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Hi. I've tested PM-3 and PM-2. Can I please be put on the list for PM-1, too? Thanks!
This is a fantastic and generous program! I'd love to audition the PM-3's, if possible. I agree to the terms and conditions of the program. Thank you.
Mateo there's different post for the PM-3. Search the forum for it.
Would like to get on the list for the PM-1s please... (especially want to try it with my HPA-1) Commerce Twp, MI.
Its been two weeks of back and forth between these two...
Ignore this message, I will demo the PM-3 first. I will come back afterward
Sorry I didn't post earlier, but I received the PM-1 on June 3 and will ship them June 10 to the next on the list.
I've been listing critically to the PM-1, the Shure 1540's, the DT-770-250's with Alpha pads, and the Sony MDRV6. My son loaned me his EL-8 closed-back, but the right channel died on those
I will say I found the EL-8's rather thin in comparison, but my son really likes them. To each his own.
My impression of the Pm-1 is very positive. The travel case if very small and extremely mobile. The PM-1's are driven very nicely from my iPhone 6+. The PM-1 are extremely comfortable, both with the lambskin pads and velour pads. I found the short cord about 6 inches too short though, and it really needs iPhone controls. I have no idea why you would need a cord that short unless using it with a phone, amp, or DAP. I guess the assumption is you are using a DAP or portable amp. At any rate, a short cord with iPhone controls would be very welcome.
For more critical listing I used a Mac -> USB -> Peachtree DAC-IT -> Schiit Magni -> FiiO HS2 switch -> headphones.
As for the sound, I would sum up my impression as "smooth". Is that good? Well, that is up to you. The bass is tight, controlled, but little rumble. The highs are detailed, but a little soft to me; no edge, but probably less fatiguing that way. Imaging was very good, but I felt the DT770/AlphaPads had better imaging and bass rumble. To me, the PM-1 sound more like the 1540's, but a little more forward.
Oddly enough, to me the Sony MDRV6 was the most life like, but the flat treble can put many off, and the V6s have relatively poor imaging.
I also compared the PM-1 to the LCD-3. I think the Headroom comparison graph for FR sums it up pretty well. The two sound similar, but I found the bass (especially the upper base) on the LCD-3's to resolve better and extend a little lower. As for the treble, I preferred the openness of the LCD-3's, but they are both very good. As you can see from the chart, the FR's are just a little different.
Overall, the PM-1s are very good, portable, and extremely comfortable.
I really want to thank Oppo for the opportunity to borrow these headphones. It's SO nice of them, and really makes for a great community here.
I've been listening to the PM-1's for a week now, and am reluctantly waiting for the address of the next person for testing. I have listened to them in three different ways:
1. Mostly I have listened to them through the 3.5mm connector. My main source has been CD quality music stored on my Samsung laptop as iTunes lossless files. I then route the music through a Meridian Explorer DAC/headphone amp to the PM-1's.
2. I did a bit of listening with the PM-1's plugged straight into my Samsung.
3. I also did a bit of listening to CD's played through my Oppo BDP 103, into my TV room Mission M-time A/V system and out its 1/4" headphone jack. The M-time uses Cyrus amplifiers.
I didn't get a chance to listen to any vinyl through the PM-1's as my living room Cyrus amp doesn't have a headphone outlet. Nor did I listen to any compressed files.
Firstly, I want to express my appreciation to Oppo for making this wonderful headphone available for testing. I am in the process of researching a number of headphones for ultimate purchase and this is the only way I would have been able to compare the PM-1's to others that I have been listening to. I have done those tests in audio stores using the same configuration as #1 above. I have listened to the Shure 1840, the B&O Beoplay H6, and the Sennheiser 650's using the same setup, and the Audeze LCD-2's and 3's and Sennheiser 800's using another store's gear which included using balanced cables and unknown amplifier, so they are not a fair comparison based on identical sources and similar cabling. I am also in the PM-3 loaner program so I am looking forward to being able to compare both the sound of the two Oppo's and the closed back versus open back.
I am by no means an audiophile but for many years I was a semi-professional musician who did a fair bit of home recording and editing, so I am familiar with sound quality and know what type of sound I like. I listen to my music mostly played through Rogers JR149 speakers and a PSB subwoofer, powered by a Cyrus III amp. The JR's are mid 70's studio monitor style speakers so they have a very clean, what I would call revealing sound. My sources are either CD's played on an Oppo BDP 83, or lossless computer files through setup #1 above, using Audioquest cabling from the Meridian to my Cyrus amp. I also listen to music through my M-time which feeds a 5.1 surround system using Mission speakers. The Rogers/PSB/Cyrus combination is a better, more neutral combination.
I listen to a wide range of music: folk, world, reggae, jazz, blues, rock, classical, alternative, country. I listened to all these styles in my testing.
