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New Graphene Driver being developed by MIT.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I was just roaming the internet when i stumbled upon this article:


http://www.technologyreview.com/view/512496/first-graphene-audio-speaker-easily-outperforms-traditional-designs/

 

MIT is creating a new type of driver that is small and efficient. I also requires very little damping engineering.

I think this is a very cool idea and that it has potential to change the low end portable earphone industry.

What are your thought on this? I would love to see what the Head-fi community thinks about this.

post #2 of 16

So basically this technology can get us truly portable electrostats? This is very interesting, as even the in-ears that STAX makes require a compatible amp. I also wonder how much the quality will improve once it is optimized. Definitely going to read through their paper later today.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yup electrostatic drivers that are small, portable, and easy to drive. Sounds great, right? I really hope they can pull this off.

post #4 of 16
I was about to post this on a new thread but saw this one: http://theheadphonelist.com/graphene-electrostatic-earphones/ . A Berkeley student made a pair of DIY electrostatic headphones with a graphene membrane. I wonder how one of these would sound, it must be a bit different than traditional electrostats.
Edited by ToddTheMetalGod - 4/23/14 at 1:05pm
post #5 of 16
This is actually interesting. I feel like the headphone industry jumped the shark about twenty years ago.
post #6 of 16
I think the thickness of Stax membranes is approximately 4 microns and the thickness of graphene membranes is close to 1 micron. I wonder if this could provide better detail retrieval or if we've already gone past the threshold of human hearing. We're getting close to the thickness of an ear drum, I think it's 1 micron as well.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by EthanHarte View Post
 

Yup electrostatic drivers that are small, portable, and easy to drive. Sounds great, right? I really hope they can pull this off.

Isn't STAX hard to drive?  It takes ridiculous amount of voltage.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

Isn't STAX hard to drive?  It takes ridiculous amount of voltage.
Yeah, but these drivers are much different because of the properties of graphene. It has natural air damping and can act as a semi-conductor between electrodes which allows it to be much more power efficient. I'm unsure whether or not this would need a voltage bias like conventional electrostatics though... that would ruin the idea of using it out of a normal headphone amplifier. I think it acting as a semiconductor allows the electrostatic force to be magnitudes more efficient.
post #9 of 16

Who doesn't want 1kV strapped to their head? Beside, I'm fairly sure science can demonstrate that the perceived huge sound quality improvement reported by all owners of electrostats can be directly correlated to euphoria from ozone inhalation.

 

Cheers

 

Disclaimer: I just made all of that up.

post #10 of 16
I don't mind 500V going through my headphones, as long as the detail retrieval is ridiculous... and the transient response of electrostatics allow that wink.gif. I haven't heard one though, but I like planars for their bass.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddTheMetalGod View Post

I don't mind 500V going through my headphones, as long as the detail retrieval is ridiculous... and the transient response of electrostatics allow that wink.gif. I haven't heard one though, but I like planars for their bass.

I got a feeling it won't be cheaper than what electrostatics are now.  Look at the price on those high voltage amps.  It's ridiculous. This is why I went with planar although it's expensive as hell, but not as bad as electrostatics.  Damn STAX.  :rolleyes:

post #12 of 16
I don't think so either, these will likely sound better than current top-of-the-line electrostatics. It would be nice to be able to drive one with a normal amp though. I would buy a pair of Stax if I could simply use it out of my O2... the amps are super expensive for them and the low end ones apparently don't sound good.

Edit: don't get me wrong, I would buy a better amp eventually... I just don't want to drop a ton of money at once.
Edited by ToddTheMetalGod - 4/24/14 at 7:54pm
post #13 of 16

Does anybody want to remind me the inherent advantage that electrostats enjoy over dynamic-type drivers? Improved impulse response? "slew rate"? Are any of the advantages in the 20-20kHz range at sub 140 dB SPLs? Or is it about simpler structural dynamic characteristics and design requirements?

 

Cheers

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post

Does anybody want to remind me the inherent advantage that electrostats enjoy over dynamic-type drivers? Improved impulse response? "slew rate"? Are any of the advantages in the 20-20kHz range at sub 140 dB SPLs? Or is it about simpler structural dynamic characteristics and design requirements?

Cheers
From what I've read: improve transient response (more "speed" to the sound than other designs , kind of like planar vs. dynamic), better imaging and detail retrieval (this is why people love them, tons of detail), more tactile but lighter bass, lots of clarity (this is mostly the tuning of Stax though), and good soundstage layering.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post
 

Does anybody want to remind me the inherent advantage that electrostats enjoy over dynamic-type drivers? Improved impulse response? "slew rate"? Are any of the advantages in the 20-20kHz range at sub 140 dB SPLs? Or is it about simpler structural dynamic characteristics and design requirements?

 

Cheers

A buddy that built his own electrostat and amp(I know, it's crazy) told me the distortion is lower than dynamic.  So, I checked out Tyll's measurements, and realized that dynamic drivers generally have increasing distortion as the frequency get's lower whereas a good Electrostat or Planar the distortion stay evenly in the same level under 1%.  This could be just Tyll's measurements, and they could measure different with different setup.

 

Measurements are not that consistant though(HE-6 sounds fantastic, but it measures worse than LCD-2), take a look at them yourself, and see if you can make any good conclusions. 

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads

 

This is how TYLL measures them, and I don't think the measurements really show the performance when it's loaded to a real setup.

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-measurment-proceedures-introduction-and-equipment


Edited by SilverEars - 4/24/14 at 8:05pm
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