It’s the *full* package.

On-ear, open-ear, noise-canceling, earbuds—with so many types of headphones out there, searching for the perfect pair can be a bit daunting. But there’s one type of headphones you may not have even heard of. (Sorry, that pun was just ready and waiting.) We’re talking about bone-conduction headphones, which deliver audio vibrations straight to your inner ear through the bones in your cheek and jaw. Pretty cool, right? To learn more, we spoke with licensed audiologist Ruth Reisman, AuD MBA CCC-A, about what they are and who they benefit. Plus, we rounded up seven of the best bone-conduction headphones to try for yourself.

The best bone conduction headphones, at a glance:

What are bone-conduction headphones, anyway?

Unlike traditional headphones, bone-conduction headphones bypass your ear canal and eardrum by sitting on top of your jaw and cheekbone and transmitting sound vibrations directly to your inner ear. They’re attached by a band that fits around your head. “Because all of the bones in the head are connected, when this area is vibrated the signal is transmitted directly to the inner ear,” Reisman says. “The inner ear structures vibrate in tandem with the vibrations of the skull emitted from the headphones.”

The benefits of bone conduction headphones

Folks are becoming increasingly aware of their hearing health, and the overuse of in-ear headphones is one of the main culprits for hearing issues. With that in mind, bone-conduction headphones have some serious perks. Reisman says there are four main benefits:

1. Open-ear design

If you have hearing loss that is caused by abnormalities of the outer or middle ear, but your inner ear still functions normally, bone conduction headphones may benefit you. “The sound will bypass any challenges that the outer or middle ear is experiencing,” explains Reisman. Not only can you mod

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