Headphones

Planar Magnetic Headphones to Boost Your Audio Experience

Eric Chan

If you're an audiophile or just like listening to high-quality audio, you've come to the right place. We've compiled a list of the best planar magnetic headphones that will allow you to have the audio experience of your life.

What planar headphone is worth buying?

So, why should you buy planar magnetic headphones? Because they will give you the punchiest bass you've ever experienced and very low distortion. So, how do planar magnetic headphones work? Let's find out.

What Are Planar Magnetic Headphones?

These are headphones that use planar magnetic drivers. Drivers or transduces are the devices that headphones use to convert electric signals to sound waves.

So, how are planar magnetic drivers different from dynamic drivers found in your typical headphones? Planar magnetic drivers use a flat diaphragm instead of the typical dome-shaped membrane you find in dynamic drivers.

The diagrams on these planar drivers have a conductor trace that allows them to react with the magnetic field that the magnets produce.

Now that we understand the working concept, let's look at the best planar headphones in the market.

What Are the Best Planar Magnetic Headphones?

1. HIFIMAN SUNDARA Planar Magnetic Wired Headphones

HIFIMAN SUNDARA Over-Ear Full-Size Planar Magnetic HiFi Stereo Wired...
  • Featuring Newly Developed Diaphragm that is 80% Thinner than the HE400 Series Resulting in...
  • With the weight spreading strap for outstanding comfort but with a more fashion conscious...
  • With its all metal headband the SUNDARA is built to take the rigours of urban street life....
  • New 3.5mm Headphone connector for enhanced durability
  • The slimline SuperMini is the perfect on the partner for the SUNDARA. The SuperMini with...

These best planar magnetic headphones have amazing bass and are more detailed than most headphones you'll find in the market. Although they're more expensive than most other headphones on this list, you'll be getting value for your money.

These magnetic headphones have great bass for songs that have low notes. The diaphragm in this planar magnetic driver is also ultra-thin, which makes these headphones have a wider frequency response and great sound quality.

The Detailed Hybrid Headband Design is another thing you'll enjoy because it spreads the weight across the strap to avoid fatigue. You will also notice that these headphones have a sleek and lavish matte black finish that makes them fashionable.

The one disadvantage with these magnetic headphones is that they are stiff, affecting their comfort level. Nonetheless, you can be sure that their functionality is still superb.

PROS

  • Tough enough to handle everyday use
  • The weight spreads over the strap for comfort
  • Have a sumptuous matte black finish that makes them classy
  • Great build
  • Allows for accurate sound reproduction

CONS

  • Can feel stiff

2. HIFIMAN HE-400I Planar Magnetic Headphones 

HIFIMAN HE-400I Over Ear Full-Size Planar Magnetic Headphones...
  • Get an extra three-month extended warranty by registering your products on our official...
  • 30% lighter than comparable headphones
  • Newly-designed headband with an improved pressure pattern
  • The FocusPad, new beveled hybrid ear pads made of pleather and velour
  • Intended for high performance listening in the home or studio

If you're looking for detail and lots of energy, these are the planar headphones for you. The problem with magnetic headphones is that they can be heavy. However, these specific headphones are about 30% lighter than your usual magnetic headphones.

Therefore, if you're looking for lightweight planar headphones, this is your pick. However, the downside is that these planar headphones can be bulky. Nonetheless, don't let that bug you because you can still use these headphones for long periods of time without getting tired or uncomfortable.

The sound quality is also astounding, which will add to your experience. They are also much cheaper than our previous option, which is good.

PROS

  • Very lightweight
  • Allows you to use them for long periods of time
  • Comfortable
  • Has great audio fidelity and sound imaging

CONS

  • Don't have noise isolation
  • Can feel bulky

3. Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset

Audeze Mobius Premium 3D Gaming Headset with Surround Sound, Head...
  • The first premium high-end, fully immersive 3D gaming headphones designed for high-end PC...
  • Fully integrated surround sound functionality - Mobius produces the same awe-inspiring...
  • 3 ways to connect - Switch from USB to wireless, featuring Bluetooth, AAC, & LDAC. And...
  • Crystal-clear voice calls - Mobius comes with a flexible/detachable boom microphone with...
  • Comfortable - Mobius's comfort is enhanced by the inclusion of replaceable, contoured...

These are the best gaming planar headphones you'll find in the market because they offer you an immersive 3D gaming experience. Therefore, if you want reliable headphones for high-end PC gaming, these will do you good.

