Sound drivers are technical devices designed to excite sound waves in various environments by converting an electrical signal into sound field energy.
Many different sound emitters that are not similar to each other have been created, which is why it is customary to divide them into types. And since each type has its pros and cons, and if necessary, you can compare headphones on headphonesarena.com. And now, we are going to understand what type of drivers are in the market.
The most common type of radiator, consisting of a fixed permanent magnet base, a voice coil, and a cone (membrane). Under the influence of the current, an alternating magnetic field is created around the coil, which makes the coil vibrate, transmitting vibrations to the membrane, which generates sound waves. The operation of a coil can be compared to a phono cartridge in a turntable. The magnetic field, like a vinyl record, causes the coil to vibrate in accordance with the sound frequencies – the sound quality also depends on the quality of the membrane.
Balanced armature drivers
Popular are reinforcing emitters known as balanced armature headphones. Structurally, the emitter consists of a U-shaped magnetic circuit that creates a magnetic field, an armature with a voice coil, which is located in the created field, and a diffuser connected to the armature. When current is applied, magnetic vibrations arise in the coil, which set in motion the armature, and that in turn transmits vibrations to the membrane.
Armature drivers are small in size and have high efficiency, therefore they are used in in-ear headphones, professional gadgets, and hearing aids. The design features allow the rebar to sound crisp, detailed, and clean.
Headphones with electrostatic drivers are not widely used among users due to their high cost. Electrostatic emitters are installed in Hi-End class models and belong to full-size professional equipment. Structurally, the emitter consists of a thin membrane placed between two electrodes. The high current flowing through the electrodes sets the membrane in motion and sound vibrations are created.
Planar (Orthodynamic) drivers
The thinnest film covered with conductive aluminum tracks is placed between the two permanent magnets. The current is applied directly to the tracks and sets the membrane in motion. Due to the design features, there is no distortion in planar models – pure sound with uniform frequency response.