So I've always wondered why we never see any Planar-Magnetic headphones from the bigger companies like Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, or Denon..
Any particular reason?
I am sure some big brands will come up with Planar-Magnetic Cans. I assume R&D would be quite long and costly but when they come up with one it would cost more than any dynamic can in the market today. Just my 2 cents...
They do. Their planars pretty much come crippled from the factory due to the crappy enclosures they put the otherwise awesome drivers in. They need some DIY to really show off.
Fostex's new ~$2K flagship woodie turned out to be a dynamic which was pretty dissapointing to me. It looks like a tweaked D7000 to me which wouldn't be surprising since Fostex OEMs many of Denon's 'phones. They just aren't pushing them for whatever reason. A tweaked T50RP driver in some sort of lightweight composite enclosure would rock but they didn't go down that path.
Fostex also apparently makes some really nice planar drivers for loudspeakers but I don't know much about that end of things.
To be quite blunt; portable devices. At-home listening is not the target demographic - if you want a real-world demonstration of this look at the top three market leaders in terms of volume right now: Sony, Monster, and Bose. Aside from the now-discontinued MDR-SA series from Sony, none of them produce a headphone that really targets home users (we'll ignore that Sony makes (And that Monster claims to make) studio/professional headphones - but even if we didn't, all of those products work for mobile use). Other CE makers that are getting into the arena (seeing the growth of headphone sales to consumers), like Philips, aren't even worrying about the home hi-fi market directly. It's super expensive to design a flagship/statement product that will be competing in a fairly crowded market-place (unless you run the price up along the lines of the Edition 10 or keep the thing in production forever like the ESP/950) that doesn't really tolerate failure. It's fairly easy to design something that works half-way decent and doesn't look like hell (especially when your primary competition is iBuds until you break the $150 mark). Also remember that portable devices generally won't drive the more demanding planars out there. And that most planars are open. Figure out an easy-to-drive, light-weight, comfortable, closed, and chic looking planar that costs around $200 and doesn't sound like crap, and I'm sure you'll sell a ton of units. I think Foster is the only company in a position to do this, and for whatever reason, they haven't.
Thank your for taking the time to type what none of us wanted to type
You must remember OP....Sennheiser also needs to feed it's workers and their families. Our audiophile market is very very small. I'm just going to go out and say that any high end headphone user that would purchase planar's would do research and thus have used Head-Fi and thus use head fi's membership/user numbers. most are not active and a lot are newbies...but i suppose if we balance it all out it works. head fi membership is ... a quarter of a million >_< pc enthusiasts (me) are still able to get support because even though our numbers are small and considered endarangered. are still high enough to support the companies that make enthusiast parts. 30 million is considiered small and "extinction" by those regular people up in the newspapers...what do you think they call 250k?