You can use these to play with Xbox and PlayStation 4. In addition, the fully integrated surround sound functionality of these planar magnetic options gives you the same experience that you'd get in a theatre.

You also have three ways to connect this planar magnetic to your devices. You can use Bluetooth, AAC, and LDAC if you don't want to go the wired route. Thanks to the new LDAC technology, you also get thrice the usual bandwidth you'd get from typical Bluetooth headphones.

This means that you know you're getting value for your money with this planar magnetic headset. In addition, if you want to be able to make calls with your planar magnetic headset, you'll be impressed with the crystal-clear voice calls you can make.

This planar magnetic headset comes with a detachable microphone that has built-in noise attenuation. This flexible microphone also has independent volume controls that give you exceptional flexibility and voice quality.

PROS

  • Comfortable
  • Amazing gaming headphones
  • Has Bluetooth connectivity
  • Comes with a detachable microphone
  • Compatible with Xbox and PlayStation 4
  • Amazing surround sound detail

CONS

  • Can be heavy

4. Oppo PM-3 Closed-Back Planar Magnetic Headphones

Oppo PM-3 Closed-Back Planar Magnetic Headphones (Black)
  • Bonus: 1.2 meter portable cable for iPhone with mic & controls included. Contact us prior...
  • Excellent sound quality from planar magnetic drivers
  • Closed-back design for privacy and noise isolation
  • High sensitivity, light weight and comfortable fit
  • Elegant styling and exquisite workmanship

This is one of the most portable planar magnetic options you'll come across. If you love headphones that you can listen to on the bus or anywhere you are, these will do you good. In addition to having amazing planar magnetic drivers, these headphones come with a convenient detachable iOS-friendly cable.

If you are a cool Android user, you can reach out to this planar magnetic brand and get variants of this wire. With the purchase of this planar magnetic pick, you also get a convenient carry case that makes it easier to store these headphones when you're not using them.

This is also why we said that this is the most portable option you'll get. These planar-magnetic options are also comfortable and lightweight. You also get good noise isolation which can be a lifesaver when you want to be in your own little world in a room or train full of people.

The downside to this planar magnetic headphone is that its overall build quality could be better. But, other than that, you can be sure that you're getting a good deal.

PROS

  • Has a sleek modern design
  • Comes with a carry case and a detachable iOS-friendly cable
  • Has noise isolation and zero audio leakage
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Overall build quality is wanting
  • Can make your ears sweat with prolonged usage

5. HIFIMAN Ananda Planar Magnetic Headphones

HIFIMAN Ananda Over-Ear Full-Size Open-Back Planar Magnetic Headphones...
  • Acoustically Invisible Stealth Magnet: Unlike the sound waves created by a conventional...
  • NEO “supernano” Diaphragm (NsD)- “Hear what you have been missing”: The all new...
  • High Sensitivity: High Sensitivity allows use with virtually any smartphone or portable...
  • Window Shade Grill Design: Window Shade Grill Design greatly reduces sonic reflections for...
  • Efficient Planar Performance: ANANDA is the culmination of years of development,...

This is the planar magnetic headphone pick for you if you want exceptional sound quality. The word Ananda means bliss in Sanskrit, and that's exactly what you're going to experience with this magnetic headphone.

When it comes to comfort, this is one of the most comfortable headbands you'll come across. The earcups of this planar magnetic are also made to offer you amazing comfort. Don't be alarmed that the ear cups are asymmetrical because this is made for your comfort.

The planar magnetic drivers have some of the thinnest diaphragms you'll find in the market, which adds to their sound value. In addition, this super-thin planar magnetic driver diaphragm ensures that you get an incredibly fast audio response. Therefore, don't be scared of investing in these expensive planar magnetic headphones.

In addition to the amazing audio response, this thin planar magnetic driver diaphragm also gives you low distortion, which is great. The frequency range on this magnetic headphone is 8kHz-55kHz. Therefore, you can expect to have an incredible audio experience.

PROS

  • Have asymmetrical ear cups for extra comfort
  • Has an ultra-thin planar magnetic driver diaphragm
  • Has superb audio fidelity
  • Comes with an amazing frequency range response

CONS

  • Has poor noise isolation
  • Can feel bulky to carry around

Are Planar Magnetic Headphones Worth It?

Here are some benefits of using the planar headphones we're selected above.

