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Dynamic driver vs Planar magnetic

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#1
From reading a crap ton of impressions, Is it safe to say that a good planar headphone/speaker >>>> Dynamic driver?.
 

solderdude

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#2
Good dynamic drivers (planar magnetics are also a form of dynamic drivers) do not necesarilly perform better in all areas.
Both types of drivers (pistonic and planar) have strong and less strong points.
There are both excellent and crappy pistonic and planar (stats and magnetic) headphones.
Also there are differences in planar constructions as well so they are not all the same.
 

Dro

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#4
Planar magnetic drivers tend to have lower distortion below 100 Hz compared to dynamic drivers. That being said, good dynamic drivers can still perform well there.
 
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#5
Another point for planar magnetic is that their impedance remains flat - not varying by frequency. Meaning you may be able to enjoy them with amps with less than stellar low output impedance - like the Topping NX3..

For the current $179, I am quite happy with my Hifiman HE400i. Even though it's apparently being replaced with the $349 Sundara..
 
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#7
I have the HE400i as well and I think it sounds absolutely incredible. I play guitar, and there are times listening to music on the 400i's where I would swear I have my ear pressed up against the guitarists amp it sounds so life-like...
 

Fluffy

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#9
As everyone said before, the technology can be only as good as the engineering. You can create terrible\terrific drivers in any technology.
Now that I have Stax electrostats at home I find this question irrelevant... :cool:
And this also applies to electrostats, that definitely have disadvantages of their own compared to both dynamic and planar drivers.
 
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#10
As everyone said before, the technology can be only as good as the engineering. You can create terrible\terrific drivers in any technology.

And this also applies to electrostats, that definitely have disadvantages of their own compared to both dynamic and planar drivers.
Electrostatics are overhyped imo. The ER4SR and HD800S are both highly resolving despite both being 1 BA and dynamic driver.

I find it so cute how Etymotic got the electrostatic timbre out of BA drivers on the ER4S. Like fast quality bass that flat down from 1000 to 20Hz and insane detail retrieval, Go read the old ER4 micro pro manuals were Etymotic were touting a electrostatic like sound from the ER4S/B/P.

I can't stand the ones who think electrostatic gear are this magical driver tech and other drivers can't rival or be as equally detailed as a electrostatic headphone/speaker. lol
 

gene_stl

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#11
Stax ES headphones were available and high end even "back in the day". I have a Stax tonearm.
But I could never bring myself to put an ES headset on my head.
 

JJB70

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#12
As with most things it's about design and execution. A pistonic driver can deliver superlative performance. I'd warn anybody from swallowing the following two assumptions:

1. Electrostatic is better than planar which is better than psionic; and

2. More expensive = better.

To be clear some expensive models are excellent, and if you want premium materials and luxury presentation then it costs, but it's amazing just how much performance you can get for modest cost. Models such as the ER4 SR, ATH MSR7, HD650, K712, ATH R70x offer terrific performance at reasonable cost.
 

DonH56

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#13
Pistonic instead of psionic? Although Marketing would lead you to believe psionic magic is involved...
 

Nango

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#14
As everyone said before, the technology can be only as good as the engineering. You can create terrible\terrific drivers in any technology.

And this also applies to electrostats, that definitely have disadvantages of their own compared to both dynamic and planar drivers.
I think the technology is the same in both (since the 70's in the last century, magnet moving a membrane, pumping air into your ears), only the technique is different.
 

FrantzM

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#15
Now that I have Stax electrostats at home I find this question irrelevant... :cool:
so do but the HifiMan He6 is almost the equal of the 007 from (ballpark) 4 KHz and its superior in the bass department by far .. The HE6 redefines what bass can be on Headphones IMO... Properly driven. currently using a Yamaha CA2010 in Class A straight into it ... the trick is to use Yamaha Mute Switch... It has a -20 dB setting
 

JJB70

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#18
I will admit that I love my Oppo PM-2's, beautifully made with a feeling of real quality, they're planar magnetic but not too heavy and bulky like some planar designs. They're open back but very easily portable, easy to drive and very usable. Not cheap but very nice. Then again Oppo had a good reputation for their excellent engineering and attention to quality, so I suspect if they'd used pistonic drivers they'd also have been excellent. I really like the sound of some of the Audeze LCD models but they're so heavy and bulky that I just don't enjoy using them.
 

suttondesign

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#20
Tal over at InnerFidelity had a theory that a dynamic driver, esp. a ring-type dynamic driver as in the Senn HD-800, can image better than a planar. Something like the wavefront being time-aligned in a dynamic, maybe? It had had to do with the way the pistonic motion operates as between the two different kinds of drivers.

I find the Senn HD-800 to be the best imaging headphone, but the Audeze LCD-3 gets very close while providing lower distortion down low and an altogether more pleasing sound for non-classical. For classical, have never been as happy with any headphone other than the HD-800 (if EQ'd to tame the 6khz spike).
 
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