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A few months ago, we have presented to you our selection of the best bone conduction headphones, and now, it’s time for bone conduction audio sunglasses. The market is not actually flooded with these glasses and that’s an understatement. To be completely honest, there are only a few decent models out there. In order to give you more options, we have decided to enrich our selection with some Bluetooth audio sunglasses (which look similar to bone conduction glasses but work in a different way) and some upcoming smart glasses (all of them feature bone conduction technology). So, just to be clear, the first three models on the list are bone conduction glasses, the next four are Bluetooth audio glasses, and all the upcoming releases are also bone conduction glasses.
Table of Contents
- What Are Bone Conduction Technology and Bone Conduction Glasses/Headphones?
- Best Bone Conduction Audio Sunglasses & Bluetooth Audio Sunglasses – Comparison Table
- The Advantages of Bone Conduction Glasses/Headphones
- The Disadvantages of Bone Conduction Glasses/Headphones
- 1. ZUNGLE V2 Viper and Lynx
- 2. VocalSkull Alien 5 Bone Conduction Glasses
- 3. AcTek Bone Conduction Sunglasses
- 4. TechKen Wireless Music Sunglasses
- 5. OhO Bluetooth Headphones Sunglasses
- 6. Inventiv Wireless Bluetooth Sunglasses
- 7. Bose AR Audio Sunglasses
- UPCOMING RELEASES / COMING SOON
- 8. OptiShokz Revvez Bone Conduction Sunglasses
- 9. Vue Smart Bone Conduction Glasses
- 10. MusicLens Smart Bone Conduction Glasses
- 11. Ossii Bone Conduction Sunglasses
- Are These Audio Sunglasses Worth the Price?
- Things to Pay Attention When Buying Bone Conduction Sunglasses
- Common Problems You May Experience When Wearing Bone Conduction Glasses
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Bone Conduction Technology and Bone Conduction Glasses/Headphones?
Bone Conduction is basically a nonstandard way of sound transmission. All the old-school headphones/earphones use the air as a medium for sound transmission which means that sound travels from the source (headphone) through the air and through your outer, middle, and inner ear, to your eardrums and then to your cochlea. Instead of using air, bone conduction headphones use bones for sound transmission. That way, the sound bypasses your outer and middle ear (and eardrums) and gets transmitted directly to your inner ear.
This simple difference between the old-school and bone conduction headphones causes all the differences in design and working principle and, furthermore, it makes them suitable for different things.
Instead of standard mini loudspeakers you can find in regular headphones and earphones, bone conduction glasses/headphones feature small vibrating speakers/transducers that go onto your cheekbones. They produce the sound which can be heard but they also vibrate and those vibrations are transmitted through your bones. This ‘’small’’ difference in working principle is the thing responsible for all the advantages and disadvantages of bone conduction sunglasses/headphones.
If you want to find out more about the bone conduction technology, you can read our article on the best bone conduction headphones.
Best Bone Conduction Audio Sunglasses & Bluetooth Audio Sunglasses – Comparison Table
|Bone Conduction Sunglasses
|Zungle V2 Viper
|VocalSkull Alien 5
|UPCOMING RELEASES / COMING SOON
When you click on “Check Price” you will be redirected to Amazon.
The Advantages of Bone Conduction Glasses/Headphones
Due to their working principle, bone conduction glasses/headphones don’t cover your ears which allows you to stay aware of everything that’s going on around you. So, if you have to stay aware of the traffic (when cycling or running) or you have to keep communicating with your coworkers, bone conduction glasses/headphones are the best choice. What makes bone conduction sunglasses even better than the headphones is the additional sun protection. These two things are the most important advantages of bone conduction glasses for people with normal hearing, but there’s something even more important that makes bone conduction glasses and headphones so great.
If you are hearing impaired, especially if your condition is related to the outer or middle ear (conductive hearing loss), bone conduction glasses/headphones are not only the best option for you – they are the only option. They don’t work with all kinds of hearing impairment and you should definitely consult your doctor before buying them.
