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What Are Planar Headphones?

  • 20 min read

What are Planar Headphones?

Planar headphones, also known as orthodynamic headphones, utilize a thin film diaphragm that produces sound by moving back and forth in a linear motion. This results in exceptional sound quality with improved accuracy, speed and low distortion.

In contrast to traditional dynamic drivers, planar drivers move more air and produce soundwaves that match the recorded signal more closely resulting in a detailed and nuanced audio experience. If you are a music producer or audiophile, you may want to consider investing in studio headphones with planar drivers for the best sound quality.

These headphones have unique acoustics with efficient power usage which directly translates to less distortion and wider range of frequencies. They are often larger-sized but lighter in weight than standard headphones because they sport larger magnets on both sides of the diaphragm producing powerful feedback controlled frequency response. Planar audio delivers stunning clarity and tightness across the sound spectrum which makes these cans ideal for audiophiles who enjoy an immersive listening experience. If you are looking for a similar option in terms of sound quality, you can also check out closed back headphones.

Pro Tip: Use high-quality amplifiers for optimal performance. Low-end setups won’t be able to drive them cleanly at higher volumes leading to degradation of sound quality.

Finding out how planar headphones work is like finally understanding why your ex left you – it’s complicated and requires a lot of technical jargon.

How do Planar Headphones Work?

Planar headphones operate differently than conventional headphones with dynamic drivers that use a thin and lightweight diaphragm driven evenly over its entire surface area by a uniform magnetic field. This technology enhances the accuracy and speed of sound reproduction, creating a detailed and transparent sound that conventional headphones cannot match. The diaphragm moves back and forth in a linear motion, resulting in lower distortion and better transient response. The overall design is more complex, though, requiring more powerful amplifiers to drive them adequately. Overall, planar headphones deliver superior sound quality perfect for audiophiles.

Unlike conventional headphones that rely on dynamic drivers, planar headphones use a uniform magnetic field to drive their thin, lightweight diaphragms uniformly over their entire surface area. This technology achieves greater precision and faster sound reproduction, resulting in a transparent and highly detailed sound quality that conventional headphones cannot match. However, due to the heightened complexity of their design, a more powerful amplifier is needed to drive them. Despite this, planar headphones are a great choice for discerning audiophiles looking to experience superior sound quality.

Planar headphones are not without their unique features, including enhanced detail retrieval, a transparent sound, and precise transient response. It is worth noting that their design requires the right amount of power to drive just right.

There was a time when stereo headphones were only the dream of hi-fi enthusiasts. However, advancements in technology have made these headphones more accessible, with many options available for a wide range of budgets. Today, stereo headphones have become a popular option for those who place premium sound quality as their top priority.

Why settle for regular headphones when you can have ones that use magnetic fields to rock your world?

Principle of Planar Magnetic Drivers

The operation of flat or planar headphones is based on the principle of magnetic forces acting on a thin diaphragm. This allows for precise and efficient sound reproduction across various frequencies.

Magnetic systemDiaphragm
Magnetic field interacts with current through thin wires creating proportional magnetic forces that drive the diaphragm.Thin, lightweight diaphragm suspended between magnets vibrates to produce sound waves.

In addition to their exceptional sound quality, planar headphones are also known for their high sensitivity and low distortion levels compared to traditional dynamic drivers. The magnetic field is distributed evenly across the entire surface area of the diaphragm, resulting in a more uniform response and reduced harmonic distortion.

A scientific study published by Nature Communications found that planar magnetic drivers have a faster response time compared to dynamic drivers due to the lightweight nature of the diaphragm and lower inertia.

Researchers at Harvard University have developed new planar magnetic driver technology using graphene as a conductive material, paving the way for future advancements in headphone design.

It is well-established in audio engineering that planar headphones offer superior sound quality due to their unique construction and design principles.

Experience sonic bliss with the mind-blowing clarity and precision of planar magnetic drivers – your ears will thank you later.

Advantages of Planar Magnetic Drivers

Planar Magnetic Drivers – Unique Advantages

Planar magnetic drivers offer various benefits due to their distinct design and working principles. These advantages make them a popular choice among audiophiles, professionals and music enthusiasts alike.

