Tinnitus Masking: Bone Conduction Headphones (e.g., Aftershokz) — Share Your Experience

Discussion in 'Treatments' started by Steve, Mar 27, 2014.

    1. Steve
      Creative

      Steve Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Sheffield, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      Has anyone used bone conduction headphones?

      I have an ear infection, swollen eardrum, driving me nuts that I can't hear in one ear. So I want some distraction and bone conduction seems the only way to go to get some sound equally to both ears.

      Amazon only seem to have the Aftershokz, any experiences, are they any good?

      Steve
       
    2. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      I didn't even know that was a thing. Sounds pretty cool. Sorry to hear about the ear infection, hope you feel better soon!
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Steve
      Creative

      Steve Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Sheffield, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      Thanks, hearing isn't much fun in mono.

      They do look pretty cool, think I'll get a pair tomorrow and see what they're like. I just came across them by chance a couple of days ago.
       
    4. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      They can be pretty decent, but high levels of bone conducted sound is still high levels of sound. So be careful! I hope your ear infection clears up. Get better soon man, take it easy.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Steve
      Creative

      Steve Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Sheffield, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      Thanks, got some antibiotics yesterday (second time in my life I've ever taken them) so should be fixed up soon.. I was looking at a few things about the bone conduction, not saving your hearing at all just a different way of listening.

      Could be excellent for masking tracks depending on the frequency response - as usual it states 20 Hz-20 kHz, but that means nothing. It's all about how they reproduce the sound when you get them on.
       
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    6. Aussie Lea
      Dramaqueen

      Aussie Lea Member

      Location:
      Melbourne Yarra Valley
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/09/2013
      Do you recommend the headphones? Did they help you mask the tinnitus?
       
    7. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Founder Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      Here are two of our members (@jazz and @Steve) thoughts about the Aftershokz headphones (@Steve's model was Aftershokz Sportz 3, and I believe @jazz's model might have been AfterShokz AS330F Bluez or AS500 Bluez 2 since she mentioned the bluetooth connection):
      Source:
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/ultraquiet-therapy.1040/page-4#post-87482
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/ultraquiet-therapy.1040/page-4#post-87526
       
    8. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Drugs barotrauma
      Recently I have been using the Aftershokz, they are okay, the sound quality is not bad I guess, kind of hard to tell with my hearing.

      I listen to them while I watch TV, I have insect sounds running which take the edge off the tinnitus a bit without impeding the ear canal. I can still hear the TV quite well. There is some sound leakage, you are not only listening through bone conduction but picking up on the leakage through the open ear canal. If you plug your ears they actually sound fuller and cleaner but I guess this is not really the point of the design.

      It would be nice if there was a balance control as my right ear has a lot more hearing loss. Maybe this is on my iPhone and I haven't looked hard enough? Or maybe it's in the myNoise app that I'm running.

      Overall not bad, but not as good as I was hoping.
       
    9. Ma78

      Ma78 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      I am using the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium now. It does a good job of letting ambient sound in while listening. I do find there is quite a pressure on the side of the head after listening for a while.

      I did try a very quiet room with these things on and played my trusty cricket sounds which did a fantastic job of masking in a very quiet environment. I would recommend these for someone who has to spend a lot of time in quiet environments, hasn't quiet adjusted to their tinnitus and needs a fairly unobtrusive way of taking the edge off.
       
    10. pytajnick

      pytajnick Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Did anyone here try to use bone conduction headphones as white noise generators?

      A few months ago I got WNGs from NHS as a mean to improve my tinnitus and hyperacusis but even at the lowest level they irritate my ears and after a week of using them for 1-2 hours per day my condition got worse :/ I am looking for an alternative and bone conduction headphones sound like a good idea...
       
    11. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      I would try your maskers as can take a few days to adjust and keep them on the lowest setting for a few days before turning them up just below your tinnitus sound.
      Love glynis
       
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    12. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I advise you to persist with the white noise generators which are specifically designed for treating tinnitus and hyperacusis. Many people say, using white noise through headphones is the same. I assure you that it is not. The ear is a very delicate organ and I believe what you intend doing isn't a good idea as you could make your condition worse or it won't help at all.