The Disadvantages of Bone Conduction Glasses/Headphones
The greatest disadvantage of bone conduction glasses is sound quality. Even the most expensive glasses/headphones can’t really compete with similarly priced regular headphones (or even much cheaper headphones). They are definitely not made for critical listening. If your only or most important concern is sound quality and you don’t have any kind of hearing impairment, these are not the glasses/headphones for you.
Now that you know some basic things about bone conduction glasses/headphones, let’s move onto the list. Remember – the first three and the last four products (upcoming releases) are bone conduction sunglasses. The remaining four are Bluetooth audio sunglasses (they are not bone conduction glasses).
This is our list of 11 best bone conduction audio sunglasses and Bluetooth audio sunglasses.
1. ZUNGLE V2 Viper and Lynx
ZUNGLE was probably the first manufacturer to combine sunglasses and bone conduction headphones into one product. A few years ago, they have started gathering the money through a Kickstarter campaign and, shortly after, their first bone conduction audio sunglasses called ZUNGLE Panther were introduced. Unfortunately, the first version was really crappy. The customers complained about sound leakage, unresponsive controls, and poor sound quality. The people from ZUNGLE didn’t stop there – they have tried to fix all the issues and introduced a new upgraded version. In fact, they have released two models – Viper V2 and Zynx. Since these models look almost exactly the same (the same frame shape, the same technical specs, etc.), we are not going to write two separate reviews. The only difference between them are the dimensions so you should check the dimensions before making the purchase.
The only difference between Viper and Lynx is in their dimensions
In our opinion, ZUNGLE sunglasses are the best bone conduction audio sunglasses at the moment, but you should be aware that there are some interesting upcoming releases (like OptiShokz Revezz and all those smart glasses). There will be much more competition in a few months.
ZUNGLE sunglasses are available on Amazon, but it’s smarter to buy them directly from the manufacturer and save up to $40.
What’s in the box?
Inside a simple-looking box, you will find your ZUNGLE sunglasses (one pair of lenses is preinstalled), a proprietary USB charging cable, ZUNGLE sticker, short user manual, and 1-year warranty. Some protective case would be a nice addition to this package.
If you want, you can buy lenses in some other color separately. There are 8 colors available including red, green, blue, black, clear, etc. Each pair of lenses will cost you an additional 20 bucks or, you can buy a set of 4 pairs in different colors for $40.
Both ZUNGLE sunglasses are very stylish. The frames are made of plastic but look quite durable. The lenses feature UV40 protection. They are also polarized and have an anti-scratch coating. The lenses are easily replaceable/swappable and you can change them in a few seconds. The glasses also feature IPX4 rating (splash proof, sweat, and weather resistant) which makes them a good choice for workouts.
The control buttons are located along the left and right arm. There are two power buttons (one on each arm), two volume buttons, and two track buttons. All the buttons are responsive and the whole control scheme is very simple. You won’t be having any problems mastering the controls.
How to use Viper V2
The sunglasses feature Bluetooth 5.0 which is a huge plus. The connection is perfectly stable and very reliable. Pairing is easy and fast. The glasses will automatically pair with the last paired phone/device and they are compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
The manufacturer completely changed the speakers/transducers. The glasses now have ‘’VIBRA’’ speakers. This change improved the sound quality and reduced the sound leakage. We were not blown away by the sound but it’s more than decent when you compare them to AfterShokz bone conduction headphones. The leakage is not exactly nonexistent but it’s kept to a minimum.
The battery inside the glasses is kind of small (115mAh). This capacity is enough for 4 hours of playtime at 70% volume. The recharge takes 1h which is quite fast, but we were not very happy about the proprietary charging cable. You can’t use just any charging cable to recharge the battery and you should try not to lose this one.
ZUNGLE glasses also have a built-in mic. You can use it to answer calls or to activate Siri or Google Assistant.
These glasses are not perfect when it comes to sound quality but, if you want to try something new and interesting like bone conduction glasses, and you don’t know which brand to choose, ZUNGLE is a safe choice.
