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Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphone Impressions Thread - Page 24

post #346 of 3442
Well with iPods, iPhones and iPads there's no reason to amp. That certainly saves a lot of money and clutter for those who are Mac based and want to take these cans with them on trips. The demim bag that comes with the PM-1s would probably hold an iPod too.
post #347 of 3442
The DAC in my iMac exceeds my ability to hear by a fair margin, I'm afraid. I'm sure there are DACs that measure better, but my ears are normal mortal ones.

I can clearly hear differences between headphones and speakers. And I can detect digital artifacting in lossy files below a certain bit rate. But modern DACs all sound pretty much perfect to me. Some headphones I've tried in the past benefited from amping. These Oppos didn't require amping at all with the players I use. I actually prefer that because I don't want to haul around external black boxes if I don't have to.
Edited by bigshot - 4/6/14 at 6:08pm
post #348 of 3442

noticeable difference i've heard amping a planar is more body and control resulting in better details and macro-dynamics not a change in FR. with the oppo being such a small opening i'm guessing its more of a confined to your head/forceful sound ( not to say it can't be smooth. different jargon) with a little air out the back for breathing away the resonance. I'm guessing that if you cover the cups with your hands the sound change wouldn't be as drastic as most other planars. If these are sensitive enough to get full excursion with minimal amplification then you probably won't hear much of a sound difference.  That small opening is making me jittery with OCD thinking that what you get is what you get

post #349 of 3442
I didn't notice any difference in detail or dynamics when amping the Oppos. (I have noticed differences with dynamics with other headphones being amped in the past.) I did however notice a significant difference in detail and dynamics between these Oppos and either of my old Sennheiser cans... probably because of the planar design and the lack of frequency masking with such a flat response. Huge difference.

I'm not entirely sure how to quantify "open" and "closed" sounding. These definitely are comfortable to listen to for long periods of time though, and the sound doesn't seem to be bottled up over my ears. And they don't seal you off in a cone of silence. If you had them on with no music playing, you could easily carry on a conversation with someone. My beater Senns were flat and didn't enclose the ears at all. Those are quite different feeling than these Oppos, but the sound quality wasn't even in the same universe. The better pair of Senns I own feel pretty much the same as these when it comes to "open" or "closed". I liked them because they were super comfortable, but again, they aren't in the same league when it comes to sound.
Edited by bigshot - 4/6/14 at 6:30pm
post #350 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctaCosmos View Post
 

noticeable difference i've heard amping a planar is more body and control resulting in better details and macro-dynamics not a change in FR. with the oppo being such a small opening i'm guessing its more of a confined to your head/forceful sound ( not to say it can't be smooth. different jargon) with a little air out the back for breathing away the resonance. I'm guessing that if you cover the cups with your hands the sound change wouldn't be as drastic as most other planars. If these are sensitive enough to get full excursion with minimal amplification then you probably won't hear much of a sound difference.  That small opening is making me jittery with OCD thinking that what you get is what you get


I've tried multiple planars (HE-400/500,LCD-2) with my amps and I can clearly hear a difference in FR, instrument seperation and soundstage. Amps at all have different sound signatures and even a easy to drive headphone like the PM-1 will benefit from a matching one.

post #351 of 3442
I've heard headphones in the past that benefitted from being amped, but these Oppos didn't at all. Do other planars have the same impedance characteristics? i was under the impression that the Oppos are totally different, designed from the ground up to not require amping... "32 ohm", "twice as many conductors" and "purely resistive impedance" or something like that. (Headphone impedance is out of my ballywick, I'm afraid!)
Edited by bigshot - 4/6/14 at 6:42pm
post #352 of 3442
I tried amping the Oppos and they sounded exactly the same as plugged direct into my iMac at the same volume. I think they might be different than other high end cans.

For what it's worth to ohm counters... I looked up the ultrasone pro 900s and they have an impedance of 40 ohm, the HifiMan HE-500s are 38 ohm, and the LCD-2 by Audeze is 60 ohm. The Oppos are 32 ohm. There is something about efficiency in the Oppo specs too if that's applicable to this.

