Oppo PM-3 : The Portable Planar - Impressions
Jul 15, 2015 at 3:10 PM Post #2,012 of 6,193

manbear

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Is anyone here able to compare the PM-3 with W4r IEM's, in terms of sound signature? I generally use the W4r's if I'm traveling, for the isolation, but I usually don't like to mess around with them if hanging out at home. My main setup is Bottlehead Crack > HD-600 which I love, and I listen to all types of music. At the moment I have a pair of P7's that I really like, but I'm thinking about ordering a pair of PM-3's to compare. I'd be powering then with a DX-90 or MBP/Dragonfly.

Any thoughts would be appreciated... There is some really great info in this thread that I'm grateful for.


I can briefly compare the PM-3 to the P7 if that helps. The PM-3 is much more forward in the mids, more aggressive, intimate soundstage. The P7 has more rumble and thicker bass, the PM-3 has cleaner, tighter bass with about the same extension. The PM-3s treble is a bit more forward and less airy.

Overall, two very different presentations. The PM-3 is in your face with a small soundstage and clean, forward sound.
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 3:22 PM Post #2,013 of 6,193

johnnypaddock

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I can briefly compare the PM-3 to the P7 if that helps. The PM-3 is much more forward in the mids, more aggressive, intimate soundstage. The P7 has more rumble and thicker bass, the PM-3 has cleaner, tighter bass with about the same extension. The PM-3s treble is a bit more forward and less airy.

Overall, two very different presentations. The PM-3 is in your face with a small soundstage and clean, forward sound.

 
 
Thanks for posting your impressions, that's helpful.  Just curious, do you have a preference between the two?
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 3:58 PM Post #2,014 of 6,193

manbear

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Thanks for posting your impressions, that's helpful.  Just curious, do you have a preference between the two?


Hmm, thats a tough one. The PM-3 has a unique presentation thats a nice change from the P7, but I wouldnt want it to be my only headphone. Mostly because I found it a touch fatiguing. On some tracks or when Im in a certain mood, the PM-3 can sound shouty and claustrophic. Of course, YMMV. Those same characteristics also make it sound clean, forward, aggressive. The small soundstage is responsible for most of that.

Otherwise, it has a nice sense of texture in the mids and bass that you can only get from planars. The mids have a lot of body. It has a raw, energetic quality that the P7 lacks (whereas i'd call the P7 more relaxed and refined).

It also depends on your use. I listen to closed headphones at work, and the PM-3 is too intense for an extended duration background listening headphone imo. I did enjoy listening to it on the train though.
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 6:32 PM Post #2,016 of 6,193

Mr.Tom

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I can briefly compare the PM-3 to the P7 if that helps. The PM-3 is much more forward in the mids, more aggressive, intimate soundstage. The P7 has more rumble and thicker bass, the PM-3 has cleaner, tighter bass with about the same extension. The PM-3s treble is a bit more forward and less airy.

Overall, two very different presentations. The PM-3 is in your face with a small soundstage and clean, forward sound.


The PM-3, are anything but forward. There smooth as silk, and thats coming from a 10 year HD650 listener.
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 6:44 PM Post #2,017 of 6,193

Madmollusk

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Hmm, thats a tough one. The PM-3 has a unique presentation thats a nice change from the P7, but I wouldnt want it to be my only headphone. Mostly because I found it a touch fatiguing. On some tracks or when Im in a certain mood, the PM-3 can sound shouty and claustrophic. Of course, YMMV. Those same characteristics also make it sound clean, forward, aggressive. The small soundstage is responsible for most of that.

Otherwise, it has a nice sense of texture in the mids and bass that you can only get from planars. The mids have a lot of body. It has a raw, energetic quality that the P7 lacks (whereas i'd call the P7 more relaxed and refined).

It also depends on your use. I listen to closed headphones at work, and the PM-3 is too intense for an extended duration background listening headphone imo. I did enjoy listening to it on the train though.

Does the PM-3 sound "shouty and claustrophobic" only with certain types of music perchance? 
 
