OPPO PM-3 Portable Planar Magnetic Headphones Loaner Program
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JRoyen

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PM3 Unit #7 is on its way to  MWSvette. Thanks to OPPO for allowing my participation in this program. I will be writing my very first review after 14 years on this forum. :) I personally believe the PM-3 are the best closed-backed portables on the market today and will miss them. I can think of very few things wrong with them.
 
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CyberSyringe

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Considering that I've been simply lurking for some time now, I think I might want to actually do something useful and possibly write a review, although I'm not a particularly good writer. Nevertheless, I'd like to participate in this program and agree to the terms and conditions.
 
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JRoyen

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I just posted my review, hope it helps to provide anecdotal information for those considering these headphones.
 
The PM3 get 4.5 out of 5 stars for me on their own. But easily 5 out of 5 when placed in the sealed portable category, an absolute pleasure. And I am very tough to please. lol
 
http://www.head-fi.org/products/oppo-pm-3/reviews/13598
 
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bimmer100

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If this loaner program is still open, I would love to participate and agree to the terms. I am located in Woodinville, WA.
My fiance is bringing her pm3's to the show this weekend. They are well worth it imho. But I understand if you want to join this deal. Needing to spend some quality time with these pm3's :)
 
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bimmer100

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Guys we're talking about a pair of 3.5mm TRS connectors. They're either in the socket or they're not. Obviously the threaded end goes into the amp and the other end goes into the headphones. I'm convinced now that there is something wrong with these. There's no way they're supposed to sound THIS bad. They really do sound aweful. When my time with them is up I've been told to ship them back to Jiffy Squid so that he can check them out. I have a feeling the last guy who had them or maybe the guy before that might have overamplified them and caused damage. I have only used them at reasonable volumes but I feel something is off. If they are supposed to compete with my 400is, or in some people's opinion, even 560s... something is wrong. These sound a little worse than SR80s to me, and that's a $120 headphone.


No disrespect mr sparkles. I am not calling you an idiot either. I own the pm3's and yes.. Most of the time 3.5 trs is in and that's that. They are a little finicky on the headphone side since the plug is trrs and plug is trs. So it goes in, but not all the way sometimes. They are wired to be balanced. So anyhow. I've made the mistake. I'm not an idiot. I wanted to be sure you didn't make that mistake. If you checked and seated it. So be it. But you MUST have a bad pair of headphones. I seriously can't imagine anyone rating them as poorly as you have. My jaw dropped when I read your review. Many prefer these pm3's over high end head phones. I've heard one guy who sold his pm2's and decided the pm3's were just about the same but in some ways better. I said I prefer them over my he-560.. But don't take that out of context. As I meant that with only certain and very specific uses. Gaming on a PC, yes. Precise critical private listening sessions. Yes. My he-560's sound better with 90% of situations. But they are not even in the same class. The pm3 is pretty close though. I got them as a gift for my fiancé. She has better hearing than I do. She was very impressed with the pm3's!
I really hate to think that someone blew them from over driving them.
To be quite honest... I'm surprised anyone needs to drive them anyways! They sound fantastic on an iPhone 6! We use an NFB-28 and master 11 yet never turn it up very high at all. They are incredibly efficient. I had Kingwa make some special attenuation adapters to add -12db to the pm3 so that my fiancé and I can listen to our own headphones at approximately the same volume! He-560 and PM3(-12db). She used the SE on the nfb-28 and I use the 4pin. That's only when we share the same amp. Otherwise she is using 4pin balanced. In balanced they are so efficient! I could blow them up with a quick flick of the wrist. Pop! Fizzle crackle. Or whatever noise they make. I'm always careful with Jriver and have volume protection set to on. I never expected a planar to ever be like this. Just my two cents.
I am a bit thrown off when you say they were good for movies. As if they actually were working? Or if they were just acceptable.
Anyhow, I think if you had another go with the PM3, you might change your mind. It really seems like you had a blown pair. I would be shocked if that happened yet nobody said anything :/
That would suck.
 
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Barra

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If this loaner program is still open, I would love to participate and agree to the terms. I am located in Woodinville, WA.
My fiance is bringing her pm3's to the show this weekend. They are well worth it imho. But I understand if you want to join this deal. Needing to spend some quality time with these pm3's :)
I will definitely take you up on your offer this weekend, but wanted t do the loaner program to be able to listen in a controlled quiet environment too over an extended period. Plus I wanted my wife to hear them too who will not be there - home with the kids.
 
