Bone conduction headphones deliver audio through vibrations sent to the cheek and jaw bones rather than the eardrums. They have transducer panels that rest in front of the ears and transmit sound waves via bone vibration when placed against the face.
This allows you to listen to music or take calls while still being able to hear ambient noises and surroundings for awareness.
The technology was originally used for hearing aids but is now used by sports headphones brands like AfterShokz and for specialty occupations.
Benefits include open-ear listening, situational awareness, less sound leakage, and the unique vibration-based audio experience. Bone conduction headphones are ideal for running, biking, hiking and applications where hearing your environment is important for safety.
Limitations include less powerful bass than regular headphones and some may dislike the buzzing sensation on their cheekbones. Wireless Bluetooth-enabled options provide the most freedom.