Ultimate Guide to Best Bone Conduction Sunglasses 2019 (Updated Version)

Of all the different types of sunglasses available on the market, bone conduction shades have managed to open up its unique market ever since 2016, with Zungle being one of the most successful leaders. However, two years later at this moment in 2019, when we look back at these products I can’t help wondering – are they still worth it? Or do we have any other better choices?

First of all, bone conduction HAS its weakness, I’ll give you that. Since the sound is transmitted through the skull into inner ear rather than through the air, it, as a matter of fact, does feel a bit weird when you first try it. The way you perceive your own voice comparing to what others hear is a perfect example. The first time I heard my own voice coming out of a recorder really took me by surprise that I actually had such unpleasant voice. But we have to admit it that bone conduction does have some advantages over traditional earbuds. 

With bone conduction headphones your perceptions of the outer world will not be blocked because bone conduction allows you to hear with your ears open to the surroundings. Moreover, bone conduction is also another opportunity for some of the hearing-impaired people. For these people, they used to need to be surgically implanted a device to convert the through-the-air sound transmission to vibration. Now, this process could be replaced by these commercial bone conduction devices on the market, without any risks that surgery would possibly bring.

There is no doubt that Aftershokz's headphones have made quite a carrier for bone conduction technology, but apart from these ordinary everyday headphones, wouldn’t you crave something more stylish to express yourself? Bone conduction sunglasses is probably one of the best products combining bone conduction technology with another practical gadget. Without further ado, below are the 5 best bone conduction sunglasses we’ve chosen. 


The best bone conduction sunglasses of 2019

DigiOptix Bone Conduction Sunglasses

DigiOptix is a Kickstarter product first announced in November 2016. They’ve ingeniously placed a hidden camera into the bridge of the glasses and thus allow you to capture the beauty around you without even being noticed (probably a great way to do some nasty work). A single slide gesture will do the magic. There could be some privacy concerns but believe it or not, these sunglasses have great potential once put to good use. So far DigiOptix has not released any information about its video quality but bone conduction sunglasses with a camera in it? Just think about it and you won’t care about the rest. It also provides multiple frames and lens colors to meet every consumer’s personal taste. It has a built-in mic and gesture control for hands-free cellphone communication through Bluetooth. You can see that they used to build this Camera Video Glasses like Google Glass which probably only a geek would like to wear. The new sunglasses shape makes it friendlier to common customers.

In the latest update, they have added the attachable in-ear headphones for better sound quality. I can’t say this is good or not but people who buy bone conduction products, they are not buying for sound quality. No weight or battery info provided at this moment either but with the camera feature integrated, I’m not too much optimistic about it.

 pros
  • Built-in camera to take photos and record videos
  • Gesture control
  • Attachable in-ear headphones for better sound quality and immersive experience
    cons
    • Weight/battery information not released
    • Delayed delivery (original estimated delivery: Sep 2017)

      Zungle Panther Bone Conduction Sunglasses

      Zungle Panther is probably the most well-known bone conduction sunglasses there is on the market. It’s not the earliest, but it’s definitely the most successful one regardless of the product quality. When I was holding back if I should buy and try one I saw this video: 

      I honestly did not and would not want to believe this after seeing so many compliment reports over mainstream social platforms. So I decided to give it a go. By the time I decided to purchase one, Zungle no longer put their products on Amazon. So I had to get them from their official site. I heard it’s because of average bad review scores but anyway I wasn’t there to judge. The $149.99 combo pack comes with two extra pairs of lenses. Together I received 3 pairs of lenses (1 Matte Black, 1 Trap Black, 1 Oasis Blue). If you want other colors they also offer another 5 colors with $17.99 for each. That’s a fair price considering they use the same lens as Oakley Frogskins does. That said, I could easily switch my Oakley Frogskins lenses to the Zungle Panther which really saved a lot of trouble. The style of these sunglasses looks amazing the first time I opened the box. And it’s waterproof and super lightweight (45g). It feels a bit tight between the two glasses legs but once you get used to it it’s totally fine. One thing I like best is the jog dial button. Every functionality you could possibly use is integrated on this little button and it feels smooth. The gesture feature is fine though sometimes it really won’t function well. I don’t doubt the second generation will be improved but I’ll stick with this jog dial button for now. And they incredibly reduce the charging time to less than 1 hour with a 3.7v 300mAh battery inside. 100 hours of standby time and 4 hours of play time all seem decent to me.