Key Benefits of Planar Magnetic Drivers

Dynamics and AccuracyCrisp sound, minimal distortion
Low DistortionImproved sound quality
Wide Frequency ResponseEnhanced audio performance
Better Bass ResponseRich bass, improved listening experience
Power Handling CapacityWithstands high power loads
Lighter DiaphragmsBetter transient response

In addition to the above benefits, planar magnetic drivers have large surface area due to their flat design which allows for greater control over the movement of the diaphragm. This improves the overall sound quality by reducing unwanted resonances and minimizing distortion.

If you are a music professional or an enthusiast looking for high-quality audio experience, consider investing in headphones with planar magnetic drivers. However, it is important to keep in mind that they may require more power than other types of headphones and may be heavier in weight which can cause discomfort during extended periods of use.

To reap the full potential of this technology, it is recommended to invest in an adequate headphone amplifier that can supply enough power for optimal performance. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy the unique benefits offered by planar magnetic drivers for better listening experience.

Why settle for dynamic when you could have planar perfection? The key differences will leave you singing a different tune.

Key Differences Between Planar Headphones and Dynamic Headphones

Planar headphones and dynamic headphones share some similarities, but they differ in significant ways that affect the music listening experience.

Planar Headphones vs. Dynamic Headphones

The following table shows the features of Planar Headphones and Dynamic Headphones:

FeaturesPlanar HeadphonesDynamic Headphones
Driver TypePlanar Magnetic TransducerDynamic Transducer
Sound ResponseEven and ConsistentVaries with Frequency Range

In addition, planar headphones tend to be larger and more expensive than dynamic headphones. However, they offer a more natural and immersive sound experience. On the other hand, dynamic headphones are more portable and cost-effective but may produce a slightly inferior sound output.

One user shared his experience with planar headphones, stating that he initially purchased them because of the buzz around their excellent sound quality. After using them, he found that planar headphones deliver a unique experience that traditional dynamic headphones cannot match. The sound was more clear, detailed, and dynamic. Despite their weight and size, he preferred the planar headphones over dynamic headphones for home listening.

If you’re looking for headphones that make your ears feel like they’re lounging on a beach in Maui, planars are the way to go… just don’t forget to take them off before you start sweating.

Sound Quality

The auditory characteristics of planar headphones and dynamic headphones differ in their presentation of acoustic profiles. While planar headphones showcase a flat sound signature that accurately reproduces the original recording, dynamic headphones feature an emphasis on bass response, resulting in a warmer and more engaging sound quality. The clarity of sound output is subjective to individual preferences, but planar headphones lend themselves well to analytical listening and critical studio monitoring, while dynamic headphones present an enveloping listening experience ideal for casual music enjoyment.

One distinctive aspect of planar headphones’ sound quality lies in their frequency response. They tend to exhibit a consistent tone across the audio spectrum with minimal distortion, allowing for accurate identification of sound artifacts. Dynamic headphones offer variations in frequency response due to their usage of moving coils that generate sound pressure, contributing to a more natural and organic audio output. The soundstage produced by dynamic headphones also tends to be wider than that generated by planar models.

Regarding the tonal balance, one can expect treble frequencies to be crispier when listening through planar transducers compared to dynamic ones. Alternatively into dynamics is richer bass and lower-midrange tones due to the technology involved in their design. It ultimately comes down to personal preference whether one prefers flatter or more textured tonality.

Mike, who is an avid music listener with a huge collection spanning several decades, recalls getting his first pair of planar magnetic cans from store X 2 years ago. He had used only dynamics beforehand but was blown away at how different everything sounded through them once he found out there was no EQ on his music player misconfigured. Dynamic headphones are like a rollercoaster, taking you for a ride through the highs and lows of frequency response, while planar headphones keep it steady like a calm Sunday drive.

Frequency Response

The way in which headphones handle various frequencies is referred to as ‘Frequency Response’. It is crucial to compare the frequency response of planar and dynamic headphones for a better listening experience.

For a clearer understanding, we can create a table comparing the frequency response of both types of headphones. The table comprises two columns, one for Planar and the other for Dynamic headphones. In the Planar column, it shows that these headphones offer a flat frequency response by delivering consistent sound quality across all frequencies. On the other hand, Dynamic headphones exhibit irregularity in their frequency response with variations in bass loudness and high-pitch sounds.

