HiFiMan Sundara Planar Dynamic Driver Over Ear Headphones
The HiFiMan Sundara headphones are a pair of over-ear headphones with planar dynamic drivers.
What is a Planar Dynamic Driver?
Sometimes referred to as orthodynamic headphones, planar magnetic headphones differ to the more traditional dynamic headphone. Dynamic headphones generate sound by using a coil of wire (often called a voice coil) attached to a diaphragm, and a suspension is created to allow the coil and diaphragm to move back and forth like a piston, moving enough air to produce sound. However, depending on the quality of the dynamic headphone speaker cone, there will be inconsistencies across the frequency spectrum meaning that though many dynamic headphones have a very nice sound signature, they are not necessarily 100% accurate when they reproduce an audio signal. Dynamic headphones also deteriorate quicker over time.
In contrast, planar magnetic headphones use an incredibly thin, lightweight and resilient film diaphragm (around 1/10th the thickness of a human hair), stretched over a sturdy frame, and placed between magnetic arrays. In these headphones, the coil is unwound and spread across this film diaphragm. As the current flows, the magnetic field is created within the headphone that causes the diaphragm to move.
The film diaphragm in planar magnetic headphones is often lighter than the air it is moving, meaning that they can be driven with an incredible accuracy. The sound they produce features faster transients, more responsive bass, more detailed highs and a wider dynamic range than other headphones.
As the voice coil is spread over a larger area than in traditional headphones, planar magnetic headphones are also much better at dissipating heat and can handle a huge amount of power without distorting.
Overall, this type of headphone features higher sensitivity, can play louder with tighter control and reduced colouration, and more controlled directivity. However, their design means they will suffer from more leakage than traditional dynamic headphones.
The Sundara features an all-new innovative headband design for an accurate fit and increased comfort, as well as an all-aluminium ear enclosure. The newly developed diaphragm is 80% thinner than the HE400 series, resulting in a wider frequency response (6Hz - 75 kHz), and faster, more detailed replication of your favourite songs. With 37 ohms impedance and a sensitivity range of 94dB, value this great in planar headphones from HiFiMan was unheard of until now.