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Oppo PM-3 review

Richard Easton
8 Aug 2015
Oppo PM-3 teaser
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
349
inc VAT

The Oppo PM-3 sound fantastic although they're not the most comfortable headphones

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The planar magnetic drivers inside the PM-3 headphones are the same ones Oppo uses in its eye-wateringly expensive PM-1s, and certainly not the type of drivers we would expect in a pair of cans costing £350. This is typically the realm of dynamic or balanced armature drivers, making the PM-3 rather unique in its price range.

While the PM-1s were very much designed for at-home Hi-Fi listening, the PM-3s will happily accompany you out on the road. That’s not only due to the fact they are considerably smaller than their more expensive compatriot, but also because they use a closed-back design. Open-back headphones often provide a wider soundstage, but they also leak a considerable amount of noise, as you essentially have a set of speakers cupped over your ears. This means they’re not well-placed for listening within a few metres of anyone else, unless you want to be that guy.

The closed-back PM-1s seals you away from the outside world delightfully. The circumaural earpads envelope and completely surround you ears, creating a welcome degree of isolation. Sound is slightly claustrophobic as a result but no more so than any other pair of closed-back headphones. The PM-3 is able to produce delicately crisp mids and trebles with plenty of detail.

Oppo PM-3 Black Side View with Cable

Where planar magnetic drivers can really shine is in the restrained production of bass. The lower frequencies are incredibly tight and controlled. There’s warmth when there needs to be, but it never becomes over-bearing or the focus of tracks that value a lighter touch. Listening to jazz tracks from Weather Report, there’s supreme separation of all of the individual instrumentation and yet instruments such as the upright bass pluck their way through without any distortion or roll off.

Our only real complaint abound the PM-3s is the synthetic leather earpads. Wear these on a warm day and your ears will get extremely warm - at times uncomfortably so. The headband was also a little tight, so extensive listening sessions will result in fatigue and a sensation of slightly bruised ears. The earcups rotate on an axis that does aid with comfort, and the headband is height adjustable with distinct ridges to set the size. Aside from a few slight flaws, the PM-3s are a good-looking pair of headphones that look far classier than the fashion cans that dominate the market.

Admittedly the PM-3s look a lot nicer than they feel, as they don’t necessarily feel as premium as you might expect for the cost. Oppo has seemingly prioritised the planar magnetic drivers over the build quality. You do get both a 3m and 1.2m headphone cables included, however, and the latter come in both iOS and Android varieties. A 3.5mm to 6.3mm adaptor is also included for use with a home Hi-Fi system.

Overall these are fantastic sounding headphones. They are expensive, however, and the build leaves a little to be desired. Still, if you enjoy a flat, controlled sound signature, you’ll be impressed. If you’re looking for a wireless pair instead, the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless are also a good alternative.

Hardware
Headphones subtypeOn-ear headset
Headphones driverClosed
Active noise-cancellingNo
Power sourceNone
Headphones sensitivity102dB
Frequency response10-50,000Hz
Headphones impedence26 ohms
Plug type3.5mm headset jack plug
Inline volumeYes
Weight320g
Cable length1.2m, 3m
AccessoriesCarry case
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Supplierwww.audioaffair.co.uk
Detailswww.oppodigital.co.uk/
Part codeOppo PM-3

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