      Now here comes the crucial part – sound quality. I know I already said sound quality didn’t matter but for this part, Zungle really needs a better sound resolution. I do have an Aftershokz Trekz Titanium and it’s also bone conduction. Upon listening with both devices it feels rather different. In comparison, Zungle’s sound is loud enough with some noise in it. The bone conduction transmitted sound it doesn’t feel the way Aftershokz conveys but still not that bad as what is said in the video. In a public environment like when you are out in the street or going for a jog, that’s not a problem while in a private environment where there is not much noise around you would certainly not want to wear such glasses to listen to anything as everything you are playing is exposed to the surroundings within at least 2-meter radius. You don’t need to worry about other people hearing the specific detailed sound though for the voice transmitted to the air will sound unclear to others. Generally speaking, I don’t regret buying Zungle. These sunglasses are still perfect when you wear them in the right place.

      pros
      • Oakley Frogskins compatible lenses
      • Jog dial button
      • Great battery and charging time
      • Hidden USB port design
        cons
        • Very tight fit and uncomfortable
        • Sound quality needs improvement

          Vue Smart Glasses

          Vue is the only bone conduction glasses so far I’ve seen calling their Glasses SMART and as far as what I’ve seen, they absolutely live up to this name. Vue is smart in various aspects. 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope sensors are added to track your steps, calories, and distance and remind you to move when seated for some time.

          It’s like those good old smart bands that help track your daily activity except that now you could wear them as sunglasses. I won’t even be surprised if later generations of Vue come with the heart rate monitor features. Unlike other bone conduction devices that need to manually power on, Vue turns on automatically when you put them on and enters standby low power mode once taken off to conserve power. This is similar to Bose Frames AR, another pair of glasses but not built with bone conduction. Together with the dedicated wireless charging case, standby time could be prolonged to 7 days and you no longer mess up with all the cables in your bag.

          You can even send a signal to Vue to find it when you accidentally forget where you put it with the Find My Glasses feature. There is technology everywhere within this little device. The built-in ARM Cortex-M3 processor means powerful app support and Vue opened up multiple API for developers to build even more amazing features. It’s a great product – when it’s out on the market – unless they make it. They’ve postponed the delivery date more than once and rumor has it that the technique is not mature enough yet to put so many features into such delicate device especially when the glasses legs are made to be so thin and comfortable. Newest delivery date is March 2018 and I suppose again they are not going to make it. This really is a dream-coming-true product and I wish their success. So where can we actually purchase this? I'm afraid we have to wait for now. There are other bone conduction glasses brands which pretend to be Vue and are selling on Amazon, check out the blog post here telling the story.

          pros
          • Super lightweight: 28g
          • Enhanced gesture control
          • Dedicated app support
          • Open-up APIs for developers
          • Wireless charging case
          • Water resistance
          • Round/Oval shaped frame supported
            cons
            • 3.7V 90mAh battery
            • 2-3 days of standby time on a single charge
            • We wait…

              VocalSkull Bone Conduction Sunglasses


              VocalSkull is a recent brand targeting bone conduction products. According to their official site, they are a tech-driven e-commerce company dedicated to bone conduction technology. I’ve purchased one of their bone conduction sunglasses and their products feel quite different from other bone conduction products, or rather I would put it this way, they are different in a good way, more conservative but more quality. VocalSkull also comes with an extra pair of polarized lenses but it does not have all those fancy features as Vue or DigiOptix. Instead, they focus on bone conduction and what they have at present. Sound leakage is the main problem all bone conduction products suffer while bone conduction has their way to tackle it. According to their information, they’ve managed to reduce 70% of the sound leakage. I made a test upon receiving the product and honestly there was still quite some leakage but comparing with Zungle Panther the leakage really didn’t sound that loud. And they are IP67 certificated thus common rain, splash or sweat will not be the issue. They claim to have 300 hours of standby time with one charge and in the actual test this pair of glasses even made it to 15 days. It’s probably a result of my low-frequency usage but still quite impressing.

              Above all, the audio resolution is way better than Zungle, not as good as traditional in-ear headphones though, but you can at least hear very clearly, even more so when you plug your ears with the earplugs they attached in the package. Bone conduction and sunglasses, no other gaudy functions added and they reduced the weight to 32g, which is not as heavy as Zungle but again not so lightweight as Vue. They also did some tweak to the legs structure to make the glasses more comfortable and fit than Zungle Panther (which is a bit too tight). On the left leg, they do put three buttons, two for volume adjustment and one for power but I might as well adjust the volume directly on my cell phone because the buttons are quite stiff to press. Overall, VocalSkull is by far one of the best bone conduction sunglasses you can get on the market. 

              pros
              • Lightweight and comfortable
              • 10 days of standby time
              • Better sound leakage handling
              • Relatively low price ($99) with a higher - sound quality
              • IP67 certificated
              • 4 – 5 hours of communication time
                cons
                • Stiff buttons

                 

                Zungle Viper - Ver 2.0 of Panther

                 

                Two years later, Zungle finally released its second generation – Zungle Lynx and Zungle Viper, pretty pretentious names for a pair of bone conduction glasses. If I were the one to name it, I would call it Dodge Python (just kidding). According to Zunlge, Lynx and Viper are the same glasses with different frame and lens colors. Let’s see what they have improved comparing with Zungle Panther.

