Best Headphones 2020: Earphones, On Ear, Wireless, Budget

Here you can see the best headphones, earphones, on-ear, full-sized, Bluetooth, True Wireless and even audiophile headphones to buy right now.

Our pick of the Best Headphones from earbuds to full size, noise cancelling to sports

We know how important it is to find the best headphones for you; whether they are for your smartphone, music player, laptop or hi fi system.

Here you can see the best of the best earphones, on ear, full sized, Bluetooth, True Wireless and even audiophile headphones to buy right now.

BEST EARPHONES

READ MORE: Best Earphones 2020

1. 64 Audio tia Fourte – £3599

64 audio tia fourte
64 Audio tia Fourte

If you want the absolute best, and are happy to pay for it – then we believe that the 64 Audio Tia Fourte is the one. With the Tia Fourte, 64 Audio has shown that it’s not about the most drivers – it’s how you implement them. With a combination of 1 dynamic, 1 balanced armature and 2 Tia drivers in a fully tubeless design – the sound is like nothing heard before from an IEM.

READ MORE: 64 Audio tia Fourte Universal IEM

 

BEST ON EAR HEADPHONES

2. SoundMAGIC Vento P55 v3.0 – £89.99

SoundMAGIC Vento P55 v3.0
SoundMAGIC Vento P55 v3.0

The P55 v3.0, as the name suggests, is the third update to this model. The build and design have stayed the same, the big change is to the drivers used. SoundMAGIC has developed a brand new dynamic driver for the P55 v3 – using improved materials to increase performance. Starting with the build quality, SoundMAGIC has done a great job here. 

WATCH VIDEO: SoundMAGIC Vento P55 v3.0 Video & Review

 

BEST OVER EAR HEADPHONES

READ MORE: Best Over Ear Headphones 2020

3. Meze Empyrean – £2699

Meze Empyrean
Meze Empyrean

The unique construction of the Empyrean was designed with the shape of the human ear in mind. As a result, they enjoy a greater degree of imaging than you’re likely to find anywhere else. Each Empyrean is hand crafted to exacting detail, and that level of precision is not only visible, but audible. 

READ MORE: Meze Empyrean Open Back Headphone Review

 

BEST WIRELESS HEADPHONES

READ MORE: Best Wireless Headphones 2020

4. Lypertek TEVI – £99

lypertek tevi true wireless
Lypertek TEVI

The TEVI is very impressive, especially considering their sub £100 price point. Offering up a smooth and detailed sound signature that is well balanced yet slightly full. Add to that great stability and functionality and you have a True Wireless earphone that is so easy to recommend, go out and grab one now as they are a game changer in the TW market.

READ MORE: Lypertek TEVI True Wireless Earphones Review

 

BEST RUNNING HEADPHONES

READ MORE: Best Running Headphones 2020

5. Bowers & Wilkins PI3 – £169.99

bowers-wilkins-pi3-wireless
Bowers & Wilkins PI3

For those after a more premium feel to their wireless earphones, then B&W has you covered with the PI3. Another neckband design, the PI3 will blow you away with its superb build, design and comfort, with only the best materials being used. Then the sound – using the latest codecs you can be sure that you get your money’s worth. To make these suited to running, there are ear fins included with the PI3, which will improve comfort and provide a secure fit for active listening.

READ MORE: Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Bluetooth Earphones

 

BEST BUDGET HEADPHONES

6. SoundMAGIC E11C – £49

soundmagic-e11c
SoundMAGIC E11C

We have awaited the SoundMAGIC E11C with some anticipation; with various models already available, what can the E11C bring to the table? We have found the E11C to be a grown-up earphone with a keen knack for giving a clear and accurate presentation across the board.  A truly impressive earphone for the price and in our opinion the new budget king.

READ MORE: SoundMAGIC E11C In-Ear Headphone Review

Have We Missed Anything Out?

Please feel free to leave a comment below and let us know…

Best Full Size Headphones To Buy In 2017 – Expert Reviews

We’ve have some of the best full size hi-fi headphones from under £100 to over £1000 from 2017. The reviews are designed to help you choose from the massive selection of hi-fi and audiophile headphones available with open back and closed back designs.

