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DiehardDIYer

OPPO PM-3 headphones

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Some months back I began a search for headphones to mix down with.  Up to that time I'd been using Etymotic Research ER4 ear monitors, and some Shure  SRH940 headphones, as well as JBL monitors. The monitors are highly rated. I have always found JBL products to sound kind of mushy to my ears. The monitors are really nice but, I wanted more detail.

In going to different review sites I kept seeing these OPPO PM-3 closed-back phones over and over. In going to their web site there are dozens of sterling reviews for them. I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger at $399.

As far as cosmetics they are pretty classy looking. They have two different connection cords and a zippered, denim carrying case which I wish had some kind of handle but, no big deal.

I had read so much about these things I didn't know what to expect. Tom sent me a new mix for our second CD to listen to, so, on went the phones. Everything sounded pretty wide open for a sound stage, and details were good. I was almost disappointed until I put on the Shure 940s. I love the 940s but, oh man, the difference was actually stunning. I had no idea just how detailed the OPPO's were. Same with the ER4's, which are extremely detailed but, the OPPO sound stage is gargantuan. I have heard the rough mixes since we recorded all this stuff but, listening to them on these OPPO's is like hearing them for the first time. It's kind of mesmerizing.  I hear things I did that I didn't know I did. Of course, mics and all go into that mix but, hearing it all back on the OPPO's is quite an experience I cannot say I have ever had when listening to music for the last 5 decades. Not having ever owned $1000 headphones I can only go by reviews for comparison. I tend to believe the reviewers who say they compare well.

I find them very comfortable to wear. No fatigue at all from lengthy sessions. As far as outside room isolation they are pretty good. Not the best I have ever worn. I wouldn't wear them for playing. I'd much rather use ear monitors for that for the ease and comfort. The isolation behind the drums is not very substantial at all.  Maybe a few db are cut.

The planar magnetic drivers are a wonder. Last night Tom sent a mix for the fourth CD.  I was tired and wanted to hit the sack but, figured I'd see what he put together. From the first note of the hats and kick I sat stunned. Yeah, the music has all this energy and stuff but, the OPPO's brought it to life, profoundly.

Engineers say it is iffy to try and mix and master with headphones but, for me these things are the ticket. The clarity and details are amazing at this price point. Bass response is well balanced. It's the overall sound stage that makes them so useful for mixing down and getting what you want . It's no wonder they get the reviews they do, and they aren't really made for mixing, just listening pleasure. For recording purposes, though, they are fantastic. I still compare with everything else, as well, including budget earbuds, just to get a cross-section of consumer sound.

If you are looking for something to mix down with besides open air speakers, or if you just want to hear music in a new universe, try these OPPO PM-3 phones. They are truly works of art. 

https://www.oppodigital.com/headphones-pm-3/

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