                Firstly, the battery is reduced from the original 300mAh Lithium Polymer to a 115mAh one, while still keeping the standby time up to 100 hours, which I doubt a little bit. We will make an in-depth test of this when we actually get the product. The charging time is significantly reduced to less than an hour with their exclusive charging cable. Amazing!!! Bluetooth has been upgraded to 5.0 and the touchpad has been removed, which is good because this glitchy touchpad was one of the most criticized features on Panther – insensitive and easy to be triggered unintentionally. Also, the transducer is made to maintain the round shape. From experience, we know that round is good.

                 

                Also, the transducer is made to maintain the round shape. From experience, we know that round is good. This shape has the largest contact area and thus conveys the best sound quality. This G1 bone conduction sunglasses use the same technique and therefore the sound quality is superior. I’ll write a full review on this product soon.

                What I loved most on Panthern – the jog dial button – is kept and improved as the A.I one click control. These days everyone seems to involve their product with A.I. We hope that this pair of AI glasses won’t fail us.

                The overall appearance gives a high-tech feeling and I believe the moment I wear these glasses I will fall in love with them. One thing that goes backward is the weight. Panther weighs 45g but Zungle Viper and Lynx weighs even 5g more and they still call this super light. Maybe their engineers have done some structural optimization to make it feels lighter even with the actual weight increased.

                pros

                • Less than 1 hour super fast charging time (with exclusive charging cable)
                • Bluetooth 5.0, stabler and faster connectivity
                • Improved sound leakage control (alleged)

                  cons

                  • Weighs 5g more than the last generation

                    Ossii Sound

                    Ossii Sound is a pair of bone conduction glasses with highly customizable components.

                    Even without the bone conduction part, it's still a pair of great sunglasses, all in one sunglasses. 

                    Its 3-point locking system makes it possible to change lenses instantly, without any hassle.

                    Whether you are working in the office or outdoor cycling, Ossii offers every type of lenses you need. With its patented slide rail design, you can even remove the bone conduction components in a second.

                    Or if you feel uncomfortable with the bone conduction speaker position, you can easily slide and change it. 

                    Because of its slide design, the glasses sometimes look weird, with the two speakers being on the sides of your head. It's kind of like the old school bluetooth glasses. But that's what it takes for customization.

                    Pros

                    • Change lens on the go
                    • Pure titanium top bar
                    • Multiple frames to choose from

                     Cons

                    • A little bit of weird with two speakers on the sides of your head

                    Bose Frames

                    BOSE released the new Bluetooth bone conduction sunglasses that can play music in 2018, which was launched in the United States in January 2019.The official name for this pair of glasses is BOSE Frames.

                    In terms of appearance, this glasses is not very stunning, and it is not much different from ordinary sunglasses. There are two different versions of ALTO and RONDO.

                    Although the official claims to have AR function, in fact, BOSE Frames glasses are not AR glasses, because there is no visual part inside, it is under the Bose AR technology blessing, the device tracks the head movement through the sensor, and according to the mobile phone GPS Positioning, all of this data is processed through the accompanying application, and finally the practical information is conveyed to the wearer in audio form, so I think it is more appropriate to enhance the audio bone conduction glasses.

                    Its lenses are replaceable and come in three colors: Rose Gold & Blue Gradient and Mirrored Silver.The overall operation of BOSE is very simple and is done by a small button on the right side.More special is that If you put the glasses upside down on the table, it shuts itself down, then this operation is very important for a mobile Bluetooth audio device with only 3.5 hours of battery life. Officially speaking, it blocks 99% of UV rays, with a standby time of 12 hours and full charge for two hours.

                    In May of this year, I purchased BOSE bone conduction glasses, and its best use experience is the auditory effect.The ultra-thin mini BOSE speaker and microphone are hidden in the temple position, which can accurately convey the sound to the wearer. Although the leak is a problem of all bone conduction glasses, its has good sound leakage control and the sound quality is very good. When I wear glasses to listen to music, it is difficult for people around me to perceive it.

                    Pros

                    • Sound quality is good
                    • Unique Bose AR function
                    • Premium materials to ensure they won’t easily scratch or shatter
                    • Blocks up to 99% of UVA/UVB rays
                    • Bluetooth connectivity

                     

                     Cons

                    • Not support multipoint connection 
                    • The temples are wide
                    • Only 12 hours of standby time


                    Let Glass

                    LET Glass comes in 3 choices of frames: Basic, Modern and Vintage. You can select the frame according to your face type or your favorite style.

