What Are Air Tube Headphones and How Do They Work?

While the world switches over to wireless everything, especially wireless ear buds, some of us seek out alternatives, which is why air tube headphones have gained popularity for their ability to reduce your exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation.

Air tube headphones have special features that set them apart from any other headphones on the market.

Instead of having Bluetooth speakers inside your ears, the wired speakers are further from your head connected by hollow tubes to your earbuds, reducing electric and magnetic fields, radiation from your cell signal, Bluetooth and WiFi signals.

Most also have a shielded wire so the wire touching your body doesn’t emit radiation either. And you still have buttons and a mic and other features you expect from your headphones or earbuds.

By increasing the distance from electronic sources to your ears (and brain), this design choice greatly reduces exposure to EMF radiation.

They are an excellent choice for individuals who have electromagnetic sensitivity, have frequent headaches, or are concerned about exposure to EMF fields.

Countless reviewers across brands report having significantly less headaches after switching from Bluetooth earbuds to air tubes.

With a wide range of options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best ones for your needs. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 EMF radiation free headphones of 2024.

How Do Air Tube Headphones Work?

Unlike regular wired headphones that transmit sound through metal wires to speakers right in your earbuds, air tubes are made of flexible, hollow plastic material that is non-conductive and filled with air.

The tubes act as an acoustic conduit. They reduce background noise and carry the sound waves, whether that’s music, a phone call, videos, podcasts, etc, from the speakers part way up the cord (typically below your shoulders) to the over ear headphone or earpieces in your ear.

By taking phone calls through your air tube headset you maintain a greater distance from your cell phone and your head, reducing your exposure to EMF frequencies from your device (like cell signals, WiFi, GPS, and more Bluetooth).

This unique design really sets them apart from traditional wired or wireless headphones, and ensures that only sound waves reach your ears, minimizing direct contact with electromagnetic fields from wired headsets, while eliminating exposure to Bluetooth radiation inside your head that you would get from wireless earbuds.

What About Sound Quality?

Like any set of earbuds, the sound quality of air tube headphones, is going to vary depending on brand, model, and quality which all connects to price.

Some higher-end options, like Defendershield’s air tube headphones are designed with professional-grade stereo quality speakers, providing a superior audio performance and a unique depth of sound because of the hollow air tubes.

Another popular brand with high quality sound is Shield Your Body, where you’ll get crisp, clear sound with full bass.

Other entry level models, like Kinden’s air tubes which are only about $20 on Amazon, are going to have lower quality sound and depth that you’d expect to get for the quality and price.


The biggest drawback of using air tubes in today’s Air Pod world is the lack of freedom of movement with having wires, but if you’re like me, this inconvenience is worth not having a Bluetooth signal next to your brain for an extended period.

Durability can be seen as a downside of airtubes. Although high quality, due to their design, the tubes used for transmitting sound can be more susceptible to damage or kinking if not handled with care. You don’t want to just toss them in your gym bag or backpack! I’m not very gentle with mine and I’ve had them for several years now.

I’ve had to replace cell charger cords and Lightning adapters but the headphones are still working great. However, by treating them gently and storing them properly when not in use, you can prolong their lifespan and enjoy the benefits they offer for an extended period.

While most users are happy with the sound from high quality EMF-free headphones, they might not be up to the sound standards of an Audiophile. They’re not going to match the sound of $2000 Bose or Sennheisers – but what can?

For those of us concerned about exposure to EMFs, the significant reduction in RF radiation exposure outweighs these drawbacks.

Features to Consider When Buying Air Tube Headphones

You don’t have to give up features of your regular headphones by switching to air tubes. You have the choice between over ear headphones, ear buds, and there’s even a wireless air tube model available. DefenderShield also sells kids headphones.

You also have a choice in colors to suit your personality, while many are black or white, Safer Tech has golden blush or pink options.

Most headsets have the following features:

  • Built-in microphone
  • Different size ear buds, some with sport tips too
  • Volume control buttons
  • Audio playback control
  • One touch call answering
  • Some come with cases
  • Some with extra long cords

You typically get a 3.5mm audio jack but Shield Your Body has a USB-C connector option.

With the increasing demand for safer earbuds and headphones, more companies are jumping on board. You’ve got SYB, DefenderShield, SaferTech, Atmosure, Kinden, Arkatech, Tuisy, RadiArmor, AirCom and iBrain to choose from.

Wrapping It Up

Air tube headphones strike a balance between audio quality and health-conscious design, making them an excellent choice for those concerned about minimizing EMF radiation exposure and leading healthier lifestyles.

It’s a great way to incorporate EMF safe options into our tech driven world.

If you’re still using wireless ear buds, you might want to read up on Bluetooth radiation, and why radiation-free headsets are an excellent choice to switch to.

And if you’re looking for recommendations for the best quality, best sound air tubes check out my top air tube headsets for 2024. A guide to help pick the right pair for you.

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