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Review: Haylou PurFree Bone Conduction headphones

Put the music directly into my bones.

haylou bone conducting earbuds
Image: Curtis Silver / KnowTechie
The Good
Lightweight and waterproof
Open ear sound
Good battery life for hours of listening
Dual device connection
The Bad
Proprietary charger is annoying
These are not for true audiophiles
8
Overall

The Haylou PurFree bone conduction headphones are a new experience for me. I have reviewed a lot of headphones. Most of them either stick in my ear, or at least hang out of my ear.

While the Oladance Stereo headphones were a surprise, these were something different. As a top hat-wearing, pocket-watch-wielding audiophile, I’m in it for the quality of music.

That’s hard to achieve when the headphones sit off your ears. There’s music somewhere, but it’s not in your head.

That’s not to say this is a criticism of the Haylou PurFree headphones. There is something to be said for bone conduction headphones and their purpose in this world.

This technology has a reason for existing, and after a few days of use, it became apparent to me. These headphones match a certain lifestyle. I found they can exist alongside headphones that are used purely for music.

Big sound, somewhere

haylou bone conducting earphones on bust
Image: Curtis Silver / KnowTechie

Most headphones work by pushing sound through the air. The reason headphones like the JVC Riptidz sound so banging to someone like me, is because they are literally in your ear.

That’s what you want if you want music in your head. Bone conduction headphones work by transmitting sound through vibrations on your skull. They skip the eardrum and go right to the inner ear.

That means that there is less damage to your eardrum over time. Basically, if you just use bone conduction headphones, then your mom can’t yell at you about going deaf from listening to music at full blast all the time.

When it comes to the quality of sound, it’s almost not comparable because of the delivery system differences. I can’t say one is better than the other, but I can say the Haylou PurFree headphones slap.

After having them for a few days, I found myself wearing them all the time. They weren’t even in the right place on my head consistently. Sometimes they were on my skull, sometimes on my neck. But even with the directional sound, I could still hear them due to the vibrations.

If you like music on all the time, but don’t want to disturb the household while also hearing the household, then these are perfect.

Essentially, instead of music jammed in your head, blocking out the outside world, you have music vibrating into you. You stay aware of the outside world, but you have music in your bones.

While the depth of sound is lacking, that’s a comparison that shouldn’t exist here, so I’ll drop it. The headphones do come with earplugs, in case you do want to blank out your surroundings.

Run, sweat, cycle

haylou bone conducting headphones
Image: Curtis Silver / KnowTechie

As a part-time cyclist and full-time home chef, the Haylou PurFree headphones make sense. They are IP67-rated waterproof. This means they are sweatproof without degradation.

The wrap-around style stays on your head while you run, as well, if that’s your kind of thing.

When I cycle, I don’t wear earbuds. It’s dangerous around here. I need to be able to hear everything going on around me so I don’t die.

With these headphones though, that paradigm is changed. I can do both. I can have riding music while still being aware of my surroundings. That’s freaking awesome.

The directional audio delivers a moderate bass thump, if you press them hard against your skull. I’ll be honest, even in optimal head position, the sound you’re hearing has some distance to it as much as you feel it vibrating in your bones.

Using Bluetooth 5.2 technology, there is no fidelity loss. The sound is unbroken without major distortion. These are not audiophile headphones, they are active wear headphones.

Recharge your style

dog wearing earbuds
Image: Curtis Silver / KnowTechie

The Haylou PurFree headphones offer about eight hours of battery life when charged fully. They feature dual microphones and a cVc noise cancellation algorithm. This helps clear up background noise when you use them for a phone call.

There is one slight downside with these headphones, however. I review a lot of technology, and there is one serious pain point. That’s the physical charging technology.

These headphones have a proprietary charger. It’s a magnetic clip. You lose that cable, you’re shit out of luck. I can understand with the form factor why it’s not USB-C, but it’s still annoying.

I suppose, though, most earbuds have to sit in a case (which is proprietary) to be charged via USB-C, so it’s not that huge of a gripe.

All things considered, these are a great buy if you live an active lifestyle and need something that will workout with you.

They aren’t for pure music enjoyment, but they don’t dampen the experience either. They offer you music (or podcasts or whatever) when you might not be using regular headphones. That’s a bonus.

There are a ton of bone conduction headphones on the market, so it’s hard to say how these ones stack up. Many of them have seemingly made up names and vary in price from $40 to $150.

Shokz is the most popular brand for these types of headphones. Another popular option comes from Panadia, and they are on the cheaper end at $45.

The Haylou PurFree bone conduction headphones retail for $78.66 (down from $133.32) and are available at Amazon (for $95.99, oddly enough) and through AliExpress (for $78.66).

Editors’ Recommendations:

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The Good
Lightweight and waterproof
Open ear sound
Good battery life for hours of listening
Dual device connection
The Bad
Proprietary charger is annoying
These are not for true audiophiles
8
Overall

Back at it. Writing tech news/opinion so Josiah doesn't slap me (or so he will, depends on the day). Follow on Twitter @cebsilver for them jokes. Chaotic neutral.

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