Listening to music via headphones can isolate the listener from the rest of the world. The new Batband bone conduction headphones, however, allow users to to still hear what is going on around them. Audio is transmitted through the bones of the skull, while the ears remain uncovered.
BAE Systems is in the
process of developing bone conduction technology for use by soldiers
on the battlefield. The helmet-based system will leverage the same
basic technology as that found in commercial bone amplifying
headphones, and should have the effect of allowing soldiers to hear
comms over the loudest battlefield noises.
When it comes to portable, personal audio, many of us are content to plug our ears with buds or cover them with cushioned cups. Such designs help isolate the user from environmental noise and improve the listening experience. But there are times when one needs/wants situational awareness, such as with outdoor running, hiking, or cycling. Trekz Titanium, the latest bone-conduction headphones from AfterShokz, are claimed to offer premium sound and safety for the best of both worlds.