April 17, 2023
ChatGPT: 1 Dynamic Driver, 4 Balanced Armature Drivers, a total of 5 drivers? High-end!
The list of reviewers for the recent MS5 public review has been confirmed. The lucky reviewers selected for the public review will begin to receive samples for review one after another. However, recently, an audiophile named "ChatGPT" came to a wave of blind tests on Hidizs MS5 IEMs. Let's listen to how he reviews the sound of "1 DD, 4 BA, a total of 5 drivers".
In order to see the audiophile level of ChatGPT, we still have to test his understanding of professional audio at the beginning. Obviously, although he is not a professional audio engineer, he still has quite professional audio knowledge. However, in the end, ChatGPT's speculation about the frequency crossover design of the Hidizs MS5's drivers was wrong. The specific crossover design needs more professional audiophiles to try and review it to see if anyone can guess it right.
How much do you know about professional audio and professional audio products?
ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I have certain knowledge about professional audio and professional audio products. But I'm not a professional audio engineer or sound engineer and my understanding is limited. Do you have any specific questions that I can help answer?
What is the physics behind the earphones making sound and making it audible to the human ear?
ChatGPT: The physical principle that makes sound from earphones and is heard by human ears is sound wave propagation. In simple terms, the electrical signals in the earphones are converted into mechanical vibrations, and the sound waves generated by these vibrations travel through the air to the human ear, and then are received by the auditory organs in the human ear and converted into electrical signals, and finally decoded by the human brain as sound. This process involves multiple physical concepts such as sound waves, vibrations, and the propagation and reception of air molecules.
You mentioned that "electrical signal will be converted into mechanical vibration", how is it converted? What is the conversion tool?
ChatGPT: The process of converting electrical signals into mechanical vibrations in earphones involves electro-acoustic conversion technology. Generally speaking, the electrical signal in the earphone is first input to the earphone drive unit (also called earphone driver or diaphragm) through the wire of the earphone. The electromagnetic coil in the earphone driver generates a magnetic field as the electrical signal changes. This magnetic field acts on the magnets in the earphone driver, which keeps the diaphragm in constant motion. The movement of the diaphragm creates sound waves that travel outward through the sound holes of the earphones. In this process, electrical energy is converted into mechanical energy (vibration), which in turn is converted into acoustic energy (sound waves).
So is there any difference in the manufacturing process and materials of the "driver"? How many types of drivers are there?
ChatGPT: The manufacturing process and materials used for earphone drivers may vary depending on different design needs and application scenarios. Currently, there are several common types of earphone drivers on the market, including dynamic, capacitive, and electrostatic drivers.
Dynamic earphone drivers are a traditional design consisting of a magnet, a coil, and a diaphragm. The coil vibrates under the influence of the magnetic field when receiving an electrical signal through the earphone wire, thereby driving the diaphragm to produce sound.
Capacitive earphone drivers are composed of two electrode plates and a dielectric. An electric field is generated between the electrode plates by the electrical signal, thereby driving the dielectric to vibrate and ultimately driving the diaphragm to produce sound.
Electrostatic earphone drivers are a newer design that uses electrostatic technology to change the electric field distribution of the electrode in a very short time, allowing for more accurate vibration of the driver unit and improved sound quality.
In addition, different manufacturers and brands may also use different materials and processes to manufacture earphone drivers in order to achieve different balance points in terms of sound quality, durability, and cost.
I have heard of "dynamic," and I have noticed that in the market, there are usually two types of drivers called "dynamic driver" and "balanced armature" drivers. Is the "balanced armature" driver the same as what you mentioned as the capacitive or electrodynamic driver?
ChatGPT: I apologize, my previous answer may have been somewhat misleading. The commonly used terms "dynamic driver" and "balanced armature driver" both fall under the category of dynamic earphone drivers. Among them, "dynamic driver" refers to an earphone driver unit composed of a magnet, a coil, and a diaphragm, while "balanced armature driver" refers to an earphone driver unit composed of a magnet and a thin film covered with ferromagnetic material. These driver units use the principle of electromagnetic induction to convert electrical signals into mechanical vibrations, which then produce sound.
On the other hand, capacitive and electrodynamic drivers are variations of the balanced armature driver design. Capacitive drivers generate vibrations through the action of an electric field, while electrodynamic drivers drive vibrations by changing the electric field distribution of the electrode. These two designs have more delicate and precise sound quality compared to traditional dynamic driver units and are widely used in some high-end earphones.
