Bone conduction headphones are another way, besides traditional earbuds or headphones to listen to a device (music, videos, phone calls, etc.) without others hearing. If you have ever had your hearing tested by an audiologist, they typically test how well you can hear both through regular headphones and through bone conduction.
To understand how these devices work, we need a quick anatomy lesson. The pathway in which we hear sound is a complex system. Through normal headphones or earbuds, sound comes into the ear canal, then the soundwaves hit the eardrum which triggers the rest of the hearing pathway up to the brain. Bone conduction headphones vibrate the skull to create a soundwave in the hearing organ called the cochlea, that will then send the sound signal up the pathway to the brain.
Bone conduction headphones are particularly favorable for those who have trouble with traditional earbuds fitting in their ears. It is a common complaint that earbuds are not made for all shapes and sizes of ears. The bone conduction headphones sit in front of the ear, so they do not require a good fit to stay in the ear canals like earbuds. Many people find them more comfortable than earbuds and much smaller than headphones. They are also a great safety tool for people who exercise outside. People are able to listen to music through their bone conduction headphones while also hearing cars, people, animals, or other environmental sounds. Because the sound signal goes directly to the cochlea, some may say that the sound quality is improved. Bone conduction headphones are especially useful for people who have hearing loss due to an absence of an ear canal, issues with the eardrum, or other middle/outer ear pathology because they bypass the middle and outer ear portions of the hearing pathway.
Bone conduction headphones can be found and purchased many places and are comparable in price to other headphones. They can be bluetooth too for easy streaming as well. They can be found on amazon with a variety of brands, sizes, colors, and features.