Headphone drivers, what does that mean?

You should be aware of the different types of headphones drivers available when purchasing a pair. Drivers produce different sounds, so choosing the right one is important.

Here are six of the most common headphone drivers. You’ll learn what each one does and how it impacts your music’s sound. This information will help you select the right set of headphones. We’re ready to go!

woman in white crew neck shirt covering her face with her hand

What are headphone drivers?

It is the headphones’ drivers that produce the sound. Your music player produces sound waves by converting electrical signals. The headphones drivers enhance your music listening experience.


We have collected for you some of the most common and useful types of headphone drivers from

Dynamic Driver

First on our list is the dynamic driver. Why is it first? Because it is one of the most common types of headphone driver. The diaphragm, voice coil and magnet are the main components of a microphone.

The diaphragm and voice coil are connected by a coil of wire which is wound around the magnet. The voice coil generates a magnetic field when an electrical signal passes through it. This causes the diaphragm to vibrate with the magnet, which in turn creates vibrations that are then transferred to the magnet. When electrical signals pass through the diaphragm, the diaphragm vibrates at a certain frequency. As a result we hear sound waves. They can reproduce a wide range of frequencies along with good sound quality and they are also durable.

However, they can be heavy for some people.

Balanced armature driver

The second pick is A balanced armature driver. The sound is created by a magnet and voice coil in this type of headphone driver. Headphones and earbuds often use this material.

Similar to dynamic drivers, balanced armature drivers work by rotating an armature. Diaphragms are attached to magnets via voice coils. A much smaller magnet is used here. The voice coil produces a magnetic field when it receives an electrical signal.

Diaphragm vibration is generated by the interaction of the magnet with the diaphragm. Electrical signals determine the frequency at which the diaphragm vibrates and as a result, we hear our favourite sounds.

These are considerably light in weight and promise good sound quality but their bass performance isn’t as good as dynamic drivers


Electrostatic driver

Next is an electrostatic driver. A diaphragm and electrodes are electrostatically charged to create sound in a type of headphone driver. Headphones with this technology are often used in high-end models.

There are two electrodes on either side of an electrostatic driver. The diaphragm is thin and electrically charged. Whenever an electrical signal is sent through electrodes, an electrostatic field is created. Vibrating diaphragms are caused by this field’s interaction with them. Sound waves are produced as a result of this vibration being transferred to the air. They can operate on various frequencies and result in superb sound quality.


Piezoelectric driver

A piezoelectric(pai·ee·zow·uh·lek·truhk- this is how we pronounce it) driver. To create sound, it uses a piezoelectric material. Typically, ceramics are used in piezoelectric devices.


The vibration of piezoelectric material is caused by an electrical signal sent through it. We can hear sound waves when vibrations are transmitted to the diaphragm. Sound waves are influenced by electric signals in the same way as sound waves are affected by sound waves.


Magnetostriction driver

Last but of course not the least pick is a magnetostriction driver. To create sound, the magnetostrictive material in this headphone driver is used. Magnetostrictive materials are most commonly made of iron.


Electrical signals are sent through an iron rod and a coil of wire in a magnetostriction driver. Magnetic fields are created by this process. Additionally, it alters the shape of the iron rod. Changing the shape of the diaphragm creates vibrations, which are then transmitted to the diaphragm. 

Choosing The Right Type Of Driver 

You should consider your needs and preferences when choosing a headphone driver. An audio driver has many factors on which its capacity to produce good sound depends. Taking a closer look at each of these factors will help us understand them better.

Audio quality 

Choosing a headphone driver that is capable of producing a wide range of frequencies will give you the best sound quality. Your music will sound more detailed if you have a wider frequency range. A driver with a frequency range of 20 to 20 kHz is ideal.

Size of driver

Headphone drivers’ sizes are also important factors to consider. Smaller drivers are more compact and lightweight, while larger ones produce more bass. You’ll need a larger driver if you want the best sound quality. A smaller driver is better suited for portable use.

woman sitting on bench in front of train


A power source is not required by all headphone drivers. Choosing a driver that does not require power will make your device more portable. However, you’ll want to choose a driver that requires a power source if you’re looking for the best sound quality.

The Impedance

A headphone driver’s impedance describes its electrical resistance. Noise and distortion are more likely to occur with drivers with lower impedance. You’ll want a higher impedance driver if you want the best sound quality. The lower the impedance, the more portable the device.


An electrical signal of a certain voltage is what determines how loud a headphone driver will be. A louder driver will have a higher sensitivity. So basically loudness and sensitivity have a direct relation. Drivers with higher sensitivity will provide the best sound quality. You’ll want a lower sensitivity driver if you want something portable.


Wondering what is distortion? Don’t worry we have got your back. When a signal’s waveform changes, it is called distortion. All clear now? Now, what is its significance? You can hear fuzziness or opacity in music when it is present. No one likes the music with alien distorted voices. Sound quality improves with lower distortion. Thus, make sure to take a look at the percentage of the distortion your headphone drivers have. Distortion under 1% is a good sign.

Dynamic range

Next, we have is dynamic range. Ok, don’t kill me for using all these terms which are alien to you. I will explain this as well. So the headphone drivers can reproduce sounds at different volume levels, depending on their dynamic range. Music with a wide dynamic range will sound more detailed. Drivers with a dynamic range of 90 dB or more are recommended. 

Signal-to-noise ratio

No No No. DO NOT compromise on the sound quality. When you are spending money, make sure the item you buy is worth those pounds. signal-to-noise ratio refers to the strength of the signal compared to the strength of the noise. Your music will sound better if the ratio is higher. It is advisable to use a driver with a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 80 decibels.


There are several types of drivers available when shopping for headphones. Choosing the right headphones for you will be easier if you do this. These all may be the technical terms for newbies or the ones who never thought to look into details before buying a headset. But all these terms are for your good. You will be able to make a more informed decision this way. 

The purpose of this article is to provide you with a clear understanding of the different types of headphones drivers. You can find the best headphone drivers at 

The Dos and Don’ts of Writing in a birthday card

Travelling with Family: Tips For Easy Vacation