Due to its excellent sound quality, Planar Magnetic Headphones are fast overtaking other options as the preferred option among audiophiles and professionals. The newest advancement in headphone technology is planar magnetic headphones.
These headphones provide a more accurate sound reproduction than you would receive from conventional drivers thanks to planar magnetic technology.
These Headphones cannot be used with portable electronics like phones or tablets since they do not create enough power to operate without an amplifier.
They are made to provide a musical experience that is unsurpassed, with clarity and precision unmatched, and comfort that lasts all day.
What Are Planar Magnetic Headphones?
Planar magnetic headphones (sometimes called orthodynamic or isodynamic) can be considered to have elements of both dynamic and electrostatic headphones. A conductive diaphragm is sandwiched between an array of magnets to create a planar driver which can take be either round or square.
Best Planar Magnetic Headphones
|Planar Magnetic Headphones||Rating (/5)|
|Dekoni Audio Blue (Foster T50RP MK3 Mod)||4.5|
|Dan Clark Audio Stealth||4.3|
|Hifiman Arya – Stealth Magnet||4.2|
|Hifiman Ananda – BT||4.1|
|Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 Noire||4.0|
What’s So Special About Planar Magnetic Headphones?
Simply put, if you’ve always used dynamic drivers in your headphones, switching to planar magnetic headphones will elevate your listening experience to a whole new level.
Even the most cheap models of planar magnetic headphones produce sound that is highly accurate, detailed, and realistic.
The sound quality of planar magnetic headphones is renowned for being distortion-free. This results from the way their drivers are built and the fact that, unlike standard dynamic drivers, the diaphragm (thin film) is not pushed from a single location. The magnetic field and wires are uniformly distributed throughout the diaphragm of a planar magnetic driver. The membrane vibrates uniformly throughout, minimising the possibility of distortion.
Major Downsides of Planar Magnetic Headphones
Their size is the biggest drawback. The diaphragms of these headphones are narrow, but their overall diameter is big. The majority of these headphones available are over-ear. Planar magnetic headphones are also heavier than conventional headphones with dynamic drivers since they include two layers of magnets. They are less portable and cannot possibly be as comfy as the traditional over-ear headphones.
Planar magnetic headphones often have higher impedance and are more difficult to drive, therefore you will need to spend more money on a headphone amplifier. However, when operated by a smartphone, several of the models function better than adequately. Simply take a close look and review the specifications.
What to Expect When it Comes to Prices?
Planar magnetic headphones typically cost more than traditional dynamic-driver headphones. A flagship model from Audeze, Oppo, or HIFIMAN costs more than $2,000 (Audeze LCD-3) or even $3,000 in some cases (Audeze LCD-4, HIFIMAN HE1000 V2, Audeze LCD-MX4).
However, there are several excellent headphones available for less than $1,000 (OPPO-PM3), or even less than $500. (Hifiman HE400S, HIFIMAN HE-400I, Monolith M1060). Consequently, you are not need to invest your savings on a set of headphones. Even while these headphones aren’t exactly inexpensive, there are still some excellent options available.
Is There Anything Better Than Planar Magnetic Headphones?
There is a different kind of headphone called electrostatic headphones. They provide richer, more dynamic, and even less distorted sound, and have an even greater frequency response (compared to planar magnetic headphones). Most audiophiles can only dream of owning high-end electrostatic headphones due to their price ($2,500+).
The cost might reach $50,000. You will need to acquire a specialised amp to drive them, as if that weren’t enough. They cost a lot more money than magnetic headphones. STAX is the most well-known producer of electrostatic headphones. Additionally, HIFIMAN has produced a few electrostatic headphone versions. STAX SR-009, HIFIMAN Jade II, and HIFIMAN SHANGRI-LA are a few of the most well-known electrostatic headphone models.
Top 10 Planar Magnetic Headphones In 2022
1. Hifiman Susvara
The Susvara planar magnetic headphone from Hifiman is perfect for mixing, recording, and other tasks that call for expert audio equipment.
The Susvara, which are their flagship headphones, are the definition of “luxury.” For its nanometer-grade membrane, it not only features specially designed “stealth magnets,” but it also has a conductive covering composed of gold. This combo offers one of the most responsive audio drivers in the world in addition to superb distortion protection.
2. Monolith M1070
The M1070 by Monolith achieves a remarkable balance between comfort, utility, and cost. It weighs only 20.5 ounces, but despite its tiny weight, its memory foam lambskin ear cups provide plenty of room for its 106mm planar drivers.