Edit: Just checked the efficiency specs on the Oppo, HifiMan, Audeze and Ultrasones. The Oppos have a considerably higher efficiency rating. I think they are different when it comes to amping than these three cans.
Edited by bigshot - 4/6/14 at 7:07pm
post #353 of 3442

Thanks for a great video! 

 

BTW, I posted a first-impressions review in the HA-1 thread here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/690605/has-anyone-heard-anything-about-the-oppo-ha-1-balanced-headphone-amp-dac/15#post_10433714

 

Here is what I wrote,

 

Harris

 

----------

 

Hello!
 
A quick update on the Oppo PM-1 Planar Headphones.
 
I'm working with a finished production sample of  the new headphones for an upcoming review and here are some brief impressions. This is based on a review sample, so the final packaging details, etc. might be different, as they aren't shipping yet.
 
I was in my office when I received shipping confirmation from UPS, so when I got home the box from Oppo was waiting for me.
 
So, I dropped everything to open the box. First impressions, this is one heavy box for a pair of headphones!
 
I had my son pick up the box, and asked him what he thought was in it, and he said maybe a blu-ray player or something due to the weight.
 
Then I opened it up and there was a lovely soft case, with extra earpads and cables.
 
Finally I got a whiff of the finish on the beautiful wooden box! Just great!
 
At this point everything is first-class, the box, inner box, and finally the wood box.
 
Opening it revealed the headphones, which look just wonderful and which were lighter then I remembered or expected. 
 
The primary cable is beautiful with a substantial cloth covered OCC cable, all fittings are solid, well-designed and as they should be for a product of this caliber. The cables have small mini-jacks that go into each side of the headphones.
 
I plugged in the long cable, to use with my laptop, and looked for a step-down adapter to a mini-jack from the phone plug, but there wasn't one, so I looked in thee cables in the case, and found the short mini-jack cable.
 
The sound is superb, and over the weekend I tried them with different gear to get a better sense of their performance. If I had to summarize the sound footprint, it would be "Effortless, subtle, neutral, but with a bit or warmth, to a believable musical finish". At no time did I "hear" the headphones or technology, they simply moved out of the way so that my experience was of listening to music, not technology.
 
As I type this I'm listening to the Van Morrison's Moondance remaster, and it has never sounded better! 
I can only imagine what they will sound like when connected to the new HA-1 amplifier. I did get to listen to a pre-production model of the headphones during CES with the HA-1 and it was superb, but when the new amplifier is available that will complete the product cycle.
 
I'm pretty sure that these are going to be a hit for Oppo. Every aspect of the unit I have is well-thought out and executed. Surprisingly they are also very efficient, and sounded great with my MacBook Pro, the new Korg DS-DAC-100M, the Cambridge Audio DAC Magic, the Oppo BDP-105, and the AudioEngine D3, and in all cases, they drove the headphones without a problem, which was a really pleasant surprise. 
 
Many of the planars I've used, such at the HiFi Man, seem very demanding of the amplifier circuit, but the PM-1's are nowhere that finicky. I did find a richer, fuller sound with higher output sources, such as the BDP 105, so I think when paired with a dedicated high quality headphone amp, that the phones will really hit their peak. My brief test with HA-1 revealed an incredibly substantial unit, and design, so I suspect that when paired with the PM-1s, it will be a positive synergy.
 
One last note. I had the headphones on last night for several hours straight as I worked on my computer. And.. no stress, or discomfort. In fact they were so comfortable that I kept walking around with them an forgot I had them on, and they weren't even plugged into anything!
 
I hope this helps. We will publish a full review on MacEditionRadio.com in the coming weeks.
 
Harris Fogel
post #354 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I tried amping the Oppos and they sounded exactly the same as plugged direct at the same volume. I think they might be different than other high end cans.

For what it's worth to ohm counters... I looked up the ultrasone pro 900s and they have an impedance of 40 ohm, the HifiMan HE-500s are 38 ohm, and the LCD-2 by Audeze is 60 ohm. The Oppos are 32 ohm. There is something about efficiency in the Oppo specs too if that's applicable to this.

