Cheaper Planar Magnetic Options


#1

I’m a bit behind with the news, but I didn’t realise that Oppo Digital ceased production of all their high-end headphones and other electronics. No more DAPs from them, I guess.

Unfortunately, I had my eye on the Oppo PM-3 for the longest time and was looking for an opportunity to try them out. I’m SOL. I’m looking for suggestions for headphones that are similar to the PM-3s–over-ear, closed-back, planar magnetic at around $400.00 USD.

Thanks, y’all.


#2

Closed back planars are pretty uncommon these days. It seems like Audeze is really doing the most work in that market. I have only heard their open backs but I know lots of people like the Sine (on-ear) if you are ok with the comfort. I’ve heard good things about the EL-8 but there were some silent revisions that you have to be aware of. And then there’s the iSine series which sort of fills the same use cases, but of course those are IEM planars that are in-ear.

If you aren’t in a rush, I would suggest waiting to see how the Audeze Mobius shapes up. I believe they are shooting to get the campaign pre-orders out in the next month so there will be plenty of reviews that will follow shortly. I am in the pre-order myself. In fact, the main reason I joined was the fact that it is a closed back planar with wireless bluetooth capabilities, not even mentioning all the additional optional DSP features. So even without all the gaming/surround sound stuff, it could still be a good, general purpose portable headphone.


#3

A good old Yamaha HP-1 could also be considered :wink:


#4

Wow…i am behind the news as well. Oppo seemed to get a lot of press with the dollar to dollar
value with their almost inclusive of all format players and the quality of the sound produced. This is what got Oppo into the “news.” What else does Oppo make? Anyone have some info.For reference purposes,i have purchased the Cambridge Azur 752BD and I use it for audio purposes only. I love the performance. The only disappointment is that I cannot program individual track. I know this subject takes us away from headphones but it takes us into the realm of reproduced sound(aka music).


#5

Your best bet is a T50rp mod. You can look for a ZMF Vibro MkII used or if you can stretch your budget, a ZMF Blackwood used. There’s also the ModHouse Argon series of mods and cascadia audio has a T50 mod. Other than that, there really isn’t much.


#6

Oppo also made a line of extremely well-regarded Blu-ray players that were easy to render region-free, and like the headphones built with very high quality. I think these are the only thing still left in stock on their website. I had thought about getting one for years and I finally bit since it was probably my last chance. It’s nice to get discs from anywhere around the world and be able to just play them.


#7

#8

Unfortunately, when you click the link for Amazon, the headphones are no longer available. :frowning:


#9

darnit the changed. There are a couple sellers online that DO have them in stock AT $399.


#10

Any other cans you’re eyeing? I’m interested to see what else there is in the closed back planar world. M1060C maybe?


#11

I have a pair of modded M1060C that I made open back. While they were closed they had good sound, but were not portable. The headband and yokes on these are terrible, I plan on frankenphoning them even more with a new headband and yokes eventually. I think where the M1060/C shine is that you can mod the ever living hell out of them and not feel so bad for doing it.


#12

Where do you live? If you’re anywhere near Bay Area, CA, you can walk into Oppo’s office and demo it there. You can also Demo their PM-1 w/ the HA-1 if you wish :smiley:


#13

The PM3 was nice, kinda dark

I’ve got the Cascadia Talos 2 with me atm and it’s a little more energetic than the PM3 was. While I like it it’s not quite what your looking for, the Audeze EL 8 is also a little brighter too

I’d try the ZMF T50RP mod though, there’s a 3 week lead time but Zachs house sound tends to be a bit darker like the PM3 is/was


#14

Let me know how they turn out. I’ve been really tempted to buy some and do DMS’ mod but I’m scared they’ll be hard to re-sell If I decided i didn’t like them.


#15

I enjoy them but tend to stick to my HD800/700 and Fostex purplehearts, with some Focal Elex thrown in here and there…


#16

So would you say the mod actually makes them compare to an LCD or is that just BS?


#17

Maybe a baby LCD…I think it sounds great, and I think it can compete easily with other headphones in its price point, even with some punching above. But the real fun is just making it your own. I already have eyes on a new headband yoke system for my M1060C and I probably will sell off my M1060…becaue no need for two of them.


#18

Hmmm. I might have to try them then. Thanks!


#19

I tried the mods myself and I really didn’t hear much of a resemblance other than possibly FR. The modded M1060 with Vegan pads added some thickness, but they still sounded harsh with very off midrange tonality. After all the end costs, I’d probably just save up for a used LCD2. I’ve seen them dip to around $450 which isn’t much more than a new M1060 and Vegan pads cost anyway, and you get something much better.


#20

This! ha, the amount of money and time I’ve put into the M1060/Cs I easily could have picked up a nice set of LCD2Cs. Part of the journey in audiophile headphones for me though =) plus I really enjoy tinkering on them and don’t feel so bad about it. Where as I don’t think I would be as inclined to take apart the LCD2s. That being said I did take my HD800 apart almost immediately ¯_(ツ)_/¯ lol, and I eventually plan on taking it apart again to paint it at some point.