Its open-backed design aids the driver in expanding the soundstage while still producing precise and resonant bottom tones. The Monolith M1070 is without a doubt our top option for a planar magnetic headphone because of its high-end features and reasonable pricing.
3. Dekoni Audio Blue (Foster T50RP MK3 Mod)
Dekoni Audio’s Blue planar magnetic headphones are the result of their partnership with Fostex and are surprisingly affordable. These blue marvels are fully functional planar magnetic headphones, despite the fact that they may appear to be typical workman’s ear muffs.
Fundamentally speaking, Foster’s previously well-liked T50RP MK3 is modified into the Blue, which shares the same features. The Blue, however, differs from the ordinary T50RP in that it has Dekoni Audio’s signature “Elite Velour” earpads. In addition, the Blue is a wonderful entry-level set for discovering the impact that planar magnetic drivers can have.
4. Audeze LCD-5
The LCD-5 is the most recent model in Audeze’s LCD line of planar magnetic headphones, which highlight the brand’s expertise and skill in the industry. LCD-5 weighs only 420 grammes, which is one-third less than the LCD-4 but retains the features that made the LCD-4 the industry standard.
It has one of the best soundstages in the world with precise imaging and responses thanks to patented “parallel uniform” voice coils, Fluxor magnets, Fazor waveguided membranes, and an optimised acoustic chamber. The Audeze LCD-5 is a marginally more affordable option to Hifiman’s Susvara if you have the cash.
5. Dan Clark Audio Stealth
The Stealth series from Dan Clark Audio (previously MrSpeakers), a rival to Hifiman’s Susvara, is another option. The Stealth is a tough and attractive speaker that comes with a big 72mm x 50mm planar magnetic driver, a nickel-titanium headband, and carbon fibre baffles.
Waveguides, diffusion controls, and Helmholtz resonators are all included into the Stealth’s compact earcups using Dan Clark Audio’s unique Acoustic Metamaterial Tuning System (AMTS). Stealth is able to broadcast high-fidelity music across all genres with ease and accuracy thanks to this.
6. Hifiman Arya – Stealth Magnet
The “Stealth Magnet” is a better version of Hifiman’s popular Arya and includes magnets that are audibly inaudible. The Stealth Magnet version of the popular Arya is mechanically and visually identical, with one significant modification.
The planar magnetic driver’s magnets are acoustically transparent thanks to precisely designed magnets created by Hifiman’s sound experts. The Stealth Magnet Arya is essentially the same system with the exception of this improvement. It has a nanometer-thick membrane, “windows”-style backing, and crystalline copper audio cable.
7. Audeze LCD-X
Professional planar magnetic headphones from Audeze are the LCD-X for 2021. The planar magnetic drivers, headband, and leather ear cups all received upgrades in the most recent modification.
The drivers now feature Fazor waveguided ultra-thin Uniforce membranes and are in line with other drivers in the LCD series of headphones from Audeze. There must be a good reason why experienced audio engineers like Grammy winners Manny Marroquin and Frank Filipetti choose the LCD-X for their work, despite the LCD-hefty X’s price tag.
8. Hifiman Ananda – BT
One of the few wireless Bluetooth-capable devices on this list of the top planar magnetic headphones is the Hifiman Ananda-BT. The Ananda-BT combines the two audio specialties of Hifiman, premium digital audio converters and HiFi headphones (DACs). In essence, the Ananda-BT is a Bluetooth-enabled version of the original Ananda that uses analogue circuitry and filters similar to those found in the R2R2000 DAC.
It also adheres to the same criteria as other Hifiman headphones, including their asymmetrical ear cups and patented NEO supernano diaphragms (NsD). HWA, LDAC, APTX-HD, and APTX lossless Bluetooth codecs are supported by the Ananda-BT. The Hifiman Ananda-BT planar magnetic headphones provide the ideal set of wireless headphones for gaming thanks to their plug-and-play microphone.
9. Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 Noire
The Aeon 2 Noire, the most recent iteration of Dan Clark Audio’s Aeon 2 series, is ranked tenth among these magnetic headphones. Following customer feedback, the Noire is lighter, closed-backed, and tuned even more closely to the Harman Curve than the original Aeon 2. (the ideal headphone sound signature).
The Aeon 2 Noire is still a solid and trustworthy pair of headphones for those who need one, even though it may not be as revolutionary as the rest of its family.
10. Hifiman Sundara
The Sundara model from Hifiman will be updated in 2020 to meet standards set for other headphones in the company’s lineup.
