In bone conduction, instead of transmitting sound directly to the eardrums, the sound gets transported directly into the inner ear, through the skull bones.
The sounds travel and transmitted through the air through waves. When a sound reaches your eardrum, it gets to transform into an episode of vibrations. These vibrations reach to three small bones the Hammer, Anvil, and Stirrup. These bones transport the sound to the middle ear where the cochlea converts the vibrations into electrical signals that are sent to the brain where they are identified as sound.
Here, bone conduction skips the whole above process and immediately transmit the vibrations through the jawbone to the cochlea skipping your middle and outer ear and keeping your eardrum free to pick up other sounds.
Nowadays bone conduction became a technology that is used by many companies as a crucial part in the development of various products like headphones, modern hearing aids, and other hearing aids.
Bone Conduction Hearing Solution
There are basically three types of bone conduction hearing solutions:
- Bone conduction hearing aids
- Bone conduction hearing device
- Bone conduction headphones
Bone Conduction Hearing Aids
A bone conduction hearing aid or bone anchoring hearing aid (BAHA) is a type of hearing aid that is based on bone conduction. It is useful for people suffering from conductive hearing loss or unilateral hearing loss and also for people with mixed hearing loss who are not able to wear “In the ear” or “Behind the ear” hearing aids.
In bone conduction hearing aids a vibrator with a steel spring over the head is pressed towards the bone behind the ear is used to fetch sound to the inner ear. It is a surgically implanted abutment to transmits sound through conduction of the bone to the inner ear, bypassing the middle ear and external auditory canal.
In this procedure, a tiny titanium implant of 3-4 millimeters is placed into the bone behind the ear and over the time it started to integrate naturally with the bone. After this, a tiny abutment is inserted and juts out from the skin and then a removable microphone and sound processor will be attached to the abutment.
Bone Conduction Hearing device
Bone conduction hearing devices or Bone anchored hearing implants are useful for those people with a permanent conductive hearing loss or mixed hearing loss which caused a problem either in the eardrum, ear canal or part of the middle ear.
Bone conduction hearing device should not be confused with bone conduction hearing aids as these two are different methods. Bone conduction hearing device consists of two parts:
- The external implant sound processor that helps in detecting and turning the sounds into vibration.
- A surgically-implanted fixture which is inserted into the skull behind the ear.
The external part of the implant is attached to the skull through a implanted abutment or you can say a magnetic connection. This device detects the sound and turns it into vibrations which are transmitted through the fixture in the skull bone.
An enthralling feature of bone conduction hearing device is that they offer hearing amplification without any need of having an earmold or hearing aid inserted into the ear canal. This is why it is an comfortable option compared to conventional hearing aids.The location of the implant also makes these devices less visible than hearing aids.
Bone Conduction Headphones
Bone conduction technology also became popular in the use of headphones that allows hearing comprehensive noises or sound to people who wear them. The bone conduction headphones do not cover the ear but instead sets near to the ear.
For instance, suppose you are running and at the same time you are using bone conduction headphones to listen to music, in this situation not only you can listen to music but you can also able to hear extensive noises like a car approaching from behind. It provides a situational awareness that cannot be achieved with standard headphones.
The bone conduction headphones require a power source even for the wired versions. You can also wear these headphones while wearing your hearing aids.
Following are some brands of Bon conduction headphones:
- AfterShokz TREKZ Air Open-ear Wireless Headphones
- AfterShokz TREKZ Titanium Open-ear Bluetooth Headphones
- Vibrabeats Vidonn F1
- AfterShokz AS500 Bluez 2 Open Ear Wireless Headphones
- Liwithpro Open Ear Bone Conduction Headphones
- AfterShokz AS450 Sportz M3 Mobile Bone Conduction Headphones
- Panasonic RP-HGS10-G Open-ear Bone Conduction Headphones
The future of this technology is really bright. Scientist and researchers are doing their best to advance its uses in hearing technology. You must try it to know how it can change your quality of life.
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