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 planar magnetic headphone) requires several watts, which our GS-X mini or GS-X mk2 headphone amps can provide.