The PM-1's are very good headphones. I love the comfort of them. I spent a couple of 5 hour sessions with them on my head, and several shorter length sessions, and never did they feel uncomfortable. I initially tried them with all three types of ear pads and eventually settled on the alternative leather pads as being my favourite. I found them to be the cleanest and most revealing. The two original sets of ear pads with the felt pads slightly covering the speakers, to my taste, boosted the bass and muffled the sound slightly in somewhat different ways. The alternative pads seem more neutral, particularly in the bass. I certainly don't mean to judge people who say the PM-1's aren't for bass heads, but I think they offer up plenty of nice clean bass that meets the purpose of bass in most music; i.e. to ground it and to give a sense of harmonic presence. And the amount of bass is often dependent on the mix of the source material anyways. Listening to well-mixed reggae or world music on the PM-1's I was very happy with not only the depth and presence of the bass, but with how clean and tight it is. The same is true when listening to acoustic bass in jazz or country/folk, like Charlie Haydn, or the acoustic bass in the Will the Circle be Unbroken CD's with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and guests. It may just be my personal taste in music, but to me the PM-1's sound better with this type of more acoustic, less processed music. Not that they don't sound great with music like Dark Side of the Moon, but they really shine when there is space in the music. Listening to Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, Paul Simon, The Eagles, i.e. well mixed music, these headphones really shine.
The one exception to that may be classical orchestral music, and by that I am referring to the broad genre, not just the Classical period of Beethoven and his peers. I found the PM-1's a bit less focused when I was listening to Mozart, Bach, Debussey, Ravel etc. My own theory is that orchestral recordings are mic'd differently and with fewer microphones, so the sound of recordings, again to my ears, is less true to the grand concert hall sound than acoustic jazz would be to a smaller venue. Just a theory. But I felt equally engaged by listening to Eric Satie solo piano works as I did listening to Chick Corea or Keith Jarrett solo piano works.
You can certainly hear the difference in the quality of the source material. Whether it is coming straight out of a computer or through a better quality DAC like the Meridian, different gain levels on the source material are evident. It makes me want to listen to some of my long time favourite music in the new high resolution formats, or to be able to hear high quality vinyl through these headphones. I wouldn't say the PM-1's were hard on these lesser mixes, but they are very revealing which means they can reveal both the good and the bad.
Comparing the PM-1's to the open backed Sennheiser 650's and the Shure 1850's the PM-1's were far more to my liking. I found the Shure's a bit harsh in the top end and less together in the bottom end. The 650's are not as refined in sound either. The midrange of the PM-1's is beautiful to my ears. Vocals like Norah Jones, Alison Krauss, Bing Crosby and Dee Carstensen are pure and sit just right in the mix - again this is always driven by the mix itself, but when it is mixed well these headphones capture what is supposed to be heard in a very musical and satisfying way.
I would say the PM-1's lean more towards the warm and comfortable than the analytical at all cost sound that the Sennheiser 850's lean a bit towards. I find the PM-1's 'sound' easier to listen to, particularly over long periods, and given that my source material is a broad array of varying quality CD mixes. There are lots of recordings that just don't translate to hifi headphone listening very well. They sound better on an old car radio.
It's hard for me to compare the PM-1's to the two Audeze headphones I listened to in the sound store. Different source material, different cables, different amplification, but my gut feeling is that the Oppo's are more comfortable and better value, likely not better headphones. And if it is true that the PM-2 with the alternative ear pads are the sound equivalents of the PM-2, I would say the value proposition is even more pronounced.
I really enjoyed the testing opportunity and look forward to getting the PM-3's. As you can see from my use of other Oppo products I am a big fan and I suspect I will be adding either a set of PM-2's or 3's to my listening gear at the end of that testing.
Just shipped the PM-1s off to the next on the list. I truly enjoyed them and will be placing an order shortly. I listened to cd rips to flac as well as a few HD tracks, mostly from my MacBook Pro/Dragonfly v1.2. I currently have on hand Grado RS-2, AKG K701, Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, and Shure SRH-1540's. If I took the best of these others and put them all in one phone, it would almost be as good as the PM-1s. The alternate ear pads made an enormous improvement to the top end. Thank you, Oppo for the loaner program and for creating such a great sounding headphone.
I am interested in loaning the PM-2s. Is the loaner program still going on? I agree to your terms.
Hello Jiffy Squid,
I am interested in the program. Can I demo the PM-2s?
Received the PM-1 loaner unit today.
Will be testing these against my current favorite dynamic - NAD Viso HP50.
Got a little listening time tonight - I got to say, build-wise, this thing looks and feels expensive.
It's by far the heaviest headphone I've used as well (Fostex T50RP was close to this in weight).
I'll try to post impressions later next week.
PM1 #1 will be shipped June 13.