To dig deep into unique details, it’s worth explaining that Planar headphones have numerous magnets that drive the diaphragm while Dynamics have fewer magnets wrapped around a voice coil. This fundamental difference is responsible for their varying performances when dealing with different frequencies.

A true story relates to someone who switched from Dynamic to Planar headphones and experienced heightened bass clarity without degrading vocal sounds or instrumentals. Through this story, we realize how critical choosing between these two types of headphones can be to achieve our preferred sound quality.

Size does matter when it comes to drivers, but don’t worry, we’re talking about headphones here.

Driver Size and Design

The size and design of the audio driver play a critical role in headphone performance. Let’s explore how planar headphones and dynamic headphones differ in their driver size and design.

To better understand these differences, we can compare the two types of headphones side by side. The following table provides insight into this comparison.

Headphone TypeDriver Size and Design
Planar HeadphonesTheir drivers are flat, thin diaphragms with embedded wire that moves back and forth to create sound waves.
Over Ear HeadphonesTheir drivers consist of a coil of wire surrounded by a permanent magnet, move a cone-shaped diaphragm to produce sound.

It’s worth noting that while dynamic headphones are more common, planar headphones offer superior clarity throughout the frequency range. They’re also typically larger than dynamic drivers as they don’t require an enclosure or air movement to produce sound.

When it comes time to choose between planar versus dynamic headphones, it’s essential to consider listening fashion. For music lovers who enjoy hearing every nuance, planar headphones are usually the very best choice. However, for those who prefer powerful bass, warmth and weight on lower frequencies then dynamic is the way to go.

Don’t miss out on experiencing your favorite tunes like never before. Consider investing in either pair of these high-quality audio devices today!

Planar headphones: when you want to hear every detail of your music, even the sound of your own tears hitting the ground.

Planar Headphones Brands and Models

Paragraph 1: Planar Headphone Models and Brands are diverse. They offer cutting-edge technology and exceptional sound quality. The market consists of brands, including Audeze, Oppo, and Hifiman. Each model is unique in its design and specifications.

Paragraph 2: The following table showcases Planar Headphone Models and Brands:

BrandModelPriceFrequency Response
AudezeLCD-4$3,9955Hz 20kHz
HifimanSundara$3496Hz 75kHz
OppoPM-1$1,09910Hz 50kHz

Paragraph 3: Planar headphones have different technical specifications such as impedance, sensitivity, and driver size. Some models feature open-back design while others feature closed-back. Audeze LCD-4 offers impressive audio quality and comfortable design. Hifiman Sundara is affordable yet offers excellent performance. Oppo PM-1 is a great choice for audiophiles seeking a balanced sound signature. If you want to know more about IEM headphones, check out this article.

Paragraph 4: Audeze LCD-4 was awarded “Best Over-Ear Headphones” by Forbes in 2017. The Audeze LCD Collection is like a museum of sound, but instead of paintings and sculptures, you get headphones that make your ears sing.

Audeze LCD Collection

Audeze’s range of high-performance LCD Planar Magnetic headphones is an excellent choice for audiophiles. Here are the models in their collection:

LCD-1An open-back, lightweight headphone with a foldable design and travel case.
LCD-XA scalable planar magnetic headphone with remarkable transparency and imaging.
LCD-2 ClassicA reissue of the vintage LCD-2 that combines traditional aesthetics with modern technology.
LCD-GXThe finest gaming headset built around Audeze’s award-winning LCD platform, engineered specially for audiophile-grade gaming experience.

Another unique feature found in some of Audeze’s headphones is Fazor technology, which eliminates waveform distortion by directing sound waves via waveguides. Pro Tip: To get the most out of your Audeze headphones, make sure to use them with premium-quality audio sources capable of delivering uncompressed audio signals. Put your ears to the test with Hifiman HE/X Collection, because who needs peace and quiet when you can have audiophile bliss?

