What are the side effects of bone conduction headphones?

Do bone conduction headphones cause headaches?

Yes, bone conduction headphones can indeed trigger headaches for some users.

However, it’s crucial to note that not everyone will experience this discomfort.  Headaches can be highly individualized and influenced by various factors such as sensitivity, usage duration, and personal health conditions. 

A woman is wearing sanag headphones


It’s always advisable to listen to your body and take breaks if you start to feel discomfort or headaches while using any type of headphones.

Why can bone conduction headphones cause headaches?

During the use of bone conduction headphones, some users have indeed reported experiencing headaches. Below are some potential reasons that could cause headaches, so that you can make adjustments promptly.


Tight bone conduction headphone fit can cause discomfort, especially during long wear, potentially leading to tension headaches.


Cheekbone sound transmission, a bone conduction feature, can be uncomfortable, especially at higher volumes, exacerbating sensitivity or headache symptoms.


High volumes, common with bone conduction headphones to counter noise, may strain hearing over time, potentially causing discomfort or headaches.


Snug fit is crucial but can result in tightness and pressure points, especially if inconsistently positioned, leading to discomfort and headaches. Adjusting fit and taking breaks can help.

How to prevent headaches from bone conduction headphones?

Ensure a proper fit:

Adjust the headphones to avoid tightness and pressure points.

Take regular breaks:

Give your ears and head time to rest from prolonged use.

Limit volume:

Avoid excessively high volumes to reduce strain on your auditory system.

Monitor usage:

Be mindful of how long you wear the headphones to prevent overexposure.

Consider alternative headphones:

If headaches persist, consider exploring alternative headphone types that may be more comfortable for you, such as air-conduction open-ear headphones like the Sanag S5 Ear Clip Wireless Bluetooth Smart Air Conduction Headphones and Sanag Z63S Ear Clip Wireless Bluetooth Smart Air Conduction Headphones.

Can bone conduction headphones cause skin irritation?

A man is wearing bone conduction headphones


Bone conduction headphones, like any wearable device, may lead to skin irritation, especially in sweaty conditions or with prolonged use. This effect can be heightened for those with sensitive skin or allergies to materials used in the headphones.

Why can bone conduction headphones cause skin irritation?

Bone conduction headphones can cause skin irritation due to several reasons

Material Sensitivities:

The materials used in the headphones, such as rubber or silicone, can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals with sensitivities.

Friction and Moisture:

Prolonged contact with the skin, particularly in sweaty conditions, can lead to friction and irritation.

Poor Maintenance:

If the headphones are not regularly cleaned or maintained, the buildup of bacteria and dirt can exacerbate skin issues.

Pressure Points:

The pressure exerted by the headphones against the skin, especially if they are worn tightly or for extended periods, can contribute to discomfort and irritation.

How to Prevent skin irritation from bone conduction headphones?

To prevent skin irritation from bone conduction headphones, you can take several measures:

Choose Hypoallergenic Materials:

Opt for headphones made from hypoallergenic materials to minimize the risk of allergic reactions.

Ensure Proper Fit:

Make sure the headphones fit comfortably without exerting excessive pressure on your skin. Adjust the fit as needed to avoid tightness.

Keep Skin Clean and Dry:

Before wearing the headphones, ensure your skin is clean and dry to reduce friction and moisture buildup.

Clean Headphones Regularly:

Clean the headphones regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions to remove dirt, bacteria, and sweat residue.

Take Breaks:

Avoid wearing the headphones for extended periods without breaks. Give your skin time to breathe and recover from prolonged contact.

Use Protective Covers:

Consider using protective covers or cushions on the contact points of the headphones to minimize direct contact with your skin.

Hydrate Skin:

Keep your skin hydrated and moisturized to help reduce friction and irritation.

Consult a Dermatologist:

If you have persistent skin irritation despite taking preventive measures, consult a dermatologist for personalized advice and treatment options.

Can bone conduction headphones cause cause Tinnitus issues?

Current studies indicate that bone conduction headphones, when used at moderate volumes, are less likely to cause tinnitus compared to traditional in-ear or over-ear headphones.

This is mainly because bone conduction headphones decrease the direct pressure on the eardrums, thereby reducing the likelihood of auditory damage that may result in tinnitus.

However, using headphones at excessive volumes for extended periods can potentially contribute to tinnitus or exacerbate existing tinnitus symptoms.

Why can bone conduction headphones cause Tinnitus issues?

Long-term high-volume usage:

Bone conduction headphones can potentially contribute to tinnitus if used at excessively high volumes over prolonged periods.

Tinnitus often results from damage to the auditory system, especially the hair cells in the inner ear, which can occur due to prolonged exposure to loud sounds.

A man is wearing sanag headphones


When bone conduction headphones are used at high volumes, they can still transmit powerful vibrations directly to the inner ear through the bones of the skull, bypassing the external and middle ear but potentially overstimulating the inner ear. This could stress or damage the hair cells, leading to tinnitus.

Poor quality audio equipment usage:

If you experience tinnitus, prioritizing high-quality noise-canceling headphones is essential. Look for models specifically designed to block out high-pitched noises. Some options offer features that can eliminate over 70% of external sounds.

While this investment might incur higher costs, safeguarding your ears is worth it. You might consider the Sanag B6S Pro Over Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headset and Sanag Z63S Pro Ear Hook Wireless Bluetooth Smart ANC Air Conduction Headphones.

How to Prevent Tinnitus issues from bone conduction headphones?

Limit Volume Levels:

Keep the volume at a moderate level. Following the 60/60 rule, you can keep the volume at a maximum of 60% and limit the duration of each use to 60 minutes.

Take Breaks:

Give your ears regular breaks from wearing headphones, especially bone conduction ones. Continuous exposure to vibrations can strain your ears and increase the risk of developing tinnitus.

Choose Quality Headphones:

Opt for reputable brands and high-quality bone conduction headphones that are designed to minimize potential risks to your hearing.

Use Noise-Canceling Features:

If your bone conduction headphones have noise-canceling features, utilize them to reduce the need for higher volume levels in noisy environments.

Maintain Ear Health:

Keep your ears clean and healthy to minimize the risk of developing tinnitus or other hearing issues.

Do bone conduction headphones leak sound?

Bone conduction headphones generally have sound leakage, which is related to its sound production principle and it is unavoidable.

However, the extent of sound leakage varies among different headphones. Some high-quality headphones have effectively addressed the issue of sound leakage.

Besides, under normal circumstances, only when the volume reaches 85% or more will there be serious sound leakage.

Why do bone conduction headphones leak sound?

Because bone conduction headphones produce sound through vibrations of the transducer unit and transmit it through bone, the headphone shell vibrates along with the sound unit during operation.

A man wearing sanag bone condution headphones is working

This vibration of the shell in turn vibrates the surrounding air, leading to sound leakage. At higher volumes, the vibration force of the bone conduction unit increases, causing more pronounced shell vibrations and consequently more noticeable sound leakage.

However, in most cases, sound leakage with bone conduction headphones is not severe, and privacy remains intact. Significant sound leakage typically occurs only when the volume exceeds 85%.

How to reduce sound leakage of bone conduction headphones?

Adjust the volume:

Keeping the volume at a moderate level can help minimize sound leakage.

Properly position the headphones:

Ensuring that the headphones fit snugly and securely on your head can reduce vibrations and sound leakage.

Use noise-canceling features:

Some bone conduction headphones come with noise-canceling technology to help contain sound within the headphones.

Consider using headbands or hats:

Wearing a headband or a hat over the bone conduction headphones can help further contain sound leakage.

Choose headphones with better sound isolation:

Investing in bone conduction headphones that have advanced sound isolation features can also help reduce sound leakage.


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