Why Use a Point Source IsoFlare™ Driver?


a blog written by Fyne Audio

Musical philosphies

When it comes to moving coil loudspeakers, there are two main design philosophies: discrete drive units and point source. Ideally, a single drive unit covering all frequencies would be great, but the laws of physics being what they are, a driver that works for very low frequencies will not work well at high frequencies and visa-versa. Coaxial or point source speakers aim to produce sound waves that radiate outwards from a single point in space, similar to a single beam of light from a torch. On the other hand, traditional speakers reproduce sound by separating the different frequencies using a larger driver for the low frequencies and a smaller driver (or drivers) for higher frequencies and directing them toward a sweet spot. Imagine two or more torch beams reaching a point where they meet but don’t cross paths.

IsoFlare™ Technology, natural choice

IsoFlare is Fyne’s proprietary point source technology developed by their own Dr. Paul Mills. It is a type of coaxial driver design that places a tweeter at the acoustic center of a midrange or bass driver, not just on the same axis. The tweeter is loaded by a mathematically designed waveguide, which improves the dispersion and integration of high frequency sounds with the midrange or bass frequencies.

Picture a stone being dropped into a still lake. All waves come from a single point and radiate undisturbed. This is how the IsoFlare point source driver works.

By placing the tweeter (the driver that produces high frequencies) in the center of the woofer (the driver that produces low frequencies), point source speakers ensure that the sound waves emitted by the tweeter and woofer are time aligned and reach the listener’s ears at the same time and from the same direction. By doing this we create a wider sweetspot with a more natural and coherent sound, which is closer to the way we experience sound in real life.

This coherent point source maintains not just symmetrical dispersion, but a phase coherence throughout the audio band, including the critical crossover region to the low frequency cone, providing accurate point source imaging even off axis and maintains the true harmonic structure of musical instruments. In addition, the high efficiency of the tweeter reduces power compression, to give an exceptional transient response.

IsoFlare has an added benefit of being more versatile and adaptable to different listening environments. Imagine a jazz musician improvising on stage, Isoflare works in a similar way, since the tweeter and woofer are mated, the speaker can be placed in different positions and still produce a natural and coherent sound.

Traditional driver design

When it comes to traditional speakers, the tweeter and woofer are separated and in different parts of the cabinet – usually with the tweeter placed above the woofer, which can create a disjointed listening experience, with the high and low frequencies reaching the listener’s ears at different times and from different directions. This can lead to a less natural and coherent sound, and makes it more difficult to create a true-to-life listening experience. The harmonic structure of musical instruments can never be preserved.

Imagine that still undisturbed lake again, and this time holding two stones in front of you, shoulder width apart. Now when you drop the stones into the water, the waves radiate from two separate sources, resulting in them colliding at a point and disturbing each others wave pattern. This is how traditional driver design works.

This can make it more difficult to create a sense of space and depth and can lead to a less immersive more clinical listening experience. This is because the sound waves are directed towards the listener, rather than radiating outwards from a single time aligned point in space.

Traditional speakers, unlike the IsoFlare, are more dependent on precise room placement to produce optimal sound, like a classical musician that needs a specific set up to play in tune.

Getting to the point

But, just like in art, audio, is a matter of preference and what you’re looking for in your listening experience can be different from another. Some people may prefer a more detailed and precise sound, while others may prefer a more natural and coherent sound.