It is! The Oppo is WAY more efficient than other planars. Thats why it doesn't require amping to get it to good, controlled listening levels. I'm not into speakers but it should be the same with them. Like using high efficient speakers with low wattage tube amps or suff like that. I hope that makes sense :D 


Edited by Ratheriian - 4/6/14 at 7:11pm
post #355 of 3442
don't think this thread has gotten out of hand but maybe appreciation should be deleted from the title. wink.gif good to see some impressions from other folks coming through.

hey max134 - does the oppo sound more open or closed than the w3000anv? how do the soundstages compare? pm me if you want.
post #356 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratheriian View Post
 

It is! The Oppo is WAY more efficient than other planars. Thats why it doesn't require amping to get it to good, controlled listening levels. I'm not into speakers but it should be the same with them. Like using high efficient speakers with low wattage tube amps or suff like that. I hope that makes sense :D 


Straight from the OPPO site for the PM-1.  They are very efficient.

 

Nominal Impedance 32 Ohm
Sensitivity 102 dB in 1 mW
post #357 of 3442
Amping isn't just about volume. It is also about signal quality. The best amps are more transparent, have a lower noise floor, greater dynamic range, etc. Same is true of better DACs. If the Oppo sounds the same with an iPod or iMac as it does with high-end amps and DACs, that would indicate the Oppo lacks transparency (which is different from neutrality). Did any beta folks use the Oppo with highly regarded components? Any comparisons made switching among better components? Did the Oppo sound different when driven by Oppo's own amp/dac? (Oppo surely expects it to, right?)
post #358 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctaCosmos View Post


with the oppo being such a small opening i'm guessing its more of a confined to your head/forceful sound ( not to say it can't be smooth. different jargon) with a little air out the back for breathing away the resonance...
... That small opening is making me jittery with OCD thinking that what you get is what you get
OK I whish that dam photo was never taken, as the hole size means NOTHING...
JUST LOOK AT ANY ULTRASONE CAN FOR PROOF...

Now I can understand your concern but it is ALL Unjustified..
The Oppo is a stellar performer in every respect and quite frankly I am very impressed almost amazed by its performance..
Quote:
Originally Posted by up late View Post

hey max134 - does the oppo sound more open or closed than the w3000anv? how do the soundstages compare? pm me if you want.
Why PM and not let the good people here know the details? wink.gif Lol

So I will state it as my ears "percieve" it...
The oppo sounds more open than the w3000anv and more open than the fostex th600 which both sound a notch more open to me than the AlphaDog, but sorry the Oppo is not as open as a Beyer T1 or an HD800.. Not sure about the He-6 this department though..
Quote:
Originally Posted by germay0653 View Post


Straight from the OPPO site for the PM-1.  They are very efficient.
Nominal Impedance 32 Ohm
Sensitivity 102 dB in 1 mW
Those specs are definitely misleading.
Real word performance is what matters.

I don't know why even post about any laptop powering it, as most laptops can play almost any headphones ...
We want to know about portable units.. And it actually can be driven off a tiny player decently, but not optimally.

My Galaxy note3 needed to be placed at full volume to sound normal, and there was no distortion at full volume either, which was odd.
So I would use an amp for the Oppo, unless you have one of those nice powerful all in one players..
post #359 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffA View Post

Amping isn't just about volume. It is also about signal quality. The best amps are more transparent, have a lower noise floor, greater dynamic range, etc. Same is true of better DACs.

I've been using and working with Macs for a long time. They are audibly transparent. You can push specs even further, but how much better than audibly transparent can you get? I can't speak for other brands of players or comps. i'm sure there are some that might stand some improvement.

But I see not having to amp as a huge advantage. Why carry around another box that you don't need? Simplicity is a virtue. More equipment doesn't mean better sound. In this case it could only mess up a good thing, because the Mac is feeding the cans clean, balanced sound and the Oppos are producing clean, balanced sound. You don't mess with that. The Oppos and an iPod are a pretty sweet combo.
Edited by bigshot - 4/6/14 at 11:09pm
post #360 of 3442
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post


I'm estimating about -15 dBish maybe 20.


Thanks.

 

15-20 dB isolation is a considerable advantage for me over the new HiFiman 560 phones (which I assume has almost no isolation).  The air conditioning in my apartment is loud enough to be annoying without isolation provided by the phones.

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