The Oppo PM-3s ooze class. So much so, that when you open the box and get down to the high quality denim carry case you feel that you should give the headphones a chance to breath like a good red wine before you consider wearing them for the first time. Oppo certainly gives the impression that what you have in your hands is something special.
In the box, you’ll find a 3 metre main cable that you can attach to a 6.35mm adapter, suitable for attaching to any standard amplifier, and you’ll also get a shorter, portable 1.2m cable which you can plug into any phone, tablet or similar device. I used this lead to plug into my PS4. Included in the box is a specific lead to connect up an Android phone, but you can also get a specific Apple cable that will do the same job.
As far as planar magnetic headphones go, the Oppo’s are difficult to find fault with. There is a reassuring weight to them in your hand due to the brushed metal frame. The ear cups can rotate 180 degrees and the headband adjusts to suit those of us who are blessed in the cranial department, so what you end up with is a comfortable weight when you have the PM-3s on, but not anything that will cause you neck discomfort over any period of time. The headband is padded, very comfortable and barely noticeable after a short while. The only slight issue I had is that because the headphones are made from fake leather, sometimes my ears seemed to heat up because of the synthetic finish, but this is a small complaint compared to the overall package on offer here. The closed back does a fantastic job of eliminating any external noise at all, while at the same time you won’t be that annoying person on the train giving everyone tinny hints at what you could be listening to.
When plugged into a normal Android phone, the Oppo PM-3 impresses with the reduced amount of power by still delivering a solid sound range from the bass to the high treble, and with the lead provided, you’ll still have the ability to make and take phone calls as well. Part of me was wary in taking the PM-3’s out for a walk, as there was a fear of getting the shining white finish dirty. While they are meant to be portable, the price tag might force you to leave them at home next to the slippers and your sound system, but only because once you are relaxing in your favourite chair, with your favourite music gently caressing your ears, the Oppo’s build quality shows you it’s hand.
The lightweight seven-layer diaphragm and strong Neodymium magnets that help create the magic earn their keep, and the depth of sound you’ll hear can be stunning for certain tracks.
It’s almost as if you’re in the room where the music was recorded and the direction where the sound comes from feels like metres away instead of just a couple of centimetres.
It really does add to your listening experience.
I tried the PM-3s through my Playstation 4, watching a couple of episodes of Bojack Horseman, where the sound was exceptionally clear and crisp and felt like being in the room with the characters. Experiencing the zombie parkour festival Dying Light through the PM-3s took the game to another level, with normally tense moments made terrifying by the external noise reduction and the resultant immersion. There were too many times when I heard the groan of a flesh eater from what seemed like behind the sofa, and after one particularly vicious encounter I actually took a break from the game due to the additional intensity.
Oppo have produced a set of first class, well-designed headphones made with high quality materials and finish, with care and attention displayed in everything from the carry case to the choice of leads they give you. Some may be put off by the price, and there will be others that won’t risk taking them out of the house. You can’t deny the quality and performance of the PM-3s; they really have to be considered top of the list if you are looking for a set of planar magnetic headphones compared to the current competition.