Headphone driver configurations

We have speakers which use different drivers and IEM’s that use multiple types why not HP’s?

Typically more difficult for little benefit in most designs, a headphone can get away with using one driver for the entire range, and typically something more simple is the better choice lol. For speakers and iems, you want to use multiple drivers to overcome the shortcomings of a single driver design, but for headphones that really isn’t needed. Not saying that a multiple driver headphone can’t be good or anything, it just tends to over complicate things to the point where it might not make sense or it would have been better to just use a single driver design

I see that but it can’t be that hard to implement a couple of BA’s and a DD in a headphone? could ultimately be easier to tune?

I mean final does that with their sonorous vi (I also own this one, interesting for sure). Regarding BA’s, they just aren’t designed to be used in a headphone and operate correctly in one without a decent bit of work. You now have to design a crossover, deal with the driving characteristics you put on the amp, create a design that accurately places the driver and controls it, it’s easier to do this in a more controlled environment like an iem. In the end it would just be more difficult I would think for a headphone. The biggest issue would be coherency and consistency, it would be hard to get everything to blend together and actually sound good compared to a single driver design imo. One of those “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” cases imo. I would be very interested to hear more good designs with ba and a dynamic in a headphone, but I just haven’t heard anything that is super compelling to where it made a whole ton of sense yet

IMO if you were to do a multiple driver headphone I think that going for a dynamic + a ribbon or amt is the most promising in my eyes

Crinacle addressed this issue, more from an in-ear than an over-ear perspective, in yesterday’s live stream:

Couldn’t tell you where, but think it was toward the middle or later. My take-away was that he felt that in-ear that are nothing but multiple BA’s are just designer laziness. Seemed to be pretty animated about this. Pretty sure he would agree with everything M0N’s stating.

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The 1More triple driver over (on) ear is a hybrid If I remember properly.

Also just to clarify, I am coming from a headphone perspective here, and I don’t design nor manufacture stuff either, just stating what I feel from what I have heard from people who are in the know and my person experiences

Yes. They use a piezo and a dynamic with a bass radiator iirc

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What does iirc mean?

If I recall correctly

Oh! Thanks…

Perhaps a non-obvious example might be the Empyrean, since it combines an isodynamic and an orthodynamic planar design as two sections of the same overall transducer. Guess it would depend on how you parse the transducer design? (Got the fancy vocabulary from a recent Porta-Fi YT vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK1ullEGqz8 at 18:15.)

Now I think of it, never heard anyone mention hearing a crossover issue from the Empyrean. But i’d think there’d have to be a demarcation between the frequency ranges of the two sections.

I mean it’s the same overall driver, so I think they would most likely be able to negate that issue I would feel. It would most likely affect other things moreso than FR would

It doesn’t seem like it would be an automatic given, at least to my dim understanding of such things. So the resonances of both sections would have to be carefully calculated not to overlap or leave a gap. And clearly they did that.

I looked for a Tyll impulse/impedance plot for the Empyrean but sadly they seem to be after his time. Wish others who do measurements would give us more than FR. Apparently Resolve is getting a big-boy rig so maybe he’ll try ot fill that void.

Yes, I think it would mainly affect things other than fr in that design (but not a designer so idk lol). Not saying it was a given that it wouldn’t have that issue, mainly just saying that it’s a design that they can most likely work with to overcome potential fr issues