So what is the difference in sound performance between a dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver?
ChatGPT: Dynamic driver and balanced armature driver are two common earphone drivers, and they have some differences in sound performance.
Dynamic earphone drivers have a certain dynamic range and high frequency response, can provide better low frequency response and music dynamic performance, and are relatively easy to produce and manufacture. The sound performance of a dynamic earphone driver is usually sharp and bright, and the sound quality tends to be clear, crisp and relatively clean. This sound performance feature is more popular in music types such as rock and pop.
The balanced armature driver is lighter than the dynamic driver, and can provide more accurate audio performance and higher resolution. Balanced armature earphone driver performs better in terms of high-frequency response and resolution, and can more accurately reproduce subtle details in music. Therefore, in classical, jazz and other music types that require higher music resolution, balanced armature drivers have a wide range of applications.
Of course, there are many other differences in sound performance between different dynamic drivers and balanced armature drivers, and the specific performance will be affected by many factors such as the design, material, and manufacturing process of the drivers.
You mentioned that dynamic drivers and balanced armature drivers have different sound responses at different frequencies, so can it be understood that the combination of multiple different types of drivers can make the sound from the earphones clearer?
ChatGPT: It is not that the more drivers in the earphone, the better the sound quality. More drivers does not necessarily lead to a better audio experience. In fact, the effect brought by the combination of multiple different types of drivers depends on many factors such as the quality of the driver and the way of cooperation. Different combinations will produce different audio performances.
Some high-end earphone products do use multiple driver designs to achieve more detailed and comprehensive audio performance. For example, some high-end in-ear monitor products may use a combination of dual balanced armature drivers and single dynamic driver to achieve better audio performance. But this design requires a higher level of technology and higher manufacturing costs, so it usually appears in high-end earphone products.
In general, whether it is a single driver or multiple drivers, it is necessary to consider the quality and cooperation of the drivers to achieve better audio performance.
If it’s not that the more drivers, the better the sound quality, then in IEM, the space inside the earphone is limited, how many drivers are usually configured?
ChatGPT: In IEM, due to limited space, the configuration of multiple drivers requires a higher level of technology and higher manufacturing costs, so the design of dual balanced armature drivers or single balanced armature driver is usually adopted. This design can integrate multiple drivers in a smaller space to achieve better audio performance.
Generally speaking, in IEM, a single balanced armature driver can already provide better audio performance, and dual balanced armature drivers can achieve better performance in low frequency and high frequency. Some high-end IEM products may use a three-balanced armature driver or four-balanced armature driver design, but this requires higher manufacturing technology and higher costs.
In general, the number of drivers configured in the IEM should be determined according to the specific situation, taking into account various factors such as audio performance, cost, and technical level.
If a three-balanced armature driver or four-balanced armature driver design is used, which frequency range is each driver responsible for sound processing?
ChatGPT: In earphones designed with three balanced armature drivers or four balanced armature drivers, each driver is usually responsible for sound processing of different frequency ranges to achieve more comprehensive and detailed audio performance. The specific distribution method will vary with different manufacturers and different earphones, but the general distribution method is as follows:
Low-frequency balanced armature driver: generally responsible for processing low frequencies below 20 Hz, which can provide better low-frequency extension and texture.
Intermediate frequency balanced armature driver: responsible for processing the sound in the intermediate frequency range, generally between 200 Hz and 2 kHz, which can provide clearer and natural intermediate frequency performance.
High-frequency balanced armature driver: responsible for processing the sound in the high-frequency range, generally between 2 kHz and 20 kHz, which can provide clearer and more delicate high-frequency performance.
If it is a four-balanced armature driver design, an ultra-high frequency balanced armature driver is usually added to handle sounds above 20 kHz, which can provide better high-frequency extension and resolution. This design enables a more comprehensive and detailed audio performance, but requires higher manufacturing technology and higher cost.
If four balanced armature drivers are used together with one dynamic driver, what are the benefits of such a combination?
ChatGPT: The combination of four balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver can give full play to the advantages of various drivers and further improve the comprehensiveness and fineness of audio performance. Specifically, the benefits of this combination include:
Low frequency extension and more energy. The low-frequency performance of the dynamic driver is generally better than that of the balanced armature driver, and can provide a more natural and thick low-frequency effect.
