Continuing from the previous discussion on “Characteristics of Front housing Materials,” this time I will talk about “Titanium and front housings.
If you haven’t read the previous post yet, please take a look at it first.
The content for this time is as follows:
- Benefits of Titanium
- Drawbacks of Titanium
1)Benefits of Titanium
Titanium possesses several excellent characteristics. Firstly, titanium is relatively lightweight for a metal and is incredibly strong. In fact, it weighs approximately half as much as brass or stainless steel while still having a higher density than aluminum.
Furthermore, titanium is known for its minimal internal loss of vibrations, resulting in a very high speed of sound propagation. This characteristic allows sounds emitted from titanium to be exceptionally clear with minimal distortion, particularly excelling in reproducing high-frequency ranges.
For earphones, the front housing needs to both efficiently transmit vibrations and suppress vibrations from the D-shaped driver. Titanium, with its low internal damping and fast sound propagation, can be considered a material that fulfills the requirement of “efficiently transmitting vibrations” among metals.
Additionally, another advantage of titanium is its low likelihood of causing metal allergies. Titanium forms an oxide film when exposed to oxygen in the air, preventing metal ions from dissolving into sweat or other substances. As a result, titanium is considered to have a low risk of metal allergies.
In summary, the benefits of titanium are as follows:
Minimal internal loss.
Fast sound propagation.
Clear and distortion-free sound quality.
Excellent reproduction of high-frequency ranges.
Low likelihood of causing metal allergies.
Earphones can be considered as devices that transmit sound (vibrations), so the advantages of titanium in efficiently transmitting vibrations without loss are highly significant.
2)Drawbacks of Titanium
Titanium is an acoustically excellent material, but it also has several weaknesses.
Firstly, due to its low internal damping, titanium is not particularly effective in suppressing vibrations from D-type drivers compared to other materials like stainless steel or brass.
LOAK offers both S (Stainless Steel) and T (Titanium) models, and even with the same tuning, the S model produces better bass response. This is because it can effectively control vibrations with the material (although the resonance frequency also plays a role).
In addition to sound quality-related aspects, there are other drawbacks as well. Firstly, titanium is a highly expensive material. Furthermore, its high hardness makes it difficult to process. As a result, production costs tend to be higher.
However, recent advancements in 3D printing technology have brought about significant changes in terms of cost and processing. Nonetheless, there are differences in material density and hardness between machining and 3D printing, and I would like to explain this aspect in more detail on another occasion.
Not well-suited for suppressing vibrations from D-type drivers.
Not ideal for reproducing bass due to vibration suppression
Difficult to process.
In this discussion, we have considered the advantages and disadvantages of using titanium as a front housing. However, it is important to note that the merits and drawbacks may differ if it is used as a rear housing, so that should be taken into account.
Of course, there may be other materials, including rare ones, that could be more suitable than titanium. However, generally speaking, when considering the ability to process a certain quantity of material accurately at a realistic price, the options become quite limited.
Taking into consideration the pros and cons, I am currently considering the adoption of titanium for the front housing.
However, simply processing titanium as a material and using it for the front housing may have significant drawbacks that can impact the sound quality.
Therefore, in the next session, I plan to experiment and explore using titanium as the front housing and explain measures for problem-solving. I would like to delve into the methods of addressing the drawbacks in terms of sound quality, among other aspects.