As a music lover, you know that the quality of your headphones can make or break your listening experience. If you take audio experience seriously, you’ve encountered the term “driver” before.
In headphones, the driver converts electrical signals into sound waves. The size of the driver is an important factor in determining the headphone sound quality.
So, is 50mm drivers good for headphones? In short, yes. But It also depends on your preferences and how you plan to use the headphones. Large drivers are often associated with better sound quality. A 50mm driver is larger than many standard drivers found in headphones.
This article will examine 50mm headphone drivers and what makes them unique. We’ll also explore other factors that influence headphone performance.
What are Headphone Drivers?
Headphone drivers are transducers that convert a signal into sound waves. They are powered by an electrical signal and the main audio components found in headphones.
A headphone driver’s size, type, and design affect a headphone’s sound. The types are:
Dynamic drivers use a diaphragm, voice coil, and magnet to convert an electrical signal into sound waves. These drivers function similarly to a loudspeaker.
But are much smaller and capable of producing far more precise and detailed audio.
Generally, dynamic drivers offer a higher level of clarity and detail than planar magnetic drivers. And they tend to be less expensive.
They may need more precise imaging, low-end response, or soundstage of other drivers.
Balanced Armature Drivers
Balanced armature drivers use a balanced armature powered by an electrical signal.
They provide a more precise level of audio detail than dynamic drivers, with better imaging and soundstage capabilities.
Balanced armature drivers are usually much smaller than dynamic drivers. This makes them ideal for use in true wireless headphones.
They also tend to be more expensive than dynamic drivers.
Planar Magnetic Drivers
Planar magnetic drivers use a thin diaphragm, voice coil, and magnets to produce sound. Unlike dynamic drivers, the magnets are arranged in a flat pattern on both sides of the diaphragm.
It allows greater control over the diaphragm’s movement. This produces detailed and precise audio with better imaging and soundstage capabilities. Planar magnetic drivers are more expensive than headphone drivers.
Electrostatic drivers use a flat diaphragm and an electrical charge to convert an audio signal into sound.
They are more efficient than dynamic drivers, with a faster transient response and higher resolution.
They also tend to produce an ultra-wide soundstage with excellent imaging capabilities.
These drivers need a powerful amplifier to drive them. And they tend to be more expensive than other drivers.
What Are 50mm Drivers in Headphones?
50mm drivers are a type of headphone driver that is used in headphones and earbuds to produce sound.
Such drivers use a 50mm wide diaphragm and a voice coil to convert electrical audio signals into sound waves.
The drivers are larger than typical driver sizes found in headphones. They can produce sound with greater clarity and detail closer to studio-level quality.
They have many benefits:
- Improved Bass Response: The 50mm driver size provides more surface area. So produces a larger sound. This larger sound can extend the low-frequency range. It makes the bass more audible and allows for a richer listening experience.
- Clarity: The 50mm size of the driver helps reduce distortion and creates a more accurate response to the audio. This helps create a more detailed, clearer, and immersive sound than smaller driver sizes.
- Wider Soundstage and Imaging: Larger drivers can also create a wider soundstage and provide more precise imaging capabilities. This helps create a more realistic listening experience as the audio feels from different directions and distances.
- Higher Volume Output: The 50mm driver size can handle higher sound pressure levels, allowing for louder volume output. This makes the listening experience more enjoyable as you can crank up the volume.
- Longer Listening Sessions: The 50mm size of the driver helps ensure you can listen to your music for longer periods. The larger size helps reduce audible fatigue. With larger drivers, you can listen to your favorite songs all day without your ears getting sore.
Comparison to Smaller and Larger Driver Sizes
- Smaller Driver Sizes: Smaller driver sizes like 40mm, 30mm, and 25mm have less bass response, clarity, and narrower soundstage. Additionally, they aren’t more capable of handling very loud volumes.
- Larger Driver Sizes: Larger driver sizes such as 60mm, 70mm, and 80mm provide more bass response, clarity, and wider soundstage. But, they may have greater distortions and are less efficient in power consumption.
Why Are 50mm Drivers Good for Headphones?
As mentioned, 50mm drivers are good for headphones. Here explain why and how they are good.
1. Sound Quality
In general, 50mm drivers are known to be the standard size of drivers used in headphones. They offer superior sound quality compared to smaller driver sizes like 40mm.
Also, larger drivers have better frequency response, bass response, and mid-range clarity.
The magnet inside the driver helps create a magnetic field that causes the voice coil to vibrate and convert electrical signals into sound waves.
This means that 50mm drivers can produce a wider range of frequencies. Also better audio quality than their smaller counterparts.
2. Improved Bass Response
The larger diaphragm on 50mm drivers offers an increased surface area. This can produce deeper bass notes than smaller drivers.
These drivers also have better bass response due to their larger and more powerful magnets.
This gives the user an improved listening experience of more bass-heavy sounds.
3. Gaming Headphones
50mm drivers are also great for gaming headphones, providing a bigger soundstage and positional audio.
This gives the listener greater immersion in virtual environments. The larger audio driver size offers gamers a more detailed sound as they play. This helps them locate enemies more and enhances their gaming experience.
4. Clearer Highs
Large-diaphragm drivers boast greater clarity and accuracy even in high frequencies.
That offers an immersive listening experience when listening to treble-heavy music or movies.
5. Improved Soundstage
The drivers have better soundstage capabilities. The wider diaphragm surface on 50mm drivers produces a more natural sound. That feels like you’re listening to musicians playing in front of you.
This helps you hear the direction of the sound and its distance from you. Such nuanced stereo imaging adds to the realism of whichever audio you’re listening to.
