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Why 5+ drivers? Makes no sense to me.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Looking at frequency graphs of single BA headphones, one can see why a couple of drivers for the low end and an extra for the high end might be needed, since both low bass and 12khz+ tail off. Having heard headphones that go down to 20Hz, there's no question of the advantage.

 

But beyond a 4 driver setup, I can't see any added value.


Edited by theequalizer - 12/15/13 at 4:50pm
post #2 of 23

Sometimes drivers are doubled (two of the same in parallel electrically, I would think). I guess that gets you a louder volume at a given distortion level. I think that's what's happening for the many-driver BA IEMs, but I don't really follow those.

 

There's also MORE DRIVERS = BETTER for marketing purposes...

 

Perhaps there's something here that I don't know either.

post #3 of 23

It's easier to create a loudspeaker with better frequency response and other traits if you use many drivers. The driver doesn't need as much excursion, some driver materials are better for reproducing certain frequency ranges, etc. I agree that I do not see much of a point in more than four drivers, though. I mean that would probably increase the difficulty of making a quality crossover and obviously require much more materials for a small (if any) increase in sound quality.

post #4 of 23

Unless there's a way to create drivers which work precisely within a frequency range, I don't see a reason to have more than three drivers.

 

Usually two can suffice, unless a low end boost is needed. BA drivers tend to be small and low frequencies need bigger drivers, or a special driver to work on the lower end.

 

A well designed three driver IEM should be adequate. But I see stuff like JH16, 8 drivers per channel (4 low + 2 mid + 2 high).

 

Not sure if its a gimmick or there's some real benefit to that many drivers.

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 

A well designed three driver IEM should be adequate. But I see stuff like JH16, 8 drivers per channel (4 low + 2 mid + 2 high).

 

Not sure if its a gimmick or there's some real benefit to that many drivers.

 

And presumably with reliability problems.

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post
 

 

A well designed three driver IEM should be adequate. But I see stuff like JH16, 8 drivers per channel (4 low + 2 mid + 2 high).

 

Not sure if its a gimmick or there's some real benefit to that many drivers.

 

The new JHA Roxanne has twelve drivers per side (4x3) :rolleyes: 

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by limpidglitch View Post
 

 

The new JHA Roxanne has twelve drivers per side (4x3) :rolleyes: 

 

Why not install a microscopic symphony orchestra in each IEM?

post #8 of 23

One of the RMAF videos has Jerry Harvey, Nao Tsunoda and others discussing some of the issues with IEMs and why they chose to go with multiple drivers. I don't have the URL handy but it should be fairly easy to find on Youtube. It isn't just about multiple drivers though. That alone wont solve anything.

post #9 of 23

I don't see why IEM manufacturers would go with more than 2 crossovers and bass, mids, highs drivers. More than 3 drivers usually means using more than one driver in each of those ranges. Example: 2 bass + 2 mid + 1 highs = 5 drivers.

Why? A bit higher SPL, lower distortion.

post #10 of 23

I don't understand how anyone could claim a single driver BA could possibly sound better than a multi-driver BA.  I suppose a person with golden ears might hear more cohesiveness with one driver but that seems kind of a moot point if all the frequencies aren't thoroughly represented.

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
 

I don't understand how anyone could claim a single driver BA could possibly sound better than a multi-driver BA.  I suppose a person with golden ears might hear more cohesiveness with one driver but that seems kind of a moot point if all the frequencies aren't thoroughly represented.

 

Depends on the driver's frequency range. If a driver is reasonably flat in a certain frequency range, using two drivers for the same range is overkill.

post #12 of 23

I suggest 300drivers per channel to be pretty confident that the statistical average will avoid frequency imbalance.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

One of the RMAF videos has Jerry Harvey, Nao Tsunoda and others discussing some of the issues with IEMs and why they chose to go with multiple drivers. I don't have the URL handy but it should be fairly easy to find on Youtube. It isn't just about multiple drivers though. That alone wont solve anything.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waeeb0zDBos

I kept a bookmark of this one and another on jitter from the guy from sabre chips who blowed my mind at the time (those events would deserve a tripod and correct sound, but I'm already grateful to get something available).
 

post #13 of 23

The ESSTech guy I also found interesting, even if I didn't understand everything he was on about. At least they were trying to understand why people preferred certain gear.

 

Anyhow, if I remember I'll ask Jerry Harvey about it on Saturday at the e-earphone festival. I'd take a guess that it has to do with lowering distortion, better phase response and whatnot. Still, the IEMs I've been most impressed with so far were BA+dynamic or multi-BA and I don't think these guys are just sticking them in there purely for marketing. They don't have that kind of attitude.

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post
 

 

Depends on the driver's frequency range. If a driver is reasonably flat in a certain frequency range, using two drivers for the same range is overkill.

 

If the sensitivity of some of the drivers is different they might go with using multiple drivers rather than just attenuate it with the X-over, especially if the goal is more bass as opposed to really flat bass but digs deep. Still, I'm more of the single large dynamic driver (but a 2- or 3-way tower speaker, not necessarily single driver Fostex) kind of guy.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

If the sensitivity of some of the drivers is different they might go with using multiple drivers rather than just attenuate it with the X-over, especially if the goal is more bass as opposed to really flat bass but digs deep. Still, I'm more of the single large dynamic driver (but a 2- or 3-way tower speaker, not necessarily single driver Fostex) kind of guy.

 

Ah. Yes, that makes sense.

 

In IEMs it seems 2 dynamic drivers can do the work of 3 BA drivers.

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