Apple AirPods Could Use Bone Conduction for Better Audio in Future

The Advancement of Technology is in such a level that the future versions of Apple AirPods could use bone conduction technology to transmit audio in a range of cases, where normal earphones are inadequate, with a proposed device combined with standard bone conduction and sound transmission dependent on air.

What Is Bone Conduction Technology?

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Apple Insider

Bone conduction is the sound propagation through the bones of the skull to primarily the inner ear which enables the hearer to interpret auditory information without blocking the ear canal.

Such devices are of benefit by allowing the ear canals to be free to listen to the environment as well as the audio simultaneously. 

Why Bone Conduction Audio is Preferred?

As per Apple Insider, Bone conduction made it possible to listen to music or to take phone calls with a headset, without depending on earpieces. Rather than transmit sound through the air, devices capable with bone conduction contacts particular points on the head of the person and transmits sounds through the skull and ear, where vibrations are converted into sound.

It is also helpful when there is ear damage that prevents normal use of the headphone or earphone. It also helps when air-based methods like speakers malfunction, for instance when a person is underwater.

Major Downside of Bone Conduction

One of the major downsides is that they do not work at higher frequencies. 

Further, noise cancellation is not supported, and connection with the head could be an issue for some person.  

The standard listening range of 20 Hertz to 20 000 Hertz and is most effective in sub-4000 Hz range further increase the Hertz can deteriorate the sound quality.

In a patent by Apple, entitled “Multipath audio stimulation using audio compressors” indicated that bone conduction problems could be mitigated, partially by the help of traditional air conduction methods.

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Apple Insider