Oppo Introduces Its PM-1 Headphones and HA-1 Headphone Amp

  • Jeff Dorgay

High-fidelity personal listening is apparently on the rise, as many audiophile-grade equipment manufacturers have launched premium headphones and headphone amplifiers in recent years. While Silicon Valley’s Oppo Digital is often considered one of the industry’s value leaders—its highly awarded $1,199 BDP-105 Universal Disc Player packs no fewer than four hi-fi source units into a single box—its new PM-1 Headphones and HA-1 Headphone Amplifier take more of a spare-no-expense approach.

Oppo’s first foray into the headphone market, the $1,099 PM-1 Headphones use a planar-magnetic driver design, similar to those employed by other manufacturers including HiFiMan and Audeze, but with a couple twists. Oppo’s magnetic-driver system is optimized using the finite-element method to help stabilize frequency response. It also uses double-sided, seven-layer diaphragm drivers that have a much higher efficiency than those of similar headphones, making the PM-1s much easier to drive with a portable music player or smartphone. When powered by a dedicated headphone amplifier, the PM-1s truly sing.

Oppo created its $1,199 HA-1 Amplifier to pair with the PM-1s. It incorporates an onboard digital-to-analog converter (DAC) with the latest ESS Sabre DAC chips, which are used in many of the world’s most expensive standalone DACs, as well as a separate class-A headphone amplifier section, an op-amp-based preamplifier section, and a massive linear power supply. USB, AES/EBU, RCA, XLR, and S/PDIF (coaxial and optical) inputs give listeners the option to play standard and high-resolution digital music files from any source, as well as Bluetooth streaming for wireless playback from mobile devices. In true hi-fi fashion, the HA-1 also offers balanced XLR and single-ended RCA line-level outputs, so that it can be used as a line-level preamplifier.

When paired together, the PM-1 and HA-1 serve as the basis for an amazing personal-listening system. (650.961.1118, www.oppodigital.com)

Read Next Article >>
Photo by Malena silva
Among the finest conduits for playing music from an untethered digital device are the KEF X300A...
Photo by VZPhoto
The world’s top hi-fi manufacturers take personal listening to new levels with these small but...
Peter Luehr
Bob Ludwig has perfected recordings by some of the greatest artists of the last 40 years...
Photo by Jeff Dorgay
The speakers’ powerful response belies their diminutive size…
The recent release of the Limited-Edition Linn Sondek LP12 (www.linn.co.uk) celebrates the 40th...
High-definition content looks better than ever on these cutting-edge 4K displays.
Photo by Berlyn Photography
Going to the movies is a treasured pastime for many American families. But for celebrities and...
Photo by VZPhoto
Harnessing the control and clarity of digital audio…
Photo by VZPhoto
Big McIntosh sound quality in a small headphone package…
The new integrated amp features balanced audio circuitry and hybrid amplification…