Drivers / Transducers

Drivers are the unit, or units, that produce sound in earphones. Made up of magnets, diaphragms, voice coils, and other components.

 

Dynamic Drivers

The most common type of headphone drive mechanism. Dynamic drivers produce sound by transferring signals directly to the diaphragm. Larger diaphragms may be used to enhance sound quality.

Dynamic drivers in IEM’s work in a similar way to the drivers found in over-ear headphones and larger speakers. The diaphragm is mounted on a voice coil to which a current is applied. The entire section is then either attracted or repelled from a permanent magnet which moves the diaphragm and produces sound. Because they are able to move more air, bass reproduction is better than balanced armature drivers, however they cannot move as fast, meaning intricate details (including those within the bass range) may be lost.

Because powerful bass and ample sound pressure can be produced, dynamic drivers are used not only in headphones but also in many other styles, such as in-ear canalphones and regular and clip-on earbuds.

 

Balanced Armatures

Used mainly in in-ear canalphones. Produces clear, transparent sound. Easily manufactured in a compact form, balanced-armature drivers are also found in hearing aids. In the music industry, this mechanism is found in many professional headphones for monitoring performances.

Balanced armature drivers are common in most high end IEM’s. Although more expensive than dynamic drivers, due to their design they are able to reproduce sound more accurately, especially in the treble region. A typical balanced armature driver consists of an armature suspended between two permanent magnets. A current is then passed through a coil spun around the armature which causes it to become attracted to either one of the magnets. The armature is connected to a shaft which joins onto the diaphragm. It is this movement happens thousands of times per second to reproduce the sound that we hear.

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