You may have heard of it. It’s been around for decades, long before it was adapted for use in headphones(Planar Magnetic Headphones), and there is a lot of information available online. There is so much information that it can be a little tricky to understand what technology is and why you should care. If that applies to you, use this article as a starting point. Here we converse the limitations of more traditional helmet pilot designs and how advantages Audezes planar magnetic pilots.
It’s time to take the dunce cone off
Most headsets use inexpensive, mass-produced dynamic cone drivers. These drivers are only available in standard sizes from a few manufacturers and can be selected and renamed according to the respective helmet manufacturer’s requirements. Because this technology is comparatively cheap and readily available, it is a good option for headphone manufacturers who want to sell a lot of headphones for a low price. However, dynamic cone drivers have severe design limitations, which means they save money and lose audio quality.
A voice coil usually activates dynamic pilots near the center of a diaphragm – most commonly a paper, plastic, or metal cone. When the electrical current flows through the voice coil, a force is exerted in the diaphragm center, causing it to move. It creates the sound that you hear.
Ideally, the entire diaphragm would move in unison. However, because the driving force starts in the middle and must migrate outward, not all parts of the membrane start to move simultaneously. It leads to fault modes, mechanical filtering, transmission delay, and local resonances, which cause audible and measurable distortion and loss of resolution – especially at higher volumes.
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Breaking up is not difficult
Why do ruptures occur, and what are they? As mentioned earlier, an ideal diaphragm should move in a perfect piston motion, with all diaphragm points moving simultaneously. Failure occurs when forces acting on the membrane compromise its structural integrity and cause desynchronization at various points on the surface. It is one of the first challenges for Audeze’s planar magnet technology.
For more information on how we approach this challenge, see our article on membranes. The critical point here, however, is that Audeze’s planar magnetic drives can generate a constant drive force across the entire diaphragm. It allows the diaphragm to move almost perfectly in the shape of a piston, resulting in low distortion across the entire frequency spectrum.
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Everything about the bass
Who doesn’t love deep, powerful, and tight bass? Sound bass reproduction requires the effortless movement of large volumes of air. It is best done with a membrane with a large area and high flexibility. The surface area governs the volume of air that can be moved, while the flexibility allows for efficient reproduction of low frequencies.
Dynamic pilots are relatively small and contain rigid membranes. To move the large amounts of air required to reproduce the low frequencies in such circumstances, these conductors must be subjected to large deflections. It exposes them to extreme forces, which, at high volumes, can lead to distortion and even damage.
Audeze’s planar magnetic transducers feature the largest, most flexible diaphragms in the industry. It enables our drivers to move vast volumes of air with a uniform range of motion. It enables them to produce highly sharp and deep bass that far surpasses all other headphones.
The rain recorded in Spain remains stable thanks to the plane
Because of the small diaphragms of the cone drivers, not only are these diaphragms subject to failure modes, but the pressure wave creates with each movement of the diaphragm also tends to be spherical. Our brain interprets the spherical shape of these pressure waves as distorted or unnatural.
It prevents us from creating a clear mental image of sounds and their placement in the room, also known as stereo imagery. A flat or planar wavefront is more ordinary for our brain and leads to a more enjoyable listening experience with precise sound localization. Audeze’s large planar pilots create a planar wavefront that results in an image that takes you right into the music.
Float like the butterfly, sting like the bee
Sound waves are incredibly complex. Every sound that can be heard in a good recording, from the loudest crash of a cymbal to the softest crackle of a piano bench, represents in a turbulent pressure wave. For an immersive and accurate listening experience, the driver must faithfully reproduce this wave without neglecting details. Like a sports car, the diaphragm requires to be nimble, have an excellent controller, and accelerate and change direction instantly.
The laws of physics that administer this are pretty simple: force = mass x acceleration. Acceleration defines the membrane’s ability to move quickly. If the diaphragm has a lower mass, it can have a much higher acceleration for the same force. Dynamic pilots use membranes that are orders of magnitude heavier and thicker than the ultralight and thin membranes used in our plane magnetic pilots.
Due to their higher mass, dynamic pilots cannot accelerate as fast or as nimbly as Audeze planar pilots. Most of the diaphragm used in dynamic loudspeakers. Fundamentally limits its sound power, ability to resolve and reveal detail, and transparency.
I can’t stop the beat (but you can stop it)
One of the essential hardware components (after headphones, of course) in a high-end audio system is the amplifier. Amplifiers can be a topic of conversation. And our article on amplifier performance has tons of information about shows and what to read. The main topics in this article is impedance is the measure of the conductors’ resistance to the current supplied by the amplifier.
Here, too, planar magnetic pilots differ from dynamic cone pilots in terms of impedance properties. Because of the nature of a dynamic driver, this is known as an inductive load. It means that a dynamic voice coil can withstand the current flowing through it differently depending on the frequency. Resulting in poor control of the diaphragm movement. Audeze planar magnetic pilots do not suffer from this change in impedance. Since the voice coil is prints directly onto the diaphragm, they create a “flat” impedance curve. It means that the resistance does not change at any frequency. Which offers an enormous gain in control and resolution compared to a dynamic driver. It means that with more amplifier types, our headphones will perform better and make your amplifier/headphone selection a lot easier.
A tool in large machines
Magnetic Rock Planar Headphones. When made correctly, they have extremely low distortion, ultra-fast transient response, and a comprehensive and precise frequency response. Therefore Audeze makes the best planar magnetic headphones globally, with many patents and technological advances that no one can claim.
The technological advances you find in every Audeze headphone make it very special. And audiophiles and professionals worldwide will hear the difference. We are always on the lookout for excellence and innovation, and we are constantly evolving to drive our business forward. Uncompromising audio isn’t just a buzzword. We firmly believe in it because we’re just as passionate about audio as you are.