Want a headphone that sounds excellent, is easy to drive, and can be transported easily and taken on the go? Look no further than the PM-1!
Build Quality: Since I am participating in the PM-1 loaner program I should expect the PM-1's to be worn out from dozens of headfiers listening and reviewing them. Upon inspection the unit was obviously worn out; but you know what? It doesn't matter! The fact that unit looks the way it does means it could withstand the test of time and some abuse. A huge plus to Oppo for creating such a durable headphone. The Oppos have a luxurious feel to them. It's like going into a Mercedes S class vehicle. The longer you have them on the more you can appreciate it's beauty.
Comfort: Coming from an HD 700 to the PM-1, i noticed that my ears would feel hot after 30 minutes of listening. This meant that I had to take the headphones off and take a break. On one hand it was a bit annoying but on the other hand it prevented me from over listening to them and potentially damaging my ears. It took several days for my ears to adjust, but once they did, I could listen a lot longer with less fatigue. Other than the compliant above, the earphones are very comfortable. When you put them on you feel nice and cozy, it just makes you want to relax and listen to music!
Sound: Most of my testing was done using the Chord Mojo but I did test it out with the LG V10 and found that it drives it quite well straight out of the phone.
The chain was as follows: LG V10>Chord Mojo> UAPP>Tidal Hifi> Oppo PM-1
Treble: Extends quite high without getting sibilant. Detail is presented in a natural and life like way without ever causing any fatigue. Compared to the HD 700, the treble is slightly rolled off.
Mids: The vocals, instrument separation, and layering are fantastic! You can accurately pinpoint where singers and instruments are located in the sound stage. it's like the musicians are playing all around you. You can perceive this thanks to the PM-1 portrayal of depth. You will know if a drummer is located behind the center musician or next to them. The starting and stopping of notes is very evident as well. All instruments have more body and weight than the HD 700 and thus is often more engaging and believable. The PM-1 reminds me of a miniature version of the LCD-3 and LCD-X in this regard.
Bass: Definitely a strong point of the PM-1. Both the bass and sub bass hit hard and extend down low. The bass is tight and engaging. It definitely has the edge over the HD 700 in this department, it makes the HD 700's bass sound 'polite'. Pop and Rap songs sound as equally great as audiophile recordings. This headphone seems to have no problem with any genre of music.
Final words: If you have want a headphone that does it all, is easy to drive, scales well with sources of any grade, and most importantly renders music in a believable and lifelike fashion with incredible musicality, than the Oppo PM-1 should be first on your auditioning list!