                    LET Glasses may be the first bone conduction glasses to control smart home. After connecting your compatible smart home devices to the App, you can easily control them with a voice request. It sounds amazing.

                    It also can track your steps, distance, and calories burned, and keep a record of your activity results. It seems to replace the sports bracelet. Moreover, it can provide GPS directions, weather reports, and accurate time,etc. Its function is almost diversified, it almost replaces Headphones, Sound, Sports Bracelets and other products, so many features, are you interested in it?

                    In the face of such powerful bone-conduction glasses, I have several questions: Will you use these functions? Could every function be fully utilized? Can it completely replace headphones? Sports bracelet?

                    When these problems arise, I think that the original intention of our purchase of bone conduction glasses is only because it can free our ears. I have read a lot of information on the Internet. At present, the sound quality of bone conduction is not comparable to that of traditional headphones, it can only reduce the leakage asap. If you like glasses with a lot of functions, you must select LET glass, which will satisfy all your curiosity. If you are looking for professional bone conduction products, you can try VocalSkull or Zungle or AfterShokz. For audiophiles, I won't recommend any brand of bone conduction products.

                    Pros

                    • Voice / Gesture Control
                    • Alexa control
                    • Track steps, distance, and calories burned
                    • Provide GPS directions, weather reports, and accurate time

                     

                     Cons

                    • Delayed delivery

                    OptiShokz from AfterShokz

                    In my daily life, what is indispensable is riding outdoors. Sunglasses and music are the essential elements of riding a family. In order to ensure safety when riding bicycles outdoors, it is necessary to listen to all directions. However, without music, for me, the fun of sports can be less than half. In this regard, AfterShokz's sister company OptiShokz also brought a bone conduction sunglasses called Revvez.

                    I found this sports bone conduction sunglasses at CES. Currently in the Indiegogo group, it can be pre-ordered for $99 early bird prices, but the delivery time is still delayed, and the recommended price after the listing is $179. Yes, it is not cheap.

                    Due to brand strategy considerations, AfterShokz formed sister company OptiShokz to launch the new Revvez bone conduction sunglasses. Unlike other bone conduction headphones, Revvez places the signal converter behind the ear. OptiShokz said that the design is to transmit the signal to the cartilage behind the ear, and the sound can be heard directly in the ear (in fact, bone conduction technology). Designed to allow riders, runners, hikers, golf enthusiasts, skiers and others to listen to audio and make calls anytime, anywhere while maintaining “environmental awareness”.


                    Let me talk about the experience of this OptiShokz. Because it is also a pair of sunglasses, the appearance is also designed to be good, very sporty, suitable for me, also very light, wearing a feeling that will not have a pressure on the nose. Unfortunately, there are no prescription lenses. This will still have some bone conduction technology leakage, I may not choose to wear it when driving or taking the bus. Because the person next to you can hear my headphones.

                    The most special aspect of Revvez, the end of the frame is where the bone conduction element is located and can be bent. It can be covered down to the back of the ear to help the headset be firmly attached to the head. Because of the design of the flexible temples, there is no need to worry about the glasses falling off when riding.

                    Overall, this seems to combine the appearance of Cyberpunk and the outdoor wind, and the beauty should be decent. Also because the signal converter is placed behind the ear, the front side does not look too heavy and is roughly like a pair of common windproof sports glasses.

                    Pros

                    • Sunglasses with sensors that transmit sound through the cartilage behind the ear
                    • Built for fitness
                    • Lightweight design
                    • Two different protection cases
                    • Flexible double titanium temple

                     Cons

                    • Waterproof and sweatproof IP55, swimming can not be worn
                    • No prescription lenses
                    • Obvious audio loss
                    • Not so loud
                    • There is no bright spot on the battery
                    • High price


                    Conclusion

                    The five bone conduction sunglasses are all great products. If you want sunglasses that could replace your smart bands, smart watches, wait for Vue. If you want to experience the best bone conduction sound with a tight budget, hesitate no more and VocalSkull is your desired device for sure. If you already have Oakley Frogskins sunglasses and want a smooth migration to the bone conduction ones, of course, Zungle will be the one. As for the camera sunglasses,  unless you have this specific need, the passion with it will soon be gone. Plus they have delayed their delivery again and again that some people begin to wonder whether it’s a scam.

                     

                    January 01, 2019 by Simon Edwards

                    Comments

                    Mazdayar

                    Mazdayar said:

                    Bose are NOT bone conduction glasses. They have directional speakers.

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