Pros: Built extravagantly well, wondrously comfortable, absolutely breathtaking sound, plays just as good from a mobile as it does an amp.
Cons: Soundstage may not be as vast as what one would expect from an "open" headphone.
Firstly I've got to give a massive thank you to @Jiffy Squid for accepting me into the Loaner Program for @OPPO , for if it wasn't for him it's very unlikely I'd have had the honor and pleasure of listening and reviewing these quite wonderful works of art and also my new standard for audio. Also as mentioned above this was a loaner/review unit so my experience will differ slightly from a newly purchased unit, namely in the unboxing experience.
You'll notice my comparing them to the Bowers & Wilkins; The reasons for such is that those were previously my standard on what I expect from a headphone and audio company. This is probably going to be one of my shortest reviews because these are truly a new standard for what to expect from an audio company, and only having the ability to rate it a 5 is rather shortcoming in my opinion.
The Opening Experience
The opening experience on these I can't give any sort of impressions on because as a loaner/review unit I didn't receive any of the box/packaging other than the headphones, cables, case and extra pads. Now amongst those I was incredibly impressed by the sheer quality of everything minus the 3.5mm cable, I felt it was the last thing they worked on so for a lack of better terms, threw something together.
The only pair of headphones I've ever come across that are even close to being as well built as these (other than their own model line) are the Bowers & Wilkins. The frame is completely aluminum with lambskin leather being used as padding. This theme continues all the way down to the drive housing which is the only plastic I find on these and even such is very high quality.
The pads are not only made using the finest of materials, you actually get 3 different ones to choose from. A large lambskin leather set, a small lambskin leather set, and finally my personal favorite, the microfiber/velour set. These are easily interchangeable by a simple magnetic lock mechanism so no worries about being unable to find one to your liking.
The 1/4" cable is what I expect from an elite class product such as this. It's beautifully braided from the jack up to about 8" from the headphone connectors which does an amazing job at shielding the sound from outside interference including brushes against clothes etc... The other cable is not as well built however. The mobile 3.5mm cable to me feels like it was just something thrown together at the end of the production line for in kinks, has minimal, if any, shielding and does receive some feedback when brushed against something.
The comfort on these is something that yet again, I've no complaints on. They fit oh so snuggly on ones head just tight enough to feel like a nice welcoming hug. The lambskin leather headband sits softly on your head and doesn't bush ones hair back which quickly leads to discomfort, in fact I've not had to even so much as adjust them even after several hours of listening to them.
These take comfort a step that no other brand I've tried does and includes 3 pairs of ear pads (rather this was a loaner program exclusive or actually does come with a purchased unit I'm unsure) so no matter your cup of tea, they have you covered. The one that worked by far best for my was the microfiber/velour pads that are very similar to what's found on the Beyerdynamic DT880's whereas the other 2 are a small and large lambskin leather which is nice but nowhere near what the fiber pad does.
The pads also do a great job at keeping the ears away from the padding which was a big downfall for me on the PM-3 because that agitated the fart outta me. But these have no such issue. Super long 4+ hour listening sprees needn't fear for these beauties all but massage your ears.
The sound on these, oh how I can preach about the sound. The first thing you'll notice is that if you plug from your amp. to your phone you wont notice any loss of quality of if such minimal. This I'm honestly unsure of rather it's a good thing or not that it didn't scale, for better or worse, at all when I went from my phone to my tube amp. or visa versa. So unlike my PM-3 review I will refrain from separating a before and after amplification section and simply talk about its sound. Which before I get into the individuality of it, was extremely neutral, yet still very inviting. The only downside I've found and honestly I really had to look hard to find it so I could put something in the con space, but these don't sound as spacious or "airy" as most open back headphones I've tried have. But if you see them as a semi open back, which is what I personally believe they should be, that issue goes away because they sound similar to other semi opens.
The highs on these are extremely clean and very accurate with what I'm hearing vs what I know is real. The only thing I sometimes notice is when it goes from treble to the upper treble range, I guess the "audiophile" term is rolls. It just sounds ever so slightly off, not better or worse, just off.
The vocals on these a point blank neutral, they're detailed, unbiased, and wondrously clean. I'm trying to think of more to say but I can't really babble on about what's already darned near perfect.
The bass on these are stunning, throughout the range, stunning. I was afraid when I got these they'd be rather bass light like the PM-3 but oh no, they're wonderful. They have the speed I've come to expect from a planar but retain the bass resonance or hit of a dynamic driver. The upper bass seamlessly flown into the mid section but yet oh how you'll get that sub bass feels when a hard rock song comes up in rotation.
To sum these masterpieces up, they're so darned amazing I never would've thought that my Bowers & Wilkins would ever be blown away. Yes there's a big price difference but I've heard others that are yes better sure, but don't blow them away for what it is that I personally look for in audio. These are also a pair of cans that can somewhat play nicely with lower quality audio files. Now they shine with top tier but if you're watching YouTube music video, unless it's very poorly encoded, your experience should still be quite enjoyable.So for those of you looking for a wonderful elite class tier of headphone that's extremely well built, very neutral and accurate, and benchmark setting comfort, or in other words a very close to perfect headphone, then these are definitely for you, if you can afford them.