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Oppo PM-3 : The Portable Planar - Impressions

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  1. megabigeye
    I am kind of interested in hearing the Cascade, even though I don't need them and I don't want to spend so much on a "portable" headphone. And it goes against my policy of not listening to things that I don't want or need that might also make me want to spend money.

    Huh. That's an interesting and probably better way of thinking about it. One problem, of course, is that people don't understand value, see the word "best," and jump on the hype train. Another problem is how value is measured.

    That's another good point. Where I used to work I'd see people walking around wearing the HD 650 and HD 800 S. The lady wearing the 800 S was wearing them by a busy bus depot at rush hour; so while I thought, "Cool. Nice headphones," I also thought, "What the hell are you listening to? 'Cause I know it's not the music."

    Similarly, I don't find the PM-3 to be all that portable. I generally never want to take them with me unless 1) I've got a bag I can put the case in (that I can put the headphones in after I've taken out the cable and collapsed the headphones), and 2) it's not sunny (so I can wear my sunglasses) or 3) raining or 4) too cold to not wear a hat or 5) so hot that my ears get sweaty. Which is approximately three days a year around here. I much prefer IEMs for on-the-go because none of the above are a problem.
    To me, the value of the headphone goes waaaaay down when I take into account their ability to be used for their intended purpose, chiefly portability.
    noplsestar likes this.
  2. Slim1970
    I think the PM3's are great sounding headphones. I actually sold my Denon AH-MM400's because I thought the tone of the PM3's was more natural. I gave my ATH-M50x's to my daughter and I returned the Audeze Sines because PM3's did everything better to my ears.

    I have the Moon Audio blue dragon cable for my PM3's. It tightens everything up and adds some bass weight to the sound. I haven't heard a portable headphone yet with a better midrange than the PM3's. The PM3's also scale very well with better equipment. My Hugo 2 gets the best out of them. Everything sounds like it should. But I still like them with my DACPortable because I can add some sub bass and treble to the PM3's and they respond well to it. Now that Oppo has shut it doors eventually they'll have some value to them as well.
    Colors likes this.
  3. q4x2
    And one more important note about what do we listen to: I'm personally found that most of my collection of records are not so high quality, especially music produced 20-30 years ago and when composers/musicians use cheap instruments, I can see difference. What I mean - PM3 is an overkill for most music products and for my collection it even should be better to use some less precise than PM3 simply to avoid frustration. But when record is really good PM3 starts to shine.
    All of course is studio quality records on CD or flac produced from CD or bought online.
  4. zensanjay
    Hi, personally I feel there is a good difference after switching to brainwavz sheepskin leather angled earpads. You might want to give it a shot. It is possible to detach the earpads without damaging the stock earpads. Press a thin credit card between the earpad and the plastic frame and press on the notch gently and it will open. One could always switch back to stock earpad if not satisfied.
    BlueWindNoise likes this.
  5. megabigeye
    It's good hearing about your impressions doing the pads swap. I might give it a try sometime.
  6. megabigeye
    ... Sooo... to add to my confusion and mixed up feelings, last night I was listening to Aphex Twin and Nobukazu Takemura on the PM-3 via my DFR and everything sounded pretty much exactly the opposite of how I described it earlier. Sparkly treble, extended bass. I thought I had been on one of my down swings with the headphone? I guess not. Maybe it was that the DragonFly's volume on my Mac is either too high or too low, and so I settled for too high? Maybe I'd never listened closely with the DFR before? (I think I have. I'm pretty certain I have.) Maybe it's that I'm not experiencing expectation bias, but expectation reverse psychology bias*? Like when I go to a movie that everybody says is the best movie they've ever seen and I invariably end up completely disappointed. Maybe it was the Red Hook I made myself? Or the Lamplighter Apollo Sunshine I followed it with?

    *Yeah, I made up this term. Maybe there's another term to describe the phenomenon, but I don't care. I experience things in this way so frequently that it should probably just be called "megabigeye." In fact, I'm not opposed to believing this is largely responsible for the reason I feel the way I do about the PM-3, but then why doesn't it similarly affect my feelings about my other headphones?
    noplsestar likes this.
  7. georgesdimitrov
    Hello! (First post here)

    My earpads were also worn beyond worn, and I came here looking for replacement solutions. Following the the recommendations here I replaced them with the Brainwavz, and as the previous poster didn't take pictures, I documented the process if others want to have an idea of how it looks like. It was fairly easy to change, about an hour of work. The sound signature so far is very similar in terms of frequence, I don't really see much difference, except maybe a tighter bass because of the better isolation, but as my pad were really destroyed, I can't judge relative to new PM3 stock pads. The angled pads make a big difference in terms of terms soundstage however - much larger and airy, it will take me some time to get used to, I feel like the sound is now coming from "outside" my head, like speakers, instead of "inside". Kind of if I turned on a speakers simulation plugin like waves NX, but permanently. It's super comfortable as it doesn't press the ear however, and I think in the long run it will be better for my mixes once I get used to the stereo field.

    So, photos.

    My defunct pads:


    Unglued the old pad from the plastic ring that clips to the headphone, then inserted the plastic ring in the new pad:


    Cut out the excess leather inside. It's important to not leave too much outside as then the pad is flabby. Initially I didn't glue it tight enough and had to restart a bit. Here's the plastic ring inside:


    And then all glued (I used Gorilla super glue):


    One pad replaced (it also shows how the unclipped one looks. To detach, insert something BETWEEN the little clips, not directly ON them, I broke one, but luckily it's still super tight with 5/6):


    And the final product:



  8. wilsonlaidlaw
    Very neat job. All now clear and I will do mine with Brainwavz as and when they deteriorate. Thanks for the photos.

  9. SteveOliver
    @georgesdimitrov Great first post! That's basically exactly what I did with mine. Now what to do with the headband covering. :)
  10. zensanjay
    Hi , the oppo pm3 headband dimensions seem to be approximately 3.4 cm wide , 23.8 cm long. One of the readers suggested beyerdynamic head cushion band . Anyone know the dimensions of the part ?
  11. Guppy_
    has anyone here changed from the pm3 to the AFC, if so, is it a noticeable upgrade? What sources did you use? etc?
  12. good sound
    What is the AFC?
  13. Guppy_
    Oh sorry, Mr. Speakers Aeon Flow Closed.
  14. good sound
    Ok, thought so, just wanted to be sure.

    I brought my PM's with me to T.A.V.E.S. last October where I was able to do a brief comparison between it and the Aeon closed. It was through a hi end desktop system not a portable set up. While the PM-3 held its own there was really no contest. The Flow were superior in virtually every aspect. Soundstaging, separation, bass both extension and resolution with the Flow demonstrating an elevated level of refinement and naturalness to its sound the PM-3 just could not match, but of course we cannot stress enough that the Flow retail for double what the PM-3 does.

    However having said all this I could not see myself strolling through the neighbourhood, or anywhere else for that matter, with Flow clamped to my head. Just simply too unweilding for true portable use particularly with the ginormous cable the AFC comes with.

    This is why I am very interested in hearing the Campfire Audio Cascade.
  15. Guppy_
    Wow that bad in terms of portability? I do use my PM3 for dogwalks!

    Also for retail value, on the crazy ebay prices, they are matched currently, but yeah MSRP its a different story.
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