Howdy friend and Welcome aboard!!
Before we get into the Oppo PM3 vs. Bowers and Wilkins P7 comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
Today I will outline the Oppo PM3 and then compare it with the Bower & Wilkins P7 towards the end. 🙂
- Video Review
- Amp/DAC requirements
- Who these headphones benefit?
- Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- Similarities & Differences
- Final Word
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
- Type: Closed back. Closed back vs. Open back headphones.
- Fit: Circumaural
- Impedance: 26 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
- Sensitivity: 102dB in mW
- Clamping Pressure: 5N
- Cables: 3m detachable cable (3.5mm with 6.35mm adapter), 1.2m detachable cable (3.5mm)
- Connectors: Output: 3.5mm stereo jack
- Weight: 320g (Black/White), 310g (Cherry Red/Steel Blue)
- Included Accessories: Carrying case, User Manual
- Driver Type: Planar Magnetic
- Frequency Response: 10 – 50kHz
The thing to know about these bad boys is that they sound musical. For closed back headphones, they have a pretty decent soundstage. They sound like you’re right there in a live setting, and really excel with instruments and vocals especially.
They’re unique in the fact that they are planar magnetic headphones but closed back and significantly lighter than say a HIFIMAN or Audeze model.
- Very durable.
- Captures vocals and instruments very well. Great mid-range.
- Natural bass. Balanced, refined, and nice and tight. 😉
- Amazing amount of detail.
- Great isolation.
- Balanced, neutral, and beautiful sound.
- Good Soundstage for closed back cans. What is Soundstage?
- Movement of the headphones is nice and fluid.
- The transient response is quick and sharp.
- Good packaging.
- Big heads need not apply. If you have big Ross Perot ears, you may be in for a world of pain like Smokey from Big Lebowski. Lol. The elongated ear cups may cause discomfort depending on the size of your melon.
- High end not as crisp as some cheaper phones. A tad subdued.
- Could have benefited from deeper ear pads. Your ears may touch the driver assembly causing some minor discomfort.
- Because the ear pads are made of synthetic leather, they may become warm and sweaty after prolonged wear.
Credit to my boy @Metal571. Check him out on Twitter!
These will require an amp to reach their full potential. The Oppo HA-2 gets really good reviews and should be your go-to amp if you end up purchasing these. You will be blown away.
If you really want to be blown away though, like 3 little pigs style, then the Oppo HA-1 Headphone amplifier is the cream of the crop here.
A tube amp also will work wonders. Tube amp vs. Solid state.
Other amps that will work:
- FiiO A3 DAC/Amp
- Schiit Magni/Modi (What I’m currently using).
- How to choose a headphone amp!
They will also work reasonably well with your:
Who these headphones benefit?
- Movie watching with your boo. 🙂
- The office
- New Age
- Works well as a gaming headset.
Know that instruments and vocals will be the highlights of this can.
Not quite as good for:
Thought’s from Stu’s notepad
- Not for bass heads.
- Getting a good fit is of the utmost importance.
- The headphones come with a 3m cable terminated with stereo mini plugs on both ends. The adapter can be plugged into a standard headphone jack. Lastly, you are also supplied with your choice of 1-meter cables; either an iPhone compatible, Android compatible, or plain cable. The cable plugs into the bottom of the left ear cup.
- Comes in a drawstring bag. The case is made of soft denim and semi-rigid. It will fit the headphones as well as all of your cables.
- Can be converted to balanced mode by changing cables. An example is that you could purchase separate cables which improve transparency and make the headphones sound even better. Surf cables are what they’re called.
- Old recordings will reveal details you haven’t heard before.
- Minor details in the music will be pushed to the forefront, allowing you to experience them in all their glory.
- The PM3’s are planar magnetic headphones that use planar magnetic drivers. What is a headphone driver?
- The ear cups are made of aluminum. The headband is covered with foam which is enclosed by synthetic leather. The earpads themselves are average size and also covered in synthetic leather.
- Can fold flat.
- Be aware of your source. They sound really great with hi-res sources but will reveal drawbacks and defects in poorly recorded audio.
- A few people were saying it’s like you’re there immersed in with the music, instead of you realizing you’re listening to music.
- The ear cups are not supposed to be user-replaceable, but you can remove them. Use extreme caution though.
- There is no sibilance with these babies. What does Sibilant mean?
- Replacement ear pads can only be purchased from Oppo.
A ruggedly built and neutral set of headphones with a slightly problematic treble range. Great mid-range and textured bass response. Comfort is a mixed bag depending on the user.
Similarities & Differences
- Both are closed back with a phenomenal build.
- Both ear cups tend to get hot with extended usage.
- Both use detachable cables that plug into one side.
- Both sound fine with a portable device but do benefit from a good Amp/DAC.
- Both have quality packaging and care.
- Overall sound. The PM3’s come across as cleaner and more precise, with less distortion than the P7’s. The PM3’s are warmer and clearer. They have a more colored sound than the PM3’s.
- Vocals. Voices can be slightly thin lacking the warm lower tones and not nearly as present as the P7’s.
- Mid-range. The mid-range on the P7’s is more recessed, meaning lacking or distant. While vocals can come across as thin at times with the P7, they really stand out as being a prominent feature with the PM3’s.
- The PM3’s are neutral across the board, with nothing overpowering another.
- Treble. The treble on the P7 is much brighter with more resolving detail, while the treble on the PM3 has been called subdued and dare I say “dull.” It’s definitely a point of contention and the most talked-about aspect of the PM3. There’s more body and more “air” with the P7’s treble. If you’re looking for texture, and a more neutral, smoother treble, the PM3 is your boy. If you’re looking for a brighter, crisper high-end, the P7 is where it’s at.
- Isolation. The P7 isolates sound better than the PM3.
- Genre. PM3 may be pickier with many genres, while the P7 is more diverse.
- Source. The P7 is more forgiving with your audio source and leans towards a more mainstream tonality.
- Material. The P7’s ear cups are made of lambskin leather while the PM3’s are synthetic (protein) leather.
- Cables. The cables on the P7’s are proprietary (meaning you can only use Bowers & Wilkins cables), while the PM3’s are universal.
- Weight. The PM3’s are heavier than the P7’s and have a stronger clamp force. The PM3’s also have wider ear cups and a more comfortable headband.
- Ear cups. The ear-cups on the PM3’s are more shallow than the P7’s.
- Comfort. Overall, the PM3’s are more comfortable.
- Bass. The bass on the PM3 is more nuanced, textured, and detailed, while the P7’s bass has that immediate impact and punch. In complex arrangements, the P7 may suffer by becoming a bit muddy or boomy.
I don’t really like the sound signature of the P7, and wouldn’t recommend it though its build quality is superb. I absolutely love the PM3 though.
If you’re after a flatter, more neutral sound, the PM3’s fit the bill phenomenally well. They are lighter on the bass, but it’s more textured and detailed. The treble is dull in comparison to the P7, but it’s smoother and also slightly more textured.
CHECK OUT MY OFFICIAL OPPO PM3 REVIEW!!
So in a nutshell:
- Bowers & Wilkins P7 = Lively and engaging.
- Oppo PM3 = Honest and neutral.
If you’re still curious about the P7:
CHECK OUT MY OFFICIAL BOWERS AND WILKINS P7 REVIEW!!
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Oppo PM3 vs. Bowers and Wilkins P7.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
Which of these are you more likely to go with? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..
All the best and God bless,
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