What IS a Balanced Armature Driver?


We’ve all seen those little shiny ‘boxes’ inside our custom monitors, but what are they and how do they REALLY work? How does something so small produce a sound so big??!! Again, pixie dust.. DUH!

We thought we’s spend some time describing how they work and why at JH Audio we use balanced armatures over dynamic drivers (speakers that you normally find in ear buds). We’ll have some input from “The Man,” as well on how he goes about picking out drivers and why he prefers balanced armatures over dynamic drivers.

So, let’s start by looking at a cut-away of a balanced armature driver and a brief technical explanation that we found on Wikipedia (why reinvent the wheel, right?) on how they work.

A balanced armature is a sound transducer design which is primarily intended to increase the electrical efficiency of the element by eliminating the stress on the diaphragm characteristic of many other magnetic transducer systems. As shown schematically in the diagram, it consists of a moving magnetic armature that is pivoted so it can move in the field of the permanent magnet. When precisely centered in the magnetic field there is no net force on the armature, hence the term ‘balanced.’

As illustrated in the diagram, when there is electric current through the coil, it magnetizes the armature, causing it to rotate slightly one way or the other about the pivot thus moving the diaphragm to make sound.

In simple terms, the coil is held in the middle by two magnets until it’s stimulated by an electrical current, causing the diaphragm to vibrate thus creating a sound wave. This sound wave then moves its way through the sound hole of the driver, through the earphone and into your eardrum… BAM! musical nirvana!

Next time will talk about the “guts and glory” of balanced armatures and hear what Jerry has to say about them!

Custom Ear Monitors: “Are They REALLY All That??!!” (Part 3, or revenge of the belt pack)


 So we’ve covered the need for custom ear monitors in our last two posts, when hearing protection is the best solution and some suggestions on which models will help you out as you move along in your music career or with the instrument you play, but you’re probably wondering “Yeah, great, but how do I get the sound to my ears??!!” Magic pixie dust.. duh! Sheesh, everyone knows that!

Continue reading

Backstage With JH Audio: Linkin Park


The Band: Linkin Park

The Event: Honda Civic Tour

The Gear: JH16 PRO

We caught up with Linkin Park and their crew while out on the Honda Civic Tour featuring Linkin Park, Incubus and MuteMath. First off…. what a KILLER line-up, so props to whomever put this show together. The production alone was a mind-boggeling display of lighting, video screens and pyro.. who doesn’t love PYRO!!!???

The guys played a great selection off
their new album “Living Things
and some of their long-time-crowd-pumping anthems like One Step Closer, to close out the show.

We had the opportunity to hang with their monitor engineer Kevin “Tater” McCarthy before the show and here is what he had to say about JH Audio, the products and level of service he and the band get while out on the road.

Make sure to check out Linkin Park’s latest album Living Things. The “Deluxe Version” features a few killer live tunes as well!!

Custom Ear Monitors: “Are They REALLY All That?!” (Part 2)


Last week we starting talking about custom ear monitors and if and when they are needed. Quick recap: Does everyone NEED custom ear monitors, no! Should you be using some sort of hearing protection when they are not needed, yes! OK, class is back in session…


Scenario #4: Full-Time Touring Band, But Not ‘The Shizzle’ Yet

So chances are that you have graduated from the $1000, white, 15 passenger van and are now living in the luxury of being crammed into a tour bus with the back-line crew or another band. What? You thought you got your own bus by now… That’s so cute. Things are going well for you. Your fan base has increased nationally and you’re selling some tunes.

Continue reading