2. VocalSkull Alien 5 Bone Conduction Glasses
Alien 5 is the second-best choice. If your budget is set at approx. $100 and you can’t afford ZUNGLE glasses, this is your go-to model. Alien 5 is the upgraded version of Alien bone conduction glasses. The manufacturer decided to go from Alien 1 (or just Alien) to Alien 5. The biggest change compared to the first version are the drivers. Instead of balanced armature drivers, the manufacturer decided to use standard dynamic drivers.
What’s in the box?
Inside the box, you will find your glasses (one pair of lenses is preinstalled and you get to choose the color), USB to micro USB charging cable, 2 transparent resin glasses, a simple user manual, and 1-year warranty.
You can buy the lenses separately in 4 different colors – green, blue, gray, and transparent. Also, you can order your glasses with prescription lenses (for Myopia, Astigmatism, and Hyperopia) but it’s going to cost you $170.
The glasses are quite stylish but don’t look as striking as ZUNGLE glasses. They also don’t look as sturdy as Viper or Lynx. Still, they are more resistant to water and dust than ZUNGLE glasses (IP67-certified) which makes them more suitable for workouts and jogging. Also, Alien 5 glasses are much lighter (32g compared to 50g) but, to be completely honest, that doesn’t make them significantly comfier (after all, 18g is not a huge difference).
The controls are located on the left arm. You have the power button, two volume/track buttons (+ and -), status indicator light, and a charging port covered with a rubber flap. Everything is pretty simple and easy to use. The buttons don’t feel equally good/tactile as the buttons on the ZUNGLE glasses. They definitely feel cheaper.
Instead of using balanced armature drivers, the manufacturers used moving coil drivers. These new drivers improved the sound quality and loudness (they are even louder than ZUNGLE) but also increased the sound leakage. The people from VocalSkull claim they somehow managed to reduce the leakage but it’s still noticeable at high volumes.
Alien 5 glasses have 250mAh battery which is enough for 4h of playtime. The recharge takes up to 2 hours. The playtime is not impressive but, when you compare them to other bone conduction glasses, 4h is the average playtime.
The glasses feature Bluetooth 4.1 with up to 30ft of range. They offer a stable connection within the advertised range. The pairing takes a few seconds. We haven’t experienced compatibility issues – they work with both iOS and Android devices.
The glasses also feature a built-in mic which allows you to answer/make calls. The call quality is not actually great, especially if there’s a lot of noise around you but it can be useful if you are at your home or in the office.
3. AcTek Bone Conduction Sunglasses
Looking for the cheapest sporty bone conduction sunglasses on the market? This is your best choice. You can find these headphones under many different names but they are all the same and they are all made by the same manufacturer. We’ve had this same situation when we were making our list of the best bone conduction headphones.
AcTek glasses are priced around $50. You can hardly find cheaper bone conduction glasses and if you do, you shouldn’t buy them.
What’s in the box?
Inside the box, you will find your glasses (one pair of lenses is preinstalled), an additional pair of spectacle lenses, cleaning cloth, a pair of earplugs, USB to micro USB charging cable, user manual, and a 3-year warranty. Getting a 3-year warranty for this kind of product is kind of crazy but it’s great if it’s true.
These glasses are the sportiest bone conduction glasses on the market, at least until the OptiShokz Revezz glasses get released. The previous two models were kind of sporty but also kind of stylish.
These are the only bone conduction sunglasses without any IPX rating. The lack of IPX certification doesn’t mean that a few drops of sweat could damage them and, based on our experience, they can definitely survive some heavy sweating.
The speakers built inside the glasses are pretty loud and you can hear them even without the vibration. The sound quality is not great – the lack of bass is really noticeable but that’s pretty much expected. The most annoying thing is a huge sound leakage at high volumes. Anyone sitting or standing next to you will definitely hear everything you are listening to.
The battery inside the glasses has the capacity of 140mAh. According to the specs, this should be enough for 5 hours of playtime but, in reality, you will get less than 3.5 hours at 60% volume.
The glasses feature Bluetooth 4.0 with up to 30 ft of range (without obstacles). The pairing is simple and fast, and the connection is reliable.
