Did you know that the average 19-to-29 year old uses headphones for nearly eight hours each week? 30 to 79-year-olds are close behind, averaging a little over five hours of headphone usage per week.
If you are a daily earphone user, you have probably tried all the new technologies out there, from wireless earbuds to bone conduction devices. But have you heard of open ear headphones?
Open ear headphones use air conduction technology to deliver sound in a cutting-edge way. Their open ear design allows you to hear ambient noise, so you can stay safe during outdoor activities.
What are the various types of open ear headphones, and which is right for your lifestyle? This guide explains the pros and cons of this new headphone technology. Read on to get all your questions answered.
What Are Open Ear Headphones?
Open ear headphones are a unique new way to listen to music without plugging the ear canal. They come in two varieties: those using bone conduction technology and those using air conduction technology (more on the difference in a moment).
You may have come across people using open ear headphones and not realized what they were. These devices resemble hearing aids. They feature an earbud-like speaker that fits over and then wraps around the ear.
One of the biggest benefits of open ear headphones is that they allow you to remain aware of your surroundings. They are also suitable for people with sensitive ears or who don't like putting things in their ear canals.
Another benefit of the open ear design is that it won't heat up or put pressure on sensitive ears. For many people, these traits make open ear headphones far superior to traditional options.
How Do Open Ear Headphones Work?
Many open ear headphones work via air conduction technology. The majority of hearing aids also use this technology. It works by delivering sound waves into the air around the ear.
When the sound waves travel from the air into the ear canal, they produce vibrations in the eardrum. These vibrations pass through the tiny bones in the middle ear before being sent to the cochlea.
The cochlea is a hollow bone located in the inner ear. Its role in hearing is to transform physical vibrations into electrical impulses. These electrical impulses travel to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.
Air Conduction vs. Bone Conduction Technology
Open ear headphones can also work via bone conduction technology, which is similar. The important difference between the two comes down to how and where sound is delivered to the ear.
With bone conduction technology, sound is not delivered into the outer ear. Instead, the vibrations go straight to the bones of the middle ear. The middle ear sends these sound vibrations to the cochlea of the inner ear.
Once bone conduction sound waves reach the cochlea, they work identically to air conduction sound waves. In other words, the cochlea turns them into electrical impulses, which the brain perceives as sound.
Are Air or Bone Conduction Headphones Better?
Air conduction headphones are better in terms of sound quality and comfort. While bone conduction technology is narrowly better for keeping the wearer aware of their surroundings, air conduction technology is not far behind.
Ultimately, most people go with air conduction headphones. Here's why.
Air Conduction Technology Produces Better Audio
Air conduction headphones are better in terms of sound quality. They deliver a richer, more earbud-like sound with clearer output and a wider range of frequencies, especially in the lower base notes.
Many people do not prefer bone conduction headphones because they don't transmit base as well and tend to be lower in volume. Many people describe bone-conducted sounds as thinner and quieter.
Bone Conduction Headphones Do Not Block Ambient Sound
Bone and air conduction headphones are desirable because they do not block ambient sound from reaching the ear canal. However, bone conduction headphones are slightly superior in this regard.
That's because bone conduction technology sits on the bones around the ear. Compare them to air conduction headphones, which have to sit closer to the ear canal to ensure they can pick up sound waves in the air.
Even though they sit closer to the ear, air conduction headphones still leave the ear canal unblocked, just not to the extent bone conduction headphones do.
Air Conduction Headphones Cause Less Discomfort
Another area where air conduction headphones shine is in the comfort department. Air conduction technology more closely mimics the way our ears hear naturally and how traditional earbuds and headphones work.
Bone conduction earphones are known for their lightweight and comfortable feel. But on the other hand, many people report discomfort from bone conduction headphone vibrations, a problem air conduction tech doesn't have.
Pros and Cons of Open Ear Headphones
Many people switch to open ear headphones and never look back, but they are not for everyone. Browse the following list of pros and cons to discover if this technology is right for your lifestyle.
Pro: Open Ear Headphones Offer a Rich Sound Experience
When it comes to audio experience, not all open ear headphones are created equal. Recall that we mentioned that one of the biggest complaints about bone-conducting headphones is that they produce thin sound.
Open ear air conduction headphones fix this problem. Users can enjoy a deep, rich bass sound that better mimics the audio experience you are used to with traditional headphones and earbuds.
Con: Improperly Used Open Ear Headphones Harm Hearing
One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, 'Are open back headphones better for your ears?' While they will reduce pressure on the ear, making them more comfortable, open ear headphones won't prevent hearing damage.
Listening to music at too high a volume can potentially harm your hearing, whether you use open ear headphones or not. When comparing bone vs. air conduction open ear headphones, the former may be safer. That's because the ears are more sensitive to sound conducted via air than bone.
To avoid this issue, always listen to music at a reasonable volume. As the age-old saying goes, if someone else can hear your music, it's probably too loud.
