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Oppo PM-3 : The Portable Planar - Impressions

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  1. PopZeus
    You just need a proper balanced cable that terminates in 3.5mm on one end for the PM-3 and is compatible with whichever version of a balanced input your source has. For DAPs, it’s usually a 2.5mm jack. Oppo does make a balanced cable for the PM-3 but it’s overpriced imho. I ordered one on eBay for almost half the cost of the OEM one but it hasn’t arrived yet. The other cable I got from this seller is pretty great, so...
  2. ryno1507
    Thanks for the reply. I think I understand what you’re saying, so when I am looking for a DAP, I want one with a seperate output for balanced audio and will usually be a 2.5mm jack?

    Also, because I will be going from my DAP>HA-2SE>PM-3, will I need two seperate balanced cables?

  3. Thebb
    If you get a good DAP you can probably just go straight from DAP balanced out to the PM-3s.
  4. PopZeus
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news (esp given what today is) but afaik, the HA-2se doesn’t have a balanced out option.

    If that is something you really want to experience firsthand, you will need a device that outputs a balanced signal. I won’t shill any particular device or brand unless you’re asking for a recommendation specifically. Haha.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
  5. ryno1507
    Ahh I see, thanks for that. I'll be using it mostly when I'm connected to my phone and using Tidal so no big deal, just wasn't sure.

    I am open to your suggestions if you'd be so inclined to offer some for a DAP with balanced output? I was looking at maybe the Opus #1?

  6. Thebb
    I haven't heard it, but the opus 1 is supposed to be a very good DAP. However I am not sure it would be the best choice for you since you mentioned you use Tidal. The opus does not have wifi connectivity, so no access to streaming services. Maybe the AK70 might be a better match, or something similar with wifi.
  7. ryno1507
    Thanks for the reply. I have FLAC music files on my PC that I can put onto a DAP and that can be another portable option for me as I’ll be mostly using TIDAL through my Note 8 with the HA-2SE at work. I’m looking for something that doesn't need to be wireless at all and can drive the PM-3’s with the balanced output option, and it be good enough to not need an additional amp necessarily.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  8. PopZeus
    I have not heard the Opus #1 or AK70 yet so I can’t recommend them myself. Both tend to get great reviews. They’re probably worth it if what is written about them aligns with your tastes.

    Fwiw, I just got the Cayin N5ii and I’m completely in love with it. The sound is quite neutral with a tiny hint of warmth. Very analog and smooth sounding. It’s android OS so it runs apps for that platform, and the balanced out implementation is excellent. Soundstage, separation, and imaging are all markedly more revealing in balanced mode. And now that the latest firmware update apparently (personally haven’t installed it yet) fixes some bugs, improves overall performance and gives users more control over their device, it’s starting to feel like a really refined experience as well.

    The Oppo gets plenty of power in medium gain mode. The bass response in particular with this combo is not lacking at all. But my PM-3 balanced cable has not yet arrived so I’ve been listening to the N5ii in that mode with my LZ A4s and I gotta say, this feels end-game DAP to me.
  9. davidcotton
    Nice summary. Was just wondering where you got the balanced cable for the pm3 from?
  10. PopZeus

    A little background: I like the portable balanced cable I got for my E-MU Teak from this seller. And the UPOCC wire for the PM-3 cable sounds like it should be of higher quality than that one. 2m in length is a touch excessive for a DAP cable but it’s cheaper than the OEM Oppo balanced cable by almost 50%, so, yeah, a really solid value as far as audiophile cables go.
  11. Ynot1
    Interesting marketing, shorter the cable more expensive. Shorter means more convenience and thereby greater demand. Not to mention ideally lower signal influence by the cable. I guess people pay market price for what is available. But between balance output and balance input I don't think you need special cables as long as the connector size is the same. This balance thingy is headache inducing.

    I forgot to add Fiio Q1 mkii works with iphones using MFi included adapters.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  12. ryno1507
    Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. I will consider what you have suggested as a feasible option. I find the HA-2SE paired with the phone and PM-3s quite a good combo but would prefer to maximise my battery life on my phone by having a separate device.
  13. ryno1507
    So you would say that an amp is not necessary for this DAP to drive the PM-3's? You're using it in medium gain mode, meaning that it has another level being high gain? Just covering all bases before I bite the bullet
  14. PopZeus
    That's correct. You do not need a separate amp to run the PM-3 directly from the N5ii. Can even run them balanced on low gain. High gain is totally overkill for the Oppos and is only useful with power hungry cans (not sure there's enough to power the HD650 though).
  15. Cloudtastrophe
    I am so sad. My PM3s decided to stop working on one side ): its not the cable either anyone have this issue?
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