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[Review] Oppo PM-1, Oppo hit the nail on the head - Page 4

post #46 of 166

*** disclaimer: speculative opinion. I have no insider information. ***

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Earbones View Post

Hmmm... Seems to me that while it may be a great set of cans, Oppo has sort of painted themselves into a corner here. I can say for certain that there are quite a few extraneous accessories here that are responsible for the $1,100 price tag. The wooden presentation box, for instance, is not a cheap item to fabricate. <snip snip>  Within the headphone world, where boxes like this do not increase sales, and you're talking about smaller profit margins, it doesn't make sense. All it serves to do is force you to price the phones higher. Not smart.

Oppo could be selling this headphone somewhere around $600 if they hadn't upped the luxury factor to such extreme levels, and be making a handsome profit. The tough situation they are going to find themselves in is that demand for a "cut-rate" version without all the extras is going to be through the roof, but they won't be able to sell one without backlash from the people who have already bought the "luxury" version. 

Long story short, there will always be a market for luxury items, and some people will definitely buy this at $1100. But you have to figure that realistically, if they'd just put this in a nice cardboard box and dialed down some of the other non-essential perks, they could have sold this for around $600, and over the entire production run ultimately made probably ten times what they will make selling it for $1,100. Not to mention where such a run-away success would position them in the headphone market... They could have cornered the Planar Magnetic niche.

If I ran Oppo, I'd be congratulating my engineers, and firing my marketing people right about now...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bolardito View Post


Thats is why they are releasing soon a cheaper model without the fancy materials and accesories..it is called the PM-2 and it has the same drivers as the the PM-1

(1) what Bolardito said ... with the pointed added comment that the news that the significantly cheaper PM-2 was coming in approx 3 months was well-publicized BEFORE any early purchasers of the retail PM-1 were shipped their headphones. There's not going to be backlash about the price of the PM-1, because nobody got ambushed. Those willing to pay a premium for the exquisite finish, or immediate delivery, can do so; those of a more economical mindset can wait.

 

(2) Far from painting themselves into a corner, or being "not smart," Oppo's marketing strategy on the introduction of their PM headphones is shaping up as brilliant. (IMO ...  but I am not a marketing guru.) Consider: 

 

* There was some notice taken here that their beta-testing group apparently included some folks who were not known as pure addicts of TOTL headphones. That seemed curious to some.

 

* Then's here a quote from the review by Andrew Everard that appeared a few days ago ( http://andreweverard.com/2014/04/23/review-oppo-pm-1-headphones/ ) ..."Oppo, however, did things differently with its UK launch of the PM-1 Planar Magnetic headphones in London the other week. Not only were those attending given one of Oppo’s very useful ‘shopping bags’ containing a press pack; we were also handed another bag containing a pair of the headphones." Oppo isn't known as a company that only does headphone-related gear, so the audio/music press that attended their launch probably was not composed primarily of can-aholics. And each of those people walked away with a pair of $1100 (US) headphones. Probably the best headphones they've ever heard for an extended period. And most will write reviews, that will probably be quite favorable. 

 

* Have you noticed where the early reviews are showing up??? Not only are they appearing in mainstream (non-headphone) audio places, but there was one in Forbes the other day. If you're not familiar with the demographics of Forbes readers, probably half always fly first class. Oppo's product development, and now their marketing (via reviews), is aiming for an audience waaaay beyond the traditional niche of high-performance, high-priced headphones. 

 

(3) But wait, there's more. In the audiophile reviews, the $1099 Oppo PM-1 ... even with all the clearly costly bling ... is being (explicitly or implicitly) compared against the HD-800, the Audezes, the Beyerdynamic T1, the Fostex TH900, etc ... the luminaries in the "up to $2000 range." 

 

* and the take-away summary that Oppo is going to be able to leverage from the various reviews is / will be ... IMO... these cans are in the same range of top-end performance as the other current end-game phones. BUT unlike most of them, it isn't picky about the equipment you use it with, or the music you listen to. It's comfortable enough to be your all-day, every-day super-phone. In short, it's THE high-end phone to have, IF you are the kind of person who only wants to have ONE high-end set of headphones. (And I think most Head-Fi regulars are self-aware to know that even Joe Audiophile doesn't have 6 to 10 sets of good cans, 4 headphone amplifiers and 4 DACS, let alone Juanita RegularPerson. Heh, I love all of you, but you are not normal, and a lot of your friends are not normal either.)   

