Oppo PM-3 Headphone Review

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Ed Selley, Jun 1, 2015.


    1. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
      AVF Reviewer

      Joined:
      Jun 26, 2003
      Messages:
      11,201
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      2
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,675
      • Like Like x 2
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
      • List
    2. McCol

      McCol
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Oct 22, 2004
      Messages:
      2,150
      Products Owned:
      5
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      87
      Location:
      North Devon
      Ratings:
      +286
      Nice review.

      Tempted to buy these for home use along with my HA-2, problem is that previous headphones I've owned just can't compete with my AKG K3003. I fear that these may fall into that bracket.
      Previous phones I've tried are the Senn Momentum, Sony MDR-1, Nad Viso(think that was the name) and Bang and Olufsen H6(still own these).
      Would the Oppo's be a step above these?
       
    3. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
      AVF Reviewer

      Joined:
      Jun 26, 2003
      Messages:
      11,201
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      2
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,675
      Yes, the PM-3 is a step forward although not a complete game changer.
       
    4. sergiup

      sergiup
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Apr 29, 2008
      Messages:
      7,410
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      SE London
      Ratings:
      +3,687
      Oh thanks Ed, now I have something else I want to buy... this site is bad for me my wallet.
       
    5. Cameron583

      Cameron583
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 3, 2014
      Messages:
      1,126
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Ratings:
      +157
      Depends what you're looking for sonically. The AKGs are, however, a LOT more expensive, so I wouldn't expect them (PM3's) to compete.
       
    6. Steven

      Steven
      Senior Moderator

      Joined:
      Feb 1, 2005
      Messages:
      37,259
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +6,464
      Imo you should investigate maximising source/amp (according to your usage pattern) or go customs. Or temper the expectations and accept there is only so much sq in portable can category vs a totl universal iem
       
    7. McCol

      McCol
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Oct 22, 2004
      Messages:
      2,150
      Products Owned:
      5
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      87
      Location:
      North Devon
      Ratings:
      +286
      To be honest I'm totally happy with the K3003's and not looking to replace them, I think it would be difficult to match them even with customs unless spending crazy money on the JH Audio Roxanne/Layla line. Was just looking for a closed back set that are a step up from the one's I've tried.
      Source wise, also happy, using note 4 with HA-2 and finding it better than my Sony ZX-1 was and on a par if not better than the DX90.
       
    8. gonesailing

      gonesailing
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Aug 14, 2009
      Messages:
      579
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      31
      Location:
      Sussex
      Ratings:
      +63
      I have the HA-2 and PM-3 combo and am very happy. I did find the sound improves after some running in with the PM-3s and the HA-2 works very well with my laptop.

      I don't have much to compare these to, but the sound is excellent and i'm very happy with my purchases.
       
    9. HariSeldon

      HariSeldon
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Apr 24, 2006
      Messages:
      1,304
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Bucks
      Ratings:
      +227
      I think a lot depends on whether the planar 'sound' appeals to you. I have HA-2/PM3 and think it's excellent for the money. I actually think the review is a little harsh given the pricing, as the PM3 is a significant improvement on my [email protected] P7's across the board, and that is exactly the level it's pitched at.
       
    10. invisiblekid

      invisiblekid
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      May 10, 2009
      Messages:
      4,411
      Products Owned:
      4
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,321
      I have the P7's.

      I heard that er basic SQ Vs Price they are equally good and some in fact may prefer the P7 sound signature.

      But you reckon on PM3's being that good with the HA-2?

      I have the Fiio Mont Blanc headphone amp and the Sony ZX-1 as I find the ZX-1 needs the power boost. So can i ask if you think I'd still need the HA-2?
       
    11. HariSeldon

      HariSeldon
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Apr 24, 2006
      Messages:
      1,304
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Bucks
      Ratings:
      +227
      Well as ever SQ is subjective! I've been using P5/P7 for a couple of years and am a fan of the B&W house sound, as they are easy to listen to and work well with mobile devices, being fairly forgiving on poorer material with their somewhat dark sound signature. However, If you listen to the P7 back to back with the PM3's - the P7's do sound quite muddy and closed in at the top-end. The PM3s are much more ie800 like in their resolving power of fine detail. I've worn them a lot out walking the dog in recent weeks and they really do bring out little spatial details in tracks that just get lost with the P7s.

