If years of cranking up your tunes to sky-high decibels are taking their toll, the electronics wizards at AfterShokz have created a better way to rock out by bypassing your eardrums completely. The Syracuse, NY-based company, which debuted a trio of headphones at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, uses bone-conduction technology to deliver sound waves directly to your inner ear. Because AfterShockz doesn’t drown out ambient noise like conventional earphones can, you’ll be able to carry on a conversation, pay attention to passing cars, or maintain awareness of your surroundings while your music plays, all while keeping the peace between you and your fellow man (or woman).
The Technology Behind AfterShokz
Powered by patent pending military special ops bone conduction technology, AfterShokz Bone Conduction Headphones offer consumers a more comfortable, healthier, and safer listening experience. Unlike conventional headphones and earbuds that use the eardrums to transmit sound, Aftershokz headphones sit comfortably in front of the ear and utilize bone conduction technology to deliver stereophonic sound through the listener’s cheekbones to the inner ear. This enables anyone participating in an activity – jogging, biking, skateboarding, hiking, gaming – to stay connected to both what they are listening to and the outside world.
How Bone Conduction Works
Most of what we hear is due to sound waves traveling through the air to the eardrum, which then converts the sound waves to vibrations and transmits them to the inner ear. Sound waves can also get to the inner ear through direct vibration of the bones in the head which carry the vibrations directly to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrums. This is how a person hears his or her own voice, and also how whales hear. This pathway of sound is known as
Ludwig van Beethoven, the 18th century composer who was almost completely deaf, tried a technique developed earlier by Giovanni Filippo Ingrassia and discovered he could hear music through his jawbone by biting a rod attached to his piano. The same principles of bone conduction are what make AfterShokz headphones work. (For more information on hearing and bone conduction.