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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. These planar magnetic headphones have been around for decades but made a splash in the headphone world starting around 2010 with designs from new companies such as Audeze and HIFIMAN.

Planars tend to have less distortion and a fast response compared to traditional dynamic designs. They tend to be heavier than dynamic headphones, but most of the latest models are very comfortable.

Planars also may require a more powerful headphone amplifier so it’s important to check the headphone’s specifications. The HIFIMAN Ananda can be powered directly from a phone while the HIFIMAN Susvara (possibly the world’s best) requires several watts, which our GS-X mini or GS-X mk2 headphone amps can provide.