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Plain vs. angled drivers

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
It seems like certain higher-end 'phones have plain drivers, while some less expensive ones have angled ones.
So uh, put simply, why? Or is my observation wrong?
post #2 of 60
i dunno
post #3 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3602 View Post
It seems like certain higher-end 'phones have plain drivers, while some less expensive ones have angled ones.
So uh, put simply, why? Or is my observation wrong?
I think it is wrong...this pattern in headphones can be seen in T1, Stax Omega2 (with the help of earpads) HD800, Qualia, even MDR-R10 tough it doesn't have an angled driver, but with the help of earpads it would give you the same effect... K1000..etc

Some chose to make the headphone with angled drivers and some chose to make the trick with the pads (I for example prefer the ones with rotative earpads and the k1000 principle..but I have to test HD800 and T1)
post #4 of 60
They are each trying to give/make the sounds that we hear from are phones sound like our speakers. This also includes delivering a so called believable image/soundstage......Many upper end models do a damn good job at making us believe the music is comin' from the front of our heads not just straight into each ear...Just M.O. and what I've read about the new position of high end headphones using "Angled" drivers.
post #5 of 60
I prefer angled. It feels much more spacious and speaker-like.

That's why I went with J$ pads for my Denons.
post #6 of 60
The HD-800, T1 and K-1000 are lower-end headphones?

You got me there.
post #7 of 60
The question is not why some use angled drivers. The question is why so many do not.

Your ears are angled. Some are bigger than others. Some are angled more than others. But none sit flat against your head. Yet so many headphones are built as if your ears were an afterthought.

The smaller headphones can sit upon the ears. It helps if they swivel. With the larger headphones, so many of the circumaural designs ignore the need to orient the driver to match the ears.

Why?

Because the purpose of a headphone manufacturer is to sell headphones. Making a great product is part of that, but far too often, the object is to sell a cool looking set of cans. Angled cups don't look right. The vice-grip look is iconic. People are used to seeing headphones as sitting flush with the skull. They're not used to seeing headphone backs as something staring out from the face. Some time ago, I made some modifications to the cushion design on a pair of Grados. When I took a picture of the cushions with the drivers angled, I got a lot of snickers for doing so. But that's exactly what Sennheiser has done with its HD800 - and good for Sennheiser!

The HD800 may be the headphone that starts a revolution in headfi, with an army of me-too knockoffs imitating the angled drivers, among other things. When I saw that the photos of the HD800 included shots of the rear of the driver, which shows a widening in the rear (to accommodate for the angling of the pinnae), I thought it was marvelous. Finally, somebody has made a headphone that has made it cool to do what should have been done long ago.
post #8 of 60
Looks like angled drivers are becoming FOTM.
post #9 of 60
Hm, I think I've met those guys before. They're not exactly intelligent.

All Grados - from the SR60 to the RS1 - have angled drivers, inasmuch as they rest on the ears. It's the GS1000 and PS1000 that don't, because they are circumaural and the pads are symmetrical all around. The K-701s, on the other hand, have thicker padding in the rear. The HD800 is similarly angled, though not so much from the padding as from the headphone's shells. The worst you can say about angling of drivers is that the failure to do it is eclipsed by other, bigger, more obvious failures, including the use of leatherette pads that muddy up the sound stage.
post #10 of 60
Considering that Sony have had angled drivers for over 15 years with Great success I would hardly call it a new idea.And the drivers on the Sony's are angled,they do not rely on a bit of padding to give the effect.
post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ford2 View Post
Considering that Sony have had angled drivers for over 15 years with Great success I would hardly call it a new idea.And the drivers on the Sony's are angled,they do not rely on a bit of padding to give the effect.
You're right. It's not a new idea, just as the Vikings beat Columbus to America by about 500 years. But when the Vikings did it, Europe didn't spend the next two centuries pouring over. It's still early to tell whether the success of the HD800 as most celebrated headphone around will translate into me-too designs but this time, there's reason to believe the change may catch on.
post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilavideo View Post
The question is not why some use angled drivers. The question is why so many do not.

Your ears are angled. Some are bigger than others. Some are angled more than others. But none sit flat against your head. Yet so many headphones are built as if your ears were an afterthought.

The smaller headphones can sit upon the ears. It helps if they swivel. With the larger headphones, so many of the circumaural designs ignore the need to orient the driver to match the ears.

Why?

Because the purpose of a headphone manufacturer is to sell headphones. Making a great product is part of that, but far too often, the object is to sell a cool looking set of cans. Angled cups don't look right. The vice-grip look is iconic. People are used to seeing headphones as sitting flush with the skull. They're not used to seeing headphone backs as something staring out from the face. Some time ago, I made some modifications to the cushion design on a pair of Grados. When I took a picture of the cushions with the drivers angled, I got a lot of snickers for doing so. But that's exactly what Sennheiser has done with its HD800 - and good for Sennheiser!

The HD800 may be the headphone that starts a revolution in headfi, with an army of me-too knockoffs imitating the angled drivers, among other things. When I saw that the photos of the HD800 included shots of the rear of the driver, which shows a widening in the rear (to accommodate for the angling of the pinnae), I thought it was marvelous. Finally, somebody has made a headphone that has made it cool to do what should have been done long ago.
My ears sit very flush against the sides of my head. As for the HD800 starting a trend, that's laughable indeed. Angled drivers within the frame construction have been around forever. As have headphones which attempt to compensate for the shape of the outer ear (and there have been multitudinous ways in which this has been attempted).

Angled drivers within the headphone frame means nothing without further context in the design. The whole "they have better imagining" or "sound more like speakers" is (excepting, maybe, the K1000) utter hokum.
post #13 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ford2 View Post
Considering that Sony have had angled drivers for over 15 years with Great success I would hardly call it a new idea.And the drivers on the Sony's are angled,they do not rely on a bit of padding to give the effect.
Given that the classic angled-driver 'phone is the Stax SR-Sigma, the idea's been around for a while.
post #14 of 60
flat drivers are really not worth the trouble..who wants a boring L/R SS exactly
post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post

Angled drivers within the headphone frame means nothing without further context in the design
Such as if you don't mind me asking?
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