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Balanced Armatures

The crisp and detailed sound of Ultimate Ears custom earphones is powered by balanced armature drivers. While your typical one-size-fits-all earphone models use a single dynamic driver, Ultimate Ears earphones employ multiple uniquely tuned balanced armature drivers to achieve masterful sound. The sophistication is the result of expert electrical, mechanical and sound engineers working to create an unsurpassed listening experience that gets the most out of this technology.  


What are balanced armature drivers?

Inside balanced armature drivers is a small, thin piece of metal called an armature. The armature sits inside a wire coil which is suspended between two magnets. With the armature fixed at one end, an audio signal is sent through the coil as an electric current. This causes the armature to fluctuate rapidly between the magnets moving thousands of times per second. The movement is sent to the diaphragm and as the diaphragm moves, sound waves are produced.

Balanced armature drivers are not a new technology and saw their initial use primarily in hearing aides where their specificity is helpful in tuning to individual hearing needs. As in-ear monitors have become more widespread, the use of balanced armatures in them has increased as a way of preserving hearing and creating sound profiles built for an array of music professionals.  

Why balanced armature drivers?

Balanced armatures are precision tuned to a particular frequency range which allows for superior isolation. Each driver is dedicated to expressing the details within that range as opposed to a single dynamic driver which conveys a wider frequency range. They are smaller in size than dynamic drivers which allows them to be combined in a single earphone to create a rich and varied sound while providing speed, accuracy, and tonality.

Why does Ultimate Ears do it best?

Precision tuned and expertly mixed to illustrate an impressive landscape of sound, balanced armature drivers are only the beginning. At Ultimate Ears, the drivers are the foundation of an entire sound engine with a supporting system engineered to make great technology work better. Balanced armatures require crossover circuits which are uniquely tailored for each model and are critical to the overall sound signature. Engineers design the crossover circuits to overlap the drivers while specifically taking advantage of the best performing part of each armature. The same kind of detail is applied to all pieces of the encapsulation including custom sound channels and dampers. Rather than use off-the-shelf parts, every part of the sound channel is created for a particular model with each hole and tube precisely sized for a perfect fit. Dampers, mechanical filters that help manage airflow, are designed to filter out a specific frequency range that is better achieved elsewhere. Each piece of Ultimate Ears earphones, at every stage of engineering is custom built and layered to achieve the absolute best sound.

What’s the bottom line?

Balanced armatures provide a more tailored and unique sound experience compared to the invariable sound created by the common dynamic drivers found in most popular headphone and earphone models. If you want the best possible sound from your earphones, Ultimate Ears models are specially designed and handcrafted with intention from the inside out.