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.


The subtleties matter

Balanced armature drivers are the most commonly used drivers in modern premium in-ear monitoring headphones. Most Balanced Armature drivers are tuned to sound good in a certain frequency range. That's 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, electrical current is conducted through a coil wound around an armature. The coil is located 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 connected to the armature creates the sound we hear. A balanced armature is "balanced" because it has no net force on the armature when centered in the magnetic field.

Unlike dynamic driver designs, balanced armature drivers don't displace air to create sound. Balanced armature in-ear monitors typically provide better isolation because there is no need for venting to move the air. Instead, balanced armature drivers lack the superior bass presence of dynamic driver designs.

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


The mixture does it

The term hybrid refers to the combination of two separate driver types. The hybrid has as its approach the use of the strengths of 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 rich bass. The signal, optimized for specific frequency ranges, is complemented by one or more passive or active crossovers in each In Ear.

This results in a sound appearance 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 loudspeakers. We can then perceive and process these, or rather hear them.

However, there are clear quality differences between DACs and their limitations. In most mobile phones only mediocre DACs are built in, so that a portable DAC can quickly pay off in terms of sound in this area of application. Corresponding models are already available for about 40 €.

With some apps (e.g. USB Music Player PRO) the internal DAC can be switched over via the mobile phone USB output (OTG cable). It is especially interesting if you want to power very high impedance headphones with your mobile phone or laptop (e.g. over-ears). These are often very quiet compared to low-impedance in-ears, since the output power of the source is usually not sufficient to achieve the desired volume. A DAC can help.


Often only 16 bit depths and a maximum sampling rate of 48 kHz via the analog output are possible with the standard DACs. Even cheap external DACs already reach 24 Bit/96 kHz. I would commit myself to the fact that one can achieve a sound advantage on the mobile phone, but also on the PC predominantly with a portable DAC. 

Exceptions might be Samsung, Sony, or HTC, which already use very good DACs.

Goods from China/Asia

Patience is the keyword

On the page Pandacheck it is described quite well what you should pay attention to when buying via AliExpress.

In addition I must say that I made consistently positive experiences and link you also only to Shops, in which I trust, or already successfully bought. Furthermore AliExpress has an excellent buyer protection (similar to Amazon), in case you get defective in-ears.
Most of the time you get your money back, or a new delivery, without having to send back the defective product. This wouldn't be an advantage, because the delivery fees from DE to China would be more expensive than the headphones themselves ;)


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

For example, if I order in-ears for €32, which would mean that I would have to pay an extra 19% VAT, the seller would always declare a price below €26, as they are well aware of these import regulations in Europe.

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

What can also happen is that smaller, inexperienced sellers forget to declare the content and the price on the package, which is absolutely necessary (this happened to me once, but not with AliExpress).

Then the parcel is actually retained at customs and you have to send an invoice to prove the content and the value of the goods in order to still receive the delivery.


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

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


CHI-FIEAR © 2018 by David Hahn

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