Finding the ideal pair of headphones may be an uphill climb. From noise cancellation to sound quality, and that's just the beginning, there are many features and specs to consider.
Planar magnetic vs. dynamic driver design is one of the most baffling technical considerations while looking for headphones. The good news is that it's no longer difficult to grasp the distinctions between them.
In this article, we'll break down the differences between the two kinds of headphones so you can make an educated purchase. Keep reading to know which option will be more suitable for you.
What are Planar Magnetic Headphones?
The "planar magnetic headphones" headphones use a planar magnetic driver to produce sound. A narrow diaphragm, magnetized all the way around and hung between two perforated metal plates, makes up this driver. In reaction to the sound, the diaphragm vibrates, producing sound waves carried to the ear.
Dynamic drivers, electrostatic drivers, and balanced armature drivers are only a few common sound generator types found in conventional headphones. Because of how these drivers work, many sound waves overlap and mix together, which might result in distortion.
In contrast, planar magnetic drivers use a tiny diaphragm coupled to an array of magnets, which vibrate in response to an electrical signal. Compared to standard headphones, this configuration transfers energy into sound waves more efficiently, resulting in less frequency interference.
A planar magnetic driver is used in the "planar magnetic headphones" to generate sound. This driver is a small diaphragm suspended between two perforated metal plates that is magnetized all the way around. As a result of the sound, the diaphragm vibrates, creating sound waves that are sent to the ear.
What are Dynamic Headphones?
To create sound, dynamic headphones use dynamic drivers. The magnetic in this driver causes the diaphragm to vibrate back and forth, producing audible sound.
A thin plastic, paper, or metal diaphragm is hung in a magnetic field created by an electromagnet. The electromagnet in headphones causes the diaphragm to move back and forth, resulting in audible sound waves sent to the ear canal.
Dynamic headphones are renowned for strong sound over a broad spectrum of frequencies. They are favored for portable audio devices because of their low power consumption and long lifespan.
The setup for dynamic drivers is the simplest of all driver kinds. The voice coil (depicted above) generates a magnetic field using a little current from the sound source. When an electric current flows through the coil, the diaphragm and the permanent magnet become magnetically attracted to one another. The electrical impulses from your audio source will force the diaphragm to vibrate and release sound.
The basic concept of dynamic drivers may also be applied to planar magnetic drivers. In addition, they provide voltage to "windings" made of conductor material, which in turn interacts with the driver's magnetic fields. Instead of a single coil, two permanent magnets create a magnetic field across the diaphragm. The electronic impulses from your audio source are converted into mechanical vibrations in the diaphragm by doing this.
As a result, the soundstage of conventional planar magnetic drivers is improved. In contrast to dynamic drivers, which typically produce a concentrated spherical sound wavefront, moving diaphragm drivers produce a planar sound wavefront because the whole diaphragm moves. The ear's interaction with sound is crucial to the perception of the soundstage because a focused wavefront significantly modifies how we locate sound as it enters the ear canal.
The stereo picture is more accurately conveyed when the wavefront is wider because the sound is coming from all around you rather than just one spot in your brain. It's an obvious change, but it may not be a big deal considering that modern closed-back planar magnetic headphones like the Oppo PM-3 also use spherical drivers that concentrate the sound wavefront.
Impression of Bass
The bass response of planar headphones is noticeably different from that of dynamic headphones.
The small, flat diaphragm used in planar headphones produces a homogenous sound field, leading to the widespread belief that they are superior for bass reproduction. Planar drivers, in contrast to dynamic drivers' voice coils, are magnetically driven, allowing for more efficient diaphragm movement, which in turn improves impulse response and transient detail.
Since the diaphragm of dynamic headphones can only move so far, the sound might get distorted if played at high volumes. Therefore, the bass produced by dynamic headphones is often less clear and has less depth. Some dynamic headphones use several individual drivers housed in a single housing to provide a more expansive soundstage with more powerful bass.
Planar headphones have a tiny, flat diaphragm that creates a uniform sound field, which has led to the prevalent misconception that they are better at reproducing bass. Planar drivers' voice coils are magnetically driven as opposed to dynamic drivers' voice coils, enabling more effective diaphragm movement, which enhances impulse response and transient detail.
When sound seeps out from your earphones, it is called leakage. Therefore, if your headphones leak a lot, you should use them somewhere quiet. However, there are situations in which leaking improves the listening experience.
Compared to standard open-back dynamic headphones, planar magnetic headphones leak a little more due to the bi-directional movement of the diaphragm.
The closed-back version of planar magnetic headphones, which actively works to reduce leakage, mitigates this problem. Test findings show that planar magnetic models leak more than dynamic headphones of comparable quality, particularly at higher frequencies.
In sum, dynamic and planar magnetic headphones have unique sound and benefits. The convenience and lower cost of production of dynamic headphones make them a great choice for less serious or financially constrained music lovers. They are also available with a wide range of tonal qualities, albeit they tend to distort when played at higher levels.
Planar magnetic headphones, on the other hand, are best suited for critical listeners because of their increased complexity and higher manufacturing costs. They have less high-level distortion and provide more authentic and immersive sound, but they're bigger. For any questions, please comment below.