      Re HA-2 - I would say it's even more of a home run than the PM3's! I'm not familiar with the mont blanc but I did run a Fiio E7 and it's a major step up from that. 90% of my Hugo for 20% of the cost. It adds a real drive and effortlessness to the sound, and the bass boost is actually very usable when you want to improve recordings that are thin sounding.
       
    12. Steven

      Steven
      Senior Moderator

      Joined:
      Feb 1, 2005
      Messages:
      37,259
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +6,464
      Price tag and Sq is not a linear curve but '90%' of your hugo sound is impressive
       
    13. invisiblekid

      invisiblekid
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      May 10, 2009
      Messages:
      4,411
      Products Owned:
      4
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,321
      Yeah sorry mate not the best phrased question.

      should have been. "in your opinion, what makes the PM-3's better"

      Sound like a big version of the IE800's huh. That should be an interesting comparison I can do at home.

      Seeing as the Mont Blanc is an amp only I fully expect the HA-2 to knock it's socks off. Just wondering how if the DAC does a better job than the Sony ZX-1. But since the majority of my music collection isn't HiRes, it'll certainly be better than my iPod and the Mont Blanc.


      Hmmmmm, well come August which is our works bonus and a load of overtime, it's either the PM-3's and HA-2 or Kamado style BBQ.

      Thanks for your thoughts @HariSeldon
       
    14. HariSeldon

      HariSeldon
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Apr 24, 2006
      Messages:
      1,304
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      66
      Location:
      Bucks
      Ratings:
      +227
      @invisiblekid BBQ everytime ;) - My better half is a Saffa so we only get Braai here ;)
       
    15. invisiblekid

      invisiblekid
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      May 10, 2009
      Messages:
      4,411
      Products Owned:
      4
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,321
      Heh heh. Google to the rescue. I guessed the Saffa, needed help on the Braai

      Yes I think it might fall the to mighty grill. Maybe Santa might give me a new set of headphones and portable DAC system. How could he have known?!!!!
       
    16. Mr X

      Mr X
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Aug 8, 2006
      Messages:
      6,507
      Products Owned:
      3
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +2,140
      Interesting and thanks for your thoughts.

      I've relied on and been a fan of the B&W sound for some time now I have also owned an Oppo BD105 for a few years now and love it. Anyway went out on Friday and purchased an HA-2 for my iPhone 6+ and B&W P7 combo. To say I was impressed with the HA-2 would be an understatement. SO it got me thinking and googling reviews particularly when compared to the P7's all weekend.

      Did have a quick demo of the PM-3 (and the PM-1!) when I was in the show room but really would have liked to do a back to back with my P7's. Now extremely tempted to part with my P7's in favour of a PM-3/HA-2 combo set up.

      I think this time tomorrow I could be back in the showroom!
       
    17. ChezLopez

      ChezLopez
      Standard Member

      Joined:
      Sep 30, 2013
      Messages:
      28
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      6
      Ratings:
      +7
      I had the P7 and whilst the bass response was terrific, the headphone itself lacked something for me, but I can't put my finger on what? I guess it's the dark sound signature that I've heard people mention

      It depends what you are after, if it's more bass presence and a more 'fun' sound then I'd say keep with the P7, if you are after a headphone that to me sound perfectly balanced and shines with good quality tracks played through it, then you won't get much better than the PM-3, not without spending serious money anyway

      I changed to the Oppo PM-3 / HA-2 combo and I couldn't be happier!
       
    18. Mr X

      Mr X
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Aug 8, 2006
      Messages:
      6,507
      Products Owned:
      3
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +2,140
      Thanks for the additional info. Well bit the bullet and have returned home with a new set of PM-3s

      I'm not a massive bass head but I'm keeping the P7s to do some back to back testing once I've run in the Oppos. Once that's done expect to see either the P7 or the PM-3 in the classifieds! :)
       
    19. invisiblekid

      invisiblekid
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      May 10, 2009
      Messages:
      4,411
      Products Owned:
      4
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +3,321
      Be really interested in your thoughts of the HA-2 and PM-3

      I do love the P-7's but would love to hear this combo.

