Open-ear wireless headphones are headphones that don’t block or cover your ears, so you can hear your music and your surroundings at the same time. This unique experience makes them a top choice for running headphones and workout headphones as they allow you to fuel your exercise with music, without losing awareness of your surroundings.
Most open-ear wireless headphones use bone conduction technology to send vibrations directly to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrums. While effective, it requires a tight fit between the bone conduction headphones and the wearer. Plus, it has significant audio-quality limitations. Bone conduction technology can’t produce sound as clearly and consistently as traditional audio technologies that send sound through the air. And between the fit and the vibrations, some find bone conduction headphones to be simply uncomfortable.
Bose’s solution to open-ear wireless headphones is different. Instead of sending sound waves through the wearer’s bones, they send sound waves through the air for a more natural listening experience. Proprietary Bose OpenAudio™ technology delivers rich, full-range sound while minimizing what others nearby can hear — reducing the issue of sound spillage caused by open-ear designs. Plus, they don’t require a tight fit. They’re designed to rest securely on the natural curve of the ear, while precision-placed acoustic ports channel sound directly into the ears.
So now you know what open-ear headphones are, and you know a little about the different technologies that power them — but what are they good for? Well, they’re good for just about any time you want to listen to music without closing off the world around you, but where they really shine is outdoors as running headphones or workout headphones. Being able to hear your surroundings while exercising outside has some unique advantages. Not only can you hear any potential hazards better than if you were running with in-ear headphones, but you can also hear and stay connected to the world around you, whether for you that means your running buddy or the gentle crash of the ocean on a morning run. Adding a soundtrack to the world rather than blocking it out is a unique, inspiring sensory experience. Also, if you’re a race enthusiast who prefers running to music, open-ear headphones may be your only option as some races don’t allow runners to wear anything in their ears.
But maybe you’re not specifically looking for running headphones or workout headphones, maybe you just find wearing in-ear headphones for an extended period of time uncomfortable. Well, you’re not alone. And if a unique sense of comfort is what you’re after, the Bose Sport Open Earbuds may be your best bet. They make no contact with the entrance to the ear or the inner ear, and they don’t require the tight fit needed for bone conduction. It’s a more natural listening experience that still produces high-quality sound.