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Headphone Drivers and Sound Quality

Have you wondered what gives your headphone that distinct audio quality?

Tucked away inside our headphones are drivers that determine our audio quality. This driver unit is a tiny disk that is made of magnets, diaphragm, and voice coils. These three major components meshed together create an electrical signal that produces sound and helps give your headphone a superior audio quality.

This article will talk about Headphone drivers, its aspects and features, and how it affects the sound quality of audio.

What are Headphone Drivers?

  1. Appearance and quality:

It is a common conception that headphones with a bigger diameter will have better audio quality. This is only partially true; diameter is not the only determinant of headphone drivers. The driver quality is the true determinant of audio quality. A standard headphone driver ranges from 20mm-50mm.

  1. Types of Driver Units:

There are varying types of driver units that are used on a wide range of audio output products. Let’s look at the different types,

  1. Dynamic Driver: This headphone driver is commonly used in larger diaphragms. They provide quality BASS audio and Mids. The specialty of these drivers is that they provide good sound put using minimal pressure.
  2. Balanced Armature Driver: These drivers are more suited for devices with Ear Monitors as they have a smaller diameter. These are perfect for earpods or IEM’s. These devices have 1-4 armature drivers per earbud.
  3. Planar Magnetic Drivers: These drivers are those that are used in the more high-end audio device (headphones and earphones). These drivers are equipped with a diaphragm meshed between magnets producing sound output. The functioning of the drivers is done with the help of a wire which has been inserted through the diaphragm. This creates an electromagnetic field that interacts with the magnetic waves created by the magnet. This interaction is what creates the sound output from the device.
  4. Electrostatic drivers: These drivers are not commonly used in audio devices. These are known to produce high quality, almost realistic audio. The drivers function with the help of a thin electrically-charged diaphragm. This is placed between two electrodes or conducting plates, which then manipulates the wave to create audio. To amplify the sound output, some brands attach sound amplifiers to the drivers.
  5. Hybrid Drivers: These drivers are pretty new in the market; they consist of a technology that combines the setting of both balanced and dynamic armature drivers. Hybrid drivers produce perfectly balanced audio, you can enjoy the bass and the treble equally. The downside to these is that the audio devices that consist of these drivers are not pocket-friendly.

The Right Driver for your Headphones:

We all have different audio preferences. While some of us prefer a deep bass, others would rather listen to a bright treble. Most of us would like balanced audio as a preference. Nevertheless, if you are someone who prefers particular audio, down below we have mentioned the perfect driver for your preference,

Bass Audio: If you are keen on the bass factor of audio, then it is highly recommended you purchase audio devices with neodymium drivers or dynamic drivers. Both of these drivers will provide you with superior bass audio.

Treble Audio: If you are someone who would rather prefer to hear the treble of audio, then you should purchase the Planar Magnetic Drivers or the ElectroStatic Drivers. Both of these drivers boost the bass tone to give you that perfect treble note you can enjoy listening to.

Balanced Audio: If you are someone who would listen to a sound output with everything in perfect measure, then you should consider purchasing the Balanced Armature Drivers and the Hybrid Drivers.


Drivers play a huge role in the sound output of your audio device. If you are keen on getting the perfect audio quality, consider the above factors before purchase. Hopefully, this article has given you insight into what to look for the next time you purchase a headphone.

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