I have done a lot of experimenting with Headphones and Earbuds trying to find the perfect pair. I also have Tinnitus as I have discussed in previous blog articles. I don’t want to make the Tinnitus worse. Once I found Bone Conduction Headphones it made my life easier.
I listened to music in my Earphones and Ear Bud's way too loud for way too long. I used them mostly at the gym and on my motorcycle. I was also a Construction Project Manager around Large Commercial Hotel and Building projects. Over the years from hearing simple hammering nails and power saws, Life Safety Sirens being tested literally over my desk, to Jack Hammers and Heavy Equipment on a daily basis. You certainly don’t have to run it to hear it. You also had to be Osha 30 Certified so this was also always part of the training.
Bone Conduction Headphones do not sit in your ear canal because they ride on your cheekbones. They do not have better-sounding music than High-End Earphones and they are not as small and convenient as Ear Buds.
What Bone Conduction Headphones do have is an amazing ability to give you great sound while you can also hear the rest of the world. This is wonderful for so many things and in so many ways. This makes bone-conduction a great choice for so many activates and anyone who would like to enjoy Music or an Audiobook while staying alert and aware of their surroundings.
In 1972, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH published Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Noise. In 1998 new recommendations go beyond attempting to conserve hearing by focusing on preventing occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)
The NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit is 85 decibels in 8-hr time-weighted average (85 dBA as an 8-hr Time Weighted Average). Exposures at and above this level are considered hazardous.
Due to their open ear design, Bone Conduction Headphones may be helpful for anyone with Sensorineural, Conductive, or Mixed Hearing Loss and anyone who wears hearing aids. They are also potentially helpful for Tinnitus sufferers as they allow ambient sounds to enter the ear canal and may effectively act as a masking solution for individuals suffering from this condition.
Dr. Lindsay Bondurant, director of the Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI), uses these devices personally. She says along with outdoor activities, bone conduction headphones are useful for swimmers, snorkelers or scuba diving enthusiasts also.
“I wear my bone conduction headphones while swimming - because these devices work using vibration, they’re great for use underwater,” said Dr. Bondurant.
While they have several safety and design advantages over traditional headphones, bone-conduction headphones can still damage hearing when music or sound is played at high volumes.
According to the ATA the American Tinnitus Association, Sensorineural hearing loss is commonly accompanied by tinnitus. Some researchers believe that subjective tinnitus cannot exist without some prior damage to the auditory system. The underlying hearing loss can be the result of:
When you have tinnitus -- or ringing in your ears -- many things can make those sounds worse. One of the most obvious is noise. Loud sounds from things like machinery, headphones, and concerts can cause short-term ringing or permanent hearing loss. Do what you can to avoid it. Move farther away. Wear earplugs. Turn down the volume. Don’t forget to protect kids’ ears, too.
On the website Kidshealth.org, Dr. Danielle Inverso says “Believe it or not, earbuds can damage your hearing in the same way that things like chainsaws and motorcycles can. That may seem weird because earbuds are so small. But the damage is all in the volume.
Chainsaws and motorcycle engines create about 100 decibels of sound. That much sound can start to damage a person's ears after less than half an hour. An MP3 player at 70% of its top volume is about 85 decibels. Turning the volume up and listening for long periods of time can put you in real danger of permanent hearing loss.
Hearing loss from earbuds is an example of a condition called noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). This kind of hearing loss is becoming more of a problem among kids and teens.”
According to the Hearing Journal “Vibratory technology such as bone-conduction hearing aids can overcome a conductive hearing loss in some hearing-impaired listeners who, for various reasons, receive limited benefit from conventional air-conduction hearing aids. These reasons include the presence of a fluctuating conductive loss, typically caused by recurrent otitis media, and the absence of a pinna or ear canal.
This web page by the National Institutes of Health has this to say about noise-induced hearing loss:
“When we are exposed to harmful noise—sounds that are too loud or loud sounds that last a long time affect sensitive structures in our inner ear that can be damaged, causing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). These sensitive structures, called hair cells, are small sensory cells that convert sound energy into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, our hair cells cannot grow back.”
In the article "Letters: The Truth about Bone-Conduction Earphones" Portnuff, Cory AuD, Ph.D.; Berger, Elliott MS
It states that “The maximum output levels of MP3 players. The highest reported output level of which we are aware in the peer-reviewed literature is 120 dBA, with a tight-fitting earphone. (J Acoust Soc Am 2008;123:4227).”
The description of the Aftershokz bone-conduction earphones included the statement, “Because the headphones do not use the eardrums to transmit sound, they allow users to listen to music without the risk of eardrum damage.”
MP3 player earphones are not capable of producing levels great enough to cause an eardrum perforation, so users would not be at risk of eardrum damage from any type of earphone. Rather, listeners are at risk of cochlear damage from the overuse of any type of earphone. The fact that these earphones use bone-conduction transducers does not inherently make them any safer than any other earphone, as the bone-conducted sound is transduced by the cochlea similarly to air-conducted sound.
