Criticism of the OPPO PM-3? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-19-2017, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Criticism of the OPPO PM-3?

I've read many incredible user reviews for these headphones. Some say it's the best under $500 or the best they've heard. But when reading reviews from professional critics, the same observations keep popping up.

1) The soundstage is small, compared to other closed headphones in this price range.
2) The 10kHz rolloff is noticeable and detrimental. One professional reviewer said they are too laid back and sound like they have cotton packed in them. Another said it was inexcusable for a $400 headphone to do such a poor job on the high end. A third reviewer said the roll off is what causes the diminished sound stage.
3) The cable they come with is cheap and negatively impacts the audio.

These criticisms from professional reviewers go against the overwhelming number of "best under $500" and "my favorite headphone ever" quotes from 100s of user reviews. So here are my questions:

1) If you've auditioned the OPPO PM-3, do you agree with the criticisms?
2) Have you done anything with Amps, DACs, new cables, etc. to alleviate these issues? I heard that the OPPO HA-2 might partially address criticisms #1 and #2.

Based on so many things I've read (and my love of the OPPO 103D that I own), I really want to like them. But I'd like to know whether the flaws are ignorable or fixable.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-19-2017, 08:14 PM
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I returned PM 3 for reason #2 mentioned above. I was fine with #1 and #3. I tried it with HA2 and it helped a bit with #2 concern but it was still not satisfactory for me. Every thing I listened on it sounded too boring for my taste. I returned it for Meze 99 Classic and couldn't be more happier.

The best way to find out if you would like it or not is to try for yourself. Oppo were nice enough to provide return shipping to me.




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Main: Ascend Acoustic Sierra 2 L/R | Rythmik E15HP | Marantz SR6010 | Oppo BDP-103
Headphones: Focal Clear | ZMF Atticus | Fostex THX00 | Senheiser HD 650 | Meze 99 Classics | Schiit Lyr3 (multi-bit DAC)
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-20-2017, 01:43 AM
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just got Oppo PM3's as my first "real" headphones so i'm not in a position to say how they are against other hphones.

but as a user, haven't noticed any problems stated above about sound quality, good source sounds good with or without DAC.
i have tried it with Oppo HA1SE, AQ dragonfly red and Meridian Explorer 2. i'm going to buy ME2 because it's size, price and sound.
can't tell if it's as good as HA1SE but it's way better than AQ.

pro's
-excellent all around sound, even phone as a source sounds listenable and volume gets loud enough
-they cancel ambient noise well
-comes with several cables, haven't had any problems with them. if you want to tweak cables get new ones
-earpads fold, easy to carry around in a bag
-i've been told they look good ( like i care... )

cons
-price is 520€ over here.... but it's one time investment

what i like most is how listenable and good they sound with low volume and how extremely comfortable they are to wear


cheers
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-21-2017, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgbkt View Post
Every thing I listened on it sounded too boring for my taste. I returned it for Meze 99 Classic and couldn't be more happier.
Thanks for the suggestion. Somehow I missed the Meze 99 in my search. They seem to get outstanding reviews. Did you pair them with a particular DAC/amp? I read that they may go well with the AQ Dragonfly.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-21-2017, 11:39 PM
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[QUOTE=daveizdum;50884713]I've read many incredible user reviews for these headphones. Some say it's the best under $500 or the best they've heard. But when reading reviews from professional critics, the same observations keep popping up.

1) The soundstage is small, compared to other closed headphones in this price range.
2) The 10kHz rolloff is noticeable and detrimental. One professional reviewer said they are too laid back and sound like they have cotton packed in them. Another said it was inexcusable for a $400 headphone to do such a poor job on the high end. A third reviewer said the roll off is what causes the diminished sound stage.
3) The cable they come with is cheap and negatively impacts the audio.

These criticisms from professional reviewers go against the overwhelming number of "best under $500" and "my favorite headphone ever" quotes from 100s of user reviews. So here are my questions:

1) If you've auditioned the OPPO PM-3, do you agree with the criticisms?
2) Have you done anything with Amps, DACs, new cables, etc. to alleviate these issues? I heard that the OPPO HA-2 might partially address criticisms #1 and #2.

Based on so many things I've read (and my love of the OPPO 103D that I own), I really want to like them. But I'd like to know whether the flaws are ignorable or fixable.[/QUOTE

Honestly, the criticism wouldn't be so bad if they didn't release frequency graphs. I think that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy for too many people as I don't know they would notice if you instead made the line flat instead of a dip. That might be a little harsh but I don't think the vast majority of those people don't have well enough trained ears.

The same criticism has carried over to the Focal Elears which is essentially the same as the PM1 with a better soundstage so a lot of people have just stopped entertaining the idea of buying or trying them.

I definitely think your amp, dac, and whatever else you use can offset some of the actual discrepancies plus you can always EQ it if needed.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-22-2017, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveizdum View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. Somehow I missed the Meze 99 in my search. They seem to get outstanding reviews. Did you pair them with a particular DAC/amp? I read that they may go well with the AQ Dragonfly.
Most of my listening is without any amp and I'm quiet pleased with that. I tried it with Oppo HA2 and it did help a bit with sound clarity, separation and soundstage (like most of the low impedance headphones do). But for most of my listening I would not mind using it without amp.

Main: Ascend Acoustic Sierra 2 L/R | Rythmik E15HP | Marantz SR6010 | Oppo BDP-103
Headphones: Focal Clear | ZMF Atticus | Fostex THX00 | Senheiser HD 650 | Meze 99 Classics | Schiit Lyr3 (multi-bit DAC)
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