Like the previous two models, AcTek glasses feature a built-in mic and can be used for answering calls.
The next four models on the list are not bone conduction glasses. These are just Bluetooth audio sunglasses. Some of them offer pretty good sound quality and they all feature that similar open-ear design which improves awareness but they are made for people with normal hearing. People suffering from conductive hearing loss will not be able to use them.
4. TechKen Wireless Music Sunglasses
TechKen Sunglasses are, literally, the cheapest audio sunglasses you will find. If you want to experiment with audio sunglasses and get the idea of what they offer, this is a great choice for you. They are priced under $20. You can find the exact same glasses under many different generic names (Elinka, TOPEPOP, PHEVOS, WONFAST) and they are all priced the same.
What’s in the box?
TechKen glasses come along with a USB charging cable, hard carrying case, cleaning cloth, user manual, and 1-year warranty. There are three versions available and the only difference is the color of the lenses (black, transparent, coffee).
The glasses look quite sporty and not elegant at all. They are kind of bulky and have reinforced arms. The frame definitely looks very durable. On the other hand, a few customers complained about the lenses being too fragile. These are simple polycarbonate lenses without any additional protection. All in all, the durability is on par with the price.
The controls and the charging port are all located on the right arm. There are three control buttons. They are all raised and very tactile and responsive. You can use them to initiate pairing, play/pause the music, play the next/previous song, adjust the volume, and answer calls.
Two small dynamic speakers are located on the lower ends of the arms. They have small telescopic levers so you can place the speakers wherever you want (you can cover your ears with them or place them right next to your ears). These miniature speakers are quite loud. The sound is pretty good but without any bass. The biggest problem is the sound leakage. It’s really noticeable so you should try to keep your volume at a minimum if there are people around you.
The battery is really good (especially when compared to some more expensive models). You will get up to 5h at 50-60% volume. The glasses feature Bluetooth 4.1 with an advertised range of 30ft and stable connection within a 15ft range. Anything further than 15ft could cause signal loss.
In the end, we should not forget a built-in microphone. You are not going to enjoy using it, but it can be useful if you are in a quiet environment.
5. OhO Bluetooth Headphones Sunglasses
Here’s another relatively cheap choice. OhO sunglasses are usually priced under $60 but, if you are lucky, you can get a nice discount and buy them for less than $30. OhO glasses are available in many versions. There are three types of frames – black, camo, and gray and six types of lenses – blue, green, silver, smoke, red, and transparent. You can also buy the lenses separately and replace them on your own.
What’s in the box?
The box includes your glasses (one pair of lenses is preinstalled), charging cable (USB to micro USB), protective bag, hard carrying case, cleaning cloth, user manual, and a limited 1-year warranty.
OhO headphones are much slimmer than the previous TechKen glasses and they definitely look much better and feel comfier. The frame is made of plastic and looks quite durable. The lenses are polarized and feature UV400 protection which makes them much better than the TechKen glasses. The manufacturer also claims that they are sweatproof but there’s no IP certification.
The controls are very simple. On the right arm, there’s a multifunctional power/pairing/play/pause/call button. On the inner side, of the right arm, you will find a small LED light and a built-in mic. The micro USB charging port is located on the lower end of the arm.
Two miniature speakers are built inside the arms. They are located close to your ears and sound pretty good for a pair of really small and cheap speakers. Like all the other bone conduction and audio sunglasses, they leak a lot of sound and it’s impossible to reduce the leakage unless you lower the volume.
The glasses feature Bluetooth 4.0 with an advertised 30ft range. The connection is stable and reliable within the advertised range. The pairing is done in no time and the best thing is that you can pair two devices at the same time.
The battery will deliver up to three hours of playtime at 50% volume which is probably the biggest downside. The playtime is really short. The recharge takes 2 hours.
The microphone works fine but it’s definitely not great. You can find many headphones at this price point with a much better mic.