Best Full Size Headphones 2017

Best Full Size Over-Ear Headphones 2017

We’ve have some of the best full size hi-fi headphones from under £100 to over £1000 from 2017. The reviews are designed to help you choose from the massive selection of hi-fi and audiophile headphones available with open back and closed back designs. From established brands like Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser, to new creative brands like MrSpeakers and Audeze.

Scroll down for in depth reviews of our favourite full size open back and closed back headphones.

Shop: Visit our Full Size Headphones Store

Read More: Best On-Ear Headphones Buying Guide

Best Full Size Headphones Under £50

Edifier H840Edifier H840 - Best Full Size Headphones

The closed-back Edifier H840 has audio quality which belies its entry-level price. Low-cost headphones can emphasise the bass a little too much but the Edifier H840 has a good balance throughout the frequency range, with midrange and treble coming through with impressive clarity. Bass is there too, and prominent enough to give a bit of weight to those basslines without stealing the show.

Build quality is also impressive for headphones at this price; they are quite rugged, but light and comfortable as well.

They can be used either in the home or as a portable model, since the closed-back design offers good isolation from exterior sounds and the H840 can be powered sufficiently by a phone, or a portable music player.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

If you’re on a budget, there is no need to compromise on sound quality. For the asking price, the Edifier H840 represents amazing value.

Best Full Size Headphones Under £150

Sennheiser HD461G (Android) or HD461i (Apple)Sennheiser HD461 - Best Full Size Headphones

Sennheiser’s HD461 models come in two flavours, depending on whether you have an Apple handset (with a headphone socket!) or an Android handset. Designed primarily for portable use, the HD461 models can also be used with home equipment as they will still work in standard 3.5mm stereo sockets.

Also, the cables are available separately as spares, so if you change your phone from one type to the other, you only need to get the appropriate cable for full functionality with your new handset.

The design is light and comfortable with a sound akin to what Sennheiser generally prefers; a warm comfortable sound with enough sparkle at the treble end to keep things interesting and vibrant, but without any danger of listener fatigue. The HD461 design hsa a little bit of extra bass than usual however, so if you’re a bass fan then these are worth a try.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

For a bassy accompaniment at home or on the move, the HD461i (or HD461G) will give full functionality with your handset, whether Apple of Android. With spare cables available too, there is no need to change your headphones if you change your phone (iPhone 7 notwithstanding!).

SoundMAGIC HP151SoundMAGIC HP151 - Best Full Size Headphones

The new HP151 from SoundMAGIC is perfect for those who want to treat themselves to some excellent sound and build quality, but without breaking the bank. The HP151 comes with a sturdy carry case and an extension cable for more options if listening at home, but is otherwise suitable for portable use, being of a closed-back design. Be aware however that whilst the HP151 will work well with commercial genres, classical or similar may require more amplification than a phone/handset can provide on its own, as those music types generally have quieter recordings, with less dynamic compression applied during production.

The HP151 sound has a good amount of well controlled bass from its 53mm drivers, and midrange/treble are clear and present. It’s a comfortable sound, and it is not likely that listener fatigue will set in.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

The HP151 is a fantastic all-rounder, with a bassy yet crisp sound. It has a spacious and wide presentation considering the closed back design, and it looks really good too!

READ MORE: SoundMAGIC HP151 Full Review

Best Full Size Headphones Under £350

Final Sonorous IIIFinal Sonorous III - Best Full Size Headphones

Final makes some excellent-sounding headphones with great build quality too. Their closed-back Sonorous range encompasses many models, but the Sonorous III is a point of interest as it gives some amazing sound quality for the price. With slightly boosted bass and treble, the Sonorous III gives a little added shine to your tracks without going overboard. The low impedance of this design makes it suitable for using with a portable device or phone, for enjoying your collection in the home, or out and about.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

The Sonorous III is a favourite here for its relaxed, natural sound. However the Sonorous II is also noteworthy as a more neutral version, giving a more faithful rendition of your recordings and particularly suitable for classical and acoustic performances.

