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BASS and BA Drivers....Can We Agree On 1 Thing?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Multiple drivers do better.

 

I am one who thinks crossovers are basic and way less complicated or difficult than so many seem to broadcast.  It's the basic premise of splitting frequencies and they all funnel into a nozzle with a damper.  Either the circuitry is done right or wrong.  There is not much in between.

 

Just as 1 example, the Westone W3 has a big bassy sound.  Relatively detailed but an undesireble mid-bass hump too.  The W4(40) has 2 bass drivers.  Overall...the total amount of bass is actually LESS but the quality, detail, and texture is literally insane, off the charts.  Dynamics just don't do this.....

post #2 of 7

I've never listened to a multi-driver BA IEM. I've heard a BA full range driver (Klipsch Image X10), and it sounded a bit bass light to me, but the only IEMs I own are dynamic (Senn IE80s). I would be curious to hear a multi-driver BA sometime though.

post #3 of 7

If I am not mistaken, it's a fact that a single driver is enough for over the ear headphones to get a full range, transparent sound because they only need to work in the small acoustic space around a person's ears. In case of IEMs, it seems even more obvious to me that one driver should be enough, as they only have the tiny ear canal to work in. I do think that single driver IEMs haven't reached the sound quality level of the best full sized cans yet, but they should in the possibly very near future, with planar IEMs rumored to be in development right now and with further development of electrostatic IEMs. Who knows, maybe Beyer may even develop great sounding Tesla drivers for their IEMs, or Senn might develop a successful miniature Ring Radiator driver... As for multi driver BAs, they may also have a future with all those fancy phase alignment technologies coming out, but ultimately I feel that single drivers will eventually replace multi driver BAs in IEMs, at least due to the former ending up being less costly to implement. As for current BAs without phase alignment technologies, I feel that they suffer from audible phase problems that, from my experience, is the greater offender than the, fairly minor IMO, lack of extension, resolution or transparency of current top single driver IEMs.


Edited by Pianist - 5/4/14 at 12:33pm
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes, the presenting area inside our ears is about a cubic centimeter.  Not very large.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
 

Yes, the presenting area inside our ears is about a cubic centimeter.  Not very large.

 

Exactly, so I think that's why a single driver will be sufficient for an IEM. However, I don't think current single driver IEMs are fully capable of creating a completely full range as well as transparent sound just yet (but the current top ones seem to come really close) and so, for now, multi driver BAs can indeed be the better choice IMO, until the single drivers catch up. But I feel that without phase correcting circuitry, current multi driver BA setups have too many phase issues. I am sensitive to these phase problems and that's one of the reasons why I dismissed all the multi drivers I heard so far as inadequate for serious listening to my ears. With phase correction, multi driver BAs may indeed be very nice and better than current single drivers, but then there are also the varying impedance and frequency response issues. In particular, most multi driver BAs seem to have wild impedance swings throughout the frequency spectrum, causing them to be very picky about which amp they are plugged into. Also, many multi BAs seem to have some odd bumps or dips in the frequency response due to the multiple drivers being improperly connected, which decreases their accuracy.


Edited by Pianist - 5/4/14 at 8:52pm
post #6 of 7

That's not what they're saying on the DITA the Answer thread.. it's a single dynamic driver... probably have to hear it to believe it, as I have every reason to doubt it as well, but the overwhelming concensus there...

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

Exactly, so I think that's why a single driver will be sufficient for an IEM. However, I don't think current single driver IEMs are fully capable of creating a completely full range as well as transparent sound just yet (but the current top ones seem to come really close) and so, for now, multi driver BAs can indeed be the better choice IMO, until the single drivers catch up. But I feel that without phase correcting circuitry, current multi driver BA setups have too many phase issues. I am sensitive to these phase problems and that's one of the reasons why I dismissed all the multi drivers I heard so far as inadequate for serious listening to my ears. With phase correction, multi driver BAs may indeed be very nice and better than current single drivers, but then there are also the varying impedance and frequency response issues. In particular, most multi driver BAs seem to have wild impedance swings throughout the frequency spectrum, causing them to be very picky about which amp they are plugged into. Also, many multi BAs seem to have some odd bumps or dips in the frequency response due to the multiple drivers being improperly connected, which decreases their accuracy.
I think where designers of multi BA IEMs need to be especially careful is on the reproduction of low end frequencies. JH Audio for example makes some nice sounding IEMS, but I did notice that because of their detail and clarity, bass notes on several of my tracks sounded unnatural. Greater transparency doesn't fix the problem but reveals it.
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