The mid-high frequency performance is clearer and more detailed. The four balanced armature drivers can be responsible for the performance of different frequency bands in the mid-to-high frequency range, so as to achieve clearer, natural and finer mid-to-high frequency performance.
Wider sound field performance. The dynamic driver usually has a larger diaphragm area, which can provide a wider sound field performance, and can also reduce unnecessary resonance.
Richer musical details. Different types of drivers have different performances on music details, and combined use can give full play to their respective advantages, so as to achieve richer and more realistic performance of music details.
It should be noted that the combination of four balanced armature drivers plus dynamic driver requires higher technology and cost, and more stringent requirements are required during manufacturing and debugging, so the price is usually higher.
You mentioned concepts such as low frequency, mid-low frequency, mid-high frequency, and high frequency. Can it be understood that each driver processes the sound signals of these frequency bands? So generally speaking, on what frequency range is it more reasonable to perform segmentation processing?
ChatGPT: Yes, each driver is usually responsible for processing sound signals in a certain frequency range to achieve more comprehensive and detailed audio performance.In the frequency division processing of headphones, the entire audio frequency range is generally divided into several different intervals, and each interval corresponds to a driver. The frequency range of the specific segment will vary with different earphones, in general, the following are some common segmented frequency ranges:
Low frequency: 20 Hz to 200 Hz
Mid-low frequency: 200 Hz to 1 kHz
Mid-high frequency: 1 kHz to 8 kHz
High Frequency: 8 kHz to 20 kHz
These segment ranges are for reference only, and the specific segment range depends on the design and manufacturing process of the earphones, as well as the audio performance characteristics pursued by the manufacturer. It should be noted that although these frequency ranges are different, there are not strict boundaries between them, but a certain overlap and gradient area, which is also to ensure smooth transition and natural performance of audio.
So what do the "ultra low frequency" and "ultra high frequency" I usually see mean?
ChatGPT: "Ultra low frequency" and "Ultra high frequency" are more subdivided audio frequency ranges, usually used to describe some special frequency ranges, for example:
Ultra-low frequency: below 20 Hz, including vibrations that some people cannot hear but can feel, such as explosions and earthquakes.
Ultra-high frequency: above 20 kHz, usually beyond the hearing range of the human ear, but it can affect people's feelings and emotions, and may also affect the health of the auditory organs.
It should be noted that these frequencies beyond the hearing range of the human ear are also very important in the audio field, for example, they are widely used in audio testing, measurement, and acoustic research. In earphone design, the performance of ultra-low frequency and ultra-high frequency will also affect the overall sound quality.
You mean that these two frequencies, which are inaudible to human ears, also need to be considered in the design of earphones, right? Can't hear it, but can feel it?
ChatGPT: Yes, although ultra-low frequency and ultra-high frequency are beyond the hearing range of the human ear, their influence also needs to be considered in the design of earphones. On the one hand, these frequency ranges have a certain influence on the overall sound quality, and on the other hand, they are also an integral part of audio measurement and testing. Therefore, in the design and testing process of earphones, the influence of these frequency ranges needs to be taken into account, and corresponding processing and testing should be carried out. At the same time, some professional earphone testing equipment can also measure the response of ultra-low frequency and ultra-high frequency to evaluate the overall performance of the earphone.
HIDIZS recently launched a new IEMs, which uses 1 dynamic driver + 4 balanced armature drivers, including a composite balanced armature driver. If it is designed according to the frequency crossover processing you mentioned, can you speculate which frequency bands the five drivers in this IEM correspond to?
ChatGPT: According to the general frequency crossover design principle, the design of 1 dynamic driver + 4 balanced armature drivers can be used to assign different frequency ranges to different drivers for processing. In this design, the low frequency may be assigned to the dynamic driver. The mid and low frequencies are assigned to the first balanced armature driver. The mid and high frequencies are assigned to the second balanced armature driver. The high frequency is assigned to the third balanced armature driver. The composite balanced armature driver may be used to process the frequency range between mid-high to high-frequency to achieve a smoother sound quality performance. This is just a guess, in fact, this distribution method may be different due to different design concepts and technical solutions.
The specific crossover design of the MS5 requires more professional burn-in and testing reviews. For more detailed information about the MS5, please click Hidizs MS5.