The OPPO PM-2 Planar Magnetic headphone offers a different way of thinking about planar magnetic technology. The PM-2 is characterised by its natural, dynamic, and engaging sound quality with an emphasis on comfort and reduced weight. It is the result of many years of research led by a team comprised of passionate audio and acoustics engineers, chemical and materials scientists, and audiophiles. A number of technological breakthroughs have made their way into the PM-2, including the use of a unique 7-layer diaphragm, double-sided spiraling coils, and an FEM-optimised magnet system.
The advantages of planar magnetic technology are based on the fact that in a planar driver, sound is generated by a very thin and light diaphragm that is driven evenly over the entire radiating area. Sound, entering our ear, has a planar wave front at the so called ear reference point (ERP), with all spectrum components in phase. A typical dynamic headphone driver, due to its phase irregularity, disrupts that coherence, resulting in less than perfect signal peak reconstruction, especially of very short impulses. A planar magnetic driver has another advantage that relates to its purely resistive impedance. It has a flat conductor pattern that does not have any inductive component, which eliminates inductance related IM distortion, common in dynamic headphones. A resistive load also ensures that any amplifier will drive the headphones without any changes in spectral balance.
OPPO uniquely integrates many innovations and proprietary methods developed over the years with the latest breakthroughs in materials and manufacturing techniques. Results of this research, focused on eliminating issues affecting many planar magnetic headphones, such as low sensitivity, weight, insufficient diaphragm stability, consistency and reliability, have been implemented in this new technology. The OPPO planar magnetic headphone uses an FEM optimised magnet system with very high energy Neodymium magnets. A large oval planar diaphragm is positioned in an evenly distributed symmetric magnetic field. The diaphragm has a spiraling pattern of flat conductors etched on both sides of a very thin polymer film. The magnetic system and conductor patterns are optimized for maximum driving force (sensitivity) and consistency of the applied force over the radiating area. The double-sided diaphragm has 7 layers of extremely thin materials, each doing a specific job for best performance, reliability and longevity.
These advantages of OPPO’s high resolution planar magnetic technology and advanced headphone design provide for a very open, transparent, and highly dynamic sound that exhibits well-balanced tonal qualities with vanishingly low distortion, resulting in a headphone that communicates every nuance of your favorite music and ensures a high level of emotional engagement. With its industrial fit and finish, the PM-2 is equally at home in an audiophile hi-fi system or on the go with a high resolution portable device.
- When sound enters our ear, it has a planar wave front with all spectrum components in phase. A typical dynamic headphone driver disrupts this coherence with its phase irregularity, resulting in less than perfect signal peak reconstructions. OPPO’s planar magnetic driver has much better phase coherency since all parts of the diaphragm are vibrating in concert without break up and delayed resonance.
Purely Resistive Impedance
– OPPO’s planar magnetic driver has a flat conductor pattern that does not have any inductive components. This eliminates inductance related intermodulation distortion, which is especially common in dynamic drivers with high impedance and a high number of voice coil turns.
Stability, Consistency, Reliability
– Many planar magnetic headphones have large balance deviations between the left and right channels, and accurate stereo reproduction is contingent on having a very close match between the left and right channels. During the OPPO PM-2’s manufacturing process, drivers are closely matched to ensure optimum stereo imaging and soundstage.
Diaphragm – OPPO’s planar magnetic driver diaphragm has 7 layers of thin materials that provide excellent performance, reliability, and longevity. The construction of the diaphragm ensures that it is very stable under thermal stress and vibration.
Double-Sided Spiraling Coils – The diaphragm utilises a spiralling pattern of flat aluminium conductors on either side of the driver. The double-sided design allows twice as many conductors to be placed within the magnetic field, which leads to higher sensitivity, better damping, and even drive force.
FEM-Optimised Magnet System - An FEM-optimised magnet system with very high energy Neodymium magnets is used to maximise sensitivity and consistency of the applied force over the driver area.
High Sensitivity - Many planar magnetic headphones have a sensitivity far below 100 dB and require very powerful amplifiers to drive. The OPPO PM-2 has a sensitivity of 102 dB, which allows it to pair well with both mobile devices and scale upwards when used with high end headphone amplifiers.
Build Quality – The OPPO PM-2 is ruggedly constructed with an emphasis on long term use and maximum consistency from unit to unit. The headphones have been tested to very high standards to withstand mechanical and environmental stress in order to guarantee exceptional performance throughout its lifespan.
Comfort - Many planar magnetic headphones weigh over 500 g and are often viewed as being uncomfortable. With a weight of 385 g, the OPPO PM-2 strikes a delicate balance between weight, comfort, and elegant industrial design.
Quality Materials – The OPPO PM-2’s ear cushions are made out of the highest quality natural latex, which is superior to and longer lasting than any chemically formulated foam. It is naturally hypoallergenic, retains its mechanical spring-like properties for much longer periods, and resists moisture build up from sweating. The headband and ear pads are made of carefully selected synthetic leather material.
Easily Replaceable Components – The OPPO PM-2’s ear pads are mounted on rubber inserts that can be easily cleaned or replaced. This design maintains compatibility with the PM-1’s ear pads and makes trying out the PM-1’s lambskin and velour earpads nearly effortless. The headphone cable is detachable and uses 2.5 mm mono mini jacks to connect to the earcups, making it easy to switch between the longer, 6.35 mm terminated cable for home use, and a shorter, 3.5 mm terminated cable for portable use.
Premium Accessories – The 6.35 mm terminated headphone cable features Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) construction wrapped in a black fabric sleeve. A slimline selvedge denim carrying case is also included to allow for easy transportation on the go.
Selvedge Denim Carrying Case – The selvedge denim carrying case included with your OPPO headphones is manufactured using vintage shuttle looms by a supplier for a number of boutique clothing brands based in Europe and Japan. The material is a stylish, high-end fabric that is prized for its ability to weather the elements and develop a unique aesthetic character over time, and the slim design of the case is a perfect match with the PM-2’s ability to fold flat, allowing the headphones to fit easily within a backpack or briefcase.
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With the PM-2 you get incredible sound, portability, efficiency, low weight, great build, affordability and comfort all in one package. I'm not saying its the perfect headphone but its damn near close to it and an incredible all rounder.
OCTOBER 2014 | SCOTT BURNSIDE, STOZZAUDIO, UK
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