid frame is a hit or miss for sound quality, and the temple pads must align and make close skin contact to transmit sound. In some cases, the frame was too tight or too loose.
- Robust features for calling. Aftershockz include dual microphones and inbuilt noise canceling software for calls. While not perfect, these features are nice when making calls throughout the day. While this solution is not likely to replace purpose built options for phone calls, it does add something valuable to the kit.
Bose Sport Open: Hybrid bone conduction earphones that live up to the Bose name – $299.00 at Amazon.com.au →
Where to buy the Bose Sport Open earbuds in Australia
Bose has delved into the wireless bone conduction category by focusing on sports. And while the Sport Open are an excellent first product, it suffers from an odd hybrid positioning between true wireless earbuds and bone conduction headphones, costing Bose a higher position in our list.
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Why Bose gets our approval for the gym
- Great sound that comes at a cost. While Bose has engineered a product that is indeed worthy of the name, it does come at a cost. Reduced battery life due to form factor hurt the product and age it to the first generation of bone conduction headphones. Which brings us to the next point…
- Hybrid earbuds form factor instead of headphones. Bose have come up with a truly unique design concept, and seemingly pulled it off. But all is not as it appears. The reliance on a true wireless form factor means the earbuds rest somewhat uncomfortably on top of the ears, rather than distributing weight and pressure around the head a la Aftershockz and Sonitrek. This can create pain and irritation when wearing for longer periods of time.
- Built for sports, but may not work for you. Whilst the Sport Open is for active movement we find it bulky. If you have smaller ears, you may experience some discomfort or a feeling that the earbuds may fall out. That’s not particularly reassuring when you are trying to focus on your workout.
Runners-up: Best Bone Conduction Headphones
There are many, many bone conduction headphones in the Australian market. And while we attempt to test as many as possible for our readers, some units simply don’t make the cut. Here’s a quick peek at headphones that didn’t make the list.
Aftershockz Trekz Air – $169.00 at Amazon.com.au →
Aftershockz second entry into our list doesn’t quite make the cut due to poor sound quality, an ancient Bluetooth 4.2 chipset, and overall low marks for comfort relative to their newer Aeropex model. But for the bargain hunter the Trekz Air does carry a reduced cost, and could be an option if the Aftershockz name is a must have.
VJJB Bone Conduction Headphones – $99.00 at Amazon.com.au →
VJJB offers bone conduction sound, but the sound quality, feature set, and customer support are casual at best. This brand does not have a long track record in the Australian market, and could use another year or two to work before it deserves of your hard earned dollars.
Bone Conduction Questions And Answers
In this section, our Aussie tech experts answer your questions on bone conduction headphones.
What is the point of bone conduction headphones?
Bone conduction headphones use vibration to send sound to your inner ear without the pain of having an earbud poking into your ear canal or having to wear over ear headphones. Bone conduction technology has been around for decades, and is a growing popular alternative to traditional earphones.
Do bone conduction headphones sound better?
Bone conduction headphones sound the same as traditional earbuds or headphones, with one difference. Bass is not as powerful with bone conduction headphones, because bass requires air to send properly. That means only traditional earbuds or headphones can provide the full bass experience you are used to.
What are the disadvantages of bone conduction headphones?
Bone conduction headphones have a few limitations compared to traditional earphones. First, bone conduction headphones cannot make bass as strong as traditional headphones or earbuds. Second, bone conduction headphones must be fitted firmly to the head, which some may find uncomfortable.
Do bone conduction headphones damage your hearing?
Bone conduction headphones do not damage your hearing. This is because they use vibration, rather than air-based sound waves. Ear damage is caused by powerful sound waves vibrating the eardrum. Because bone conduction headphones do not transmit through the air, the ear drum is not affected.