Oppo makes great-sounding Blu-ray players, but now with the PM-1 the company is jumping into the highly competitive headphone market. It’s a bold move, and rather than just introduce a line of Beats clones, Oppo went upmarket and made a headphone that can be judged against the best from established giants like AKG, Beyerdynamic, Grado, and Sennheiser. The company’s headphone project started two years ago, but the wait was worth it.
If the PM-1’s thick, chromed metal parts, leather-covered headband, and ear pads don’t impress, maybe the felt-lined, impeccably finished wood storage box will win you over (there’s also a denim carrying case to protect the headphones on the go). The headband isn’t hinged, but the ear cups fold flat.
The tech is just as sweet, so rather than use conventional dynamic drivers, the PM-1 features proprietary, seven-layer lightweight planar magnetic drivers. The 9.8-foot-long headphone cable that’s wrapped in a black fabric sleeve has a 6.3 mm plug, and the skinny 3.2 foot long cable for use with portable music players has a 3.5 mm plug (neither cable has a mic or phone controls). The PM-1 comes with two sets of ear pads in leather and velour; I found the velour ones more comfortable. The PM-1 is an over-the-ear, open-back design, and its impedance is rated at 32 ohms.