Headphones and Earbuds don’t have to be extremely loud to damage your ears. It depends on how loud the sound is and how long you listen. The louder the sound is, the less time you can safely listen to it. Sound levels of 85 dB are considered safe for 8 hours per day (40 hours per week).
Loud power tools can damage your ears as much as a much louder gunshot or explosion. Even listening to headphones or earbuds at a moderate volume can damage your hearing over time. The duration of the exposure matters just as much as the volume. Someone can clap their hands next to your ears super loud for instance and that force and snap could damage your ears in the right circumstance.
“The researchers found that the number of adults in the United States 20 years or older with hearing loss is expected to gradually increase from 44 million in 2020 (15 percent of adults) to 74 million by 2060 (23 percent of adults).”
Even if you knew the decibels of your music some might be recorded louder and some might be recorded softer. All of your volume settings on your smartphone and headphones and your listening volume could vary from album to album and song to song. Everything is recorded a little bit differently each time because it is an art.
CBS News Reports “The top volume on an Apple music player, like the iPhone, is 102 decibels, about as loud as a leaf blower. Keeping the volume at 70 percent, or 82 decibels, is safe for eight hours a day. 80 percent volume, or 89 decibels, is safe for 90 minutes.”
Most headphones and earphones tend to have a max decibel range of about 110 decibels. The average range is 97-107 decibels and some models can reach 130 decibels.
“The damage is not due to physical contact - the ear canal is much longer than the headphone 'earbud'. The damage to your hearing is through vibration and damage to the hair cells. Damage to the eardrum can occur through vibration and perforation (if the music is stupidly loud)”
“As someone who is deaf in one ear, the bone conduction has been awesome. I can hear the stereo, unlike normal headphones.”
“Some of us are hard of hearing (40+ decibel loss, both ears) Stuffing an earbud in and cranking up the volume doesn't may damage what little hearing I have left. Earbuds also don't work with hearing aids. So our only real choice is bone conduction headsets. I have a pair that were only about $45 that works really well. They aren't for everyone, yes there is a niche market, but that market is pretty large when you consider how many have hearing loss.”
“It's not always about isolation or the dynamic range when it comes to wireless earphones. What is its purpose? For me, it's an outdoor activity where I need to be able to hear what is going on around me while listening to either music or podcasts. I can pair to two phones, a big plus since I carry two. I frequently forget that I have them on. They last for hours. I like them!”
You know at the end of the day if you are an audiophile and looking for superb sound performance and unequaled quality then Bone Conduction Headphones are probably not for you. They have good sound quality but I don’t believe that is the total point. These are to help people with a myriad of different ways with different issues as described above.
If you want a sports model that you can hear your surroundings with while listening to Music, an Audiobook, or Talking on the Phone then these are wonderful. I use these all of the time because they are so convenient. I especially like to wear them while walking and listening to Audiobooks one of my favorite activities.
The story of the Smartphone is so amazing and interesting it would be hard to make this entire narrative up. It is so intricately entwined in the ingenuity of humanity and the necessity to continue to discover and grow as a species. There is always hope!
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The ultimate mission of cellular data has always been to be on par with Wi-Fi. 4G has come close in many ways, but let’s be honest; we know there are things we can do at home on our computers or tablets that we cannot do on our cell phones. When we are at home, we think nothing of streaming.
Depending on your internet provider and plan, if you have modern Wi-Fi, you may have no data allowance or cap, so some can go to town and binge as many Netflix shows as we like.
However, this abundance of data has not yet crossed over into our mobile lives. Many of us are on data plans, and it is always possible to use up all of our data before we know it. Streaming through our phones is one way we risk doing this, which is why most people are still relatively conservative in their mobile streaming habits, but this is becoming harder to do.
Before the holidays, we wrote a blog post called “How Can You Hear Something That’s Not In Your Ear?” The blog's title was inspired by my father-in-law asking me that very same question while we were on a family holiday. As a prolific writer and self-confessed workaholic, I was busy writing my latest article while listening to the Killer's latest album through my Bone Conduction headphones.
Due to Bone Conduction headphones sending the music directly into my inner ear, I was able to enjoy it while I concentrated on my work, but without shutting out my surroundings. I was on a family vacation; after all, one which included dogs and small children all running around together.
It was sensible to keep an eye (and both ears) on them just in case I was needed to do a spot of parenting. Fortunately for me, my Bone Conduction headphones allow this due to their design. Other headphones may have blocked out the sound entirely.
I live in remote Alaska where there is barley 3G and don’t see us getting to 4G, let alone 5G anytime soon. For most of my life, I lived in a large city with cutting edge technology and the benefits of living with 4G.
The 5G promise is very exciting for many reasons we list below but do we need a 5G Phone in rural Alaska? The answer is no because there is no connection and if you live in a rural area the answer is more than likely the same for you.
Nome Alaska is 143 miles from the Arctic Circle and you can see Russia on a clear day from Wales which is in the Nome census area and Nort of Nome. If you measure on Google Maps Lavrentiya Russia is 179 miles from Nome Alaska.