1. Tight Bass Response

If you've used electrostatic headphones or dynamic headphones, you will be astounded by the punchy bass that comes from these high-end headphones. This is because planar magnetic earphones have a thin diaphragm that enables them to react very fast to changes in the electrical signal.

Because the diaphragm is thin, it also allows the planar magnetic headphone to produce a punchy and tighter bass compared to dynamic headphones. The good thing is that this cool bass is also not overpowering, making the experience amazing.

The interesting thing is that electrostatic headphones also use a thin diaphragm just like these best headphones. However, for electrostatic headphones, the diaphragm moves because of static force and not electromagnetic force like in planar headphones.

So, because static force is weaker than electromagnetic force, you'll find that the bass for electrostatic headphones is not as strong.

2. Low Distortion

Planar magnetic drivers don't have a problem with distortion like dynamic drivers. Why? Because the electrical conductors in the diaphragm force it to move over the whole surface.

This way, even if you're playing at higher volumes and frequencies, you won't experience any distortion. The diaphragm is driven from the center with dynamic driver headphones, which is where the coil is attached.

When you play audio at high volumes and frequencies, the cone starts to wobble, which affects the sound quality.

3. Finer Soundstage

The soundstage of headphones is often dependent on the design of the drivers, which affects how the audio reaches your ears. A planar wavefront is superior to a spherical wavefront because it creates a deeper soundstage effect and a superior sense of imaging.

Dynamic driver headphones produce a spherical wavefront because they have spherical drivers. On the other hand, a planar magnetic headphone produces the planar wavefront because the planar magnetic drivers are bigger, and the planar magnetic diaphragms move entirely.

4. Very Amplifier Friendly

Because the drivers used in this planar magnetic technology use a Serpentine pattern for the voice coil, they have lower impedance compared to dynamic drivers.

Dynamic drivers use a circular voice coil with coiled windings, making it harder to drive with many amplifiers. The only downside to this when it comes to the planar magnetic headphone is that they may require more voltage to drive them.

5. Accurate Transient Response

What is a transient response? Transient response is the accuracy that your headphones can recreate transients of audio signals as sound waves. Some examples of audio transients are a snare and kick drum hits.

The planar magnetic headphone produces an accurate transient response thanks to its electrical conductor being spread across the whole diaphragm. This causes the planar magnetic sound to have a tight bass response and an amazing transient response.

What Should You Consider When Getting Planar Magnetic Headphones?

1. Comfort

Comfort is always key when choosing headphones. Your planar magnetic headphone may be producing amazing sound waves, but if the strap or ear cups are uncomfortable, you won't be able to enjoy the experience.

The truth is that the typical planar magnetic headphone is heavier and larger than other headphones. However, we did choose some lightweight picks above, such as our second and fourth options. As technology advances, more lightweight options are being created when it comes to the planar magnetic world.

2. Amplification

The good news is that the planar magnetic headphone has less impedance than what you'd find in dynamic headphones. Nonetheless, if you want more than the typically good amplification that comes with the planar magnetic headphone, you can check the specific product details of the pick you want.

3. Closed-Back Headphones vs. Open-Back

If you want more soundstage, it's better to choose an open-back planar magnetic headphone. This is not to say that the soundstage in closed-back headphones is not good. However, if your focus is the soundstage, you should get an open-back option.

Alternatively, if you'd like to listen to your audio discretely without bothering anyone else, better to choose a closed-back planar magnetic headphone.

4. Headphone Design

The different designs are in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear. All these headphone designs are amazing, and the choice depends on your preference. For example, the in-ear headphones come in small sizes and fit in your ear. This gives you a rich experience when it comes to the sound waves.

The one thing to note is that it can get uncomfortable when you wear them for long periods of time. Therefore, if you think you might be using your headphones for long periods, better to consider the other two options.

The on-ear headphones have larger planar magnetic drivers that can bring an advantage. Lastly, the over-ear headphones are big and can feel very cozy. These also produce higher-quality sound waves and deep bass. This is why we focussed a lot on these headphones on our list today.

5. Build Quality

The build quality is an important factor because you want something of quality and value. Having headphones that look great will also feel great. Furthermore, you'll also feel proud when you're listening to your audio with headphones that look fabulous.

Final Thoughts

Which one of these headphones did you love the most? Remember to consider comfort, sound quality, build quality, and other personal preferences while choosing the best option.

You can skim through the pros and cons to get a feel of what the picks above have to offer before settling on the one you want. 

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