      Take your time with the white noise generators. I once had excruciating tinnitus and hyperacusis and I got along with WNG just fine. They must be introduced correctly if your auditory system is sensitive.

      Start by keeping the white noise lower than your tinnitus at the lowest possible setting to begin. Try wearing them for just 1hr or 30mins. Then take them off for the same about of time or longer. Then put them back on. Slowly, build up the wearing time over weeks if necessary to the required 8 to 10hrs.

      You are not giving yourself time to adjust to the white noise generators. You are fortunate to get these as they are very expensive. I have used them for over 20 years and never had a problem. I assure you, used correctly you will benefit wearing them but you must be patient and give it time, many months....

      Michael
       
    13. pytajnick

      pytajnick Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for response:)
      That's the problem - the lowest possible setting is already too loud for me. And it completely masks my tinnitus which is more of a broadband thing rather than tonal sound (maybe except my "brand new" tonal sound acquired few weeks ago). Moreover while wearing them after some time my ears start to feel sore and full and just after putting wngs away my T is always noticeably louder. As I mentioned I tried to adjust myself by using it only for a few hours every day and wearing them switched off for the rest of the day but the only outcome was worse tinnitus after a week...
       
    14. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Why do you think bone conduction headphones sound like a good idea? The sound conduction is different as bone conduction has different characteristics from air conduction, so your cochlea is likely to "receive" a sound that is spectrally quite different from the one you intended to receive (if I'm not mistaken the bone acts as a low-pass filter vs air).

      You could try just regular headphones, as they will generally allow you a wider range of settings in terms of volume, but you need to know what to feed them. If it's pure white noise, then it's easy, but what many people call "white noise" is a "shhhhh" type of sound that is potentially targeted at a specific frequency band, and that's not exactly white noise.
       
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    15. pytajnick

      pytajnick Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      So that would mean that the same white noise recording played on bone conduction headphones would lack some of the high frequency sound? Have you tried them?
      I initially thought that's a good idea because I would have more control over the type of sound and the volume vs wngs and on top of that these wouldn't block my ear canals and there's no intrusive cable (they use bluetooth)
       
    16. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      That is possible, but I would imagine - if they are somewhat serious about sound quality - that they calibrate the headphones in such a way that they try to reproduce the frequencies as faithfully as possible to the original signal, so perhaps this concern is not that warranted. They may also be using different transducer technologies from what audiologists use (that are generally limited to 4-6 kHz) to allow them to go higher in frequencies.

      No I haven't. The only bone conduction transducer used in BC testing at the audiologist.

      Sounds good. Perhaps you can give them a try and let us know how they work for you?
       
    17. pytajnick

      pytajnick Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Michael Leigh @GregCA
      I've checked specs and they stated frequency response 20-20000Hz. I can hear hardly up to 16000. Actually, the high-frequency noise bothers me the most so probably I will try some sounds that are lower frequency wise. As I read the TRT book It was stated that sound characteristic of wng is of secondary value. The device should be unintrusive as possible, shouldn't affect the conversation and the sound itself should not create an aversive reaction (irritated the H). In this regard, Bone Conduction Headphones seem to differ from regular headphones or earbuds. I'll consider trying ones and give an update.
       
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    18. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I don't agree with what you are doing but wish you well.
      All the best
      Michael
       
    19. pytajnick

      pytajnick Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I don't quite understand. You mean that even if we assume that the level of sound reaching the cochlea will be the same in both cases the use of bone conduction headphones is still riskier than wng? In other words: If I'll be able to set the volume of the sound generated by bone conduction headphones below the mixing point or at the level that does not irritate my T is it still worse idea than using wng which I can't configure at all (neither the volume nor the frequency)? Why? I can imagine that due to occlusion effect and different means of propagation earbuds can be potentially hazardous even at the low levels (I recall reading about this in some article) but I don't see the same threat in bone conduction headphones in this regard because the sound produced by them doesn't even move through the ear canal. Am I missing something?
       
    20. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I don't know if you are missing anything I am just giving you my opinion and my experience having had TRT twice using white noise generators and still use them.

