What’s new? Well, two things, really. One is a headphone, the PM-1. This $1,099 pair of planar-magnetic headphones is light weight, comfortable, stylish, and quite frankly sounds incredible. Contributor Frank Iacone has had a pair for a few weeks now and has been raving about them. Recent briefs on CNet and Forbes have been glowing. My take? Sounds like they’re all on to something.
The other thing is a little more intricate, and builds on Oppo’s history with digital playback. The $1,199 HA-1 (shipping in early May) is an comprehensive headphone listening station — using the attached BDP-105 as server/spinner, the HA-1 plays it all back as DAC + amp. It also has dedicated balanced and single-ended outs for headphones as well as sets of analog inputs and outputs for connecting your … what … phono preamp, I guess? Seriously, everything is in there.
Shown here at AXPONA with AIX Records, using their extremely high-quality music as demos, I’m inclined to flag this demo as one of the most interesting at the show. Great sound, here, from source-to-ears, this one was very hard to match much less beat.