Bone Conducting Headphones Built Into Eye Glasses

There are times when being seen to listen to music through headphones might get you into trouble. For these moments, reach for a handy solution: bone conduction speakers that discreetly pipe the music to your eardrums through the bone of your skull. [Samuel] wanted just such a covert music listening device, so created his own in a set of 3D-printed glasses.

He first tried using an Adafruit bone-conducting transducer but found that to be too bulky. What you see here is a smaller module that [Samuel] found on AliExpress (search for bone conduction module). The GD-02 is much smaller and thus more suitable for hiding in the arm of a pair of glasses. For the rest of the electronics he used a PCB and battery from a donated set of broken Bluetooth headphones, a space for which he was able to conceal easily in the 3D-printed frame of the glasses. The battery is in one arm and the board in the other, and he says the wiring was extremely fiddly.

The result is a surprisingly svelte set of specs that you might not immediately think concealed some electronics. His choice of bright yellow filament might give the game away, but overall he’s done a great job. This certainly isn’t the first bone conduction project we’ve shown you, some of the others have used motors instead of bone conduction transducers.

21 thoughts on “Bone Conducting Headphones Built Into Eye Glasses

  1. I guess everybody is different, but to me it looks like the placement of the transducers could have been better. Further forward or backwards. Forwards because the contact would be better on my head shape or backwards because it’s more likely to directly hit a bony part of my skull without hair.

    In general I would add:
    “There are times when being seen to listen to music through headphones might get you into trouble.” If you’re not supposed to be listening to music, there’s probably a good reason for it. Do whatever you want but don’t be surprised if it gets you in trouble.

    1. “If you’re not supposed to be listening to music, there’s probably a good reason for it. ”

      While I do agree with your sentiment, someone I know with ADHD actually can focus better at times with music.

    2. I really feel like rules like this are a catchall that get laid down for all of us to endure to prevent 1-2 cases of someone being irresponsible. I am interested if you can think of a time that you can’t listen to music through headphones when it wouldn’t be acceptable from a radio or otherwise. The rule isn’t about music it’s about allowing you to hear the environment around you / just to control your enjoyment for no reason. In VA you can’t have anything in your ears while driving. I can blast music at 100db from the car, but I can’t quietly listen to headphones or wear earplugs while riding a motorcycle. the rule is so that you can be attentive to honks from other cars, but ineffectually applied If I can blast music in the car or at 70mph on a motorcycle, so its really just an excuse to extort some money out of you.

  2. Ever since I had a dream to the effect I have been wondering if it would be possible to trick the mind into experiencing sound as touch; tactile-aural synaesthesia through neural plasticity.
    Perhaps bone conduction, which allows for much greater bandwidth than regular sound, is the key…

    1. “if it would be possible to trick the mind into experiencing sound as touch; ”

      IIRC, one person claimed to hear colors while on LSD …

      There was also an experiment a number of years ago where a transducer grid was placed on the back of a blind person, and the grid was activated by a processor/computer interpreting visual signals.

      There was also an experiment that used a pair of “goggles” which used ultrasonic transducers to give a Doppler
      effect “view” of the area in front of the blind wearer (audible sounds from processing the ultrasounds were sent in stereo to a pair of earphones on the goggles).

  3. As I’d never heard of these types of modules being available for purchase I did some research into them. What I cannot find clearly is how they are supposed to be mounted in the final product. Due to the mounting holes in the front it looks like the module is supposed to mount to something with 2 tiny screw, but what? And how is it sealed? The way they are mounted in these glasses seems vulnerable to ingress of gunk (skin debris, grease, sweat). Anybody know where to find application notes from the manufacturer (if they exist)?

    1. I focus better with “talk radio” (can be YouTube or whatever), documentaries and the like. As long as they’re boring and not in the least bit interesting or else I start to listen and get distracted… :-)

  4. I never thought of 3d printing glasses. But now I will.
    That could save me $100 a year.
    Now if we could only print the lenses that would be cool.
    Now we just need a little mike on them and a touch bottom for the phone.

    Great job.
    But I do think the yellow is to much as well.

  5. This is really interesting from a hearing loss perspective! My hearing is pretty much gone in the left ear and getting there on the right and haven’t been able to listen to music the same since this kicked off.

    Might look into giving this a try!

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