Oppo’s PM-3 are premium planar cans at a (relative) bargain basement price

Oppo’s gamble on producing niche, planar-style magnetic headphones paid off big time with the culmination of the sleek, stylish, and surprisingly mobile-friendly PM-1 and PM-2. However, with their open-back design, the cans were prone to letting lots of noise in and plenty of music out, making them less than ideal for use at the office or on a commute. Now, Oppo is offering a way to keep the noise out and the luscious tunes in with a new closed-back version called PM-3.

The PM-3 promise to pair superior sound performance with excellent noise isolation and a lightweight body that will let you take your audiophile party on the go. The newly-isolated earpieces are stocked with Oppo’s custom created 55mm planar magnetic drivers, which trade traditional drivers for a thin membrane, layered with a conductor circuit, and placed within a magnetic field for superlative sensitivity and accuracy.

It’s no accident that the highly portable PM-3 were announced just after Oppo’s new HA-2 portable DAC and headphone amplifier, offering a premium pairing for listening on the go. But even without the HA-2, the PM-3 should deliver serious performance with more modest gear, as the new drivers are not only redesigned to fit in a closed-back chassis, but they’re also designed to be driven by less-than-ideal sources like your phone or iPod.

The PM-3 will have their work cut out for them, however, going up against another soon-to-be-released mobile planar magnetic offering, the Audeze EL-8. But the PM-3 have a serious advantage when it comes to price, offered at $400, which undercuts the EL-8 by a good $300.

Whether or not Oppo’s new PM-3 can stand up to the pricier competition remains to be seen, but $400 is a screaming deal for planar cans any way you slice it. We’ll be pulling a pair in for review soon, but if you’re ready to dive in and check out the PM-3 for yourself, you can order them at Oppo’s website today.


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