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Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphone Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by hifiguy528, Apr 3, 2014.
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  1. Army-Firedawg
    I'd recommend starting stock and go from there. I personally loved oppos sound (even after all this time a upteen headphones later they're still my dream headphones) and wouldn't change it.

    But you can get similar quality cables that're imo better looking but also cheaper (pending version of course).
  2. musickid
    does the pm1 really shine more with a high quality dac more so than the amp as its been said amping it is easy. also i had to buy a grado headphone adaptor to fit the chord mojo. the pm1 3.5mm jack did not fit mojo. how did others solve this as i see no mention of this issue at all.
  3. Army-Firedawg
    I can't help you with the Mojo but me and another fellow discussed our viewpoints on the PM-1 benefiting from an amp or not earlier in this thread.
  4. musickid
    thanks again
  5. sometypesofWei
    i'd like to get a try
  6. Hamza Ali Abbas
    Hi everyone,

    I am selling my Oppo PM-1's along with a balanced cable from toxic cables. I have all the accessories including the original wooden box and cardboard box it comes in. Along with all the pads, short and long cable etc.

    Also have the original receipt from Selfridges, which is where I bought them from and they are still under warranty ( 3 years ), bought them just under a year ago.

    Private message me if you're interested.
  7. fluidz
    Hi guys,

    Recently bought some Oppo pm1s.. Just a few questions.

    They seem to be very bass light compared to my he-500s (A-B test), I played them side by side, the he-500's have sub bass and weight to the bass, which the pm1s seem to lack. Is this part of their sound signature?

    Also they seem to be uncomfortable, despite others saying that they are comfortable to wear. I do wear glasses - but I also own he-500s which are heavier but have no issues with. I can wear my he-500s for hours (i stretched the headband a little).. But the Oppo's after half an hour my ears are sore and the top of my head feels the pressure from the clamp. If i loosen the sides a little so it isn't touching the top of my head, the audio doesn't sound as good.

    Has anybody had success bending the headband to loosen the clamp without damaging the pm1s? Are they as flexible as the Hifiman headbands?

    I find the treble to be a little too strong, where others have said it's not a bright headphone. It hurts my ears slightly in some tracks, especially older songs from say the 90s, the treble sounds sibilant.

    I listen at low volume (as I have tinnitus).

    Connected to a Chord Mojo.

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  8. Dobrescu George
    It is not a bright headphone. HE500 is just smoother than them. A bright headphone would be the original HD800, which was quite bright.

    Don't know what to advice, if they don't work for you, they don't. HE500 is quite different in every aspect, maybe you were expecting a direct upgrade that was similar, where PM-1 is quite different.
    fluidz likes this.
  9. fluidz
    I guess that's what I was expecting, a direct upgrade. When I looked at the price and reviews it had an influence to make me believe that.. I have been listening to my he-500s for a few years I suppose I've become accustomed to their sound.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  10. Dobrescu George
    That is absolutely okay. They are an upgrade, but with a different signature. Sometimes, this takes some time to get used to.

    For a more direct upgrade, why not try a HiFiMAN headphone, like HEK, or something from Audeze, like LCD-4 or LCD-2 ? They tend to be more similar in signature to HE500 than PM-1, which is quite different.

    I like PM-1, but you should try to find what you like best!
    nick n and fluidz like this.
  11. musickid
    PM1 comfort for me with alt. leather pads excellent. i would not bend headband its not designed for that. the pm1 can sound bland at first compared to lower priced cans however after 2-3 weeks you start to realise how refined and sophisticated their sound really is. it will grow on you. bass really comes alive in a frighteningly good way when listening to tracks that have a real bass aspect integrated into the music. otherwise the bass response is quite subtle. try a bass heavy track on loud and you will see. let them rest nicely they are so light the pm1's i think once you adjust you won't even notice they are there. they scale up very nicely with top end gear and portable stuff. i use a chord mojo too with excellent results but recently tried them with a £8500 chord dave and the results were stunning. that is my next move.
    fluidz likes this.
  12. fluidz
    Just an update on how I'm getting on with these pm1's.

