My hearing is pretty good for my age (and work background and music experience) and I'd like to keep it. But I listen to books all the time and music pretty frequently. Much of it while I'm riding my bike. I've been riding a bike, playing in the traffic, for about 35 years. For nearly all of that time, all those miles, I've had ear phones of one kind or another plugged in. I've been able to hear through them what I need to hear, other overtaking cyclists, cars, etc. The case for hearing a car bearing down on you from behind at 50 miles an hour is kind of overblown. No one can react quickly enough to matter. Paying attention to where your wheels are is more important. Right place, right time.
But since they have perfected bone conduction technology I've been intrigued by the availability of good music and books without plugging up my ears and banging on my cilia. I think the answer is here and it happens to be my birthday present from Dana.
They are pretty amazing. With 'Burning down the house' cranked up I still can't hear what someone is saying but I can hear more than if they were plugged into my ears and I do feel better about not ruining my ears.
The only downside is Dana is envious so I can see a second set on its way soon.