      I'll be sure to stay clear of the classifieds in case the PM-3's go up!
       
    20. ChezLopez

      ChezLopez
      Standard Member

      Joined:
      Sep 30, 2013
      Messages:
      28
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      6
      Ratings:
      +7
      it's also worth mentioning how gorgeous these look :)
       

      Attached Files:

      • 1.jpg
        1.jpg
        Size:
        172 KB
        Views:
        88
    21. Mr X

      Mr X
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Aug 8, 2006
      Messages:
      6,507
      Products Owned:
      3
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +2,140
      I do really like my P7's too and would hate to see them go.
      Had a quick listen last night, first impressions when just listening to the PM-3s on their own for around 2-3 hours.... loved the new clarity and detail. I don't claim to be an audiophile but my ears loved the detail in tracks that I know inside out.

      SO at that stage I was sold. Then I went back to the P7's... a warmer, with a bit more bass. A very familiar sound and one I have got very used to but that could be half the problem. The benefit of having that HA-2 along side does allow me to add bass quickly when I need it.

      Anyway, doing extensive testing tonight but I do have a feeling that the Oppo's will win based on the extra clean details that I am hearing.

      No denying that, especially as a combo with the HA-2. Though the P7's hardly fell from the ugly tree either :)
       
    22. Steven

      Steven
      Senior Moderator

      Joined:
      Feb 1, 2005
      Messages:
      37,259
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +6,464
      I think a decent Dac/amp or amp cleans and tightens the P7, but as ever it is about the underlying signature. I recall when demoing the PM3 they felt almost too nice to use outdoors :p
       
    23. Mr X

      Mr X
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Aug 8, 2006
      Messages:
      6,507
      Products Owned:
      3
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +2,140
      You are spot on! There is something about a decent dac with the P7's that has really bought them to life.

      So I did a decent amount of back to back listening and once again it was the detail and clarity of the Oppo's that edged it for me. The bass boost switch on the HA-2 was hardly needed in fact just one familiar track I preferred it switched on , otherwise the PM-3 coped magnificently with a diverse range of genre.

      So reluctantly looks like I will sell the P7's and hopefully repurchase the P7 wireless if B&W follow the P5 route which would give me the ideal mix of over ears :)
       
    24. Mr X

      Mr X
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Aug 8, 2006
      Messages:
      6,507
      Products Owned:
      3
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +2,140
      What Hi-fi October issue has a portable dac shoot out feature which features the HA-2 coming out on top.
       
    25. resseh

      resseh
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2008
      Messages:
      227
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      28
      Ratings:
      +55
      what does a DAC add to the experience?

      i had the NAD 3020 (i think) - paired with Sennheiser 700s.... and tbh, i couldnt tell that much of a difference despite using hi res music. It was good - but not £1000 good....

      So im still on the hunt for the perfect headphones and im liking of the PM3, just wondering if it would be worth trying a DAC again.
       
    26. Steven

      Steven
      Senior Moderator

      Joined:
      Feb 1, 2005
      Messages:
      37,259
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +6,464
      Despite it not being your intention the topic is multi-layered
      • Not just about the dac but the headphone amplifier section
      • PM3 is a portable headphone and HD700 home headphone
      • Recording quality and mastering more important than resolution
      • Probably less wrong with a vintage stereo amplifier and more the HD700 would not be my choice to build a headphone system around
       
    27. resseh

      resseh
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Jan 5, 2008
      Messages:
      227
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      28
      Ratings:
      +55
      I sold my HD700s as i spent more time wondering if they were worth the money whilst listening instead of enjoying the music.

      But the HA2 and PM3 are on their way from Peter Tyson today so i'll leave my thoughts on them shortly. :)
       
    28. Mr X

      Mr X
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Aug 8, 2006
      Messages:
      6,507
      Products Owned:
      3
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +2,140
      Now available in Blue and Red. Pics are in this months T3 magazine but not on Oppo website yet.
       

    Share This Page

    Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice