Help me choose the best speakers: Electrostatic vs. Normal.

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Hey all! I'm looking to build myself a good pair of headphones, and would like some speaker advice. I assure you all that I am fully capable of doing this.

I'm looking for some speakers that will provide the best bass possible (For stoner music), while still being reasonably small (2.5" max) and not incredibly deep (40mm deep max).

Now, my old pair of headphones has a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency range, but it's got some cheapo 1 1/2" electrostatic speakers. At least, I think that's what they're called. They're the speakers you find in all kinds of electronics, including heaphones, with the very thin plastic membrane that crinkles if you touch it (by accident, of course).

Old pair of headphones:
I can't find a spec sheet on them, sorry. But the speaker is labelled as follows:

L. S

My question is: If I get a normal type of loudspeaker with a lower range of frequency response, is it possible to get better bass?

I'm still searching for a good one, but a bit of searching has so far yielded one (maybe) suitable result:

Peerless 830985 2-1/2" Full Range Woofer |

The frequency response only goes down to 90 Hz, but the frequency vs SPL curve seems like it's acceptable down to around 70.

What do you think? Can you recommend something better?
If you try run normal loudspeakers at headphone volumes, I'm sure you'll get more than enough bass with a bit of equalisation. But if your planning on hanging a pair of those on your ears you'll be sure to get a pretty big neck ache soon :p.

I don't think those behringer headphones are electrostatic speakers :p. If you where able to touch the diaphragm when it was on, you would have got a 500 volt zap through your finger. ESL Heaphones tend to have big power supplies as they run on high voltages (that are out of reach from touching... unless you do something really random with them o_O).

Those headphones you show seem to be standard cheap and cheerful headphones. It's just a normal magnetic speaker I think.

Electrostatic headphones are great and DIYable if you put your mind to it. Providing you can stay save around high voltages and design them not to zap your ears when you put them on. They have a relatively simple concept but are challenging to practically build and you may require some extra jigging that you can make. A few hard to find parts will also be thrown into the mix with this kind of project.

As always, be prepared to go over budget a little!

Commercial ones are available but personally I would use them for a hell of a lot more than stoner music, seeing as these cost..... I dunno... around $4k for the headphones... and.... $2k for the amp?? xD

Dunno if there's cheaper stuff, but that's the kind of prices I find around the net.

ESLs are deadly projects, but if respected, they can yield great rewards =D *as I have yet to discover, I'm only going on what I've read and been told about these magical speakers*

So enough waffling, if your just looking for better bass than your current headphones, you may just wanna give a £30 pair of Philips or sony headphones a go. A cheap pair I had a while back was ranged 15Hz to 19kHz. Yes 15Hz!!! Of course you can't hear but it was like a vibrator.... ON YOUR HEAD!!
Ummm... there is nothing at all "deadly" about ESL headphones unless you do something very wrong and/or Darwin Award level stupid.

You do NOT want to hang "regular" speakers on your ears.
Unless you want major hearing damage fast.

Headphones are different beasts than "speakers".

The Behringers if they are not regular dynamic headphones might be "electret" type phones, but not likely. Pioneer made some tweeters with "permanent electret" plastics. HPM series, iirc.

You will NEVER ever get the same "feel" in the bass from headphones that you get from real speakers - so do not try. Unless you want that to be the last time you hear much of anything...

You can blow your ears out very fast due to excessive sound pressure levels using headphones.


Personally I find its a bit hit and miss with earphones. Some are really comfortable, and I had an amazing pair of sony earphones that where fantastic and lasted many years. Until I lost them and haven't found a comfortable in ear pair since.

Headphones give a more snug feel and provide that force into your head that gives bass that edge. Earphones have good bass but it feels odd not having that movement or vibration to accompany it.
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