This magnetic headphone provides a decent value for the money thanks to an 80 percent thinner diaphragm, an enhanced head strap design, and street-friendly materials. The Sundara is a respectable mid-tier alternative, even though it might not have the frequency responses of Hifiman’s upper tier offers.
Buyer’s Guide – What Are The Things To Consider When Buying Planar Magnetic Headphones
How do you pick the best pair of planar headphones for you after checking your wallet, using your present headphones, and deciding you want a better pair? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you peruse our list and make your selection.
The pricing is the first consideration while looking for planar magnetic headphones.
Always strike a balance between price, quality, and features when choosing headphones. Additionally, be sure that you only get your accessories from respectable and reliable vendors.
2. Audio Quality
The aspects of audio quality that you should consider consistently remain the same. Look for characteristics like frequency response, sensitivity, impedance, and THD in the specifications list (distortion). Planar magnetic always has a greater frequency response. Although a wide frequency response is generally recommended, it is not required.
You can only perceive noises between 20Hz and 20kHz, after all. In some circumstances, a wider frequency response could imply richer and more detailed audio reproduction. However, for untrained ears, the difference in audio quality between $1,000 and $1,500 headphones might be very slight and hardly audible.
3. Connectivity and Microphones
The connectivity of the planar magnetic headphones and whether or not it has a microphone are two more things to consider. The majority of planar magnetic headphones are specialised equipment, therefore wired sets occasionally have odd audio jacks.
Others employ jacks other than the standard 3.5mm, such as 2.5mm and 6.5mm jacks. There are also a select few devices, like the Hifiman Ananda BT, that are entirely wireless. You should check to see if the headphones you select have an inbuilt microphone in addition to how they are attached.
The biggest problem with magnetic headphones is their lack of comfort. Not all planar magnetic headphones are equally (un)comfortable, despite the fact that they are all somewhat larger and heavier than the conventional headphones with dynamic drivers. Weight (and weight distribution), headband cushioning, and earpads are the three elements to consider.
It would be great if the headphones were lightweight, however planar magnetic headphones cannot be expected to be as lightweight as conventional headphones. The earpads and headband padding must be substantial and plush, and the headband’s weight must be well distributed.
5. Branding and Construction Quality
The branding and build quality of the headphones should be considered as the fourth factor. The planar magnetic headphone market is dominated by a few major players, including Hifiman, Dan Clark Audio (formerly MrSpeakers), Audeze, and Monolith.
You can expect to receive high-quality and durable headphones from well-known and reputable manufacturers because they often have strict quality control procedures. If you decide to choose a pair from a lesser-known brand, check sure they have a local repair centre in case something goes wrong and study product reviews for that brand.
6. Form Factor and Backing
Your magnetic headphones’ form size and backing should be the last thing you examine. Over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear headphones are just a few of the numerous form factors available. Your preference will determine which one you choose.
The full of the cups behind your ears are covered with over-ear. Conversely, on-ear sets rest on top of your earlobes. Last but not least, in-ear headphones or earbuds typically broadcast sounds straight into your ear canal when they are inserted.
What are planar magnetic headphones?
A relatively recent development in headphones are planar magnetic ones. They have the same appearance as the vintage headphones, but they are bigger and heavier. The drivers are where the old-fashioned and magnetic headphones differ the most. Planar magnetic headphones have planar magnetic drivers, not dynamic drivers with voice coils.
Are planar magnetic headphones worth it
They are definitely worth the extra money if you want the best listening experience and are willing to spend more than you would for a set of traditional headphones. You should be aware that planar magnetic headphones cost far more than conventional headphones.
Are magnetic headphones safe?
Planar magnetic headphones are indeed completely secure. Since all dynamic headphones and earbuds include magnets, you shouldn’t use any headphones if you are concerned about magnets. We believe that the weight of planar headphones is considerably more likely to cause health problems than the magnetic field that the magnets inside the headphones produce.
Are planar magnetic headphones better?
Yes, they are generally superior to standard headphones. To be more specific, if you compare two similar priced sets of headphones (regular VS planar magnetic), you’ll likely get a lot better and more detailed sound reproduction with planar magnetic headphones (priced under $300 or under $500).
Due to very low distortion and generally outstanding mid and low balance, magnetic headphones are at the forefront of high-fidelity music. However, they are not precisely inexpensive, which makes them less available to the general public.
The audiophiles are a fairly particular specialty within it. A set of dynamic headphones is all you need if you need everyday headphones for activities like calling and streaming. Planar magnetic headphones, on the other hand, can make all the positive difference if you enjoy mixing.