Author Topic: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice  (Read 1304 times)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« on: August 28, 2020, 10:29:09 am »
I have a friend who is blind and uses voice assistance on his phone, and computer software that speaks the menus etc.

He is struggling with Zoom calls and similar because of the multiple sound sources. Over ear or in ear devices don't work because they block sound from the other devices and from people round about. He is wondering if bone conduction is the way to go, and if so, what advice does anyone here have?

Thanks!
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2020, 10:50:40 am »
I am not sure I quite understand his problem but my thoughts are:

Over the ear headphones can be opn, closed or semi-open. Maybe he was using closed headphones. If so, it might be worth trying open headphones as they will block less sound (in both directions).

I have both in-ear buds that have the soft rubber end that really is like a plug in that it doesa good job of being sealed in my ears, sort of an equivalent of closed headphones. I also have a type of earbud with no rubber piece and that behaves much more like a pair of open headphones. Because these do not plug into the ear they have a necessary loop that hooks over the ear. Has your friend tried a pair like this?

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2020, 11:55:23 am »
One for Barakta I suspect.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2020, 12:00:26 pm »
If using the in ear type (earbuds), try using just one in one ear leaving the other ear "clear".

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2020, 12:23:04 pm »
Or you can get earphones with a 'pass through' or 'ambient' mode. ie they use a microphone to listen to the surroundings, and play that through the earphones.

eg Jabra. https://www.jabra.co.uk/bluetooth-headsets/jabra-elite-active-75t

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2020, 12:24:08 pm »
One for Barakta I suspect.

She has borg implants that work far better than skin-contact bone conduction, but tend to get in the way of bone-conduction headphones.  Also, most headphones simply aren't loud enough for her.


Anyway, have a look at https://aftershokz.co.uk/ - I tried a friend's set (I don't know which model) and I was quite impressed.  The transducer sits in front of the ear, rather than over the mastoid, which allows high frequencies to reach the ear by air conduction (pure bone conduction through skin has poor HF response), while leaving the ear unencumbered.  Ideal for general computer audio, but not loud enough for noisy environments (eg. in traffic noise).

(Barakta could only get them to work by holding the transducers against her abutments, unfortunately.  I believe they sounded quite good, but that's not hard given the way her BAHA mangles external audio.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2020, 12:25:20 pm »
I think the issue is that for him, as I suspect for many blind people, his ears are of utmost importance. Pass trough and open back headphones interfere with that.

(x posted with Kim - thanks Kim, I've passed on the https://aftershokz.co.uk website to him.)
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2020, 12:44:16 pm »
I am profoundly deaf in one ear. The other is excellent. I have a pair of Aftershokz - I bought them for running, but found that for my hearing issues they make listening to music and podcasts much easier and more pleasant - it’s almost like being able to hear in stereo again.

But presumably (since you’ve not said said anything to the contrary) this guy’s hearing is normal. So deaf/HoH people aren’t necessarily the best people to comment!

I do find that the hearing in my good ear means that loud noises like traffic swamp the sound from the Aftershokz. This can be desirable of course (it’s why they’re often legal in running races, where in/over ear headphones have been banned for a while). But it may mean that he will still find it tough to deal with multiple sources of sound.

On the whole I’d say give it a try but don’t expect miracles. Might be good if you can borrow a set, a lot of runners own them.

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2020, 01:09:43 pm »
I've had some aftershokz for a couple of years, whatever the top model was at the time, though there'll be better now.  Main use is for navigation while deliverooing and listening to music or podcasts in the quite bits between jobs. I like them, comfortable, clear, long run time, quick charge,  always connect instantly to my phone.  Nothing to dislike, though I'm with road-runner in not really understanding your friends problem.  At home I prefer open headphones and I'm not sure there's any difference in the ability to hear what else is going on. plus the headphones at around the same price have a nicer sound.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2020, 01:21:21 pm »
A skilled blind person will be able to conduct a telephone call while listening to high-speed Jaws jabbering at the same time[1], and maintaining situational awareness if people move around the room or whatever.  Anything that obstructs the pinna will impair your ability to localise sound, which makes this more difficult.  No, you probably don't notice the effect because you're only really listening to one audio source at a time, and using vision to supplement your directional hearing.


[1] Barakta had a colleague who would do this using a normal headset with a mixer to combine the audio from various sources, in an office with a door.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2020, 01:25:38 pm »
I think the issue is that for him, as I suspect for many blind people, his ears are of utmost importance. Pass trough and open back headphones interfere with that.

(x posted with Kim - thanks Kim, I've passed on the https://aftershokz.co.uk website to him.)

I have no hearing issues and I have a pair of these because I occasionally want to ride or walk while listening without being shut off from the traffic.
They work well I find.
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2020, 07:01:58 pm »
I’ve ordered a pair with no real expectations. My tinnitus is the currently my biggest concern because it’s just swamping out everything so it’ll be interesting to see how they interact with that.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2020, 07:39:38 pm »
One reason that I don't run and never cycled with earphones is that I rely even more heavily on my hearing than the average sightie.  I have been considering the Aftershox bone conducting earphones as they leave the ear totally clear.  I haven't pressed the button yet but they are tempting. 

I prefer my Zoom calls on loudspeaker but clearly this will not work so well in an office or public environment.