Pro: Open Ear Headphones Are Safer for Outdoor Listening
There are a few ways to interpret the question, 'Are open ear headphones safe?' As we just mentioned, open ear headphones can still damage your hearing if you use them improperly.
The area where this technology shines in terms of safety is their open ear design. If you run, cycle, or walk outdoors at night or during heavy traffic, these headphones will keep you safe by improving spatial awareness of your surroundings.
Additionally, open ear headphones are safer to sleep in. They reduce pressure on the ears and allow you to hear sounds in your environment, so you can still hear intruders, fire alarms, and other critical alerts.
Con: Open Ear Headphones Leak Sound
Because open ear headphones are not enclosed, other people may hear your music. Like other headphones, the sound leakage is worse at higher volumes. Unlike other headphones, sound leakage can still happen at lower volumes.
Air conduction open ear headphones tend to leak more sound than those using bone conduction technology. Your music may seem very loud and audible to people around you when using air conduction headphones.
Pro: Open Ear Headphones Are Comfortable to Wear
Open ear headphones are extremely lightweight, especially compared to classic headphones worn over the ear. People who experience pressure or pain from these types of headphones can greatly benefit from open ear options.
Earbuds don't always cause the same pressure to the ears. But if the ear tip does not fit correctly or is oversized, it may cause strain and discomfort. Open ear headphones avoid these issues because they fit over, not in, your ear canal.
Con: Open Ear Headphones Lack Sound Isolation
The ability to hear ambient sounds while wearing open ear headphones is a pro for many people. But if you enjoy the escapism headphones and earbuds offer, the lack of sound isolation of open-ear headphones could be a downside for you.
When listening to music, audiobooks, or podcasts with open ear headphones, sounds in your environment may drown out the audio, especially if you are in a noisy area.
Avoid turning up your open ear headphones in situations like these. Remember that even though these headphones are safer for your ears in many ways, listening to sound at high volumes can still damage your hearing.
Pro: Open Ear Headphones Are More Sanitary
Have you ever removed your in-ear headphones and found wax buildup all over the earbud? If so, you aren't alone. This is an unfortunate and gross but common experience when wearing these devices.
Open ear headphones offer a far more sanitary listening experience. You do not have to place them in your ear canal. This can also protect the sensitive skin of your ear canal from abrasions, which may lead to infection.
Baseus Eli Sport 1 Open Ear Headphones
Are you searching for the best place to buy open ear headphones? Baseus is your one source for all your audio needs. We offer a range of products, from classic audio devices to cutting-edge open ear options.
The Baseus Eli Sport 1 is the perfect entry point to the open ear headphones category. They offer a high-quality design and competitive functionality.
Here's why you should consider buying our new Eli Sport 1 Open Ear Headphones.
Open Ear Design
The Eli Sport 1 features a lightweight open ear design. Weighing in at only 85 grams, these headphones feature a soft silicone behind-the-ear hook to reduce friction against your skin.
The driver fits over your tragus and is perfectly balanced with the ear hook weight to ensure the ultimate comfort for even the most sensitive ears.
AI-Enabled Noise Reduction
Some open ear headphones make it difficult to enjoy your audio in crowded spaces. With our AI-enabled noise reduction technology, you never have to stress about ambient sound drowning out your music again.
Air Conduction Technology
Our Eli Sport 1 utilizes air conduction technology to reduce discomfort caused by alternatives with bone conduction technology. You'll enjoy a richer audio experience on par with traditional earbuds and over-the-ear headphones.
They also feature low-frequency enhancement for a deep bass boost, no thin sounds allowed.
30-Hour Battery Life
With a 30-hour battery life, your Eli Sport 1 open ear headphones will last you all day and into the next. They also come with a free charging cable that enables Baseus' renowned rapid-charge capabilities.
The Eli Sport 1 has an IPX4 rating. They are water-resistant and able to withstand sweat, rain, and wipedowns with a damp cloth.
Avoid submerging your new open ear headphones, though, if you want them to stay in good operating condition.
Fluorescent Ear Hooks
One of our favorite design features on the Eli Sport 1 is its fluorescent ear hooks. The fluorescent silicone will absorb light during the day and re-emit it at nighttime, so you'll never have to stress about dropping your earphones in the dark again.
Three Elegant Colorways
Our attractive open ear headphones come in three colorways suited to every design preference.
Pick Cosmic Black for a sleek matte, all-black look, or go for Stellar White for a crisp and clean white-and-grey colorway. If you prefer to live life on the brighter side, go for the Aurora Green white, grey, and neon green colorway.
Baseus App Support
With any purchase from Baseus, you will enjoy complimentary access to our support app. There, you can link and manage all your Baseus electronic devices, purchase new products, and more.
Baseus Audio Devices and Electronics
Open ear headphones are the latest trend in earphone technology. The Baseus air conduction Eli Sport 1 Open Ear Headphones are the best choice for audio quality, durability, and affordability.
Are you searching for more affordable and high-quality audio devices? Baseus also sells wireless headphones and wireless earbuds at competitive prices you won't find elsewhere.
Browse our audio products today and take advantage of our savings!