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The History Of Bone Conduction Headphones

Yehudah Posnick

Since the 19th century, when telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell first encased a metal plate in rubber and placed it against his ear to transmit sound, bone conduction headphones have been helping people hear in difficult situations. Inventors and acoustical engineers have long known that activating the inner ear through the bones of the skull can provide an effective way to hear sound, even in very noisy environments.

During World War I, the first bone conduction headphones were introduced as a way for soldiers in the trenches to communicate with each other and with their superiors. The Geissler Tube, which was used for early radio transmissions, was adapted for use as a bone conduction headset. This early version was large and cumbersome, but it worked well enough that it was adopted for use by the military.

After the war, bone conduction headphones became more compact and were adopted for use in a variety of settings, including by pilots and air traffic controllers. In the 1970s, bone conduction headphones were introduced that could be worn around the neck, and these quickly became popular with athletes and others who needed to be able to hear clearly while engaging in activities that required use of their hands.

Today, bone conduction headphones are smaller and more comfortable than ever, and they are being used in a variety of settings, from industrial workplaces to classrooms. Increasingly, they are being used by people with hearing loss as a way to bring sound into the ear without having to wear a traditional hearing aid.

Bone conduction headphones work by vibrating the bones of the skull, which then transmit sound to the inner ear. This type of hearing aid does not require a mold of the ear canal, and it can be used with or without a hearing aid. Bone conduction headphones are comfortable to wear and are nearly invisible when worn.

If you are looking for a way to hear more clearly, without having to wear a bulky hearing aid, bone conduction headphones may be the right solution for you.