Best Full Size Headphones Under £800

Now we start to enter the price range of diminishing returns; for instance, headphones costing £800 will not sound twice as good as those costing £400, but if you are intent on raising your headphones game, these smaller improvements are still worthwhile to make your music collection come alive again.

Beyerdynamic Amiron HomeBeyerdynamic Amiron Home - Best Full Size Headphones

Beyerdynamic has impressed us for many years and continues to do so with new models such as the Amiron Home. With sterling build quality and sound quality alike, the open-back Amiron Home does everything well. All frequencies are very well balanced with each other, with treble a little gentler than quite a few of Beyerdynamic’s previous models.

So the sound is natural and smooth; ideal for relaxing at home (where else?), and quite suitable for any music genres that can be thrown at it.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

The Beyerdynamic Amiron Home is a real treat to use, and is as comfortable to wear as it is to listen to.

READ MORE: Beyerdynamic Amiron Home Full Review

MrSpeakers AeonMrSpeakers Aeon - Best Full Size Headphones

A relatively new maker, MrSpeakers has certainly caused a stir with their line of planar-magnetic models recently. Not least with the Aeon, a lightweight design which hits heavy with some excellent sound quality. The design lends itself well to portable uses, although additional amplification may be required if using with a phone.

The sound is fairly well balanced with a little extra bass and lovely clear midrange and treble. The Aeon is well suited for all genres, but a real treat with anything likely to get you moving!

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

If your portable audio game needs updating, the MrSpeakers Aeon is one to look at, although the Aeon is equally enjoyable if you like to stay put.

READ MORE: MrSpeakers Aeon Full Review

Best Full Size Headphones Under £1000

Focal ElearFocal Elear - Best Full Size Headphones

Focal’s recent additions to their lineup show a slight move away from the generally brighter sound of their previous models, to a gentler more laid-back sound which nevertheless gives detail in spades. The Elear is an exquisitely comfortable model to wear also, and gives the impression of the venerable HD650 but with a little bit of extra treble presence.

The Elear is not a light model at 434g, so this may be worth bearing in mind but the sound is very pleasing indeed.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

French company Focal has produced a real hit with the Elear, and it is easy to understand how; they’re great fun!

READ MORE: Focal Elear Full Review

Pioneer SE-Monitor5Pioneer SE-Monitor5 - Best Full Size Headphones

Pioneer’s new SE-Monitor5 is where headphones start to get sumptuous and luxurious! Build quality is like an executive car, and the plush padding is much the same. The SE-Monitor5 may be a little heavy for some at 480g but they are made for relaxing at home and swallow up the sides of the head with their huge earcups.

The sound is as you would expect from Pioneer at this price, with well-controlled bass doing just what it needs to according to the music genre being enjoyed. Higher frequencies follow suit and remain faithful to the music, only to add a little bit of extra excitement and glamour to proceedings, whilst staying very relaxing.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

The SE-Monitor5 is incredibly comfortable and bound to please anyone who gives them a listen.

READ MORE: Pioneer SE-Monitor5 Full Review

Best Full Size Headphones Over £1000!

If you have got bored of circling Switzerland in your yacht then you’re probably lost, but you may be wealthy enough to consider the following models for your floating games room! These higher priced models may seem as steep as a black route ski slope, but those who accept no compromise will find the following offerings very interesting.

Sennheiser HD800SSennheiser HD800S - Best Full Size Headphones

Sennheiser is no stranger to premium headphones, and has followed up on the excellent HD800, released a few years ago. Some felt that the HD800 is incredibly detailed but at the cost of a certain amount of musicality, so Sennheiser now has the HD800S which offers a little more in the way of ‘soul’. Bass is very responsive to what different music genres need without overdoing things, and midrange/treble give some excellent soundstage and imaging with a slightly gentler presentation when compared to the older HD800.

