Featured Product of the week: Oppo PM-1 Headphones
The Oppo PM-1 Headphones promised to be something interesting, and when our first pair arrived today, we eagerly dug them out of the box to have a look and listen.
First impressions were, well, impressive! – the headphones are nestled in a beautiful looking presentation case, which sits in a flock lined box, sitting in a foam protective support in the outer Oppo Box. Included in the presentation box is a long 1/4″ cable, to plug into your conventional headphone output, and in the outer box is a padded headphone case including alternative ear piece pads, and a shorter 3.5mm jack cable for use with portable devices. The Headphone cable splits at the headphone end and plugs into each earpiece, via a skinny 2.5mm mono jack into the bottom.
When put on, the Oppo PM-1 headphones were incredibly comfortable and secure, without clamping onto my head like a vice. The sound was superb; crisp but not sharp, smooth but not flattened, with strong, but not overly-so bass. I was really impressed and quite happy to go on listening (in the name of science!) all afternoon.
With a price-tag of £1099, these are not cheap, however they ooze luxury at every step of the way, and after a while feel like a complete bargain at this price!
The technology inside the Oppo PM-1 headphones is worth talking about as this is where they differ from the majority of headphones. These use a Planar Magnetic technology, which is the equivalent of swapping around the electric and magnetic fields from the conventional layout. The objective is to create a flat wave-front for the sound entering your ear, with a transducer that is as linear as possible, with all elements and frequencies of the audio in phase.
This all sounds like impressive science, and Oppo go into it in some detail on the Oppo web site as they are obviously proud of their achievements. It all makes for interesting reading for those with a scientific mind, however the key component is the end listening result, which to my mind, is superb!
If you are curious, here is a dissection of what Planar Magnetic Headphones are like inside – I’m sure you won’t want to pull the Oppo PM-1 Headphones apart, so it’s handy that someone has done this with another make so you can see how they work:
There is also a link here to a detailed technical description of how Planar Magnetic headphones work compared to conventional designs.