5 Best Balanced Armature Driver Earphones in 2017
Earphones that come with balanced armature drivers are the best when it comes to sound quality. The majority of the high-end earphones available make use of the balanced armature technology to offer a superior technology.
What are balanced armature drivers?
If you are into the audio technology, you may know that there are mainly two types of drivers as far as earphones are concerned. They are dynamic drivers and the balanced armature drivers.
The dynamic drivers are most used ones, due to their excellent performance in bass and low-frequency ranges. They are also much cheaper for designing than that of balanced armature drivers.
However, the balanced armature drivers are most used in hearing aids. The drivers contain an armature that moves thousands of times a second causing the diaphragm attached to it cause sound. Balanced armature drivers used in high-end IEMs due to their great performance in the treble ranges. However, the main downside is that the balanced armature drivers lack in bass performance. If you are a bass-head, this post may not be for you.
In this post, let me introduce you some of the best-balanced armature earphones that are great for the price.
Best Balanced Armature Earphones
#1. Shure SE846-CL
Build and design: The cable that comes with SE846-CL is tough. It makes use of kevlar reinforced cables for great durability. The cables are also detachable as like that of any other Shure earphones.
The body is made of premium plastic. The earphones come with three different colors like transparent, bronze, blue, and also black. The earphones have four balanced armature drivers to deliver a great sound.
Sound quality: When it comes to bass, these earbuds perform decently without any boominess. The bass is very controlled and tight. Unlike other mass-market headphones, which come with dynamic drivers, the bass in these balanced armature earphones won’t distort the other frequency ranges.
The mids and highs are where the earbuds standout. Even the smallest details of the songs are easily heard.The highs are also crisp without any harshness.
The excellent soundstage these earphones have got to offer you is great. Each layer of the song stand out, and you can feel the acoustic space.
Comfort: The sleeve fits tend to hang on your ears than that of fitting over it. For some people, this may be a small downside. However, the comfort is excellent. The noise isolating sleeves does an excellent job of sealing out ample of ambient noise.
#2. Westone W40
Westone is a pretty old company that’s initially involved in creating great hearing aids. But they used the same balanced armature drivers technology to leap forward in the earphones manufacturing.
Build and design: The earbuds come with two cords. One is a regular cable that comes with remote control (no mic) and another one is an “epic” braided solid cable that is premium.
The box also comes with heavy-duty hard case, which helps you while traveling with your earbuds in the backpack. The box comes with various sizes of both comply foam and silicone ear tips.
The bud of the earphones is little bigger than the ones you expect from balanced armature drivers. The bigger buds that easily block your ear canal resulting in a much great noise attenuation. The build quality is great.
A single bud has four balanced armature drivers inside and that allows the sound reproduction to be highly accurate.
Sound quality: These are not for bass. In fact, if you are looking for balanced armature earphones and are in this post, you’re obviously not a bass-head. But the bass in these earbuds are present and not punching. They lack the rumble in the lower bass range.
As I’ve earlier, it uses quad driver set that’s cross over to bass, midrange, and treble. This quad driver feature makes the earphones to offer great details in the vocals and also treble section.
Comfort: As I’ve said earlier, these earbuds are quite larger than the other balanced armature earphones I mention in this post. It fills the whole ear effortlessly and allows you to get rid of ambient noise effectively.
For wearing it, you need to flip the cable over your ear, and you are good to go.
The package also comes with various sizes of comply foam and silicone ear tips, which allow you to find a right fit for your ears.
#3. Shure SE535
SE 535 is an extended version of the previous SE530. The major difference between the two is that in that newer model, there’s an extended treble response and more detailed sound.
Build and design: The earphones come in a small package. Unlike the previous SE530, these earphones have a robust detachable cable that allows you to replace the cables with your customized ones if you would like in the future. The buds are of high-quality plastic, and it’s durable.
Sound quality: The earphones come with triple drivers on each bud. The two drivers are responsible for bass and mids, and a tweeter driver for stellar treble performance.
It is one of the most neutral sounding earphones. The bass is flat and somewhat weaker.
The mids and highs have a significant linear response. The midrange sound quality is the best in the range. The details in the vocals come alive. There is a great integration between the bass and midrange, and the treble is quite differentiated and reaches whole new level.
Comfort: The ear tips are excellent. You just need to squeeze it and just fit into your ear canal allowing it to expand and block a great amount of ambient noise almost compared to that of noise canceling ones. The tips are soft and very comfortable on your ears.
Best Balanced Armature Earbuds Under $200
1MORE brand is quite popular due to their Triple driver earphones. Now, they took it to the whole new level by introducing quad-driver earphones.
Build and design: The package comes with a brushed aluminum adapter, clip, and also various sizes of silicone and foam ear tips.
The design is a lot similar to their previous Triple driver earphones. They’ve got the same barrel design with aluminum housings, and they make the earbuds to stand out as premium ones.
The cable is also upgrading, with an oxygen-free copper Kevlar cable.
Sound quality: The earbuds contain four drivers including a dynamic driver and three balanced armature drivers.
Dynamic driver covers the lows and sub-bass range. Whereas, the two of the balanced armature drivers cover mids and treble up to 20 kHz. And the third balanced armature drivers go up to 40kHz and adds more sparkle and detail to the highs than their previous triple driver earphones.
Due to the inclusion of dynamic drivers in the housing, the earphones won’t set you back in the bass performance. Bass is strong and punchy, and it certainly doesn’t bleed into the mids and highs.
The soundstage is also excellent and improved that their triple driver earphones.
Comfort: You can find the right size of ear tips that fit in your ears well. They have a tight seal and block out a good amount of noise. They are comfortable in your ears once you find the right set of ear tips.
#2. Brainwavz B200
These are the best-balanced armature earphones from Brainwavz. The Brainwavz is typically known for producing great mass-market bass-heavy earphones. But with their “B” series, they stepped up into the balanced armature technology.
Build and design: Once you get the package, you can notice that the earbuds come inside a solid hard case. The case also comes with a clip, and also various sizes of ear tips including Comply foam ones that are super-comfortable and adjust to the shape of your ear canals very well.
The earbuds look premium. The cable is of oxygen-free copper cable that has a nice texture on it to prevent friction against the fabrics while wearing. The top part of the cable (near the buds) has a bendable metal in it, which allows you to bend the cable so that it fits nicely over your ears when you wear it.
The earbuds come with 24 months warranty.
Sound quality: These earphones got dual drivers in it. One is a tweeter, and another is a woofer. When you compare these earbuds with that of Sennheiser Momentum, these earbuds tend to be clearer and feel bigger on your ears.
The sound quality is clear and has a stellar performance in the mids and treble. The bass is present but not strong. The details in the mids and the treble is excellent.
The sound quality is comparable to any of the big brands out there, without breaking your bank.
Comfort: The comply foam ear tips that these come with are good for comfort and also blocking out ambient noise. These comply foam ear tips take the shape of your ears for a secure fit so that the earbuds won’t come flying out. They are super comfortable.
These are some of the balanced armature driver earphones in the market right now. If you are willing to get the best of the best balanced armature earphones, you would not be disappointed with SE846-CL.
If you want something below $200, the 1More Quad Driver Earphones are bang for the buck.
Also, you do need to note that, these are not normal earphones. They tend to not perform well in the bass range and also come at a much higher price than the dynamic driver standard earphones.
Hope you guys loved my review on some of the best balanced armature earphones. Let me know what you think in the comments section.