6. Inventiv Wireless Bluetooth Sunglasses
Inventiv wireless glasses are very similar to previously mentioned OhO, especially when it comes to specs and technology inside the glasses. The frames are shaped differently and the speakers are positioned differently. Both models offer similar performance. Inventiv sunglasses are priced around $60 which is not too much considering the fact that you are getting a 2-in-1 product. There are three models available and the only difference between these models is in the color of the lenses (blue, red, and grey lenses). The frame is always black.
What’s in the box?
The package includes a pair of glasses (lenses are preinstalled), hard carrying case, cleaning cloth, USB to micro USB charging cable, user manual, and 1-year limited warranty.
The most important difference between the OhO and Inventiv glasses is in their frames. Both frames are made of plastic and have reinforced arms, but OhO looks sportier while Inventiv glasses look more fashionable, more stylish.
The build quality is more than satisfying. The lenses are polarized and have UV protection. Based on the available info, the lenses are not swappable/replaceable.
There is only one control button and it’s used to power on/off, pair, play/pause, or answer calls. Since there’s only one button, you won’t be having problems mastering the controls. The lack of 2 additional volume buttons is definitely a downside.
The speakers are installed on the bottom ends of the arms and they are supposed to be located just above your ears. They are quite loud but the bass is really tiny, almost nonexistent. Like all the other glasses, these leak a significant amount of sound and if there is someone standing or sitting next to you, he/she will hear your music without even trying.
Just like OhO glasses, Inventiv glasses deliver up to 3h of playtime at 50% volume which is simply insufficient.
The glasses feature Bluetooth 4.0 with up to 30ft range. We’ve had no issues with pairing and connection. The glasses are compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
In the end, there’s a built-in mic which is always a plus. You won’t be impressed by the call quality, but it’s fairly decent compared to other audio sunglasses.
7. Bose AR Audio Sunglasses
Bose it the only really big name when it comes to audio sunglasses. Just like the previous three models, these are not bone conduction glasses. They are Bluetooth audio sunglasses. Compared to other sunglasses, these look much more premium, but they don’t really sound that premium. They are priced around $200 which is much more than those generic brands. You get to choose between two models (different frame and lens shape, different size) – Rondo (smaller frame with round lenses) and Alto (larger frame).
What’s in the box?
Inside a premium Bose-branded box, you will find your glasses, a proprietary charging cable, hard carrying case, user manual, and 1-year warranty. You will get black lenses but you can buy the lenses in rose and blue colors separately ($30 each). Also, you can ask Bose to install your prescription lenses.
These Bose sunglasses definitely feel more premium and more durable than the generic brands we’ve talked about (after all, they are much pricier). The lenses feature UV protection but they are not polarized. You have a choice between two styles and, according to Bose, there will be more different options in the future. We preferred the Rondo style because of the unusual lens shape.
When it comes to controls, the things couldn’t be simpler. There’s only one golden button that you can use to turn on the glasses, initiate pairing, play/pause the music, play the next or previous song (double or triple click), and answer calls. Unfortunately, there are no volume buttons and you will have to use your phone to adjust the volume which is pretty annoying.
The speakers are located right next to your ears. They are really loud with nicely defined mids and highs and without any bass. The distortion is minimal, even at high volumes but the sound leakage is really big, especially when you reach 80% volume.
The battery was the most disappointing thing. You can get up to 3 hours at 70% volume. We understand that it’s hard to install a larger battery inside a small frame but 3 hours is simply not enough.
Like always, Bose didn’t reveal the specs. There’s no info on the Bluetooth version. The pairing takes a few seconds and the connection is stable within the 30ft range. We haven’t experienced any compatibility issues.
There’s also a built-in mic. In fact, there are two small mics, one on each arm. The call quality is decent but it depends a lot on the environmental noise and weather conditions. If it’s windy or if you are in a crowded street, it’s going to be much harder to make calls (the microphones will pick up all that noise).
The Bose has big plans with these headphones. Their original intention was to make them smart. The next generation of Bose frames will be able to give you directions, tell you what you are looking at, give you the basic info about the restaurants, clubs, monuments, museums, etc. Bose has already introduced their AR (Augmented Reality) concept and they are developing it in cooperation with their partners (like TripAdvisor, New Balance, Walc, NAVISENS, etc.). These Bose frames are AR-enabled and they will get much better in the future.
