Having tried bone conduction headphones before, we were sceptical about these, but ended up being pleasantly surprised.
The band wraps around your head and over your ears so the speakers sit just in front of them on your cheekbnones. The sound is then transmitted to your inner ear through your bones.
The advantage is that you can ride without losing contact with the outside world, improving safety. In traffic we couldn’t hear the music well (which is probably for the best) but on quiet roads the sound was absolutely clear – the best we’ve heard from headphones of this type.
It’s reassuring to still be able to hear cars from a distance, although arguably the distraction of having music on at all will impair your safety.
Inline controls let you turn the headphones on and off (not your MP3 player though) and answer calls when plugged into a smartphone – the built-in mic automatically switches on when you answer, and clips to your collar for hands-free answering.
Our only criticisms are that the band isn’t adjustable, so they won’t fit everyone, and there’s no volume control on the inline unit.
The basic Sport version of the headphones comes without the phone call capability and costs £49.96 (US$59.95).