The 10 Best Planar Magnetic Headphones
This wiki has been updated 7 times since it was first published in February of 2019. Planar magnetic headphones are commonly regarded as some of the best-sounding on the market, which is often reflected by their cost. While you can make a huge investment in these high-end cans, that's not always necessary, as there are many options available across various price points. Here are some of the best models offering tonal clarity and full bass responses. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best planar magnetic headphone on Amazon.
February 13, 2019:
When you place two identical magnetically charged metals near each other (i.e., two "north" poles), they're physically forced away from each other. Most headphones work using this same principle, but instead of two permanent magnets, they use a single static element, and an electrical conductor, whose magnetic charge changes based on how much current is passing through. Typical dynamic drivers do this by running wires to a conductor that's placed behind a magnet, which feeds its vibration to a cone, producing sound that then heads straight for the ears. Planar magnetic headphones, on the other hand, use a wide and flat conductor and magnetic film (hence the "planar" terminology), which drastically changes the manner of the sound. Among the most noticeable advantages is a vastly increased sound stage. The term "sound stage" essentially refers to how big of a room it sounds like you're in while wearing a pair of headphones. Planar magnetic headphones offer a truly massive sound stage, and positively dwarf nearly every set of dynamic drivers, across the board. They aren't perfect, of course; they're heavier and far more costly than typical cans, but it's basically impossible to argue against their incredible sound quality. They also tend to offer a much wider and more physical bass response, as well as quicker action, which keeps the loudest and most complex music from ever sounding muddy. And when it comes to planar dynamics, Audeze is by far the most popular manufacturer.