A bone conducting earpiece, what makes it special to other styles
A bone conducting earpiece, what makes it special to other
Music is a big part of daily life but it has been for nearly as long as Humans have been on this
planet. I often point to a discovery of a 40,000-year-old flute dating back to that ice age as proof for
this, but truly, all of the facts you may need is all around you, every day. We recall ballads and songs
long after the folks who first composed them have died and rotted away (an idea which I find
curiously calming) plus the music industry, like it or hate it, is always a large business.
However, whilst the ice age musicians likely lived in a world of stark brutality, frozen, dull
wastelands and harsh, 'kill or be killed' inter-cave politics, they never needed to contend with road
works, transport lorries, screaming babies or drunken crowd-rousers on their way to the stag night.
Today's listener has to deal with all that plus much more,
that may make listening to the music not just difficult, but
Now, however, contemporary science has stumbled over
a means in which you'll be able to still listen to your
favorite songs, even if you're wearing earplugs (no, I have
not been sniffing discarded paint cans again). It's called
skeleton conduction tech and no, despite the slightly odd
name, it really does not hurt...
According to recent studies, contact with any sound over 100 Dbm wears away a membrane known
as the myelin sheath and leaves your internal ear liable to problems like tinnitus and temporary
deafness, which can be the beginning of much more important problems. Bone conduction
technology is developed to bypass various sensitive portions of the ear and reduce the chance of
How? Well, in order to know that, we have to first identify with how our ears essentially work.
(HERE COMES THE SCIENCE-Y BIT) Basically, sound travels though the space, these sound waves
are intercepted by quite a few structures within the ear and are eventually translated and
transmitted into our brains (if it helps, visualize it much like the encoding/decoding of digital
information, like that which guides the movements of a wireless mouse).
The sound waves first meet a bit of cartilage (yes, similar stuff that a shark's skeleton is made of),
which helps to concentrate the sound, this is named a pinna (but you'll call it your outer ear without
looking too stupid).
Then, the sound waves pass into your central ear, it is filled with air and in addition contains both
your acoustic canal and your eardrum (my little brother burst his when he was little and nearly burst
mine crying about it). The eardrum vibrates, passing the sound through to a ossicles, which are
three small bones (that are in fact pretty essential to your sense of steadiness, I'm told). These tiny
bones transmit the signal to the cochlea, which is a fluid-filled infrastructure that 'encodes' the
signals for our noggin to 'decode'.
Bone conduction tech vibrates the bones of your skull, sending the noise directly to a cochlea and
bypassing the remainder of their ear totally. The nerve impulses transmitted to the brain are exactly
the same, however the sensitive instrument of the ear doesn't have to deal with the hassle of, to cite
Anchorman's Brick Tamland "LOUD NOISES!"
This method seems to be completely safe; in fact, the
notably deaf composer Beethoven employed a
elementary version of this process to be able to
create his most well-known works. He attached a rod
between his piano and his head and, as such, was
able to listen to the song he was playing.
So there you go, rather then exposing your sensitive
ears to louder and louder volumes, just to drown out
the background noise, you are able to alternativily
stick your earpugs in and play your music at the
proper volume. Make no bones about it (groan!)