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Gaming Headsets: What Are Audio Drivers and What Do They Do?

The audio driver is the most important component in a gaming headset. It is responsible for converting the electrical signal from your gaming device into sound waves that you can hear. There are different types of audio drivers used in gaming headsets, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

a gamer with a gaming headset

Dynamic Drivers


Dynamic drivers are the most common type of driver used in gaming headsets. They are relatively inexpensive to manufacture and can produce a wide range of frequencies. However, dynamic drivers can be bulky and heavy, and they may not be able to reproduce the highest frequencies as accurately as other types of drivers.


Planar Magnetic Drivers


Planar magnetic drivers are a more advanced type of driver that offers better sound quality than dynamic drivers. They are thinner and lighter than dynamic drivers, and they can reproduce a wider range of frequencies more accurately. However, planar magnetic drivers are more expensive to manufacture than dynamic drivers.


Balanced Armature Drivers


Balanced armature drivers are small, lightweight drivers that are often used in in-ear monitors (IEMs). They offer good sound quality and are very portable, but they cannot reproduce the lowest frequencies as accurately as dynamic or planar magnetic drivers.


Hybrid Drivers


Hybrid drivers combine the advantages of different types of drivers. For example, a hybrid driver might use a dynamic driver for the low frequencies and a balanced armature driver for the high frequencies. This can result in a wider range of frequencies and better sound quality than a single-driver headset.


Which Type of Audio Driver is Best for Gaming?


If you are looking for a headset that is comfortable to wear for long periods of time, and that produces a clear and accurate sound reproduction, then a balanced armature driver headset is a good option. However, if you are looking for a headset that produces powerful bass frequencies, then a dynamic driver headset is a better choice.


Driver Type

Pros

Cons

Dynamic Drivers

Inexpensive, wide range of frequencies

Bulky, heavy, may not reproduce high frequencies accurately

Planar Magnetic Drivers

Better sound quality than dynamic drivers, thinner and lighter

More expensive

Balanced Armature Drivers

Small, lightweight, good sound quality

​Cannot reproduce low frequencies as accurately

Hybrid Drivers

​Combine the advantages of different types of drivers

More expensive than single-driver headsets


Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Gaming Headset


In addition to the type of audio driver, there are other factors to consider when choosing a gaming headset. These include the size of the earcups, the type of connection, and the features that are included.


Size of the earcups: The size of the earcups is important for comfort. If the earcups are too small, they will not be able to seal properly around your ears, which can lead to sound leakage. If the earcups are too large, they can be bulky and uncomfortable.


Type of connection: Gaming headsets can be wired or wireless. Wired headsets are more reliable, but they can be restrictive. Wireless headsets offer more freedom of movement, but they can be more expensive and prone to interference.


Features: Some gaming headsets include additional features, such as surround sound, noise cancellation, or a built-in microphone. These features can add to the cost of the headset, but they can also improve your gaming experience.


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