The next four products on the list are not released yet but they will be in a few months. These are all bone conduction glasses. The first and last ones (OptiShokz and Ossii) are regular bone conduction glasses, while the other two models are smart glasses with bone conduction technology.
UPCOMING RELEASES / COMING SOON
8. OptiShokz Revvez Bone Conduction Sunglasses
We have really high hopes for these glasses, mostly because of the manufacturer. AfterShokz is, by far, the most reputable name when it comes to bone conduction technology and OptiShokz is basically the same company. OptiShokz Revezz glasses were supposed to hit the market in February but they are not here, yet.
Based on what we know, these glasses are going to be the first model that can compete with ZUNGLE glasses and we are happy to see some more competition.
OptiShokz Revezz are definitely made to last. The frames are made of nylon and one-piece lenses are made of polycarbonate and are polarized. They also have UVA and UVB protection. The lenses are easily replaceable. The glasses are IP55 certified (water and dust resistant) which makes them perfect for all kinds of sports.
Revezz glasses are also supposed to be the most comfortable on the market thanks to adjustable/bendable arms.
Unlike all the other bone conduction glasses and unlike all the previous AfterShokz headphones, OptiShokz Revezz glasses will have their transducers located behind your ear. We have no idea what kind of effect is that going to have on sound quality, but we don’t have any reason to be suspicious.
The battery inside the glasses will be able to provide up to 6 hours of playtime which is not impressive but it’s still more than what ZUNGLE glasses can offer.
If you are patient enough, you should wait for these glasses/headphones and compare them to ZUNGLE and Alien 5 before you make your choice.
9. Vue Smart Bone Conduction Glasses
Vue smart bone conduction glasses, just like the ZUNGLE glasses, started as a Kickstarter project and based on the info we’ve found on Kickstarter, this is one of the most successful campaigns. The manufacturers have gathered more than $2,000,000 and their glasses are one of the most anticipated products. They were supposed to hit the market in 2017 but they are still not here and that made many people very anxious.
The manufacturer is incredibly ambitious and it plans to pack all kinds of technologies inside a super-light 28g frame. Based on the announcements, these glasses will be able to track all your activities whether you are driving, walking, running, or cycling. They will have 6-axis gyroscope and accelerometer, 5-field capacitive touchpad, and infrared proximity sensors.
The glasses will also have ARM cortex processor and 90mAh battery (up to 4h of playtime). A nice-looking wireless charging case will be included in the package.
They will be compatible with iOS (starting from iOS 8) and Android (starting from Android 4.3) devices.
The arms are going to be touch-sensitive and based on how you press it, you will activate different things.
Vue glasses will also have a built-in mic. The frames will be available in many interesting colors, and you will be able to choose between sunglasses, prescription glasses, or transparent glasses.
Everything about Vue glasses sounds incredibly interesting and very desirable. Even the price is not too high (at least compared to Bose glasses). If you want, you can preorder them for $250 but, our suggestion is to wait for the first reviews from the Kickstarter backers and hear their impressions. Everything about them sounds cool but there’s no guarantee that the first generation is going to meet the expectations.
10. MusicLens Smart Bone Conduction Glasses
MusicLens smart glasses are another highly anticipated product. The glasses were introduced at the 2018 CES but they got some bad reviews (the reviewers didn’t like the sound quality). So, the manufacturer decided to upgrade them, improve those bone conduction transducers, and add a few more interesting features in the process. You can preorder them from the manufacturer. Depending on the model (modern, Vogue, or geek) the price goes up to $190.
These glasses are supposed to offer similar performance as Vue glasses (after all, the concept is very similar). Besides the bone conduction technology and sun (UV and IR) protection, MusicLens glasses will have touch-sensitive controls (just like Vue) and a built-in mic for making/answering calls. They will also be able to track your daily activities. They will be compatible with GPS devices and you will have the option to pair them with your navigation and listen to directions through the glasses.
Also, the glasses will have FM receiver built-in which will allow you to listen to radio stations without any additional equipment.
