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Oppo PM-3 : The Portable Planar - Impressions

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  1. Jimmy Gazelle
    Hey PDC3,
    I just read that you had the opportunity to listen to the Sine DX and the Oppo pm.3.
    I recently got the pm 3 to try out for some time. i must say I am a little disapointed. it sounds very flat and a bit boring to me. since i like rock and a warmersoundsignature, i guess its just a bad match-up. however, i ve been interested in the sine dx for a while now. as i live in the germany i couldn´t listen to them yet as there are not on sale yet can you say something about how the dx compares to the pm3 regarding to sound (i guess comfort seems to be a obvious one..lol)?
    how is the soundstage on the dx? due to its open-back but still on-ear design, is it any good? comparable to over ear open backs with smaller kinda soundstage?
    thank you!
  2. PDC3
    Hey Jimmy G. You didn’t mention how you were driving the PM3. I often use the Oppo HA-2 from the iPhone or my Asgard2. But right from The iPad hp jack I can see what you mean although you react far more than I do. My evil nemesis is tubby bass, which the PM3 always avoids.
    I sent back the Sine DX due to construction issues that Audeze tried to amend but could not after a try. Their attitude was great but the fix eluded them. So now I’m working off memory, beware.
    I’d predict you would find the Sine DX more exciting. The treble coupled with more accuracy in the bass than I’ve heard from on ear hp before should make you smile. As for soundstage, it seems people mean two things. A sense of open space, and an ability to locate instruments precisely. I like that open space feeling, and the Sine DX had more of that than the intimate PM3, yet less than Grado. But I’m not too careful on instrument location so I won’t speak to that, certainly not from memory.
    Now, I THOUGHT that Audeze was ceasing production of the DX model due to their difficulties but I’d check with them if you’re interested. They are very helpful and friendly. Happy listening!
    Jimmy Gazelle likes this.
  3. Jimmy Gazelle
    Hey PDC3, thnks for the reply, much appreciated!

    I was driving the pm3 from my i-phone, my Samsung notebook and an Onkyo amplifier from the 90s haha...so yeah, i know the pm3 can do much, much better....still, with its sensitivity and impedance it can be driven quite well from a smartphone and such...and the sound is just very underwhelming to me....had the b&w p5 as a direct comparison for out of the phone use, and i must say....while totally diferent soundsignature....way more fun/musical than the pm3....
    i cannot use most over-ear cans since I am very sensitive to pressure build up within the ear, so the pm3 was kinda a chance for me since it sits/feels a little like an on-ear to me...theres no real earcup chamber so to say. may ears sit right on the driver, just as with an on-ear. but i guess i will return it and wait for the sine dx.
    yeah, i heard they had mechanical issues with the first production batch. over here i hear different things depending to who ever i talk to. the audeze distribution in germany tells me they have a confirmed order and will get some end of the year. talking to someone from the @Audeze sales team in california, he told me he talked to people at production and they told him they are sceptical as to the dx coming back again.....then the audeze customer service tells me they will deliver soon....so i guess/hope they will be available here :)
    thnk you for the sine dx impressions as well. with soundstage i also had in mind what you were refering to at first....that sense of open space...
    how do you ike the oppo ha-2 with the pm3? does it make the headphone a little warmer/more engaging? i heard this sabre chip that is in the Ha-2 is kinda bright too...