The HD800S is however just as comfortable as its older brother the HD800; these models can be worn for hours on end with no trouble.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

The HD800S is a very popular model and with good reason; it’s as enjoyable as it is comfortable and has a fair amount of visual impact as well.

READ MORE: Sennheiser HD800S Full Review

Audeze LCD-4Audeze LCD-4 - Best Full Size Headphones

Audeze has plenty of models, but at the top of the range we have the planar-magnetic LCD-4. Top notch build quality is to be expected at this price, including unique drivers which feature NASA technology in their nano-scale diaphragms. These light, thin diaphragms can move very quickly with no inertia, making transient response times very fast, and bass precise with nice extension and very good control.

Made from 30 year old Macassar wood, the earcups are set off by bright silver grilles making the LCD-4 a treat to look at as well as to listen to. As well as the excellent bass, midrange and treble follow in good order with a smooth transition between, but with perhaps a slightly recessed midrange, putting bass and treble at the forefront of the presentation.

HiFi Headphones Verdict:

For the last word in headphones, this may need to be your first stop!

Best On Ear Headphones To Buy in 2017 – Expert Reviews

Looking for a new pair of on-ear headphones? We’ve collected the best on ear, open back, closed back and portable headphones to buy in 2017 and reviewed them to help you choose.

Best On Ear Headphones 2017

Best On Ear Headphones 2017

Looking for a new pair of on-ear headphones?  We’ve collected the best on ear, open back, closed back and portable headphones to buy in 2017 and reviewed them to help you choose.

Shop: Visit our on-ear headphones store

Read More: Best In Ear Headphone Buying Guide

Best On Ear Headphones under £50

SoundMAGIC P22CSoundMAGIC P22C - Best On Ear Headphones 2017

SoundMAGIC takes a lot of beating in this price category – the brand is a natural at making low cost headphones which sound much pricier.

The P22C model is a lightweight portable with a flat tangle-free cable and good isolation. Ideal for travel and holidays, these will fit right in to any bag or backpack when stored in their low profile travel case. The P22C included a microphone for phone usage and the remote is compatible with both Android and Apple devices.

Sound is impressive for this price point, with plenty of detail and a good kick to the bass without overpowering the mid range.

Engaging and fun-sounding, the P22C will make the absolute most of the output from any portable player.

Edifier P650Edifier P650 - Best On Ear Headphones 2017

The Edifier P650 is a smartphone friendly, easy to carry portable headphone that punch above their weight and price.

Offering a well balanced sound with a little added kick down low, the midrange is clean and detailed and the treble isn’t far behind. The bass does not have the most sub-bass rumble but for a quick and easy to use, on the go headphone they offer great sound.

What impresses most is their ability to portray the whole frequency range in a well controlled and balanced manner, too many budget headphones overload you with muddy bass, yet these offer plenty of detail but are also easy to listen to; a no brainer at this price point.

Koss PortaProKoss PortaPro - Best On Ear Headphones 2017

The simple design and great sound keeps them viable while the open-back design, whilst not being the best for isolation of course, is perfect for those who wish to be aware of what’s going on around them such as joggers, and muggers.

The sound is generally well balanced between bass and treble, although the midrange can seem a bit distant and mushy. Bass is perhaps a bit on the heavy side, but it will definitely satisfy those who want a bassy sound. The Koss Porta Pro Classics offer a warmish sound overall.

Be aware though that their open-back nature means that they will be of limited use in noisy environments.

READ MORE: Koss PortaPro Full Review

Best On Ear Headphones under £150

B&W P3 Series 2Bowers and Wilkins P3 S2 - Best On Ear Headphones 2017

B&W have a long history of making excellent hifi products, and this has trickled down into their headphones.

The P3 are superbly built with an elegant and sophisticated look, the P3 really do impress. Lucikly they are not all about the look either, as the P3 offer a smooth and effortless sound that is akin to their house speaker sound. Offering excellent full bodied bass response with a non fatiguing and slightly sweet midrange and treble.

Comfortable, well built with a smooth and pleasing sound signature, the P3 are perfect for on-the-go use.

