Price (RRP): $549
Oppo makes a good smartphone and Blu-ray player, so what else can the company do well in? Let’s see how headphones go, as Oppo gives us a good play with a pair of planar magnet-based cans, the PM-3.
Features and performance
Much like phones, headphones aren’t created equal, and if you’re after a pair that can provide detailed and accurate song recreation, you always have to contend with other elements such as design, style, and comfort.
Fortunately, some pairs have all of this down in the one hit, and while they might not draw the attention of celebrities, they are simple and comfortable enough to the average Joe all the same.
Oppo’s PM-3 could well be the blend of this, offering an Oppo take on what a pair of headphones should perform like from a company that has spent a good portion of its time engineering some pretty impressive Blu-ray players, not to mention taking the time to break into phones with devices of genuine value.
In the PM-3, Oppo’s offering is a little bit more premium than even its smartphones, however, as the company embraces a different style of headphones against the vast majority of headphone makers out there, opting to use planar magnetic drivers instead of standard dynamic drivers.
A technology typically seen in massive headphones — such as Audeze’s LCD2 headphones — this technology requires more space with larger magnets, which for many can be seen as producing a larger sound altogether.
We’ve seen this one in the aforementioned LCD2 headphones, a pair of $1300 cans that were far too large to be taken out into public and could hardly be driven by ordinary equipment, but in the PM-3, Oppo has found a way to shrink this technology into something small, all while closing the back and blocking much of the noise from both entering and exiting this pair of headphones.
Design on the PM-3 is quite simple, with a body made up of metal framing, plush padding, and 55mm neodymium push-pull planar magnetic drivers, though from the outside, these cans will just resemble fairly basic and black and silver headphones with a brushed steel paint finish.
The cup hinges are a little more useful than we’re used to seeing on headphones, and while there’s pivot flexibility for ear placement, you’ll also find the Oppo PM-3 cups can be swivelled to sit flat on either side.
That being said, even with this swivel action, they won’t fold up for portability. Just something to keep in mind when you’re stuffing them in your backpack.
Pick them up and you won’t find the PM-3 to be the lightest cans you’ve ever seen, with the metal band encased in foam and pleather holding relatively mid-sized ear cups just big enough to be circumaural and fit around your ear.