Forbrain: A Bone Conduction Headset {Review}

Did you know that you can train your brain to absorb information more, pay better attention to what you are learning or doing, and understand things more clearly? That’s the premise behind the bone conduction headset from Forbrain – to help you use your own voice to stimulate your brain and keep it engaged.

A boy wearing a FORBRAIN bone conduction headset: A review of this product

What is Brain Conduction & How Does It Work?

When we hear, we generally use airwaves that travel through our ears and bounce onto our eardrums, changing vibrations into electrical signals to our brain who decodes that sound. Bone conduction skips the outer ear and creates vibrations right on the bones of your head. It’s like when you speak out loud (or hum loudly) with your ears covered, you can feel the gentle buzz of the bones in your head and you can “hear” your own voice. This allows you to do that in a much more intentional way, helping to retrain and engage your brain for the auditory process.

What is Forbrain?

Forbrain is a headset that includes a microphone with a dynamic filter. It sits on your head with little nubs settled on the bones right in front of your ears. It is rechargeable, so you don’t need batteries. The headset comes in a hard-shelled, foam-packed, zippered case, which keeps it safe.  It can easily be used between family members without needing any adjustments other than positioning it properly on each person’s head and moving the microphone to the best place.

To use Forbrain, you put it on and just talk. You can do specific exercises, read out loud, have a conversation with someone, sing, or basically do anything that requires you to use your voice. It can be used with children as young as 3 years old all the way up to seniors.  It is recommended to use the headset for a period of 6-10 weeks for about 5-15 minutes a day for kids and 10-20 minutes a day for adults for the best results.

How We Used Forbrain At Our House

When our headset arrived, all five of my kids gave it a try at least once – just to see what it was like. It is honestly a strange sensation to use it, so it a few of them found it too stimulating and overwhelming. They opted not to try it again.  Ultimately, it was mostly used by my 13-year-old son and myself. We were curious how it would affect my son who has ADHD and, for myself, to see how it worked on my own brain.

I wasn’t really sure what to do when we first got the headset. The information booklet that comes with it says to do exercises for about 15 minutes a day, but I was confused about what those exercises were. The company was great, offering me some suggestions and ideas. We tried some of the exercises and activities they provided, but soon realized we could honestly do ANYTHING with our voices. So we decided to use it while reading our school books out loud, taking turns to share the headset during our work time together.

We did this for several weeks and plan to use it again as we continue our schooling.

What Bone Conduction Feels Like

Putting into words how bone conduction feels is incredibly challenging. The best way I can describe is like standing on a stage and speaking into a microphone, listening to yourself through speakers in your ears. It’s like your head buzzes along as you speak. It intensifies the sounds that are closest to you (like your own voice and that of anyone near you who speaks as well.) It is very intense and totally amazing all at the same time.

How Forbrain Worked For Us

In truth, I didn’t know fully what to look for or to expect for results. I think, in some ways, that was a good thing, because I wasn’t really forcing myself to see specific results, but instead just paid attention to what was happening for both of us.

For my son with ADHD, using the bone conduction headset caused him to slow down his reading. As with everything to do with this child, he’s always in a hurry. This means that, even when reading silently, he often races faster than he can understand – prone to skip sections, jump over words he doesn’t recognize, and get to the end without fully understanding what he’s read.  Being aware of how he reads by listening to himself made him pay attention more.  When he got stuck on a word, he could hear himself say the word wrong and, instead of just skipping it, would listen to me tell him the word so he could say it correctly. Plus, he actually sat at the table with me while we read together when he was using the headset, which was nice. I didn’t have to talk to him as he wandered around the kitchen.

For myself, I have a bad habit of speaking very quickly. It’s probably a leak-over from my skill at reading by speed scanning. I tend to do a lot of language stuff fast. Even when I consciously attempt to slow myself down (say for videos), I still often get feedback about how fast I’ve spoken through it. My quick speech is part of the problem we had with a few of my children and their own speaking development because they couldn’t keep up. Using this headset made me slow down, pronounciate clearly, and listen to my own voice. It was really interesting to discover my own intonation and emphasis on words while I read.

FORBRAIN headset

How Else It Could Be Helpful

As a former singer, I think a tool like Forbrain would be invaluable. It would instantly allow a singer to hear if they were in tune, if they were enunciating words clearly, if they were in time with the music.

Public Speakers would really benefit from this as well, both in practice and during live speeches as well. Using it ahead of time would help you to be aware of your tempo and speech clarity, while in a live setting would keep you focused on what you are saying and how you are saying it.

If you or your child are prone to speaking incredibly loud, I could see this tool being a great way to have awareness of your volume. Getting your brain rattled constantly because you are using too loud a voice could easily put a stop to that.

Children with speech development struggles – like using Free instead of Three – could use the headset to hear how they say the word and then use speech training exercises to make the changes needed for those struggling sounds.

Any time you make a written project, whether that be an essay or a creative story, reading it out loud is a great way to make sure what you’ve written makes sense. Imagine hearing it with more clarity and certainty by using the Forbrain headset – you would be able to catch anything that’s wonky with much more ease.

There are many practical applications for using a bone conduction headset.

Is It Worth It?

Forbrain isn’t cheap. It costs $299US for a headset. Of course, this gets you a headset for life which has a 30-day refund guarantee and a 2-year warranty, which is nice.

But the question of worth is more embedded on what you feel the value is with a bone conduction headset as opposed to the dollar amount.

We have enjoyed using it, and will in all likeliness continue to use it while doing reading our school books out loud and while we have conversations about what we are learning plus I’m thinking of using it to read back the fiction stories I write to make sure they sound okay. However, in truth, I don’t think we would have bought a headset on our own if Forbrain hadn’t reached out and offered us one.

We didn’t find it to be a life-changing, ADHD-curing tool (not that I really expected it to be!) but instead helped us be more aware of what we were reading and how we were speaking. In that sense, it definitely works. If that is something of value to you – then yes, getting a Forbrain headset would be worth it.

Where to Get More Information or Buy A Headset

I highly recommend taking some time to watch this 20-minute information video from Forbrain. I wish I had found it before we had used the set as it explains so much about how it works, what to use it for, and what is happening in your head while you use it.

 

For more information or to order your own set, visit their website at www.forbrain.com


Disclosure: Forbrain sent a headset to us to use so we could write a review, however, that in no way influenced our opinions or experiences with this product. Everything in this post is our honest thoughts having used the headset as recommended. 

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