Sennheiser HD25-1 IISennheiser HD25 - Best On Ear Headphones 2017

The HD25-1 II are one of the most well known on-ear headphones, this is partly due to their popularity as a DJ headphone. Used by DJ’s and sound engineers globally the HD25-1 II are a rugged portable headphone that will last for years.

Offering an immediate and aggressive sound they won’t give you a wide soundstage but will give you an engaging and detailed signature. The bass is tight and digs deep with excellent control and presence, the midrange is smooth yet very detailed and the treble has good extension and is very well placed in the mix.

If you are looking for a smooth laid back sound, the B&W are probably a better choice, but if you want a fun, upfront and engaging listen the HD25-1 II is for you. All parts are easily replaceable too, should anything ever break.

Grado SR80eGrado SR80e - Best On Ear Headphones 2017

The Grado SR80e are a definite improvement over the SR80i, with a slightly warmer, more balanced sound. Their retro styling may not appeal to all, but underneath the looks is a fine sounding open-back headphone. The undisputed king of headphones for rock music, these are sure to get you toe tapping and head banging in no time.

These will not appeal to bass heads, they fair better with music that is played on real instruments. They have long been favourites for people that enjoy rock music due to the speed and control of the sound.

At the price point I still think Grado hold their own with a well balanced, aggressive and detailed sound, there is nothing quite like them.

READ MORE: Grado SR80e Full Review

Best On Ear Headphones under £250

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 2.0iSennheiser Momentum 2.0 - Best On Ear Headphones 2017

The Momentum series are hugely popular with on the go commuters, and for good reason. Offering stylish looks, a comfortable fit and a smooth easy to listen to sound.

Built to last with replaceable parts, the Momentum has slightly retro looks and comes in an array of colours. With playback controls on the cable you no longer have to take your phone out of your pocket. The sound is dynamic and punchy, offrering a slightly bass driven sound without sacrificing the midrange and treble. Engaging and fun are the best word to sum up the Momentum 2.0i.

Good looks and great sound, it is easy to see why the Momentum 2.0i is so popular with commuters. For Android users there is also the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0G.

Beyerdynamic T51iBeyerdynamic T51i - Best On Ear Headphones 2017

The T51i have been around for a while now and are still excellent on-the-go headphones. They have a sturdy and sophisticated look, and offer a well balanced and detailed sound.

The T51i again tilts towards an easier to listen to sound, with a slight bass boost that gives the whole sound a little added body. There is sufficient detail across the range to keep them from sounding boring and what comes to mind when you put the T51i on is refinement.

With excellent build, comfy fit and refined sound the T51i has a lot to offer.

READ MORE: Beyerdynamic T51i Full Review

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2Bowers and Wilkins P5 S2 - Best On Ear Headphones 2017

Leather earpads and a metal headband, the P5 Series 2 screams quality and luxury. The earpads are soft lambskin leather with memory foam inside, like cushions against your ears.

Like the P3 the P5 Series 2 has the typical B&W house sound, which is smooth and effortless. Offering a well balanced but slightly rich sound with superb separation and articulation, from highs to lows these sound very refined and grown up.

The P5 Series 1 look stunning, have replaceable cables and a smooth effortless sound, what is not to like?

READ MORE: Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 Full Review

Best On Ear Headphones Over £250

Audeze SineAudeze Sine - Best On Ear Headphones 2017

Built from leather and metal, the Audeze Sine are built to last and also come with detachable cables. Using planar magnetic drivers they take a little more power than most phones can output, so they are best used with a high quality music player.

Give them a good source and the Sine in return give you excellent audio with snappy dynamics that can keep up with the most demanding of music. The bass is full yet superbly controlled, the midrange is where these excel not allowing the lows to affect them. Guitars have excellent power, and vocals come across with plenty of detail. The highs are present and well defined, but never become too hot and harsh.

The Sine are a mighty fine sounding on-ear headphone when driven well, and give you a full and detailed sound all

Best Headphones Under £150 – 2016

We have picked our best headphones available for under £150. This list includes full size, on ear, closed and open back headphones from brands like Sennheiser, KEF, Beyerdynamic, Fostex, SoundMAGIC and more.

