Renowned maker of high-end Blu-ray players Oppo has launched its first pair of headphones, the £1100 planar magnetic Oppo PM-1.
The last two years have seen many companies enter the headphone space, but rather than targeting the Beats by Dre fashion audience, the Oppo PM-1 are after the high-end crowd.
The Oppo PM-1 are planar magnetic headphones, which use large, flat drivers rather than the contoured kind used by most headphones. One of the main benefits of planar magnetic headphones is that – like electrostatic headphones – they generally provide very low-distortion sound.
Lots of planar headphones require a separate amplifier to get the most out of, but Oppo claims the high sensitivity with let them perform “without requiring additional amplification”.
At 395g, they’re reasonably heavy by general headphone standards, but this is lighter than most rival models from HiFiMAN, perhaps the most prolific producer of planar magnetic headphones.
The Oppo PM-1 use a removable cable system, with two cables included in the box. You get a 6.3mm cable for at-home use, and a 3.5mm jack cable for when you’re out and about.
However, as these open-back headphones, you probably wouldn’t want to wear them on public transport. Open headphones offer very limited noise isolation and leak sound freely.
Consistent with the £1100 price, the Oppo PM-1 are made of high-quality materials. The ear pads and headband are topped with lamb’s leather, and the headphone frame is made of metal rather than plastic. For hifi headphones, they’re not bad looking either.
Also included as part of the package are a denim carry case and a piano black wooden storage box.
The Oppo PM-1 represent just the first step in the company’s expansion into headphones. Oppo has also announced the launch of the lower-cost Oppo PM-2 headphones and the HA-1 headphones amplifier.
The PM-2 use the same driver array, but are made of lower-cost materials to provide similar sound for just over half the price. The Oppo PM-2 are set to sell for £699.
According to Oppo, the PM-1 headphones will be “available shortly”.
Next, read our best headphones