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CAS 2014: HeadMasters visit with Oppo

DSC00306 Dyn_CAS-logo-2Oppo was on hand to show off their PM-1 and the new PM-2 headphones. The PM-1 ($1,099) is a lightweight planar magnetic headphone. The newer PM-2 ($699) is an even lighter-weight planar magnetic headphone. Both headphones are 102 dB sensitive, making them easier to drive and more suitable for use with mobile devices. Both feature natural latex padding and detachable 1 meter mini-jack and 3 meter stereo jack cables. I tried both headphones, and, at least in the noisy conditions of the hotel ballroom, I couldn't discern any appreciable difference. "So, what's the difference?" I asked, after checking to make sure that I was indeed listening to two different headphones. I mean, the PM-1 had shiny silver bits, and the PM-2 had matte silver bits, and …

“Essentially none,” I was told.

“None?”

“Well, the PM-1 has better parts. But they essentially sound the same.”

It wasn’t just my imagination, I guess.

The PM-1 features luxurious lambskin ear pads and headband, and comes with a set of velour ear pads that can be easily swapped in, allowing for fine-tuning of the sound.

The PM-1’s 6.35 mm terminated cable features Ohno Continuous Casting construction, and everything comes packed in a handsome wooden box.

PM-2 purchasers have to make do with synthetic leather for their ear pads and headband, Oxygen Free Copper constructed cables, and a fabric carrying case.

On the other hand, the PM-2 is, according to the specs, 10 grams lighter, so those who purchase the less expensive version would have the advantage in a road race, for sure.

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2 Comments on CAS 2014: HeadMasters visit with Oppo

  1. I listened to these at CAF 2014 and there is a most certainly a difference in sound quality, comfort and weight. I find this not to be a review at all and speaks to the boredom and lack of care rather than a “review.” Honestly, let me point to something from a recent entry in your own webzine:
    “Said another way, we’ll still be offering embarrassingly thorough coverage and do it to a level that serves both you, the reader, and the manufacturers and dealers that have gone through all the effort to bring you something nifty to experience.”
    I’m sorry but this review of the OPPO headphones serves no one, IMHO.

    • Part-Time Audiophile // September 8, 2014 at 8:26 AM //

      A couple of points.

      One, a show report isn’t a review. I’m pretty sure this has been said fairly explicitly.

      Two, the snippet you clipped is in reference to a new site. Is our offering perfect? No. Will it be? No one said that, either. But that said, you’re welcome to offer up any single site (or set of three) that offers more room coverage, more words and more photos.

      Three, the difference between the PM-1 and the PM-2, according to the manufacturer, is entirely due to materials. The sound-making parts (and tuning) is apparently identical. In fact, the newest units to roll off the line are using (or shipping with) the same pads, too. Any differences in audio quality is likely to be narrow, minor, and rather easily lost in less than ideal conditions. The fact that you feel confident in reporting those differences speaks to something, but that something is not to reportage.

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