We have compiled a list of the best headphones under £150. Our list includes full size, on ear, closed and open back headphones from brands like Sennheiser, KEF, Beyerdynamic, Fostex, SoundMAGIC and more.

 

 

Best Headphones Under £150

best headphones under £150 koss portapro

 

Koss PortaPro

Most portable headphones understandably are closed back so that they can isolate you from your surroundings – the Koss PortaPro is a great open backed option if you want a wide, open sound and want to be able to hear what’s going on around you. The headphone’s lightweight and comfortable design makes them a good sports option too.

best headphones under £150 thomson whp3001bk

 

Thomson WHP3001BK

The Thomson’s are currently our lowest priced wireless headphones – but don’t let that put you off. They fit over the ear, they are closed back and thanks to their floating headband design they are very comfortable – perfect for long listening sessions. Their sound is ideally suited for TV and radio.

best headphones under £150 sennheiser urbanite

 

Sennheiser Urbanite

The Urbanite was Sennheiser’s answer to the popular Beats headphone movement and they have done a great job for a fraction of the price. These headphones have a warm sound with great bass that doesn’t clutter the midrange and smooth, engaging detail. They also fold up and are very comfortable – great for listening on the move.

best headphones under £150 grado sr80e

 

Grado SR80e

Grado’s SR80e is quite possibly the best open back headphone you can get for under £100. Being open backed you wouldn’t want to use them in public – unless you want others to hear your guilty pleasures, but their lightweight build and exciting, detailed sound makes them a great option for home use.

best headphones under £150 lindy cromo

 

Lindy Cromo NCX-100

Lindy is still fairly unknown as a brand but they produce extremely good headphones at a low price. The Cromo NCX-100 is their noise cancelling model and it challenges higher priced offerings from bigger brands. They have superb build quality and comfort with a fun and engaging sound.

best headphones under £150 fostex t20rp t40rp t50rp

 

Fostex T20RP, T40RP, T50RP

Fostex’s recent RP series of headphones give a lot of bang for the buck. They come as either closed, open or semi-open which means there is one to suit all scenarios. They are tough to drive so may need an amp, but will sound superb with a smooth richness and clear detail. The range also boasts replaceable cables and a great comfort.

best headphones under £150 soundmagic hp150

 

SoundMAGIC HP150

SoundMAGIC has dominated the low priced earphone market for a few years now thanks to the E10 and the HP150 is currently their flagship full sized wired headphone. The HP150’s superb build quality, comfort and fold up design combined with their clear and punchy sound makes them ideal for portable, home or studio use.

best headphones under £150 beyerdynamic dt770

 

Beyerdynamic DT770

From one favourite to another – the DT770 can be seen in nearly every recording studio worldwide. This is due to their extremely tough build, great isolation and comfort. In terms of sound they are a superb all rounders with excellent bass and treble emphasis.

best headphones under £150 sennheiser hd25

 

Sennheiser HD25 II

The HD25 has been around for ever and they still have enough unique points to be current. They are extremely popular, especially with DJs and recording studios. Most of all they deliver great sound, deep bass, isolation, durability and pretty much every part on them can be replaced thanks to the amount of spares available.

best headphones under £150 kef m400

 

KEF M400

Finally KEF’s entry level portable offers everything you would want from your headphone on the move. First of all they fold up, have a replaceable cable, are smartphone compatible and come in a range of colours. In addition they also sound great with a well balanced sound that is very enjoyable and easy to listen to.

 

OPPO PM-3 Headphone – Planar Magic – Expert Review

It’s tempting to ignore the relatively diminutive OPPO PM-3 in favour of its two larger siblings, the PM-1 and PM-2; but that would be a mistake.

It’s tempting to ignore the relatively diminutive OPPO PM-3 in favour of its two larger siblings, the PM-1 and PM-2; but that would be a mistake. The closed back PM-3 has versatility which the larger models do not, and for the cost of these headphones, an incredible sound quality is available.