      I do not believe using bone conduction headphones is a good idea. It relies on transmitting sound to the inner ear by vibrations and I don't think this is good for you, neither to I think it is fit for the purpose of properly desensitizing your auditory system to treat your hyperacusis, which is what I think you have since you say the WNG mask your tinnitus at the lowest level.

      Furthermore, white noise must be used continuously throughout the day for up to 8hrs. The headphones you intend using I believe will be uncomfortable for this purpose.

      I don't know the type of white noise generators that you have but mine can be set to very low. Some, their volume can be turned up from complete silence to allow for very fine adjustment. Some white noise generators have 3 set volumes. 1,2.3 These cannot be finely adjusted. If this is the type that you have and you find setting (1) too loud then have a word with your Hearing Therapist/Audiologist and see if you can get a WNG that the volume can turned up from complete silence.
      To desensitize your auditory system and treat your hyperacusis WNG are the best devices for this. My opinion is bone conduction headphones will not work and you could risk making your tinnitus and hyperacusis worse. The ear is a delicate organ and you should really follow the advice of your healthcare professional.

      All the best
      Michael
       
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    21. IAmCalifornia
      Wishful

      IAmCalifornia Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Pennsylvania
      Tinnitus Since:
      this year
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      i wish i knew
      Didn't even know these were a thing. Has anyone with tinnitus used these for music? I miss listening to music so terribly and these seem like a good option.

      Has anyone used these and not have an issue?

      ***Not interested in any "DON'T USE HEADPHONES arguments or answers.***

      I want to know specifically if anyone has used bone conduction headphones and if they have had any issues with bone conduction headphones.

      Your insight and support is as valuable to me as water!!
       
    22. Starthrower
      Wtf

      Starthrower Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Surgery
    23. mcgregor

      mcgregor Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      I had a go at bone conduction headphones, didn't get on with them, played havoc with my tinnitus.
       
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    24. Starthrower
      Wtf

      Starthrower Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Surgery
      That is what I would think mcgregor.

      The constant vibration feeling would make me think about the dreaded dentist drill.

      It would be interesting to hear how other tinnitus/hyperacusis people have experienced bone conduction headphones.
       
    25. PaulaO

      PaulaO Member

      Location:
      western NC
      Tinnitus Since:
      1983
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Does anyone use these? How do they work with tinnitus?

      I wear my earbuds to listen to music so I can fall asleep (insomnia plus tinnitus) but I think they aren't helping with the moisture/wax issue I also have going on.

      I use Logitech gaming headset at my PC but can't wear them to bed. Not even sure I can wear the conduction ones but gotta start somewhere in my research.

      Much thanks!
       
    26. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      pillow speakers would work better for sleep.

      Love glynis
       
      Last edited: May 13, 2018
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    27. IAmCalifornia
      Wishful

      IAmCalifornia Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Pennsylvania
      Tinnitus Since:
      this year
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      i wish i knew
      I asked this awhile ago and specifically asked for people to spare me their "headphones are bad" and really specifically mentioned that I wanted to know about bone conduction headphones

      Everyone told me headphones are bad mm'kay
       
    28. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      I don't see a problem with them on the lowest setting and gaming headsets on low and not for long periods.
      my view.
      Love glynis
       
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    29. TinA#7oct
      Amused

      TinA#7oct Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Handpiece's (air driven turbine drills) repair of
      From reading your post, I wanted to know if making foam inserts for my headset, would make them safer to use?
      TinA#7oct
       
    30. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @PaulaO

      If your tinnitus was caused by exposure to "loud noise" then I advise that you don't use any form of headphones even at low volume, and including bone conduction types. If your tinnitus wasn't caused by loud noise I advise that you use them with caution. Wearing headphones in bed to sleep I feel isn't a good idea. Better to use a standalone device such as a "sound machine" to deliver sound enrichment throughout the night.

      Please go to my "started threads" and read my post: Tinnitus, A Personal View. More information is given on headphones and tinnitus.

      Michael

      PS: Since you want to research this matter. There are plenty posts written in this forum from people, that regret using headphones even at low volume, because they have made the tinnitus worse. This mostly affects people with "noise induced" tinnitus.
       
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