 

* and then here comes the PM-2 .... expected to have almost identical performance to the PM-1 ... i.e., competitive or better performance in the $1000-$2000 range .. and the PM-2 will be +/- $700. (Hmmm .... what should I choose ... an HD-800 / other at $1600 plus a carefully chosen amp for an additional $xxx, a combo which still probably won't be pleasing on some kinds of music ... or the Oppo PM-2 at $700 that I can use without an amp, and even with my smartphone... hmmmm, tough choice.   (NOT)  )

 

* And Oppo has tremendous credibility for redefining the upper-end of the performance-value curve with what they've done with their CD and Blu-Ray players. Customers of those products will be pre-disposed to believing that Oppo is delivering that kind of unprecedented value again when the PM-2 arrives. 

 

===> Bottom-line: It appears to me that Oppo is intending to blow the roof off the market for high-end headphones like they did for high-end CD & Blu-Ray players. 

 

*** repeat of disclaimer: speculative opinion. I have no insider information. ***

post #47 of 166

^ Good marketing summarization even if just a speculative opinion.   :) 

 

Link to UK Launch video


Edited by HiFiAudio - 4/25/14 at 10:17pm
post #48 of 166

The Forbes article was posted by Geoff Morrison, another on About.com by Brent Butterworth, also Steve Guttenberg of Cnet and many other publications. Brent also measures all the headphones he reviews, the Pm1 did rather well on that. All three I mentioned here heard all of the  cited "competition" as well.

post #49 of 166
Thread Starter 

DougD, great write-up there. Thanks for sharing your views.

post #50 of 166

I do agree that a wood presentation box might be a bit over the top, for the price range.  I'd be happy with a price tag $100 lower, and maybe a Pelican case instead?

post #51 of 166

keanex, did you buy them full price?

post #52 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

keanex, did you buy them full price?

Per his review. "Full-disclosure, I was in the PM-1 beta in which I received the Beta 1 unit, then the Beta 2 unit."

 

PM-1 Beta testers all got a production PM-1 free for their participation when the product ships.  Oppo also gave several reviewers at the UK introduction, a PM-1 for free that I saw. 


Edited by HiFiAudio - 4/26/14 at 3:10pm
post #53 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiAudio View Post
 

Per his review. "Full-disclosure, I was in the PM-1 beta in which I received the Beta 1 unit, then the Beta 2 unit."

 

PM-1 Beta testers all got a production PM-1 free for their participation when the product ships.  Oppo also gave several reviewers at the UK introduction, a PM-1 for free that I saw. 

 

Yes, I read the review. The review does not say whether the reviewer bought them full price or got them for free or something else, which is why I am asking now.

post #54 of 166
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

Yes, I read the review. The review does not say whether the reviewer bought them full price or got them for free or something else, which is why I am asking now.

 

They were free.

post #55 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by keanex View Post
 

They were free.

 

Kindly state that clearly and unambiguously at the very top of your review. No BS.

 

Otherwise, it's dishonest and a clear violation of the posting guidelines: http://www.head-fi.org/a/posting-guidelines.

post #56 of 166
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

Kindly state that clearly and unambiguously at the very top of your review. No BS.

 

Otherwise, it's dishonest and a clear violation of the posting guidelines: http://www.head-fi.org/a/posting-guidelines.

 

You're seeming very harsh. I did not know that this was a rule. It'll be done in a moment.

post #57 of 166

... Is it such a big deal?

post #58 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

Kindly state that clearly and unambiguously at the very top of your review. No BS.

 

Otherwise, it's dishonest and a clear violation of the posting guidelines: http://www.head-fi.org/a/posting-guidelines.

So doing a quick search of your posts, you have never complained before.   Why now?  

post #59 of 166
Thread Starter 

I get his point, but there's always bias. Free gear bias and purchasing bias. One could argue either way. I personally feel that if I spent $300+ on a pair of headphones I'd be more inclined to look for the good in them since it's my money.

post #60 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by keanex View Post
 

I get his point, but there's always bias. Free gear bias and purchasing bias. One could argue either way. I personally feel that if I spent $300+ on a pair of headphones I'd be more inclined to look for the good in them since it's my money.

Well I paid for mine, so I guess I have less bias.  Either way one should appreciate any serious effort in writing a decent review such as yours, so thank you!  :cool: 

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