I had a chance to spend time with both the Oppo HA-1 and Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphones during CES.
Not a lot of time, but some first impressions given they are still in prototype form.
The first was that I was somewhat shocked by the size and heft of the HA-1. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this is a seriously heavy, deep, and substantial unit! I kept comparing to the Sony units, but they are media players, and despite the physical similarities, the HA-1 is purely a DAC and Amp.
I was able to listen to the headphones using a portable Astell and Kern unit, as well as my smartphone, and finally in a quiet location with the HA-1. As good as the Astell and Kern was, the combination of the PM-1 and the HA-1 was nothing short of sublime. Very open, airy, musical, and comfortable. I never had a sense I was hearing hardware, in fact quite the opposite.
Within moments, I started tearing through some tracks, mostly high-definition, but some not, just to hear the music with fresh ears. The prices aren't set, but most folks seem to have them in the right ballpark, with each product around the same price point plus or minus a few. I don't want to mention any pricing, since that is still in flux.
With so many folks using their BDP-105 as the center of their system, and I suspect with much of the playback coming from a HD, or connected computer as much as optical discs, these products make perfect sense for Oppo, and I suspect that when we and others have a chance to review them, they will quickly rise to the favored components categories.
I'm looking forward to their final release!
One reason I tested the headphones with my phone, as well as my MacBook Pro, was that they aren't so large that one can't travel with them, so I was curious how they did with the more meager headphone amplifiers in those devices, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. This hasn't been the case with some of the Hi-Fi Man models which really were a bit useless with similar units driving them. I kicked myself for leaving my Audioengine D3 in my room, so couldn't try them with it.
My hunch is that the final models will be no-muss, no-fuss, and solid as a rock. The HA-1 certainly looked and felt totally bombproof!
Not sure this is much for you to go on till they ship, but it's all I have at the moment to report!