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2020, 09:51:04 pm »
I’ve also got some aftershockz. I find they work fairly well for zoom, as I can still hear myself normally - my other headphones are closed, for blocking out the noisy office.
Downsides:
I have wired ones, and they have a habit of switching themselves off which is a bit annoying, so I use speakers when it won’t annoy others.
They can be a bit fatiguing, but that could be the calls.

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2020, 06:17:50 pm »
I think I may have asked this on an earlier thread, but does anyone gave experience of aftershockz with glasses and or hearing aids?
I've had a (small) bonus and would like some wireless earphones for running. At the moment I tend to run with Apple earbuds and no hearing aids, so the choice is wireless Apple or the aftershockz.

Comments?
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2020, 06:35:05 pm »
I think I may have asked this on an earlier thread, but does anyone gave experience of aftershockz with glasses and or hearing aids?
I've had a (small) bonus and would like some wireless earphones for running. At the moment I tend to run with Apple earbuds and no hearing aids, so the choice is wireless Apple or the aftershockz.

Comments?

If no-one else chips in, give me a few days, and my Aftershokz will be here (well, at work Monday or Tuesday, and I’ll try them on with my glasses and try and take some pics for you.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

sprogs

  • from your big sister, Steve.
Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2020, 06:38:08 pm »
I have a pair of Aftershockz and I think they are amazing ! I wear glasses and a wig so the pads are over part of the wig but the sound is still excellent.
Only downside I can think of is that others can hear them which is a bit unfair on trains or buses.

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2020, 07:25:01 pm »
I think I may have asked this on an earlier thread, but does anyone gave experience of aftershockz with glasses and or hearing aids?
I've had a (small) bonus and would like some wireless earphones for running. At the moment I tend to run with Apple earbuds and no hearing aids, so the choice is wireless Apple or the aftershockz.

Comments?

I wear glasses all of the time and have had no problems with the aftershockz
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2020, 07:54:58 pm »
When I had a go with my friend's Aftershokz, I tested them with my glasses on.  No issues, but I didn't try running in them.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2020, 04:38:31 pm »
I think I may have asked this on an earlier thread, but does anyone gave experience of aftershockz with glasses and or hearing aids?
I've had a (small) bonus and would like some wireless earphones for running. At the moment I tend to run with Apple earbuds and no hearing aids, so the choice is wireless Apple or the aftershockz.

Comments?

If no-one else chips in, give me a few days, and my Aftershokz will be here (well, at work Monday or Tuesday, and I’ll try them on with my glasses and try and take some pics for you.
Yes, please. That would be most useful. Thanks.
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2020, 04:45:21 pm »
More of an irritation than glasses (Which I have no problem with, other than sometimes when taking one or the other off) are over the ear masks, I keep getting mine tangled up.
Other than that, the loop behind your head can get knocked by a jacket with a high collar or hood, maybe only an issue when cycling an you look behind, I've pulled them out of place when doing so a few times, though it's not a big deal.

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2020, 05:01:15 pm »
I think I may have asked this on an earlier thread, but does anyone gave experience of aftershockz with glasses and or hearing aids?
I've had a (small) bonus and would like some wireless earphones for running. At the moment I tend to run with Apple earbuds and no hearing aids, so the choice is wireless Apple or the aftershockz.

Comments?

Yes, both (two hearing aids and specs). I started with a pair of Titanium, then moved on to a pair of the airs. I now have two pairs of these. Great for all day use, mobile use, video calls and listening to music. One little touted plus is the ability to connect to two sources so I have mine connected to my mac and my phone which makes it much easier if I am receiving calls and having to attend meetings.
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2020, 06:16:02 pm »
I have the Aftershokz Titanium and think they are great. I find closed headphones on a call are horrible, putting them on just one ear is uncomfortable and can be difficult to follow some speech.

But... I'm on my third set. The first failed after just under two years after hot weather (ok, very hot on tour, but they were on my head not roasting on a car dashboard or anything like that) and were replaced by the retailer. The second pair failed after just under two years, one side stopped working, and were replaced without quibble by the manufacturer. They didn't even want to see the old ones. So, top marks for customer service, but the quality of the product is a bit lacking.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2020, 08:14:25 pm »
I think I may have asked this on an earlier thread, but does anyone gave experience of aftershockz with glasses and or hearing aids?
I've had a (small) bonus and would like some wireless earphones for running. At the moment I tend to run with Apple earbuds and no hearing aids, so the choice is wireless Apple or the aftershockz.

Comments?

If no-one else chips in, give me a few days, and my Aftershokz will be here (well, at work Monday or Tuesday, and I’ll try them on with my glasses and try and take some pics for you.
Yes, please. That would be most useful. Thanks.

Aftershockz by Richard Fletcher, on Flickr

We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Bone conducting headphones - info/recommendations/advice
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2020, 11:07:51 am »
I've got some Aftershokz and they are good headphones.  I generally wear them when I am riding along with glasses and there is no clash.  They do get a bit uncomfortable after a while though (a few hours), pressing in on the bit of my head where they go, so I wouldn't want to wear them all day. 

My biggest issue with them for cycling is where to put them other than round my neck.  I took them on a 4-day tour last month and didn't use them, but couldn't find anywhere else to put them, so they stayed round my neck the whole time.