Thresholds of audibility for bone-conduction headsets
Walker, Bruce N.
Stanley, Raymond M.
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Despite advantages of using headphones, including privacy and portability, headphones have one essential drawback: they cover the ears of the listener, thus deteriorating detection and localization of ambient sounds. Bone-conduction headsets leave the ears uncovered, yet maintain portability and privacy. An initial step in establishing guidelines for using these ``bonephones'' is taken in the present research. The input into the bonephones necessary to reach a 71% detection threshold is measured at critical band centers ranging from 150 Hz to 13500 Hz. These thresholds were measured with an open ear canal, a plugged ear canal, and a masking noise. Results were consistent with other bone-conduction threshold measurements. The utility of this information in the context of equalization for the audio presented through the bonephones is discussed.