Dynamic Driver

The All-Rounders

Dynamic drivers are used in a variety of speakers, headphones and in-ear monitors. Unlike balanced armature drivers, dynamic drivers are designed to cover a wide frequency range, making them slightly less precise in reproduction, but producing a warm, rich, coherent and natural sound.

In a dynamic driver, the speaker's diaphragm is attached directly to a voice coil.

When current is applied to it, the coil moves between two permanent magnets, causing the speaker diaphragm to move and produce sound. Dynamic drivers are sometimes referred to as moving coil drivers.

Dynamic drivers often have ventilation to optimally move the air within the design. This leads to a better representation of the low frequency range. Therefore Dynamic Driver In-Ears are often preferred by drummers and bassists.
 

Advantages: More coherent sound, better bass reproduction than Balanced Armature Driver, more robust and durable.

Balanced armature drivers

It's the subtleties that count

Balanced armature drivers are the most used drivers in modern premium in-ear monitoring earphones. Most balanced armature drivers are tuned to sound good in a certain frequency range. This is the reason why many in-ear monitors contain multiple drivers. A crossover splits the sound signal into several frequency bands and sends different frequency bands to each driver.

In a balanced armature, an electric current is conducted through a coil that is wound around an armature. The coil is between two magnets and the current changes cause an attraction between the coil and the magnet. Variations in the magnetic field move the armature thousands of times per second. The in-ear monitor speaker membrane, which is connected to the armature, creates the sound we hear. A balanced armature is "balanced" because it has no net force on the armature when it is centered in the magnetic field.

In contrast to dynamic driver designs, balanced armature drivers do not displace air to generate sound. Balanced armature in-ear monitors typically offer better isolation because there is no need for ventilation to move the air. But balanced armature drivers lack the superior bass presence of the dynamic driver designs.

Advantages: The driver can be optimally tuned for certain frequency ranges, is smaller than a dynamic driver, offers better high-frequency performance than a dynamic driver, has a quick response and detailed sound.

Hybrid drivers

It's all in the mix

The term hybrid refers to the combination of two separate driver types. The hybrid is based on the use of the strengths of the balanced armature and dynamic drivers.

 

The Balanced Armature Drivers are tuned to deliver the highs and mids precisely and brilliantly and connected to one or more dynamic drivers for a lush bass. The signal, which is optimized for certain frequency ranges, is supplemented with one or more passive or active crossovers in each in-ear.

This results in a sound image of great presence in all areas.

DAC (digital-to-analog converter)

The DAC makes the music

A DAC can be found in almost all electronic audio sources. Since the music we hear is in digital form, roughly speaking in zeros and ones, this information is processed analogously in the form of voltage and current fluctuations and converted into sound waves by the speakers. We can then perceive and process them, or rather hear them.

However, there are now clear quality differences between DACs and their limitations.

 

Most cell phones only have mediocre DACs, so a portable DAC can quickly pay off in terms of sound. Corresponding models are available for around € 40. With some apps (e.g. USB Music Player PRO) the internal DAC can be bypassed via the cell phone USB output (OTG cable). It becomes particularly interesting if you want to drive very high-impedance headphones with your cell phone, but also a laptop (e.g. over-ears). These are often very quiet compared to low-resistance in-ears, since the output power of the source is usually not sufficient to achieve the desired volume. A DAC can help here.

Often, with the standard DACs, only bit depths of 16 bits and a maximum sampling rate of 48 kHz are possible via the analog output. Even cheap external DACs come up to 24 bit / 96 kHz. I would commit myself to the fact that predominantly a portable DAC gives you a sound advantage on your cell phone, but also a PC.

Exceptions may be Samsung, Sony, or HTC, which already build very good DACs.

Goods from China / Asia

The key word is patience

The Pandacheck page describes very well what to look for when buying through AliExpress.

 

I have to say that I have had consistently positive experiences and only link you to shops that I trust or have already bought successfully. In addition, AliExpress has excellent buyer protection (similar to Amazon) in the event that defective in-ears should arrive at you. usually you get your money back or a new delivery without having to send the defective product back. That would not be an advantage either, since the delivery charges from DE to China would usually be more expensive than the headphones themselves ;)

 

The subject of customs, which is also dealt with in the article, should in any case be taken seriously (from 26 € value of goods - 19% VAT), but the retailers always declare their parcels with less than actually paid.

For example, if I order In-Ears for € 32, which would mean that I would have to pay an additional 19% VAT, the dealer will always show a price that is less than € 26 because they are well aware of these import regulations in Europe are.

However, it is not advisable to place a large order with only one shop.

What can also happen that smaller, inexperienced retailers forget to show the contents and the price on the parcel, which is absolutely necessary (this happened to me once, but not at AliExpress).

Then the package will actually be kept at customs and you have to invoice the content and value of the goods to still be handed over to the delivery.

 

But as I said, don't worry, the linked shops know what they are doing!

 

A little patience is still required, the shipping may take up to 2-3 weeks, rarely longer.

 

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn