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Could you explain balanced armature to me?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

In layman's terms as much as possible? :)

I read the relevant section of the Wikipedia article on headphones and while I understand most of it, I don't really get the practical applications in terms of the actual listening experience or sound quality or whatever.

Are they better/worse/it depends? Do they really require a better seal as mentioned on Wikipedia?

I've been looking at Audio-Technica's newest IEMs, particularly the ATH-IM70 (which I know is not BA) but I'm also trying to decide whether the ATH-IM01 or 02 would be for me. The IM02 is above the budget I set for this purchase but I might consider it if it's worth it. But really I'm trying to get a better understanding of BA in general.

post #2 of 3

Iem`s will usually be either ba or dynamic as far as I know, dynamics are your usual speaker with a flexible diaphragm and magnetic coil in the center that vibrates at set frequencies, ba`s in comparison use a small magnetic arm that vibrates instead of a coil and diaphragm which makes them much smaller and faster (meaning more micro details, think etymotic er4) but also impedes their ability to move air, this is why iem`s often use ba drivers as you can fit many in a single housing, however bass quantity is usually worse than dynamic driver based iem`s. Dynamic drivers are usually considered to be of higher quality but due to size and cost they aren`t really popular on iem`s but that may not be the case in the future as we are seeing an increased number of single dynamic iem`s that rival the multi ba setups, namely the ie800, fx700, etc. Dynamic iem`s are not necessarily better however as with ba setups you can have much better clarity and make up for their lack of bass using different tuning methods and crossovers, not to mention it would be difficult to make an acceptably sized iem with multiple dynamic drivers. Using one technology doesn`t mean anything these are just the usual traits, a manufacturer can tune a dynamic to be analytical or a ba to have monstrous bass. You should read up on the forum about those models and compare their strengths and weaknesses as they may not abide by the inherent traits of such technologies if that helps.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Ok, so it's really more of a design choice than anything else, kind of like dynamic, planar or electrostatic, each with its own set of pros and cons?

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