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OPPO PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphones Preview

OPPO PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphones

OPPO PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphones


  • Product Name: PM-1
  • Manufacturer: OPPO
  • Review Date: April 08, 2014 08:00
  • MSRP: $1099
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Acoustic Principle: Open back
  • Ear Coupling: Circumaural
  • Nominal Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Sensitivity: 102 dB in 1 mW
  • Clamping Pressure: 5 N
  • Cables: 3 m detachable OCC cable (6.35 mm)
  •                1 m detachable OFC cable (3.5 mm)
  • Cable Connectors: Output: 2.5 mm mono mini jacks
  •                Input: 6.35 mm stereo jack, 3.5 mm stereo jack
  • Weight: 395 g (without cable)
  • Driver Type: Planar Magnetic
  • Driver Size (Oval): 85 x 69 mm
  • Magnet System: Symmetric push-pull neodymium
  • Frequency Response: In Free-Field: 10 - 50,000 Hz
  • Long-Term Max Input Power: 500 mW according to IEC 60268-7
  • Pulse Max Input Power: 2 W

OPPO is a company well known for producing top notch media players: back in 2012, their BDP-103 won an Audioholics product of the year award; meanwhile, their top shelf BDP-105 received nothing but praise in a formal review. Needless to say, when OPPO announced they were producing a new headphone amplifier, the HA-1, we were intrigued. Of course, little did we know (OK, we might have guessed) that they had something else up their sleeves: the PM-1 planar magnetic headphones. With an MSRP of $1099, these are solidly in the high end bracket. Are you curious to see what they deliver? Keep reading!

What’s So Special About You?

As one might guess, one the big point that separates the PM-1 from the masses is its driver: a 7 layer planar magnetic design motivated by a FEM-optimized high energy Neodymium magnet system. To improve performance over “average” planar magnetics, this driver utilizes a spiraling pattern of flat conductors which are etched on both sides of the diaphragm, allowing twice as many conductors to be placed within the magnetic field. OPPO states that this leads to improved sensitivity, better damping, and more even application of drive force.

In addition to an impressive driver, OPPO is also talking big about materials and build quality. You can expect hand-picked lambskin on the headband and ear pads, precision machined metal parts, as well as tight production tolerances, all of which should all add up to a luxurious feel. Of course, for those with a bit less to spend, OPPO does note that they are aiming to bring another set of headphones to market, the PM-2. While the PM-2's will boast the same driver and acoustic performance as its big brother, a $699 price tag means “materials and processes that are more suitable for quantity production”, i.e. synthetic leather and presumably a bit more plastic.

The Specifics

OK, so what does the PM-1 actually do? For starters, it’s a circumaural (over the ear), open back design (i.e. no noise isolation). Frequency response is rated from 10Hz-50kHz in free field; however, with no tolerances provided, we’d suspect that 10Hz is probably closer to being the -30dB point rather than -3dB. Meanwhile, a nominal impedance of 32 Ohms (noted to be purely resistive) and a sensitivity of 102dB with 1mW indicate that the PM-1s should provide good performance with a wide variety of devices.

OPPO PM-1 Side View

Side view of the OPPO PM-1's showing the open back design.

In terms of more practical matters, the PM-1s utilize detachable cables, coming with 1 meter and 3m lengths. The cables are terminated with 3.5mm and 6.35mm stereo jacks respectively. Weight of the cans sans cable is listed as 395g, which is a tad over 0.85 pounds for those averse to the metric system.


We’ll admit it: we’re a little excited to get our hands on these puppies so stay tuned for our forthcoming formal review. OPPO doesn’t have the most diverse product line on the planet, but what they do, they do very well. With a high tech planar magnetic driver on board and the promise of top notch build quality, we’re guessing the PM-1s will be well worth the asking price. What’s just as exciting is the promise of the PM-2: a pair of headphones that doesn’t sacrifice audio performance, but comes in at a more affordable price point of $699. Just add in OPPO’s HA-1 headphone amplifier, and you’ve got yourself a top tier personal listening rig.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Steve Munz is a “different” addition to Audioholics’ stable of contributors in that he is neither an engineer like Gene, nor has he worked in the industry like Cliff. In fact, Steve’s day job is network administration and accounting.

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