Oppo PM-1 Comparison and Conclusion
I compared the Oppo PM-1 headphones to all the other headphones I have in my stable. The headphones I own range from $300 to $500 a set. Were the Oppos better? Yes. Were they 2.5x to 4x better? I'd have a hard time saying yes. The clarity was certainly there as was the bass extension. The dynamic range was very good (bass even at low volumes was very good) but I didn't feel like the imaging was as good as it could have been. Side-to-side pans were well executed but for $1100, I expected more pinpoint imaging in a 3D space. The high frequency response was pleasant but could have been better extended. I'm interested to see how the soon-to-be-released PM-2 headphones perform. At two-thirds the price of the PM-1 headphones, I expect these to be much more competitive.
As a side note Gene DellaSala directly compared the PM-1s to his reference Sennheiser HD600 headphones and found the Oppos to be more dynamic and forward sounding. They not only sounded louder but fuller, especially in the midrange. However, he felt the high frequencies were a bit more laid back on the PM-1s while they were a bit more detailed and airy on the HD600s.
Oppo PM-1 and PM2 Headphone Comparison Review
The Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic headphones surprised me on so many levels. I expected them to sound great with high quality music, and they did. I expected them to be clearer and crisper than other headphones with traditional drivers, and they were. What I didn't expect was phenomenal bass response, a midrange that was absolutely pristine, and the ability to be driven by nearly any device. They were even forgiving of poorly recorded or compressed music. For $1,100, you want a great headphone but you might expect that they could only be used with high quality music. The PM-1s were perfect for not only critical listening, but were great for casual listening as well.
Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphones
The Score Card
The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:
Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating
Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.
Audioholics Rating Scale
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Oppo PM-1 and PM-2 Headphone Review and Comparison