Oppo PM-2 Headphones

It appears a set of headphones can be launched by anyone: loudspeaker makers, brands best known for car companies significant valve amps and businesses you have never heard of before, have all jumped to the present boom. And at first it looked like Oppo, best known because of its high quality Bluray players - and, in certain marketplaces, smartphones - was planning to be another 'me too' business.

Yet, not only did it start its classy PM-1 version, complete using a price tag on the thick side of £1000, it backed it up using a high end headphone amplifier, the HA-1, as well as the guarantee of more affordable headset: the £699 PM-2 version we're reviewing here.

No matter: the market is crammed with versions made to sound larger than life - seemingly in the event you show up with this kind of layout there is the strange computer business simply waiting so that you can get your brand to throw billions of dollars! -

What was clear in the away was that, instead of simply cranking out a couple of midrange cans to ring its brand, Oppo had done some serious work on the creation of its first versions. Planar magnetic technology is certainly not the simple means of doing cans (the simple method is any among many off the shelf transducers cranked out in their thousands by sections providers) but Oppo made life even catchier for itself by going back to the drawing board and inquiring what makes this unique technology tick.

One of the developments placed on the planar magnetic layout, where an electrically energized diaphragm sits in a magnetic field (to put it), would be the employment of a seven-layer diaphragm carrying aluminium conductors that are flat on either side. (One side is less unusual, ordered in a coil over the driver that is whole surface for even drive.) PM-1're both exceptionally dynamic and quick, to not mention having serious bass heft.

As an outcome of the electric features that are easygoing, the Oppos are not cans you need merely contemplate for house use, powered by a committed amplifier. While they are going to flourish when used, they are also comfortable and light enough powered in the output signal of a private digital player or on the end of a mobile amplifier.

Anyway, back to the PM-2 cans, and Oppo was unusually frank about the 'junior model' when it declared its entry to the marketplace: the PM-2 is just just like its big brother where it counts - in layout and drive-unit engineering - but only uses a variety of less expensive decorative stuff and loses some accessories so that you can cut back the purchase price.

So selecting between PM-2 and PM-1 is a bit like picking between two versions of a car using the exact same drivetrain, but with either deep-material or grain leather seats: the functionality, only the feeling of extravagance shouldn't be changed by it. That is literally the option here, for in the position of the PM-1's lambskin-covered ear-cushions and headband, the PM-2 has faux leather, the alteration mechanism has a matte finish as opposed to the polished shine of the pricier cans, and different trim bits are plastic instead of metal.

The 6.35mm-terminated cable is OFC for the PM-2, instead of the PM-1's OCC, but both versions also come with a 3.5mm-stopped up cable for use with mobile gear, as well as a denim carrying case (the PM-2 doing without the delightfully lacquered wooden storage carton the additional £400 for the PM-1 purchases you). The elective velour earpads, together with the alternate lambskin pads made to provide a small treble elevation, each of which are normal using the PM-1, have gone AWOL, also. But should you would like to get kit and the PM-2 it up to PM-1 spec, it could be done: the velour ones, as well as the PM-1 lambskin earpads, are available as accessories.

That means a speedy swap between both versions does reveal a bit more zing in the upper frequencies than the PM-1 provides, but that the sound is very similar, which will be a thing that is very good.

Simply over the earpads between both versions, I did swap for the interest of experiment, and you know what? The PM1 fitted using the PM-2 earpads sounded only like the more affordable version, whole with that small breath of clean atmosphere that was additional, while the PM-2 with all the extravagance lambskin earmuffs was precisely such as the standard sound of the PM-1.

To put it differently, fitted using the same earpads, both versions sound the same, and while I really like the somewhat smoother sound of the PM-1 cans as provided, I could see why Oppo has chosen for the marginally more brilliant equilibrium as the out-of-the carton touch for the more affordable version.

Sadly I did not have Oppo's own HA-1 headphone amplifier to hand but the quite exceptional new Marantz HD-DAC1, which is quite similar in function and theory, proved an excellent replacement. Additionally, I used the high quality phono stage assembled into my Naim Supernait2 amplifier, a small tube-powered mobile headphone amps from Fiio and Denon, and pre/headphone amplifier from Chinese firm Trends Audio, in addition to the formerly-mentioned AudioQuest.

This can be a pair of headphones that are very addictive. Having a solid fit with no awareness of the head being clamped and cozy, and light, the PM-2 flourished on the Marantz amp's end, fed a selection of music.

The soundstage was not huge, shallow and good-concentrated, making to get a tremendously including listen, which skill was just as successful when playing down and thrashy rock tracks - somewhat more more rocky ones - as it was with more stuff that was purified.

I do believe I simply favored it with the PM-1 earpieces set up, as it can sound a nuance overblown in its assault with the out-of-the-carton PM-2 configuration, but I believe that'll be an issue of individual taste and partnering gear.

While with the rather more forthright Marantz DAC/headphone amplifier the PM-1 pads were preferable together with the tiny Trends Audio tube amp, for instance, the PM-2 earpads injected a bit more force to the music.

There is nothing light or insubstantial about these earphones, as was disclosed by another Linn record, Gillian Weir's 2001 reading, recently reissued within the organization 's ECHO show.

The sound was huge, striking and strong, while packaged with masses of detail that was fine, and revealed just how nicely the Oppo PM-2 cans can't only 'do the hifi thing', but in addition immerse the listener in a recording's soundscape.

At £699 the PM2 is hardly a bargain basement layout, therefore it is proper they perform just along with the £1099 pair, and the aesthetic changes have done nothing to detract from your user attractiveness created by the first Oppo cans. That makes a proposal with which it is very difficult to claim.

Oppo PM-2 Headphones photo