The glasses will also have smart facial recognition software which is supposed to pause the music when you take them off.
The manufacturer also claims that you will get up to 9 hours of playback which is quite impressive (compared to other bone conduction glasses/headphones).
11. Ossii Bone Conduction Sunglasses
Ossii bone conduction sunglasses are another Kickstarter project. They were not as successful as Vue glasses when it comes to donations but that’s completely understandable since there’s a huge fuss about smart devices and these are just regular bone conduction sunglasses.
If we would have to pick one thing that’s so special about Ossii glasses it would be the number of different styles you can get with these glasses. This manufacturer basically obtains their frames from the Italian frame manufacturer called Mazzucchelli and then installs arms (which are not as classy as the Italian frames) and bone conduction transducers onto those arms. This doesn’t look like a perfect combo but if you somehow manage to hide the arms, you’ll get an incredibly stylish look. You can also choose one of many lens colors and you can buy the lenses in different colors separately.
Ossii glasses are quite durable. They are IPX6 certified (water resistant). They are also supposed to be very comfortable (very light + adjustable arms).
The lenses are easily swappable and the bone conduction modules are removable.
Ossii glasses also feature Bluetooth 4.2 with a standard 30ft range.
The battery is probably the most disappointing feature. It can deliver up to 3 hours of playtime which is not on par with similarly priced products (like OptiShokz and ZUNGLE).
This is the end of our list but of 11 best bone conduction audio sunglasses and Bluetooth audio sunglasses but, before you go away, there’s one more thing we would like to discuss. A lot of readers asked us if all these glasses and headphones are worth the money. You can find our answer below.
Are These Audio Sunglasses Worth the Price?
The only thing we can say with certainty is that you don’t need them if you don’t really want to improve your awareness and if you care too much about the sound quality. The sound bone conduction glasses and Bluetooth audio glasses deliver can be compared to a quiet background music. It’s not going to blow your mind, that’s for sure. It’s kind of tiny and it really lacks bass. This applies to all the bone conduction glasses and headphones and to all the Bluetooth audio sunglasses.
On the other hand, if you want to improve your awareness or you want to leave your ears open for some other reason (to avoid ear infections, for example), you should definitely try them. Some models (like Zungle, Alien 5, and Optishokz) are maybe pricey, but they are not crazy expensive.
The group of people that will benefit the most from bone conduction glasses and headphones are people with certain types of conductive hearing loss. For these people, bone conduction glasses/headphones are probably the only way to enjoy music. Also, based on what we know (which is not much since we are not experts on hearing conditions), some people with mixed hearing loss might benefit from these glasses. If you have some kind of hearing impairment, you should consult your doctor before buying bone conduction headphones or at least try them and see if they help. You shouldn’t waste your money on something that doesn’t work for your condition.
Things to Pay Attention When Buying Bone Conduction Sunglasses
There are a few things to look for when buying bone conduction glasses. Sound quality should not be your main concern (we have tried to emphasize this as much as possible) but there are still some important factors to consider.
The price of the bone conduction sunglasses and Bluetooth audio sunglasses goes up to $200. The most expensive (at this moment) are Zungle, Bose, Vue, and Optishokz glasses. If that’s too much for you, you can find a decent pair for less than $60. The cheapest audio sunglasses on our list are TechKen sunglasses (priced under $20) but they are not bone conduction glasses. The last three models from the upcoming releases section haven’t entered the market yet but, since two of them are smart bone conduction glasses, it’s only natural to expect them to be quite pricey (probably pricier than $200).
Most of the bone conduction audio glasses and Bluetooth Audio glasses feature sporty design, but there are models that look casual or even geeky. The number of possible choices is not huge but you can still find something that suits your needs. On some glasses, you can even install your own prescription lenses and most of them enable you to remove the existing lenses and use the lenses in some other color (you have to buy these lenses from the manufacturer).