    srry for the long read,
    thnk you and greetings from Germany

    EDIT: i don´t know if i get the meaning of tubby bass correctly, but i am assuming you wouldn´t like the bass from the b&w p5 (deries 2)..?
    it sounds very loose and kinda thick
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  4. PDC3
    Jimmy G,
    You are right, I’m not a fan of the B&W 5, for exactly your description of bass. Kinda cool that we understand something of each other’s preferences all this distance apart.
    I very much like the HA2 with the PM3 but find it hard to describe why because the sound signature does not seem to change, yet every frequency seems to come through with greater authority. I’m level matching by ear when I say this so maybe I’m fooling myself BUT when testing I deliberately made the HA2 volume seem lower than the iPad hp out, and STILL I felt the HA2 had more authority.
    As to whether that fixes your issues with the PM3, I can’t be sure. I sense the difference with any of my (less costly) Schiit amps as well. So my thought would be to jack in your PM3 to any quality amp you can find, compare to your phone, and see if you like the PM3 more. If not, the PM3 is not for you, don’t throw amp money chasing a sound you just won’t get from the PM3 (without EQ). Having said all that, the HA2 DOES have a bass boost switch that can be great fun on some material and may address your craving. Certainly the PM3 responds smoothly to any reasonable EQ curve I’ve experimented with. Cheers!
    Jimmy Gazelle likes this.
  5. Jimmy Gazelle
    Hey PDC3, thnks for the reply and the impressions on the Oppo PM-3 amped.
    Yeah, cool how we immediately got what the other one was refering to :)
    I know what you mean, I dont want to throw money after an amp to get a headphone signature closer to my preferences. Its just that I am so limited with my ear problem and the Oppo pm-3 was working out in that regard.
    However, I have decided to send the headphone back. Just not my cup of tea. I will wait on the Sine DX.
    One other question: Have you been able to listen to the iSine 20 so far?
    If so, how do they stack up against the Sine DX? Which one would have the bigger soundstage (though being two differemt systems)?
    Thnks and greetings from Germany
  6. FastAndClean
    Pm3 has high quality drivers, the ear pads are limiting their performance
  7. Jimmy Gazelle
    I guess that worked out to my advantage then given my cripple ear haha
  8. Slim1970
    @Jimmy Gazelle the answer to your question is yes they scale very well with better equipment. I just picked up a pair of the Oppo PM-3's with a moon audio blue dragon. I hooked them up to my Mojo and they are anything but flat and lifeless. The bass is taunt, the mids are glorious, and they have just enough treble presence to add clarity to the sound. I was hesitant about picking up a pair of PM-3's because of all talk about rolled off highs and them sounding flat. But I must say that I'm coming around to enjoying a neutral sound signature. To me it means that the sound isn't tilted one way or another but will let the source depict how they will sound. The better the source, the better the sound. What a great headphone.

    Oppo PM-3, Mojo, Blue Dragon.jpg
  9. Jimmy Gazelle
    awesome, thanks alot for the reply! Much appreciated.
    And sick picture. looks very nice!!!
  10. noplsestar
    I just received those pads and put them on. They sound great!
    I wouldn´t say that they improve the comfort, maybe if you have very big ears, because the pads are bigger. But the memory pads are IMO not as good as the originals (which are a tad softer). But it´s nothing I would complain about (you know, they are really damn cheap and I guess they just need time to "burn in" on my ears to get as soft as the originals). Also their smell a bit plasticky, but as said, they are cheap and they are out of the box, and it´s no real leather, but I think there are the same pads also in sheep skin if someone would want that option.

    The soundstage definitely got a bigger. That´s cool. Also there´s quite a bit more sub bass (which I LIKE!!). In addition I found that I put the volume a bit louder than usual, then I heard again why I did that and noticed that maybe there´s a litte bit less of upper mids? (without loosing the clear sound, which is very important to me). The sound seems to be a tad softer to my ears, which is fine with me. Treble is there as always (or maybe I should say: treble is "not" there, as always) :wink:

    Anyways, thanks again for that link, because my alternative would have been to purchase the original pads for about € 70.-

    Edit: After further listening: these pads are really great. Soundstage is superb (at least compared to the original pads), sound is overall more balanced and seems to be more refined.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
    FastAndClean likes this.
  11. FastAndClean
    The subbass with those pads is yummy, I turn the volume up as well, I have no idea why they need more volume, they are a tad softer with more rounded and smooth notes, very enjoyable sound
    noplsestar likes this.
  12. noplsestar
    What DAPs are you guys using with the PM3s? Is there one DAP that pairs „best“ and has great synergy when driven balanced? And what aftermarket balanced cables are you using?

    After extended listening with my new pads I have to say I‘m constantly impressed. They seem to be more airy, I guess that’s why the soundstage improved a lot. Somewhere the mids got a tiny bit leaner, but the bass so incredible, the cymbals and percussions sound more „alive“ and the sound is definitely cleaner overall.
  13. Duke650
    Questyle QP1R, stock cable
    noplsestar likes this.
  14. PopZeus
    I’ve been super into Cayin DAPs as of late. The N3 is a fun little device whose warm sound pairs nicely with the Oppo. My balanced cable for my PM-3s have not yet arrived, but I’m gonna assume that will help take things to the next level with the N5ii. That new DAP with balanced outs pushes my IEMs into another zone of awesome.
    noplsestar likes this.
  15. ryno1507
    Hey guys, I've just purchased the Oppo PM-3 and HA-2SE and I'm a little confused by the balanced output part of it all. I'm heading to Japan next week and will be purchasing a DAP over there, so could anyone provide some information for me so that I know what to buy?

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