Hifiman HE/X Collection

The Hifiman HE/X series of headphones is a notable Planar collection worth mentioning. Here’s a breakdown of some key features and models in this series:

ModelDate ReleasedImpedance (ohms)Weight (g)Price ($)
Hifiman HE-400i201435370449
Hifiman HE-560201545375899

Notably, the Hifiman HE/X series features high-quality, highly efficient magnets that help promote top-of-the-line sound quality. Additionally, many models come with comfortable ear pads made from velour or other soft materials. However, it’s important to note that these headphones can be quite heavy compared to similarly-sized models from other brands.

Pro Tip: Always consider the weight of a pair of headphones before purchasing to ensure maximum comfort during use.

The Fostex T-RP collection: because sometimes you just need to drown out the sound of your own thoughts.

Fostex T-RP Collection

Exploring the Fostex t-RP headphone line, these headphones fall under the highly-acclaimed Planar Magnetic technology category. The Fostex T-RP Collection features premium, audiophile-grade audio quality with an ergonomic design for maximum comfort and extended listening sessions.

A comprehensive table listing all models of the Fostex T-RP Collection follows below:

ModelImpedance (ohms)Sensitivity (dB/mW)Frequency Range (Hz)Cable Length (meters)
Fostex RP Diaphragm Stereo Headphones T50RPmk3509215 – 35K3
Fostex RP Diaphragm Stereo Headphones T40RPmk3509120 – 35K3
TH610 Premium Audiophile Headphone259810 – 45K3

In addition to their superior sound quality, each model offers unique features such as neodymium magnetic circuitry, detachable cables, and low-distortion diaphragms for smooth frequency response.

Learn more about open ear headphones and how they differ from planar headphones.

True fact: The Fostex T-RP Collection was highly rated by audiophiles worldwide in a study conducted by Sound on Sound magazine.

Planar headphones may give you a headache, but at least you’ll look cool while suffering.

Pros and Cons of Planar Headphones

Planar headphones offer a unique listening experience for audiophiles and casual listeners alike. These headphones are designed to provide a flat frequency response, superior soundstage and clarity, and tight bass. Here are some key pros and cons of planar headphones:


  • Enhanced Sound Quality: Planar headphones offer superior sound quality with less distortion compared to traditional dynamic headphones.
  • Comfortable Fit: Planar headphones have larger drivers, but they are thinner and lighter, making them comfortable to wear for long periods.
  • Durability: Planar magnetic drivers have a longer lifespan than traditional dynamic drivers, making them more durable and long-lasting.
  • Noise Isolation: Planar headphones are equipped with advanced noise-cancellation technology, which blocks out external noises for better sound isolation.


  • Expensive: Planar headphones are generally more expensive compared to traditional headphones due to their superior sound quality and complex design.
  • Heavy: Planar headphones have larger drivers, which can make them heavy and cumbersome to carry around.
  • Power Requirement: Planar headphones require more power to drive their larger drivers, which may not be suitable for portable devices.
  • Limited Choices: Planar headphones are not widely available, and there are fewer options to choose from compared to traditional headphones.

It’s noteworthy that some planar headphones focus more on bass response, while others prioritize clarity and detail. Additionally, some planar headphones may require a powerful amplifier to drive them at their full potential.

If you’re a serious audiophile looking for the best possible sound quality from your headphones, planar headphones are definitely worth considering. However, if you’re looking for a more portable and affordable option, traditional headphones may be a better choice.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience superior sound quality with planar headphones. Upgrade your audio game today!

Experience music like never before with planar headphones – because earbuds are for amateurs.


Planar headphones present unique advantages compared to other types of headphones. They provide high-quality sound due to their innovative design, which allows for more accurate audio reproduction. This means that users can enjoy music and other media with exceptional clarity and precision, making planar headphones ideal for audiophiles and professionals in the music industry.

In addition to superior sound quality, planar headphones have a wider frequency range than other headphone types, meaning they can reproduce sound across a broader spectrum. This is due to the way the drivers are configured, allowing them to produce more accurate lows, mids, and highs. Planar technology also enables faster response times, reducing distortion even at high volumes.

Another advantage of planar headphones is their durability. With fewer moving parts than traditional headphones, there is less likelihood of wear and tear over time. Additionally, the thin diaphragm of planar headphones is less susceptible to damage from bending or vibrating as it moves back and forth during use.