6. Better for Studio Monitoring
50mm drivers are great for studio monitors as they offer superior accuracy and clarity in sound output.
The larger size ensures better soundstage capabilities Essential in any studio monitoring session. It provides enhanced accuracy when mastering or mixing audio.
7. Larger Diaphragm = More Volume
These drivers can handle more sound pressure levels than their smaller counterparts. This means they can produce louder sound output while maintaining clarity and detail.
The larger size also reduces distortion and crosstalk. Which means you can crank up the volume without compromising the sound quality.
8. More Comfortable Listening
Because 50mm drivers provide more surface area, they can be more comfortable to wear than smaller driver’s headphones. This is especially useful for those who prefer to listen to music for long bouts.
The larger surface area also helps spread out the force applied to the ear, reducing fatigue and discomfort.
Does Driver Size Matter in Headphones?
Yes, driver size matters in headphones. Larger drivers have more area, and thus. It can handle more sound pressure levels (SPL) and produce higher-quality audio than smaller drivers.
The larger driver size can also make a wider audio spectrum resulting in improved mid-range, high-end, and bass frequencies.
40mm Vs 50mm Vs 60mm Drivers
- 50mm drivers: The drivers are the most popular size in headphones. They offer an ideal balance of sound quality, performance, and cost. They produce a full, rich sound with enhanced bass response and wider soundstage capabilities.
- 40mm drivers: Smaller 40mm drivers deliver good audio quality and portability. They are ideal for people who want a smaller design but still want decent sound quality. But they lack the bass punch of larger drivers and may need to be louder for those who want to listen at higher volumes.
- 60mm drivers: 60mm drivers are the largest size in headphones. They offer superior sound quality and performance compared to smaller drivers. They have a great bass response and can handle high sound pressure levels without distortion. However, larger drivers tend to be more expensive and less efficient.
Read more: 40mm vs. 50mm Drivers
How Different Types of Music Are Affected by Driver Size?
Driver size affects music depending on genre and listening preferences. 50mm drivers are suitable for all genres, as they produce a wide soundstage and detailed audio regardless of music type.
Jazz/Classical: Classical and jazz listeners often prefer a wide soundstage and detailed audio. The 50mm driver size is ideal for these genres,
- Providing improved clarity
- Extended bass response
- Soundstage capabilities
The larger size also offers a wider range of frequencies.
- Rock/Pop: Pop and rock genres are usually bass-heavy, and listeners prefer loud, dynamic music. 50mm drivers are powerful enough to provide the sound pressure levels. As well as clarity, extended bass response, and soundstage capabilities to enjoy the genre.
- Hip-Hop/EDM: Hip-hop and EDM genres are usually fast-paced and tend to have lots of basses. 50mm drivers can produce enough volume to meet the genres’ demands. But also providing clarity and precision to enjoy the detailed beats and instrumentals.
Best 50mm Driver Headphones
There are many headphones on the market with 50mm drivers. We have researched and found some of the best 50mm driver headphones.
- OneOdio Pro-10: The OneOdio Pro-10 headphones have 50mm drivers and super soft ear cushions for comfortable long-term listening. They also feature an adjustable headband and swiveling ear cups for an ideal fit.
- Philips Fidelio X2HR: The Philips Fidelio X2HR features 50mm drivers and open-back earcups for enveloping sound. With breathable ear cushions, you won’t have to worry about heat buildup or discomfort during long listening sessions.
- Corsair HS70 Pro: The Corsair HS70 Pro wireless gaming headset features 50mm drivers, providing balanced noise cancellation and clear sound. The headset also features wireless technology with low latency, making it ideal for gaming without lags or audio drops.
- Logitech G PRO X: The Logitech G Pro X gaming headset features 50mm drivers capable of producing superior audio quality. The headset also features a Discord-certified microphone with advanced noise cancelling.
Is 40mm Drivers Good for Gaming?
Yes, 40mm drivers can be good for gaming. 40mm drivers provide good sound quality, portability, and cost-effectiveness. They offer a clear sound with improved stereo imaging and can provide enough bass response for gaming.
What Is a Good Driver Size for Headphones?
The best driver size for headphones depends on your personal preferences and budget. Generally, 50mm drivers are the standard size as they provide a full range of sound with superior clarity and detailed soundstage.
40mm drivers also offer good sound quality and portability at a smaller size. For those looking for an even larger soundstage, 60mm drivers may be worth considering.
How Long Do Headphone Drivers Last?
It depends on the type of driver and how well it is cared for. Dynamic drivers last about three to five years, while planar magnetic drivers last up to 15 years.
But, the life of a headphone driver will depend on how often it is used and how well it is cared for.
Is There a Bluetooth Headset with 50mm Drivers?
Yes, there are Bluetooth headsets with 50mm drivers. The SENNHEISER MB 660 UC is a Bluetooth wireless headset with 50mm drivers.
That provides high-end audio quality and excellent noise cancellation capabilities. The headset has Bluetooth 5.0 technology, making it compatible with all major voice assistants.
Driver size does matter for headphones and earbuds. 50mm drivers offer the ideal balance between clarity, soundstage, and cost and are suitable for all genres. With larger 50mm drivers, you can enjoy
- Richer sound
- more detailed sound
- Improved bass response
- Soundstage capabilities.
Also, 50mm drivers offer better comfort during prolonged listening sessions and reduce audio fatigue.
James Dimento is a Chief-in-Editor of SoundUnify. He is a headphone enthusiast and creative writer passionate about audio technology. He has three years of experience writing about headphones and sound quality and is responsible for creating reviews and taking care of all administration.