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Oppo PM-3 : The Portable Planar - Impressions

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  1. FastAndClean
    they are not for everyone, to my ears they are dark and mid forward sounding with low in level upper treble, also the soundstage is small because of the smaller pads, they need EQ to shine for me, but i love them, i have a soft spot in my heart for mid forward cans
  2. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Not to mention the PM3 has been out for quite sometime now, people thirst for a new sound signature once they get used to what they have. I loved the PM3 when I owned it, not perfect, but very good nonetheless. I am also hoping that Oppo have a new headphone in the hopper.
  3. phthora
    The only thing keeping me from fully recommending the PM3 is the price. Planars fall fallen in price quite a bit lately, and Oppo hasn't kept up with the trend. For the $400 they want for the PM3, I would recommend paying a bit more for the HE560 or a bit less for the 400i. The T50RP or M1060 are also better values. I do love my PM3's and I like owning several 'phones, but for people looking for that one headphone, I would recommend other cans first.
  4. good sound
    Of course of that group the PM-3 is the only one that is a fully closed back circumaural Planar headphone suitable for portable use and is most likely still one of the top one or two closed headphones in their price range regardless of driver type. So, if fully closed portable use is your primary intended situation then the PM-3 is still arguably the best recommendation in it's price range.
    Letm, trellus and djmakemynight like this.
  5. Shane D
    I fell in love with the PM3'S this summer while testing a few times. I also liked the Grado SR325E's. I bought the Grado's first as they were cheaper. The best price I could find in Canada was $617.00 with shipping and taxes. I held off and held off. Finally bought the Meze 99 Classics, fir $399.00, plus tax.
    I then recently bought a used pair of PM3'S. Not sure I made the right choice as I Really like the 99's and the Grado's have grown on me.

    If you weren't amping, I would recommend the Meze 99 Classics.

    Shane D
  6. djmakemynight
    Precisely! I bought them because they sound good, look sleek and are so easy to travel with. I don't think anything came close to it when I bought them 2 years back.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  7. good sound
    I was at TAVES yesterday and had a chance to listen to both the Meze 99 classics and the Mr. Speaker Aeon Flow at the Headfoneshop booth. Didn't have my PM-3's with me. I liked the Meze's. Very different than the Oppo's. Less warm, definitely brighter more extended up top, but also more open, better soundstage and definitely more, but not necessarily deeper bass. The Aeon's though are in a whole other league, and rightly so considering the asking price. I wanted to just sit there and listen all day. Now I just have to decide if I can afford them and if I can ignore how ridiculous I will look to others when wearing them out and about.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  8. phthora
    I would put the Audeze SINEs ahead of the PM3 for pure sound quality, myself. I got the SINEs for $225 and they are frequently at $300, making them a better value as well.

    I suppose if a person has very specific needs that only the PM3 meets, then of course those would be the phones to buy. I tried to indicate this in my OP, but I have a hard time recommending the PM3 on pure sound quality for the price. Considering only closed, or only portable, it becomes easier.
  9. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Yes, the 560 and 1060 are not at all the same category of headphone, but I get the posters point. If portability and being closed weren't important factors the HE560 is worth spending extra on. The M1060, not so much in my opinion. I had it here for a few weeks and the sound was decent, but kind of unrefined up top and to me sounded unnatural. Now for the price the M1060 is certainly a solid value, but for pure sound quality, going by memory here as I sold my PM3s when I went Bluetooth for portables, the PM3 is the better sounding headphone. I still think given the solid construction, nice styling, true portability, drivability and overall very good sound quality makes the PM3 still a player. Now at $400, perhaps it loses some of the great value proposition, but if it was say $349 it would owe you nothing.

    I'm trying to think of a true portable, well made, well designed, very good sounding headphone, let alone planar that is enough less money to be significant? Anyway, unless I'm total misremembering the PM3, and I used it daily for almost a year, it still is a great headphone. I have an Audeze Sine here, not Cipher cable, and I don't think it sounds better than the PM3, different, perhaps a little more dynamic, but not sure how much better if at all. There is the soft/recessed upper mids with the Sine that does make it seem polite. I would also say the PM3 is the easy winner in comfort as compared with the Sine, and used prices aren't the best way to gauge things to be fair, the new retail is in my mind the more fair comparison.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    Beagle likes this.
  10. phthora
    Just to be clear, the prices I mentioned are for new units at retail. The SINEs do not retail for $300, but that is a frequent enough sale price for them that I believe one could reasonably expect to get them for that price. I bought mine new for $225, but I have yet to see that price happen again, so that would have been an unfair comparison of value.

    I can agree with that. As you mentioned, the build quality is phenomenal. At just about any price, even.
  11. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Fair enough, but even sale prices are hit and miss, but as you say they happen and are worth considering. I don't follow either per say, but does the PM3 ever go on sale? I wonder if the smaller (or I think it is smaller) number of resellers for Oppo make sales less likely. I am speculating there, but that is my impression that Oppo has less distribution, but I could be totally wrong.
    Shane D likes this.
  12. Shane D
    Certainly that limited dealer network is a factor. There is only one Oppo dealer east of Quebec. For online sales, solutions AV is the ONLY Canadian dealer.
    I got good offers from dealers on the Sines, but the Oppo dealers gave me a price and said pay it or not. It ticked me off to the point I decided to buy used.

    Shane D
    djmakemynight likes this.
  13. phthora
    August 2016 they went on sale for 10% off. It was a flash sale through Newegg that ended very quickly. Other than that, as far as I know, the PM3 hasn't been on sale. Of course, I cannot watch every sale or track every headphone, but I am very active on the deals discussion thread (which a fantastic resource) and I have never seen a sale for it posted. Nor have I been able to find a sale with sporadic checking for the past year. It is always possible that I just didn't see them when they were on sale at other times, but I think all that at least establishes that one cannot rely on a sale and should expect to pay full MSRP.

    The smaller number of resellers may be the issue, though they do have an Amazon presence and are sold through a number of places that do have sales (Ritz Camera or Audio Adviser for example). Also, the HA-2 is frequently discounted, perhaps due to the newer model, so I don't know if the distribution network is to blame. Not saying you're wrong, I honestly don't know what to make of the inflexibility in their price. When I bought my pair a year and a half ago for $400, I felt it was a good return for the money. If I had to make the decision again today with today's prices and today's options, I would probably buy something else.
  14. BatteryPowered
    Oppo sells refurbished/like new PM-3 on their site routinely for $299. That's how I got them (look brand new to me) and a lot of other people too.
    Right now they don't have any refurbished units in stock, but you can always call them and ask, sometimes they will sell them over the phone.
    phthora likes this.
  15. starfly
    Can anyone tell me what the measurement is of the length of the inside of the earcup (so the space where you ear fits, top to bottom)? I have large (tall) ears, and have had to rule out many headphones as most of the time the earcup is too small for me for it to be comfortable on extended listening sessions.

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