Open Ear Headphones is a technology which will protect your ears from ear canal damage and avoid hearing loss that are caused by in-ear headphones. It helps you stay aware of your surroundings by keeping you and your ears safe.
Open Ear Headphones generally function on either of the two technologies: Air Conduction & Bone Conduction.
Both the technologies will keep your ears open & safe but the working mechanism is very different. There is a slight difference in the outcome however both can are a perfect fit for open-ear headphones.
In Air conduction technology, sound waves travel through the air & into the ear canal which is the traditional way of listening to music. There is a micro speaker on both the sides from where sound is transmitted inside the ears without actually plugging in earphones. It uses the apparatus of the ears - (pinna, ear canal, tympanic membrane, and ossicles) to amplify and direct the sound.
Bone conduction on the other side uses vibrations that travel through the bones of the skull to reach the inner ear. They are designed for individuals with hearing impairments and for users who want a different listening experience. With Bone Conduction, eardrums bypass the sound and the headphones perform the role of your eardrums. These devices decode sound waves which are then converted into vibrations that can be received directly by the Cochlea thereby bypassing the eardrums.. The final sound reaches the ears as vibrations through the bones (or skull) and skin.
These are the major differences between the two technologies. One can feel vibrations at your cheekbones while using Bone conduction headphones and they keep on increasing as the volume is increased above 70%. This is not the case for Air Conduction headphones as it transmits sounds inside your ears like normal headphones / earphones. Hence if you are someone who can’t bear the vibrations, air conduction would work the best for you. On the other hand, if you have issue in hearing, bone conduction will help you experience music with ease due to its vibrational technology.