    I've been using them for a few days now, connected to a Chord Mojo (usb), listening to Spotify Premium (windows 10), and had 50+ hours listening time with them. I've noticed that I no longer feel the need to hear the slightly louder low sub bass that the he-500 provided and no longer miss the high treble that the pm1's lack - nearly as much as I anticipated. At first I A/B tested both phones I thought that the pm1's sounded congested, but the more time I spend with them I realise they sound more natural in many ways and not congested, they seem to fit in all the sounds in a smaller soundstage, and once you focus you hear them all. They do sound amazing with quite a lot of what I've listened to, Jazz, soundtracks from movies, trance music (oh boy, much more detailed and intimate bass than he-500s) probably down to the narrow'ish soundstage. They sometimes reveal a slight spike in the high end in music that hasn't been well mastered, and I feel an urge to skip to the next song, the he-500s may be more forgiving in this area but fortunately its only with a small selection of tracks. I have been using the velour pads as I find they convey sound in a similar way that the he-500's did with velours. I felt the leather pads have a little too much sharpess in the high end which I didn't like much.

    Vocals on the pm1's are amazing, they really do stand out, clean and precise, regardless of male or female, they sound so real! And I thought my he-500s had a great midrange.. These pm1's beat them for vocal clarity.

    Comfort is 10/10, just placing them on my head I feel enveloped in warmth.. they slightly put pressure on my specs which cause above my ears to be a little sore after a while, but they are thick rimmed, my other glasses which I don't wear that much, which have flat rims are much more comfortable with the pm1s - I forget I'm wearing them at times. I need to replace the lenses on those other specs with flat rims.

    If I could improve them, I would add a touch more sub bass volume and a slightly higher up the scale treble rolloff. But imo these are small tradeoffs for a can I can wear for hours and not feel the need to have a break.

    Maybe worth a mention, I kind of purchased these cans blindly, I saw them being advertised on Gumtree for a decent price, did a google search to see they were given 5/5 stars across the board, didn't read through every page of this thread to influence my decision.

    Overall, after a period of "brain burn in" they are definitely keepers.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
    nick n likes this.
  13. zilch0md
    ^ I'm happy for you - glad to see you'll be keeping them.

    In my opinion, your assessment reveals you to be an experienced listener - that you can appreciate the subtlety of the PM-1. It has a great deal of finesse.
  14. fluidz
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018 at 10:29 AM
  15. zilch0md
    ^ Which DAC and amp are you using with the PM-1; is it only the Mojo, driving the PM-1 directly?

    I agree with George's comparisons. I have the PM-1 and the HD 800, and spent about 13 months in a love/hate relationship with the HD 800, until I finally gave it the signal it wanted, with an NOS DAC - the Metrum Acoustics Octave MkII (stay away from ESS Sabre DACs, especially) and a zero-feedback amp - the Metrum Acoustics Aurix (stay away from any multi-stage amp, like the Oppo HA-1, that use negative feedback to correct the distortion created by such designs).

    I have to mention, however, that the Oppo Sonica DAC, equipped with the latest and greatest from ESS, the ES9038Pro, is incredibly smooth in the high frequencies, while also delivering the most detail of any DAC I've owned (which, admittedly, does not include any DAC costing more than about $1000 street). My current, favorite desktop combo for the ultra-finicky HD 800 is the Sonica DAC + Metrum Acoustics Aurix. Oppo's implementation of the ES9038Pro is a big departure from that sibilant, brittle, edgy treble heard with the HD 800 when fed by other ESS DACs (even with a zero-feedback amp).

    With that HD 800 backdrop as a reference to how bad a "bright" headphone can be, I've often written that the PM-1 has none of that finicky, demanding nature of the HD 800 - that it can be plugged into anything and sound great. Apparently, it doesn't like the Mojo, at least, not in combination with the excellent treble sensitivity of your ears and a few tracks in your library. :-/

    I tried playing those tracks you referenced with my near-field monitor setup - the brightest rig of any kind in my possession - and didn't hear anything annoying. But hey, I'm getting on in my years, so I do have some fall-off that negates my ability to judge such things. Keep in mind however, that it took me 13 months to find a good rig for the HD 800, because of its treble issues.

    In conclusion, I would suggest you try putting an amp of some kind between the Mojo and the PM-1. More power would elevate the energy of the bass and mid regions, relative to the treble - especially with a planar magnetic. It would also "decompress" the audio - making it more dynamic/punchy - allowing you to reduce the overall playback SPL, I suspect. (Looking at your signature again, I'm scratching my head wondering how you can drive the HE500 sufficiently without an amp.)

    fluidz and Dobrescu George like this.
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