Aloha friend and Welcome aboard!!
Before we get into the Oppo PM3 vs. PM2, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
For this article, I will outline the Oppo PM2, and then compare it to the PM3 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: Open back, Planar magnetic driver. What is a Headphone Driver?
- Fit: Circumaural
- Impedance: 32 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
- Frequency Response: 10Hz – 50kHz
- Sensitivity: 102dB
- Material: Synthetic leather, high quality plastic, soft-shelled selvedge denim carrying case.
- Weight: 385g
- Cables: A 1/8″ and 1/4″
The Oppo PM2 is an open back headphone with zero noise isolation, but a phenomenal sense of depth and space. Closed back vs. Open back headphones. You will want to be in a quiet room or studio space to get the most out of these.
Their comfort, build, look, feel, and presentation are all immaculate. Where they tend to suffer in some peoples eyes is in the veiled treble, which rolls off and isn’t quite as articulate as some would prefer. The bass is tight, clean, and doesn’t come across as fake or muddy. Sound-staging in particular is very strong with the PM2’s, and you”l enjoy that “Let me take my headphones off to make sure there’s nothing creeping up behind me” feeling.
Overall, these are a laid back listen with an elegant, robust, and efficient design structure.
- Uncolored and neutral sound.
- Extremely detailed, revealing even the most subtle of nuances.
- Clean, uncluttered, and not sibilant even at very high volumes. What does Sibilant mean?
- Tight bass. Not bloated or artificial sounding, but clean, detailed, and articulate. Most headphones that have a lot of bass tend to get muddy. The PM2’s don’t.
- Great Soundstage, with good depth and space as alluded to in the summary. What is Soundstage?
- Instrument separation is exquisite. The mid-range is well defined here.
- Detachable cables.
- The treble is perhaps not as “bright” as some people would like, and may sound a bit dark and recessed to some. To some, this is subtle, to others it’s a glaring problem.
All credit here goes to Tyll Herstens over at Inner Fidelity!
These don’t require an amp per se, but to get the absolute most out of them you’re going to want one. How to choose a headphone amp! Oppo’s own HA-1 Headphone DAC/Amp does the job well. However, I read a lot of reviews that said these are perfectly capable out of your iPhone or mobile device. You can always add an amp later!
Look at it like this: Give the PM2 proper amplification and good source material, and it shines. Plug it into a so-so amp and mediocre source quality files, and it sort of gets by I guess. Also, if you’re on the go, you may consider not using one, as it sounds fine out of a portable device. If you’re at home, get an amp for sure.
Check out: The best headphone amp for the money!
Who these headphones benefit?
- Gaming. You will be able to tell where certain enemies and sounds are coming from with the PM2’s.
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- The ear-cups swivel just about 180 degrees and tilt up and down. You will be able to get a nice fit with them.
- Long listening sessions without discomfort are the norm here. Expect greatness. Lol.
- If you don’t like the synthetic leather ear pads, Oppo offers lambskin for an additional cost.
- I’m a big fan of shorter cables, and the PM2 provides one which cuts down on tangles, getting caught in slack, etc. It’s just much more convenient and less of a hassle on the go. The longer 1/4″ adapter that connects is perfect for in home when you’re plugging into an external headphone amp. This comes in the form of an OFC copper 3m cable. The portable cable included is 1.1m for comparisons sake. If you don’t like the 1.1m option, there’s also a 1.8m cable available for purchase. The longer cable is very well made, but the shorter one leaves a bit to be desired. Oppo has included a velcro cable wrapper as well. As for the shorter cable dilemma: If you can, go ahead and get a 3rd party cable or the Moon Audio Silver Dragon cable is excellent as well.
- The PM2 does not come with inline microphone or remote features.
- While the comfort factor of the PM2’s is great, the headphones themselves are a bit on the heavy side.
- The pads are easily swapped, and many people highly recommend velour for the PM2’s. Still others say that the velour pads cause a bit of sparkle and detail to be lost in comparison with the stock pads.
- I wouldn’t recommend the PM2 for mixing/mastering purposes, as it’s not overly analytical, but rather more musical and slightly warm.
Clear, articulate, detailed, and comfortable. Amazing treble extension, but overall it can sound darker than your average sizzling headphone. Looks, build, and presentation are are fantastic. Think of these as a lot more laid back and balanced rather than aggressive and in your face. Perhaps not worth the full asking price.
Similarities & Differences
- Both are planar magnetic.
- Both have a similar design and feel.
- The PM2’s are open back in contrast to the closed back PM3’s. So in essence, the PM3 becomes a more viable candidate for an on the go listening experience due to it’s sound isolation.
- The PM2 has bigger, better Soundstage than the PM3.
- The PM2’s bass also digs deeper than the PM3’s.
- The PM2’s clamping force is less intense than the PM3. Not to worry though; both of these settle into your dome piece nicely, and end up feeling similar to large pillows around your ears. 🙂
- The PM3’s have inline controls while the PM2’s do not.
- The PM3’s are significantly more affordable than the PM2’s.
- The PM2’s bass response is better than the PM3’s.
- The mid-range in the PM2 is better than that of the PM3.
- The sound signature overall is slightly different in each. The differences in sound are more subtle than they are extreme.
Which of these you go with depends on:
- How much you’re willing to spend.
- Whether you need a closed back or open back solution.
- Whether or not you would prefer an on the go listening experience or an in studio one. If isolation is required, the PM3 is your boy.
For my absolute top recommendation for an open back pair, the HD600 fits the bill wonderfully. It’s the Gold Standard among audiophile headphones, and represents that initial step into nerd land. Interested in learning more about my favorite cans, and the best price to performance ratio on the planet?
THEN CHECK OUT MY OFFICIAL SENNHEISER HD600 REVIEW!!
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Oppo PM3 vs. PM2 comparison.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
Which of these tickles YOUR pickle? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..
All the best and God bless,