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mistersprinkles

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No disrespect mr sparkles. I am not calling you an idiot either. I own the pm3's and yes.. Most of the time 3.5 trs is in and that's that. They are a little finicky on the headphone side since the plug is trrs and plug is trs. So it goes in, but not all the way sometimes. They are wired to be balanced. So anyhow. I've made the mistake. I'm not an idiot. I wanted to be sure you didn't make that mistake. If you checked and seated it. So be it. But you MUST have a bad pair of headphones. I seriously can't imagine anyone rating them as poorly as you have. My jaw dropped when I read your review. Many prefer these pm3's over high end head phones. I've heard one guy who sold his pm2's and decided the pm3's were just about the same but in some ways better. I said I prefer them over my he-560.. But don't take that out of context. As I meant that with only certain and very specific uses. Gaming on a PC, yes. Precise critical private listening sessions. Yes. My he-560's sound better with 90% of situations. But they are not even in the same class. The pm3 is pretty close though. I got them as a gift for my fiancé. She has better hearing than I do. She was very impressed with the pm3's!
I really hate to think that someone blew them from over driving them.
To be quite honest... I'm surprised anyone needs to drive them anyways! They sound fantastic on an iPhone 6! We use an NFB-28 and master 11 yet never turn it up very high at all. They are incredibly efficient. I had Kingwa make some special attenuation adapters to add -12db to the pm3 so that my fiancé and I can listen to our own headphones at approximately the same volume! He-560 and PM3(-12db). She used the SE on the nfb-28 and I use the 4pin. That's only when we share the same amp. Otherwise she is using 4pin balanced. In balanced they are so efficient! I could blow them up with a quick flick of the wrist. Pop! Fizzle crackle. Or whatever noise they make. I'm always careful with Jriver and have volume protection set to on. I never expected a planar to ever be like this. Just my two cents.
I am a bit thrown off when you say they were good for movies. As if they actually were working? Or if they were just acceptable.
Anyhow, I think if you had another go with the PM3, you might change your mind. It really seems like you had a blown pair. I would be shocked if that happened yet nobody said anything :/
That would suck.
They sound good DYNAMICALLY for movies, but honestly, they sound an awful lot like a cheap speaker with a blown tweeter to me, leading me to think that they are indeed blown. Honestly, whoever blew them probably noticed that they blew them and didn't say anything. I am shipping these back to Jiffy Squid at the end of the week. Until then I will continue to use them for my late night movie enjoyment, as I live in a building and I can't get that "home theater" experience at night unless I use cans. I stand by my comment that (this particular pair of) PM3's sounds worse than my He400i by a wide margin, and that even my Grado SR80, while they do not have the dynamics of the Oppos, best them in fidelity and resolution by a mile. Again, I think these are blown. I thought so from the offset but I didn't want to seem like an idiot so I just posted my thoughts and it was only after someone else said to me via PM that it sounded like they were blown did I start to take my initial suspicions seriously. It would be nice to try another pair but that would be an issue for a couple of reasons such as
 
1) I am going to Europe for a month less than two weeks from today 
2) It's not really fair for one person to have 2 weeks with the Oppos while others get just 1-- even if that first week was a write off due to a blown set. 
 
I really wish that whoever blew these would come forward but I'm sure that won't happen because nobody would want to be held responsible for paying for a nearly $500 piece of equipment that they only used for six or seven days. Sticky situation, this is.
 
In  the end all I can say is that I have enjoyed them for movies due to their entertaining dynamics and very entertaining bass performance, but their fidelity and resolution has let me down the way showing up to a blind date and finding out your date is ugly AND crazy would. 
 
I mean seriously though, these MUST be blown... I have much greater fidelity and resolution out of my highly mediocre (though good for the asking price) KEF Q300s, which, for those who don't know, are an entry level speaker in Kef's "bread and butter" (aka "for poor folks") range of speakers. 
 