I’m moving from the Focal Spirit Pro to the PM-3, and as I said in an earlier post, the FSP sounds “hopelessly claustrophobic” to me—and by that, I mean: they sound terribly stuffy and two-dimensional at all times, irrespective of music genre or quality of recording. For reference, I also own the P7, which to my ears produces a modest but well-rounded soundstage. If a given recording is well mastered, however, the P7’s soundstage seems to improve correspondingly.  In this regard, would you say that the PM-3 is more like the P7, which improves its game with well mastered music? Or is it more like the FSP? A dimensionless dweeb even with the most scintillating recordings. 
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 7:03 PM Post #2,018 of 6,193

manbear

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Yeah, i think the PM-3s soundstage clearly improves with better recordings. I wouldnt say the shoutiness is limited to poor recordings though. More like a particular frequency range, especially in complex passages. They have a good amount of xepth, but i still thought they could get congested with too much going on at once.

I dont consider forward and smooth to be opposites. Distant, or maybe relaxed, is the opposite of forward IMO.
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 7:04 PM Post #2,019 of 6,193

pataburd

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The PM-3, are anything but forward. There smooth as silk, and thats coming from a 10 year HD650 listener.

I don't find them forward, either.
Pretty well balanced across the board.
Neither of the PM-3's stock cables do these fine cans justice, IMHO. 
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 7:10 PM Post #2,020 of 6,193

Madmollusk

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Yeah, i think the PM-3s soundstage clearly improves with better recordings. I wouldnt say the shoutiness is limited to poor recordings though. More like a particular frequency range, especially in complex passages. They have a good amount of xepth, but i still thought they could get congested with too much going on at once.

I dont consider forward and smooth to be opposites. Distant, or maybe relaxed, is the opposite of forward IMO.

Thanks, manbear! That's very helpful. 
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 7:19 PM Post #2,021 of 6,193

manbear

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Everyone hears things differently, so dont let me influence you too much. I think the PM-3 sound is also tough to categorize. Its best to hear them yourself. Oppo's tour program might still be going on too.
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 8:08 PM Post #2,022 of 6,193

musicman59

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I don't find them forward, either.
Pretty well balanced across the board.
Neither of the PM-3's stock cables do these fine cans justice, IMHO. 

Totally agree. The Silver Dragon balanced cable with the AK240 really make them sound very nice with improvements across all frequencies and expanding the soundstage.

I tried them with the AK250 feeding ALO's new hybrid portable amplifier and it was a match made in heaven. When Ken from ALO listened to them his eyes got big and he said " I got to order a pair of these"
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 8:20 PM Post #2,023 of 6,193

mrip541

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Tonight  I brought the PM-3 home. My office setup is foobar--Musical Fidelity v90 dac--Schiit Lyr 2. My home setup is foobar--Schiit Wyrd--Schiit Modi 2 Uber--Schiit Asgard 2. My comments on the previous page were with my office system. The bass on my home system is notably stronger and the sound is overall more full through the mids, and imo better. It sounds more like I hoped it would. With the home system the pm-3 sounds much more like the response curve shows. It sounds so different that I'm worried there might be something wrong with my office setup or there is some technical reason the Lyr doesn't play well with the PM-3. Maybe the PM-3 is particularly gear dependent in some way? Maybe the Modi is destroying the v90? Now I'm just confused.
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 10:01 PM Post #2,024 of 6,193

Mr.Tom

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  Tonight  I brought the PM-3 home. My office setup is foobar--Musical Fidelity v90 dac--Schiit Lyr 2. My home setup is foobar--Schiit Wyrd--Schiit Modi 2 Uber--Schiit Asgard 2. My comments on the previous page were with my office system. The bass on my home system is notably stronger and the sound is overall more full through the mids, and imo better. It sounds more like I hoped it would. With the home system the pm-3 sounds much more like the response curve shows. It sounds so different that I'm worried there might be something wrong with my office setup or there is some technical reason the Lyr doesn't play well with the PM-3. Maybe the PM-3 is particularly gear dependent in some way? Maybe the Modi is destroying the v90? Now I'm just confused.


My Valhalla sounds very thin and lifeless with the PM-3's. The PM-3's sound fantastic thru my Fiio DAP's. They also sound good thru the Fulla. Must be an impedance issue with the Valhalla.
 
Jul 15, 2015 at 10:40 PM Post #2,025 of 6,193

heliosphann

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My Valhalla sounds very thin and lifeless with the PM-3's. The PM-3's sound fantastic thru my Fiio DAP's. They also sound good thru the Fulla. Must be an impedance issue with the Valhalla.

I know over in the Bottlehead Crack thread a lot of people say the Planars don't pair well with it. Maybe it's the same with other OTL amps like the Valhalla???
 

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