Skip to content


Close this search box.

Planar Magnetic vs Electrostatic Headphones – Which is better?

Headphones are both straightforward and perplexing, and I have no doubt that they are successful at perplexing people fairly readily. Although we are all aware that there are several types of headphones, as long as they deliver acceptable sound quality, shouldn’t that be enough to satisfy most people? As a professional, I believe that learning more and observing various aspects of someone is always preferable. Planar Magnetic and Electrostatic headphones differ from one another in terms of their unique driver technologies and how they generate sound.

Electrostatic headphones basically employ electrical charges that alternate quickly to quickly push and pull a tiny diaphragm, moving the air around the diaphragm and creating sound. In order to create an oscillating movement and achieve the same outcome, planar magnetic headphones use opposing sets of magnets on either side of the diaphragm. Each pair of magnets produces its own opposing magnetic field.

Even though these headphones are frequently thought of as being more high end than standard dynamic drivers, it is difficult to state with certainty if the results are better or worse. The outcomes have distinct affects on the listening experience. It depends on your preferences and what you want from your headphones, just like with anything else.

What are Planar-Magnetic Headphones?

As they use complete planar magnetic drivers, planar magnetic headphones are frequently referred to as the open-back headphones that we are accustomed to seeing. Magnets and magnetic fields are used by planar magnetic headphones to create the music that you will be listening to. The diaphragm is in contact with these magnets, and they instantly activate it without any additional input.

Once again, a diaphragm makes up a planar magnetic driver, but this time the diaphragm has an imbedded wire pattern that is very similar to the voice coil found in a conventional dynamic driver. This diaphragm is held in place by two pairs of permanent, diametrically opposed magnets. These magnets are carefully cut and spaced, making them planar magnets that hold the driver firmly in place between their magnetic fields.

When a current is run through the wire inserted into the diaphragm, a magnetic field is created that interacts with the magnetic fields of the permanent magnets on either side of the headphone to produce the sound you hear.

What are Electrostatic Headphones?

An electrostatic headphone’s driver is made up of merely two perforated metal plates and an incredibly thin diaphragm. This diaphragm has a conductive layer that keeps it continuously electrically charged. With just enough area for it to freely oscillate back and forth, the membrane is secured into place with what are referred to as spars.

Simply put, electrostatic headphones are those that have an electrostatic driver. These headphones use static electricity, which is used by open-back headphones once more but only by those made specifically for musicians, thus their name. In order to supply or create sound waves of any kind, the static electricity in these headphones is responsible for causing vibrations that cause the diaphragm to move and cause air.

Planar Magnetic vs Electrostatic Headphones – What are the differences?

These headphones are fairly similar in terms of design. That’s because open-back headphones mostly incorporate planar magnetic and electrostatic drivers, and you may already be familiar with how open-back headphones appear because they all have a similar aesthetic. Both of them allow air to pass through the earcups they own, giving us the impression that we can see everything inside the headphones.

One of the features that these two types of headphones are primarily recognized for and primarily purchased for is the sound quality. There is a distinction between planar magnetic and electrostatic headphones, but generally speaking they both provide fantastic sound.

At this point, I can confidently state that both types of headphones produce good sound quality, but electrostatic headphones are still the best at this point since they can produce audiophile-level sound that encompasses all frequencies.

The majority of headphones—those that we are accustomed to seeing and using—operate with the same type of connectivity. However, things differ slightly when it comes to planar magnetic and electrostatic headphones because they “need” amplifiers. The information on employing amplifiers is now complete. Electrostatic headphones require it, although planar magnetic headphones can function without one.

The price range that these two different types of headphones fall into is a key distinction that should be made. Although both of these headphone kinds are pricey, you should be aware that electrostatic headphones are the most expensive headphone types ever produced and are quite expensive.

Planar Magnetic vs Electrostatic Headphones – Which is better?

The only thing I have left to say is that these headphones are more professional than you can possibly imagine. They are both excellent in general, but they do have a few minor distinctions, such as the ones I’ve listed in this article.

Dynamic drivers are still the most popular and traditional ones at the end of the day. No matter what kind of drivers you purchase, just be sure to take good care of your headphones and prevent driver damage. You should also be cautious of the voice coil. Headphones’ likely demise will result from damage to the voice coil.