Planar Magnetic

Standard speakers use "voicecoil" technology - a coil of wire wrapped around a cylindrical magnet provides the force that drives the cone back and forth.

In a planar magnetic transducer, a thin membrane is placed between rows of magnets. Thin strips of foil on the membrane carry an electric current through the magnetic field, producing a force that is perpendicular to the membrane.

Planar magnetic transducers are normally operated as a "dipole", i.e. open to the air on the front and the back (whereas cone speakers are mounted in enclosures, with only one side of the speaker exposed to the room).

(TODO - more technical detail, and a cross-section diagram of a planar magnetic speaker).

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