Headphones and Earphones
- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 21 April 2014
OPPO PM-1 Planar Magnetic Over-the-Ear Headphones Review Highlights
OPPO, known for their very high quality universal players, including the OPPO BDP-105 Blu-ray player, has now ventured into another arena: headphones. Their first model, just released, is the OPPO PM-1, which is an over-the-ear design, using planar magnetic drivers. At a time when everyone seems to be offering headphones and/or earbuds as part of their product portfolio, only a handful really stand out as top notch performers. The PM-1 is destined to join that group.
I found the PM-1's to be extremely comfortable, as they weigh less than 1 pound, and the sound was spectacular, requiring very little power to drive them. OPPO's new HA-1 fully balanced headphone amplifier arrived in time for me to listen to the PM-1's, and the amplifier's bias into Pure Class A made the PM-1's sing like a Nightingale. The bench tests reflected the fine detail that the PM-1's delivered. OPPO has entered the headphone arena with a winner on the first try.
Watch the video to see a description of some of the features.
The OPPO PM-2 planar magnetic headphones are about to be released and are to be very similar to the PM-1's, with plastic parts that don't affect the sound, replacing hand machined aluminum parts. Jason Liao, of OPPO, provided the following information (the full statement is at the end of this review):
"The PM-2 is basically a more affordable version of the PM-1. With so much effort putting into the development of the PM-1's planar magnetic driver, we want to make the technology available at a lower price point so more people can try it."
We will look forward to reviewing the PM-2's and testing how they compare to the PM-1's.
Introduction to the OPPO PM-1 Planar Magnetic Over-the-Ear Headphones Review
OPPO is a brand name that every audio/video aficionado knows very well, and the number of posts on forums about their fantastic Blu-ray players (officially, they are universal players, since they play every codec from here to the far reaches of the known universe, and do it with distortion in the few thousandths of a volt) illustrate the vast interest.
OPPO PM-1 PLANAR MAGNETIC OVER-THE-EAR HEADPHONES REVIEW SPECIFICATIONS
- Design: Planar Magnetic Over-the-Ear Headphones
- Open Back
- Diaphragm: 7.14 Inches2 Surface Area
- Magnet Structure: Neodymium
- MFR: 10 Hz - 50 kHz
- Efficiency: 102 dB @ 1 mW
- Nominal Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Dimensions: Each Earpiece - 4" x 3" Oval, 1.5" Thick
- Weight: 0.9 Pounds
- MSRP: $1,099 USD
- Color: Black with Chrome Trim and Black Lambskin Ear Surrounds
- OPPO Digital
- Tags: OPPO, PM-1, Planar Magnetic, Headphones, Over-the-Ear, Audio, Headphone Reviews 2014
The BDP-105 is their latest model, and it can easily be converted into a music and video server, by simply connecting a USB drive to the rear panel. I have done this myself, and have 83 GB of music, including high rez (24/192) music stored on a 2 TB drive for all three 105's that I use throughout my test labs (my wife calls one of them the living room). They are Seagate My Passport Ultra drives that I picked up at Costco for $139/each, and they are powered by the USB connection, so they power on when the 105 is on, and they power off when you turn off the 105. The beauty of this is that you simply name the albums and music tracks (if they are missing) on your computer, as you would any file, and the names show up on your iPad (the app is in the iTunes library). No screwed up names from bad metadata. Touch an album name and it opens to show the list of tracks, as you have named them. Tap the track, and it plays (along with the rest of the album).
So, what to do when you have reached the zenith of performance in your universal player? Release some headphones, of course. The PM-1 planar magnetic headphones are the result, and they are some set of cans for sure. They weigh in at just under one pound, and with sheepskin ear cups, they are as comfortable as a velour covered easy chair is for your backside. No headaches with long listening sessions either. And that is just the fit. Read on to see what I think about their performance.