Originally Posted by grizzlybeast
I wonder what was getting more love at the meet. The hifimans or the Oppo's and if the general consensus tilted towards one being better than the other.
Besides the mids being reportedly more full, the build, comfort and packaging better, are there any other qualities that the oppo bested the hifimans on?
That would be pretty embarrassing if the 499 400i bested the 1099 pm1
There's been a long back-and-forth on the 560 thread about this.
My opinion is that the sound of the new 400i is MUCH better than the PM-1. The PM-1 has a tonality that's very good and very easy to listen to, but as I've told some others: the real sell point is build, box presentation, materials, etc. it's a lifestyle headphone. Now that headphones and the market are even reaching older folks, it's not unusual to think that a company executive or some such would want a true statement piece to go along with his Maserati or Bentley, and $2000 ultrabook. The oppo, really, fits right in with those. It does deliver good performance, but not as much as it's price tag would suggest. The details and finish are where the cost comes in. Easy to drive, well isolating, fun, easy, consumer-friendly signature? No, the oppo wasn't meant to compete with the 400i and 560. Totally different market. HiFiMan's are more comfortable, but many see them as ugly (I prefer the look of the HiFiMan's but my style sensibilities tend to be more forward) while many see the oppo as tasteful. (I find them boring, but I understand the look) the oppo table got a TON of attention, but most of the people there (audiophiles, not consumers) were disappointed with the sound. People seemed meh about the new HFMs at first, but gradually they became a favorite for a good few. (Just among the people I talked to, YMMV)
So we have an audiophile oriented product. One that's comfy if perhaps rather utilitarian (reminds me of a vandersteen for example. Cheap outside, expense is on the inside) and something akin to a Bentley. Expensive materials and high comfort, but will it out drive a M3 or a Porsche Caymen? No, but it's not meant to, and those are enthusiast cars, priced totally differently. I almost don't think these two products can be compared. B&W is kind of aiming for a similar market with the P7. (I wouldn't be surprised if they came out with a $1000 headphone that had mid-tier performance and luxury looks and exclusive materials... Oh wait...)
I guess in closing, my final thought is- get what you like! Either ones a valid choice, and if it makes you happy, who else cares!