The Three Kinds Of Headphones

The Three Kinds Of Headphones
The 3 Kinds of Headphones

Up to now, there are currently 3 categories of headphones available on the market. This information will help you remove the category that you would be most interested in.

The categories are:

1) Dynamic Headphones

2) Orthodynamic/Isodynamic Headphones

3) Electrostatic Headphones

The 3 categories derive from the kind of technology used to produce sound in the headphones. The difference may be the kind of transducer principle used to convert electrical signals into soundwaves.

1) Dynamic Headphones

Dynamic headphones are using a moving coil driver. A moving coil driver only denotes that there is a magnet in the headphone, which creates a static magnetic field. A voice coil mounted on a diaphragm is placed within the magnetic field along with a current operates with the voice coil which makes it cause the diaphragm to vibrate and produce sound waves.

Most dynamic headphones need little electricity for it to work. For this reason, nearly all headphones available on the market are dynamic headphones. These are utilized by average music listeners, musicians and professional studio mixers alike. Typically the most popular manufacturers within the music business that produce dynamic headphones, includine Sony, Beyer, Sennheiser, Grado and Audio-Technica. They can cost $8 or $800 $ $ $ $ (USD) upwards and can be wired or wireless, open-air or closed-back, earphones or studio-quality.

Pros of dynamic headphones are that they are widely available and therefore are usually cheaper that orthodynamic and electrostatic ones. Since little electricity is required to drive them, most of them works with portable devices and computers with no need of a headphone amp. A headphone amp is a miniaturized power amplifier specifically designed to drive the tiny speakers inside the headphones.

The disadvantages are that orthodynamic and electrostatic headphones can beat them when it comes to speed and clarity.

Dynamic headphones are the Best Headphones Under $300 headphones to start with because of their cost and wide selection.

2) Orthodynamic / Isodynamic Headphones

Orthodynamic headphones were very popular worldwide in the 1970s. They are considered by some to be old technology but possess a revival now.

Manufacturers include Audeze, Fostex, Hifiman, Kenwood and Dual.

Orthodynamic headphones have flat and larger voice coils, which cover the diaphragm. This means that the current is much better given to the diaphragm, which in turn produces sound waves. Bigger voice coils mean bigger diaphragms (even bigger than electrostatic headphones) which of course means more electricity is needed to bring them.

Pros of Orthodynamic headphones are that they give excellent response and sound quality similar to those of an electrostatic.

Cons of Orthodynamic headphones are that they are generally bigger and require a headphone amp to drive them thus they are not portable. They're also generally more expensive than dynamic headphones.

3) Electrostatic Headphones

Electrostatic headphones have drivers, which do not have a voice coil. The diaphragm is instead charged with electricity. The diaphragm is placed among two electrically charged metal plates (electrodes), which are perforated. Once the diaphragm vibrates, air is forced through the perforated metal plates creating a sound wave.

Electrostatic headphones are usually more expensive than dynamic headphones, and are comparatively uncommon. Due to the diaphragm and 2 metal plates, that are must be faced with electricity, the headphones require a big amount of electricity to drive. The amount is so much that standard amps which drive dynamic and/or orthodynamic headphones just won't cut it. A unique headphone amplifier is required which often requires electrical potentials within the selection of 100 to 1000 volts.

The thin diaphragm that's only several micrometers thick allows it to make a frequency response, which extends well over the audible limit of around 20 kHz. Quite simply, higher clarity and sound quality is made.

Akg and Stax produce electrostatic headphones.

Pros of electrostatic headphones would be the sound quality and clarity that they're noted for.

Cons of electrostatic headphones are that they are expensive, require the owner to purchase a unique amp to drive them and they lack bass. There is lack of slam / impact compared to dynamic headphones.
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