AudioAudio: Guides

Headphones Drivers. Everything You Need to Know

headphones drivers

There are various types and designs currently on the market if you’re looking for quality headphones.

However, without headphone drivers, you won’t be able to hear anything coming from your headphones. It is one of the essential components of a headphone since it translates electrical data into audible sound waves.

The sizes of the different types of drivers range from 8mm to 50mm. However, the effectiveness of a headphone driver is not only determined by its size.

Some drivers are better than others due to the technologies they utilize. Multiple drivers may be used in certain headphones to handle a wide range of frequencies.

Here, we’ll get through the terminology to explain everything you need to know about headphones driver, one of the most popular headphone components.

What is a Headphone Driver?

A basic speaker that moves air is a headphone driver. Pressure waves are formed as air is forced into the speaker, resulting in a sound that flows through the ear lobes.

A driver, which converts electrical energy to sound energy, is one of the most crucial components of a headphone or speaker. Drivers are usually referred to as transducers or motors and are an essential element of headphones and loudspeakers.

A driver is made up of three parts that work together to produce sound.

The Magnet

It is in charge of producing a magnetic field. The functioning of the magnet in the magnetic circuit can improve sound quality.

Magnets for Bluetooth headphone drivers are typically constructed of cobalt or ferrite. However, uncommon materials are occasionally employed to generate stronger magnets.

Voice Coils

The diaphragm is moved by an electric current passing through the voice coils, which generates the sound you hear.

The conversion of electrical impulses into sound is carried out by voice coils. For more outstanding sound quality, they are frequently built from a variety of materials rather than only copper wire.

The Diaphragm

The diaphragm is a muscular structure that vibrates to create sound waves. A diaphragm is a type of transducer that converts mechanical vibrations into sound waves.

It’s commonly formed of a thin membrane or a sheet of various materials with its edges hanging. When electricity vibrates a diaphragm, it generates sound waves by beating against the air.

Impact of Size On Sound Quality

A bigger Bluetooth headphone driver unit generates stronger bass in general. However, this does not imply that headphones with huge drivers provide excellent quality than those with smaller drivers.

Whenever it comes to the audio quality of headphones, there are a lot of variables to consider. The size of the driver in your headphones does affect things, but not in the way you may think.

The enclosure of the headphone driver unit, it’s tuning, and the ear cushioning are the three most critical factors to consider. Look for drivers built of high-quality, flexible material that won’t break under high-power conditions.

Remember that the type of cushioning utilized and the cup’s enclosure have a more considerable influence on sound quality than the driver’s size.

Types of Headphones Driver Units

Here are some of the most popular types of driver units found in earbuds and headphones.

Dynamic (Moving Coil) Drivers

These are the most prevalent form of Bluetooth headphone driver on the market, and they are relatively affordable. They make sound by utilizing the science of electromagnetic and magnetism to move things around.

A voice coil, a diaphragm linked to the voice coil, and a neodymium magnet are the three main components of a dynamic driver.

The voice coil is magnetized by the neodymium magnet, which turns it into an electromagnet. The voice coil generates a magnetic field when it receives electricity. The magnetic field flows in directions dictated by the current flow.

The voice coil moves back and forth fast due to the magnetic field. As a result, the sound is produced when the diaphragm linked to the voice coil moves and displaces its air. A significant air displacement is generally the source of a high volume.

Because of its high capacity to displace air, a dynamic driver is excellent at producing bass. It is also highly effective and does not take a lot of power to achieve significant volume because it has a primary mechanism.

On the other hand, a dynamic driver has one big drawback: it can distort the audio at high volumes (non-linear distortion). However, excellent engineering can correct this flaw. Dynamic drivers are used in some of the highest-end headphones on the market.

Electrostatic Drivers

These are incredibly rare and costly. Electrostatic drivers work on the principle that similar charges repel each other, but opposite charges attract.

The diaphragm pushes and pulls on two conductive plates, which can be positively or negatively charged or two electrodes, causing vibrations. The diaphragm then pushes air through the perforated walls, creating sound waves together with the continual fluctuation of the electrical signal.

These are drivers that need the use of specialized amplifiers in order to reach their full capacity. As a result, this sort of driver is typically found in high-end headphones with an open-back construction.

Planar Magnetic Drivers

Most open-back over-ear headphones have planar magnetic drivers. They’re usually found in high-end headphones, and they’re quite thin.

They use magnetic fields to generate sound, just as dynamic drivers. Unlike dynamic drivers, however, which trigger the voice coil, the magnetic field directly triggers the diaphragm to make a sound.

Because the entire diaphragm must be vibrated equally, larger or more magnets may be employed. However, this makes the headphones bulky and inconvenient to transport. Extra power from the audio source may be required, or you may need to purchase an external amplifier.

Headphones with planar magnetic drivers are more expensive, but the sound produced by the drivers is of more outstanding quality. It offers superb transient response and very little distortion. Since the diaphragm is broad and narrow, the electromagnetic force is powerful, a significant volume of air is displaced, the bass response is good.

Bone Conduction Drivers

These drivers employ bone conduction to transmit vibrations straight to the user’s inner ear bypassing the eardrum. Individuals who need to wear headphones in environments where they still need to hear surrounding noises or have hearing difficulties can benefit from headphones with this type of driver.

With bone conduction drivers, though, you’ll almost probably be sacrificing practicality for quality. When it comes to providing high-quality sound, this category currently falls short of other drivers.

Balanced Armature Drivers

These are relatively small drivers that are commonly found in in-ear monitors. Makers will place numerous drivers in a single earpiece because of their size. The majority of in-ear monitors include one to four drivers.

These earphones can replicate various frequencies with minimum distortions because of several drivers in a single earpiece. A single driver usually is in charge of the bass notes, while the remaining drivers are in charge of the remainder.

About author

A finance major with a passion for all things tech, Uneeb loves to write about everything from hardware to games (his favorite genre being FPS). When not writing, he can be seen in his natural habitat reading, studying investments, or watching Formula 1.
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