Oppo launches premium planar headphones for audiophiles on a budget

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Oppo Digital's PM-3 closed-back planar magnetic headphones with the company's HA-2 portable headphone amp

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Oppo Digital has added a new pair of planar magnetic headphones to its existing PM-1 and PM-2 models. At just over 10 oz, the company claims that the stylish PM-3 cans are the world's lightest closed-back planar magnetic headphones, while also holding the promise of audiophile-pleasing performance without the audiophile price tag.

Oppo's previous PM-1 and PM-2 models were well received by critics and consumers alike, but their open back design made for more of a quiet night in kind of listening experience than out and about on the town. The PM-3s offer passive isolation from the outside world, while also minimizing leakage to others around you.

The new closed-back headphones feature premium metal construction, plush padding and cups that fold flat for around the neck comfort. They make use of the same planar magnetic driver technology used in the PM-1 headphones, though round rather than oval with a diameter of 55 mm. Technologies developed for the earlier personal audio throwers, including a 7-layer double-sided voice coil diaphragm design and FEM-optimized neodymium magnet system, have allowed Oppo to keep the weight down without sacrificing sound quality.

"In the PM-3's planar magnetic driver, sound is generated by a very thin and light diaphragm which is driven in a symmetric pull-push manner, and the magnetic system and conductor patterns have been optimized for maximum sensitivity and consistency," explained Oppo. "This allows the diaphragm to generate very stable and linear piston-like vibrations, ensuring phase coherence and high resolution performance with minimal distortion."

The 320 g PM-3 headphones have a 26 Ohm nominal impedance, a frequency response of 10 Hz to 50 kHz and the sound signature is described as very natural and smooth, with deep, tight bass, smooth midrange and clear treble.

They're reported to have a sensitivity of 102 dB in 1 mW, which should make them suitable for mobile use without having to rely on external headphone amps (though Oppo has recently announced a new high resolution amp named the HA-2 if you're looking for something to help take the strain off a mobile device's own built-in amp).

The Oppo Digital PM-3 closed-back planar magnetic headphones are currently shown as available for pre-order in black or white, with a US$399 price tag and estimated shipping date of March 5.

Product page: Oppo PM-3

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