The discussion below will show you the comparison between two premium pairs of headphones available in the same price range, Shure SRH1540 vs Oppo PM-3. Both of them have received so many positive reviews that praise their sound quality and performance. Then again, they come with different build materials and features, so some people may prefer one over the other.
After reading this article, you will understand better about:
- What items and accessories that are included with each headset
- The design and build quality of each headset
- The comparison of their comfort and ease of use
- The sound quality of Shure SRH1540 vs Oppo PM-3
- Whether you should go with Shure SRH1540 or Oppo PM-3
Shure SRH1540: Overview
It is obvious that the company treats Shure SRH1540 seriously, and we probably should treat this headset seriously as well. While we often find small-sized products being packaged in large-sized boxes, Shure SRH1540 deviates from the common practice. You will be surprised that the headset is actually just as large as the box. The box has been designed to prioritize protection and proper storage, as if the headset is a high-end studio unit. See also: AKG K712 Pro Vs HD600
The headphones are indeed large, and they can’t be folded down. To allow some portability, the Shure SRH1540 headphones come with a hard-shelled zippered case which is really nice. Inside the case, there are two zippered pockets that are kept in place by velcro straps.
In each pocket, you can find the audio cables and the screw-on 1/4-inch adapter. There is also a pair of replacement ear pads that are very similar to the ones already on the headphones.
Despite the large size, Shure SRH1540 feels surprisingly light. There are many other over-the-ear headphones that are smaller yet heavier. The secret behind Shure SRH1540’s lightweight design is the use of carbon-fiber inlays on the aluminum frame, which are robust yet without adding a significant weight to the overall profile. The headset is also very comfortable to wear, and the headband is flexible enough to fit most head sizes.
Shure SRH1540: Design & Features
Shure SRH1540 features a split headband design, with each strip being padded and wrapped in leatherette to make long listening sessions comfortable. Then, there are two inverted U-shaped yokes where the ear cups are being hinged and kept in place. You can adjust the fit quickly by sliding the aluminum pieces on the frame up or down.
The ear cups of Shure SRH1540 vs Oppo PM-3 are armed with 40mm neodymium magnets. They are also padded with memory foam and covered with a velvety cloth which feels really luxurious and comfy at the same time.
Each cable that is included with the headset measures 6-ft long. It is made from oxygen-free copper and reinforced with kevlar to ensure the best performance and durability. The relief area on each cable is quite long, hence ensuring minimum wear as you use the cable with repeated plugging and unplugging over time. It ends in a 3.5mm jack, but a gold-plated 1/4-inch TRS adapter is available when needed.
Most people are impressed by the superior build quality and comfort offered by Shure SRH1540, considering that it is a consumer-grade headset. This model is excellent for day-to-day listening. It is not really a studio monitor, even though it somehow looks like one. A studio monitor usually comes with a coiled cable that is natively terminated in a 1/4-inch TRS jack.
Shure SRH1540: Performance
Despite being closed-back headphones, Shure SRH1540 vs Oppo PM-3 won’t really attenuate sounds from the outside world. They don’t have active noise cancellation, and their passive noise isolation isn’t much.
If you wear Shure SRH1540 without playing any music in an office setting, you will still be able to hear nearby discussions, though the noise is indeed less edgy. However, if you play music at a moderate volume, the noise from the outside will be virtually non-existent. Without active noise cancellation, though, Shure SRH1540 won’t be suitable for blocking loud construction noise or an airplane engine.
Shure SRH1540 is arguably the company’s best headphones in terms of sound quality so far. Well, admittedly, this can be a highly subjective matter – some people prefer more bass, while some others prefer bright treble, and the rest go for less obvious attributes such as soundstage and transient response. That said, Shure SRH1540 is somehow able to deliver sounds that can tick different people’s requirements. The sound is really lush and great.
Shure SRH1540 simply doesn’t make any mistake in the sound reproduction. The bass can get extremely deep with decent power, yet without going out of line. The midrange is totally clear and almost pristine, which is an impressive feat for a closed-back design. The treble sparkles and shines accurately, without ever producing something that is related to harshness. Instruments ring harmonically with sweet sophisticated textures as if they come from a live performance.
Oppo PM-3: Overview
Oppo PM-3 is a special headset. It uses planar magnetic headphones, which differ from the conventional design. A planar magnetic driver has an intricate and sophisticated diaphragm that can deliver sound frequencies with much higher accuracy and greatly minimized distortion.
Although Oppo PM-3 doesn’t seem to be as luxurious as some other planar magnetic headsets in the market, it is still very interesting due to a few reasons. First, it comes in a small, light, and compact closed-back design. Second, the price is comparable to that of Shure SRH1540, yet the bundle includes nice items.
In the box, you can find a standard 3.5mm cable for use with your mobile device. However, there is also a super-long cable with a phono adapter, which is nice for use with a headphone amp at home. Additionally, if you buy the headset from the official Oppo website, you can get special cables with in-line clickers for Android and iPhone devices.
Oppo PM-3: Design & Features
The build quality overall is very good. Although it is apparently a step-down from the luxurious Oppo PM-1, Oppo PM-3 is still a worthy opponent for the competition in its class. The comfort is really great, as it will allow you to wear the headphones continuously for several hours without any pain or discomfort.
The ear pads are covered in a synthetic material. Before you frown on this, you should know that the synthetic ear pads are extremely comfy and cool. You can wear them for an extended period without getting hot or sweaty. In addition, the overall profile is compact enough to allow you to travel conveniently. The included carry case fits that particular purpose perfectly.
The frame is very solid and robust. The unit seems to be able to withstand heavy physical abuse. Some people may be tempted to just toss the headphones into their bag and go. But we advise you to treat Oppo PM-3 with care and respect, not because of a bad build quality, but simply because the headphones deserve it.
Oppo PM-3: Performance
Oppo PM-3 sounds amazingly good. People shopping in this price range are typically looking for headphones with optimum balance and precision. We don’t want bass that is too heavy and messy, artificial treble that sounds too sibilant, or inaccurate midrange with missing sounds certain frequencies.
Fortunately, Oppo PM-3 can easily fill the requirement. It delivers incredible definition across all frequencies. You will be impressed by the superbly detailed midrange, which is nestled between clearly defined lows and crystal-clear, natural highs.
A lot of headphones often dial-up their bass or treble in an artificial way – in some cases, both the bass and treble are dialed-up altogether. More often than not, this is an attempt to hide the weak, feeble midrange or to take attention away from the poor isolation. They hide their weaknesses by bluffing to have ‘big’ sound.
But not with Oppo PM-3. By using planar magnetic drivers in combination with a closed-back design, this headset can easily isolate you from environmental noise, while at the same time confidently delivering pristine sounds with superior accuracy and detail. When choosing between Shure SRH1540 vs Oppo PM-3, the noise isolation offered by Oppo PM-3 can be a real attraction for some people.
The noise isolation of the Oppo PM-3 headphones is even comparable to that of Sony headphones. People often recommend Sony headphones if you need something that can block the outside world to let you focus on your own business. But Oppo PM-3 can do that as well with similar performance, if not better.
And like any great headphones, Oppo PM-3 has a wide soundstage with decent imaging. You can distinguish and locate individual instruments, and in some tracks you may notice layers of sound that you never knew were there.
Shure SRH1540 vs Oppo PM-3
Both of these are very good headsets. However, Oppo PM-3 is better in terms of noise isolation and overall performance, and hence more recommended. It can easily block ambient noise, and the response across the frequencies is very balanced and accurate. It also has a wide soundstage with very good imaging that will allow you to distinguish and locate different instruments. The comfort is great.