Three Main Types of Headphones

types-of-headphonesThere are three main categories of headphones that you can find in the marketplace. These include the electrostatic headphones, Isodynamic or Orthodynamic headphones, and the dynamic headphones.

The headphones are categorized according to the technology the devices utilize in sound production. What differentiates them is the kind of transducer principle the manufacturer uses to convert electronic signals into sound waves.

This article introduces the main types of headphones and you can read this for more info and insight into some awesome audio devices.

Dynamic Headphones

These kinds of headphones make use of a moving coil driver. It implies that the headphone has a magnet that generates a static magnetic field.

A voice coil is attached to the headphone’s diaphragm and placed in its magnetic field. The current that runs through the voice coil causes the vibration of the diaphragm making it to produce sound waves.

Most of these headphones require very little electricity to work. This feature explains why most of the earphones on the market place are dynamic headphones.

You can comfortably use these devices as an average professional studio mixer, musician, or music listener. Some of the brands that manufacture dynamic headphones include Audio-Technica, Grado, Sennheiser, Beyer, and Sony.

These headphones vary from cheap devices to relatively expensive ones. They can either be wireless or wired, closed-back or open-back, and studio-quality or ear buds.

The main advantage of these headphones is that they are relatively cheap and widely available in comparison to the other two earphones.

These headphones can also work with computers and portable devices with no need for earphone amp since they need little electricity. An earphone amplifier is a miniaturized power amp that has a special design of driving the tiny speakers that are inside the headphones.

The other types of headphones beat this model when it comes to clarity and speed. Dynamic headphones are the best choice for starters because of the low cost and wide availability.

Isodynamic or Orthodynamic Headphones

These headphones have been very popular in the music industry since the 1970’s and this video provides an excellent example.

Some people consider these earphones as old technology but they currently have a great revival. The main manufacturers of these headphones include Dual, Kenwood, Hifiman, Foster, and Audeze.

They have bigger and flatter voice coils that cover the entire diaphragm. This enhances the distribution of current to the diaphragm which in turn generates sound waves. You need more electricity to run such big voice coils and diaphragms.

The main advantage of these headphones is that they produce the best sound quality. The main cons are that they are big in size and need a headphone amp to run them and hence they are not portable.  These headphones are more expensive in comparison to dynamic earphones.

Electrostatic Headphones

The main feature of these headphones is that their voice coils don’t have drivers. The device uses electric power to charge the diaphragm.

This diaphragm is located in between two perforated electrically charged electrodes (metal plates). Air is driven out through the perforated metallic plates and produce sound waves as the diaphragm vibrates.

These headphones are more uncommon and relatively expensive than the dynamic ones. The headphones require a significant amount of electricity due to the two metal plates and the diaphragm.

You need a special kind of headphone amplifier whose electric potentials range between 100 to 1000 votes.

The few micrometers thin diaphragm enable it to generate a frequency response that extends above the audible limit of close to 20 kHz. This implies that the headphones produce high sound quality and clarity. The leading suppliers of these earphones include Stax and Akg.

Apart from being expensive and requiring the purchase of a special amp, these headphones lack the bass you may desire. However, they produce high-quality sound in comparison to the dynamic ones. The central element that makes these headphones less common is the cost.