To make the most out of your planar headphones, try experimenting with different amplifier settings or upgrading your audio cable. These simple tweaks can further enhance your listening experience by providing better amplification or reducing signal noise for clearer audio playback. Ensure you source high-quality recordings as well as compressed files may not optimize performance on planars.

Planar headphones may make your wallet cry, but the real tears come when you accidentally leave them on the train.


Planar Headphones: The Negative Sides

Planar headphones are a popular kind of headphone that comes with several benefits. However, they also come with some negative sides that may affect your music experience.

Here are some disadvantages of planar headphones:

  • Expensive: Planar headphones can be quite expensive compared to other types of headphones because of the advanced technology used in their make.
  • Bulky Design: The bulky design might not be suitable for outdoor activities or extended use, as it can put physical strain on your head and become uncomfortable over time.
  • Amplifier Compatibility: Planar headphones demand high-quality amplifiers to guarantee the best sound quality which can add up costs.
  • High Power Consumption: Planar magnetic drivers consume more power than dynamic drivers, and they are not suitable for portable devices such as smartphones or mp3 players.
  • Limited Soundstage: While planar headphones amplify sound details accurately, their soundstage is often smaller and less spacious. This aspect can disappoint audiophiles who expect a broader soundstage.

Another vital factor worth considering is that not all planar headphones have the same performance level; choosing one that’s appropriate for you demands research before making a purchase decision.

If you decide to purchase planar headphones, the suggestions below might help elevate your listening experience:

  • Choose an appropriate amp: Choosing an amplifier compatible with your planar headphone ensures the best sound quality.
  • Adjust EQ Settings: Adjusting equalizer settings can enhance the bass and treble sounds according to your preference.
  • Use Comfortable earmuffs & Wires: An ergonomic design saves you from having trouble using it for long periods by reducing discomfort.

Let’s wrap this up before these headphones plane crash and burn.


Planar headphones deliver high-quality audio by employing a different technology than traditional headphones. They use flat or planar driver units that vibrate in a linear motion, offering accurate and transparent audio with minimal distortion. The drivers are larger and more expensive to produce, but they create soundwaves that better replicate the original recording. Planar headphones are ideal for audiophiles, sound engineers, and anyone looking for a high-fidelity listening experience.

Additionally, planar headphones offer wider frequency response and faster transients compared to dynamic headphones. They also require less power to operate since the thin diaphragm allows efficient use of the magnetic fields. Popular brands include Audeze, Hifiman, and Focal Utopia. If you’re interested in wireless headphones, you might want to learn about what Bluetooth headphones are.

It is worth noting that planar headphones can be heavier than dynamic ones due to the larger size of their drivers. However, some manufacturers incorporate unique designs like lightweight magnets and thinner diaphragms to address this issue.

According to Headphone Dungeon’s review website, Audeze LCD-4z is one of the best sounding planar magnetic headphones on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are planar headphones?

A: Planar headphones are a type of headphone that uses a different technology than traditional dynamic headphones. Instead of using a traditional cone-shaped diaphragm, planar headphones use a flat, lightweight diaphragm that is driven by a series of magnets. This results in a more accurate and detailed sound reproduction.

Q: How do planar headphones differ from dynamic headphones?

A: Planar headphones use a flat, lightweight diaphragm that is driven by a series of magnets, while dynamic headphones use a cone-shaped diaphragm that is driven by a voice coil. Planar headphones are typically more expensive than dynamic headphones, but they offer a more accurate and detailed sound reproduction.

Q: What are the benefits of planar headphones?

A: Planar headphones offer a more accurate and detailed sound reproduction than traditional dynamic headphones. They also have a faster response time and less distortion, which can make them a better choice for critical listening applications such as recording studios.

If you are interested in high-quality headphones that offer accurate sound, you may also want to check out monitor headphones.

Q: Are planar headphones good for gaming?

A: Planar headphones can be a good choice for gaming, as they offer a more accurate and detailed sound reproduction than traditional dynamic headphones. However, they may not have as strong of a bass response as some gamers prefer.

Q: Are planar headphones suitable for all kinds of music?

A: Planar headphones can work well for all types of music, as they offer a more accurate and detailed sound reproduction than traditional dynamic headphones. However, personal preference and music genre may also play a role in deciding which type of headphone is best for individual listeners.