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Old 03-09-2007, 09:45 AM
Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander's Avatar
Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander is offline
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Default Dynamic Drivers & Balanced Armature Drivers

Here is some information on the differences between the dynamic and armature drivers used in headphones. Feel free to add any extra information you might have.

In all speakers there is a U-shaped permanent magnet, which produces a constant magnetic field between its two poles. Between these two poles is located a coil, which doesn't touch the magnet. When an electric current is placed into the coil it creates another magnetic field around the coil. Since these two magnetic fields are sharing the same space and the current which causes a temporary field to be established is constantly changing, so to will the temporary magnetic field. This will result in a force which will cause anything which isn’t held in place to vibrate.

Dynamic Driver:
The part of a dynamic driver which is not in a fixed position is the coil itself. It is held by a flexible support so the vibrations it carries are transferred directly into a diaphragm (very basically put, a thin disc) from where the circumference of the coil’s end makes contact. The diaphragm carries the vibrations over a greater surface area so that the sound which is passed into the air in front of the diaphragm has enough amplification.



Balanced Armature Driver:
Unlike the above arrangement, the coil does have a fixed position in a balanced armature driver. Instead a long arm, the armature, is placed through the centre of the coil, but does not come in contact with it. The arm is only held in place in its centre, so it can still move and become the source of the driver’s vibration. As the diagram shows, one end of the armature is connected to a small connecting rod (also called a drive rod, or drive pin) which carries the vibration to the very centre of the diaphragm. Once again the diaphragm in turn passes the sound ahead with a sufficient sound pressure level.

(Balanced Armature Driver from Crystal Radio)


Keep in mind that, as dfkt says, there is no "better" headphone technology. These two different methods of driver technology both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Last edited by WalkGood; 05-14-2009 at 08:00 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2007, 10:01 AM
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Excellent summarization, Zeddicus!

Dynamic Driver IEMs: Sennheiser CX300, Creative EP-630, V-Moda Vibe, Shure E2c, Future Sonics, UE Metro.Fi 2, Sony EX51/71, ...

Balanced Armature IEMs: Etymotic, Shure E3-E500, Ultimate Ears, Westone, Sensaphonics, ACS, ...

Hybrid IEM: Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 EB (dynamic driver for bass, armature for mids/treble)
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:01 AM
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Wow. Great, informative post. Good stuff.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:50 AM
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nice job
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:48 PM
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Here's an excellent thread with images of dozens of headphone drivers: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=204406
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:49 PM
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So which driver is better overall?
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Assassassin View Post
So which driver is better overall?
For me - dynamic drivers sound more pleasing, as of now. Future Sonics Atrio, CrossRoads MylarOne, V-Moda Vibe... for me they're all more fun to listen to than any of the balanced armature IEMs I've heard until now. Others prefer balanced armatures cause of their clarity and precision. YMMV.
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:47 PM
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Here's some more good info about balanced armatures: http://www.sonion.com/RandD/Technolo...0Armature.aspx
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2007, 06:10 AM
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Wow, that design (in the link above) is really clever, good info too. Since I wrote on the balanced armature driver, Wikipedia actually has a decent description and a few diagrams too.
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:23 PM
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Is there a list where I can find out what my specific earphone has? Seems like something interesting to understand and know about them...

If there isn't, does anyone happen to know which Phonak PFE's use?
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:29 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmwyso View Post
Is there a list where I can find out what my specific earphone has? Seems like something interesting to understand and know about them...

If there isn't, does anyone happen to know which Phonak PFE's use?
http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archi...one-review.php
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2010, 03:04 PM
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Balanced armatures offer a few advantages over dynamic drivers.
-more compact
-very high motor force to diaphragm ratio

This in turn allows several drivers in one compact package(custom IEM) like the UE18 and JH16 that use up to six balanced armatures(lets call them drivers because that is what they are)per earphone. And even more could be fitted, try the same with dynamic drivers.

The precision and analytical nature is ideal for monitoring. A great monitor must be as neutral and analytical as can be.
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:44 AM
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Default which driver is better overall?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Assassassin View Post
So which driver is better overall?
Good question and it depends on the users experience. Some have spent most of their time with BA Drivers and have become used to that sort of sound. I spent most of my experienced with woofers at home and in my car so I do like BA Drivers but I tend to enjoy the sound from the dynamic driven earphones. I can hear and actually feel the music with Dynamic Drivers. I do like the hybrids which for me has best of both worlds (BA for mids and highs and Dynamic for bass).
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