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CyberSyringe

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  They sound good DYNAMICALLY for movies, but honestly, they sound an awful lot like a cheap speaker with a blown tweeter to me, leading me to think that they are indeed blown. Honestly, whoever blew them probably noticed that they blew them and didn't say anything. I am shipping these back to Jiffy Squid at the end of the week. Until then I will continue to use them for my late night movie enjoyment, as I live in a building and I can't get that "home theater" experience at night unless I use cans. I stand by my comment that (this particular pair of) PM3's sounds worse than my He400i by a wide margin, and that even my Grado SR80, while they do not have the dynamics of the Oppos, best them in fidelity and resolution by a mile. Again, I think these are blown. I thought so from the offset but I didn't want to seem like an idiot so I just posted my thoughts and it was only after someone else said to me via PM that it sounded like they were blown did I start to take my initial suspicions seriously. It would be nice to try another pair but that would be an issue for a couple of reasons such as
 
1) I am going to Europe for a month less than two weeks from today 
2) It's not really fair for one person to have 2 weeks with the Oppos while others get just 1-- even if that first week was a write off due to a blown set. 
 
I really wish that whoever blew these would come forward but I'm sure that won't happen because nobody would want to be held responsible for paying for a nearly $500 piece of equipment that they only used for six or seven days. Sticky situation, this is.
 
In  the end all I can say is that I have enjoyed them for movies due to their entertaining dynamics and very entertaining bass performance, but their fidelity and resolution has let me down the way showing up to a blind date and finding out your date is ugly AND crazy would. 
 
I mean seriously though, these MUST be blown... I have much greater fidelity and resolution out of my highly mediocre (though good for the asking price) KEF Q300s, which, for those who don't know, are an entry level speaker in Kef's "bread and butter" (aka "for poor folks") range of speakers. 
If they're blown, let's hope I can receive a pair that are in good condition. Would love to compare and contrast with my HE-400i's as well. 
 
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post-11780896
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In all honesty, the headphones can't be "blown" if they still sound good when watching movies. It is a single circular planar magnetic driver, so unless you are playing back contents which are drastically different in terms of the overall range of frequencies and amplitude in the soundtrack, poor performance with music would translate to poor performance with movies.
 
Regardless, we are directly recalling the headphones that mistersprinkles was using so that we can listen to and measure those particular headphones.
 
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sdornan

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I am interested in participating in the program. I agree to the terms and conditions.
 
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Peter West

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I really really like the PM-3s when I had them months ago. I'm still thinking of adding them to my collection as I really like planar magnetics now owning T-50RPs (unmodded) and LCX-3 being driven by an Aune B1 Class-A amp. Hope you get this blown thing sorted out as the PM-3s are terrific.
 
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MWSVette

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Received PM-3 unit #7 today.  Comparing to PM-1's and PM-2's...
 
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mikesale

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Blueshound24

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I would like to participate in the program and I agree to the terms and conditions.
Thank you.
 
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Ok, what do I do here please.  I have unit 8 and am boxed and ready to send. I have to head out for a couple of days to take my son on a college trip so I will send these a couple of days early as long as I can get to the post office tomorrow. I just need to know where to send them.
 
Impressions:
I used them with TV (Marantz 1603 AVR) a lot as I was in the movie mode this week.  For music I ran them in the Music Hall 25.3 DAC I'm selling.  That amp/dac changed my mind on the phones. Originally I liked my new PSB phones along with my Sennheiser 590s.  They are a bit easier to drive. However, when using the MH DAC, that changed the game.  They had nice transitions from upper bass to mids to upper mids to treble.  They were NOT fatiguing, which I LOVE.  I'm highly sensitive to that and dislike most high end speakers that folks rave about because of this.  The sound staging was nice for a phone in this price range.  I don't use phones like most of you do, but when I do, I need a full range one.  I run high end Vandersteens, Ayre AX5/20 integrated and totally tricked out Empirical OSDE/SE DAC with a very high end one of a kind server with all very well recorded hi rez gear (the server and DAC were used by the designer for his shows, so the music is awesome and of all genres).  I need lower octaves for bass.  I wouldn't purchase these phones, but would easily recommend them.  Very comfortable and a nice assortment for cords/hookups.  I ran them on my iPhone 6 using a bighead DAC/amp using all lossless or WAV files and they sounded great.  I could easily walk around with these.  I did keep missing the lower octaves though and would like a little larger presentation.  Overall, they are well balanced and I liked them MUCH better than all the Audeze cans I have tried as they gave me headaches.....the EL-8 especially.  I found no emotion in their LCD's.  As you can see, I am just different than many audiophiles in what I like.  I look forward to using the upper two Oppo's to compare them.  I just sold my Stax Lamda's, so I have used phones for my whole life, lol.  
 
I do thank Jeff for setting up this program.  Much easier to see what I have interest in once I sell my PSB's, which I will do as soon as I get a chance to list them as I want a higher end phone.  thanks.
 
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