OPPO PM3

Pros:

  • Four different cables included
  • Very comfortable
  • Good Isolation
  • Strong and light construction

Cons:

  • May get a bit sticky under the earpads in hot conditions

Design and Appearance

The PM-3 looks respectable and will melt into the background. It’s the headphone equivalent of the besuited gent in Piccadilly; you wouldn’t look twice but he gets things done. The OPPO PM-3 is a smaller version of the PM-1, with steel headband, earcup yokes and trim, with leather headband and a good solid feel.

Durability and Build Quality

It seems as if the PM-3 is built for many years’ use like its bigger brothers; the headphones would give off a ‘military grade’ feel if they weren’t so light and comfortable. Cables are built for a more portable use as opposed to the premium ‘stay at home’ cable supplied with the PM-1 and PM-2. The 3m cable is decent nonetheless, and together with the other three supplied cables should serve for years to come.

Comfort

The OPPO PM-3 strikes a good balance between clamping force and comfort; the earpads see to that. There’s plenty of give in them and they are reminiscent of a comfy chair which is particularly difficult to get out of.  The addition of glasses doesn’t throw up any problems either; the PM-3 can be worn for long periods and so it should too!

Sound Isolation

With nothing playing, the isolation of the PM-3 could be better but this is the trade-off against the comfort level which, as stated, is very high. However with music playing, exterior sound is masked effectively as the ears are bathed in some very sweet audio. Not much tends to make it out of the earcups, so fellow passengers need not know our peculiar music tastes.

Portability

The OPPO PM-3 is fairly typical in terms of size, being a portable over-ear model. The weight of them is slightly above average for this kind of use but considering what’s on offer within this package, they’re surprisingly light. The provided travel case, like that included with the PM-1 and PM-2 models, means that these headphones can go anywhere and be tucked away safely if needed; the case is padded and offers a good deal of protection.

OPPO PM3 Hugo

Sound Characteristics

(Used with Chord Hugo DAC/Amp)

The OPPO PM-3 is tuned to be fun and comfortable; the bass and midrange are where it’s at, and the treble is toned down slightly to allow them to shine. The result is a very natural and powerful sound.

  • Bass

The 55mm drivers certainly pack a low punch in terms of frequency, but they are quick on their feet; the low end is liquid and very responsive. However it knows its place and leaves room for the rest of the sound to astound. The mid-upper bass level has a bit more presence but again, not to excess. It serves to underpin and complement the midrange and higher frequencies very well.

  • Mids (e.g. vocals, acoustic instruments)

Harmonics, vocals guitars and the like are given a very spacious and natural treatment. There appears to be acres of room in the PM-3 as reverb and all those subtle environmental cues can be followed to their conclusions without other instrumentation getting in the way. Guitar distortion, synths and drum parts really give an impression of immediacy and presence.

  • Treble (e.g. high hats)

The OPPO PM-3 is on the warmer side of things; the treble is kept to a level where details are brought to the attention but not at the expense of the rest of the frequency spectrum. Drums have a nice crack and cymbals sizzle, but most would not find any discomfort or fatigue coming their way after a long listening session.

Soundstage and Separation

For a closed-back headphone, the PM-3 has a great soundstage which wraps the listener in the audio so much that it’s hard to escape. From this hapless yet happy position it’s still easy to focus in on individual instruments and follow them along, the imaging giving them a real living, 3D feel.

Music genres good for and why

It’s a job to find anything which does not sound excellent with the PM-3. Hip Hop and Dance are given the benefit of the deep bass, guitar-based rock is given a thrilling mid-range definition and the tuning/separation gives classical music a sharp but gentle edge.

Summary

There have been some very good headphones released recently and we’re getting used to the fact that standards are constantly being exceeded; yet OPPO Digital’s recent foray into the headphone market really impresses us. The PM-3 is definitely recommended for those who have a variety of uses or situations for their headphones, and enjoy a varied taste in musical genres. The PM-3 does it all brilliantly.

OPPO PM3