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Hands On: Audio Bone Bone-Conduction Headphones

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"Ludwig van Beethoven, the famous 18th century composer who was partially deaf, discovered Bone Conduction," asserts the Audio Bone Web site. “Beethoven found a way to hear music through his jawbone by attaching a rod to his piano and clenching it in his teeth. There have been many attempts at bone conduction listening since Beethoven, but none have provided true high fidelity quality sound--until now."

Following in Beethoven's footsteps is certainly a lofty prospect. Attempting to one-up him just seems downright crazy. But Japan-based company Goldendance claims to have done just that with the release of the Audio Bone: bone conduction headphones that sit in front of your ears and amplify your music by vibrating your skull.

We first saw the Audio Bone headphones at CES back in January. We, of course, were eager to get our hands on a pair. Bone conduction holds a number of advantages over earbuds: First, and perhaps most important, they're less likely to contribute to hearing loss than traditional headphones--particularly earbuds--because they bypass the ear drum.

Also, since the headphones don't obscure the ear canal, they don't drown out ambient noise. Users are able to keep an ear out for their surroundings while listening to music. AirDrives had a similar idea when it placed its headphones' speakers just in front of the ear canal, allowing more ambient sound to sneak in.

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This story appears courtesy of PC Magazine.
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