Different glasses come with different lenses and it’s not only the color or the shape of the lenses that makes them different. The material the lenses are made of, as well as different protective coatings, are very important and they could raise the price significantly. Some glasses have polycarbonate lenses which are extremely resilient and improve the durability. Also, the lenses can be photochromic or polarized, or both. Some lenses have anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coatings, and most of them offer UV and Blue light protection. You should read the specs carefully and check what kind of protection these glasses offer. Style and fashion are important, but efficient eye protection matters even more.
Some of these glasses (especially the cheap ones) are kind of plasticky and some of them are also a bit heavy and don’t feel comfortable enough for long wearing sessions. Pricier glasses have rubberized arms and are very light (almost like regular sunglasses) which makes them much comfier. The amount of comfort you get depends a lot on the money you are prepared to spend.
As we have repeated many times before, you should not expect exceptional sonic performance. Still, that doesn’t mean they all sound the same. There are certain subtle nuances that could be the decisive factors for you. So, the best thing would be to try the glasses before making the purchase. Generally speaking, Bluetooth audio glasses are a bit louder and they could be a better choice for people with normal hearing. Bone conduction glasses vibrate and cause some kind of tickling feeling which some people find strange (but it’s easy to get used to it). The biggest downside of all these glasses is the bass response. As you probably know, it’s practically impossible for miniature speakers to produce a big sound. So, don’t expect these glasses to blow you away. Their sonic performance is very limited and you should have this in mind when buying them.
Common Problems You May Experience When Wearing Bone Conduction Glasses
There are two common issues (besides the sound quality) you may experience with bone conduction glasses and Bluetooth audio glasses, and they are both caused by the design.
Poor noise isolation
Since your ears are left open, you will hear everything around you. This is kind of the point of bone conduction glasses so it’s not really fair to consider poor noise isolation a downside, but it can still be distracting when you just want to listen to music and enjoy. If you are using bone conduction glasses and not regular Bluetooth audio sunglasses, there’s a simple solution – use the earplugs and block all the noise. If you are using regular Bluetooth audio glasses, you can’t use the earplugs since you won’t hear the music.
Great sound leakage
This is the real problem and it can’t be solved. The leakage is inevitable, especially at high volumes. It’s more noticeable on regular Bluetooth audio sunglasses, but it’s also noticeable with bone conduction glasses. The person sitting next to you will definitely hear your music, especially if you are listening to music at high volumes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Like bone conduction headphones, bone conduction glasses feature small vibrating speakers/transducers that go on your cheekbones. They produce sound but also vibrate, which are transmitted through your cheekbones. The advantage bone conduction glasses have over headphones is that they offer additional sun protection.
Yes, some sound gets leaked from bone conduction glasses. Although they are kept past the eardrum, they still emit vibrations in order for them to reach the inner ear and cochlea. So, they still emit the same frequencies and vibrations to reach your cochlea and because of that, some sound can be heard by those around you.
Purely for audio listening, air conduction is the better option since good sound quality, volume, and a certain degree of noise isolation is maintained. Sound tends to get leaked from bone conduction devices due to its open design, so audio quality and noise isolation are compromised. However, if you tend to use earphones/headphones for long periods of time, bone conduction might be the better option as they can help prevent ear damage and pain. It is also best suited for people with certain kinds of hearing impairments.
Hello, my name is James Longman.
I’m a writer and editor at AudioReputation. I disassembled my first portable AM/FM radio when I was only 8. At the age of 11, I burned the circuit board on my old boombox cassette player. I’m not going to explain how but it was reckless and stupid.
Since then, I have become much more careful around radios, boomboxes, and other audio devices (at least, I like to think so) but I have never lost the passion for audio equipment. Throughout 20 years of my professional career, I’ve been working for various audio equipment manufacturers and even started building speakers on my own in my little workshop.
I love the work we do here at AudioReputation. Testing, comparing, and evaluating all kinds of audio devices (speakers, soundbars, headphones, home theater systems, etc.) is something I truly enjoy. I try to be unbiased and give you my honest opinion on every piece of equipment I test. Still, you should take my reviews with a pinch of salt and always be just a little bit skeptical. The fact that I liked some speaker or soundbar doesn’t mean that you are going to love it. If you have the opportunity, you should test it/hear it before buying it.