This is the official thread for the Andover PM-50
This thread is for discussion and reviews.
- Type: Over Ear
- Amp needed: Yes
- Open Back
A group I’m in on Facebook recently shared a link to a review of some headphones and the image of them caught my eye for the LCD look they have going on (with some design choices on the headband similar to Focal’s).
They’re the PM-50 Planar Reference Headphones by Andover Audio and run for $499 with Walnut wood cups. Here’s some specs from the website:
Headphone Style: Over-Ear
Enclosure: Genuine Walnut Hardwood
Ear-Cushions: Two Sets
Cable: Removable / Upgradable
Impedance Rating: 32 Omhs
Frequency Response: 15Hz - 50kHz
Driver Sensitivity: 102dB/1mW
One of the little media blurbs at the bottom says they have a “large, clearly defined soundstage” - which is exciting for me, if true and all else sounds good I haven’t heard of Andover Audio, but they have turntables and accessories for turntables. This appears to be their first headphone, hopefully it is a good one! The design definitely looks nice for how simple it is.
The review says the other set of pads are about 2/3 the thickness of the pads that come on the headphones and they prefer the thicker pads.
If Andover hasn’t sent @ZeosPantera a review set yet they should. Would be a good way to get the word out.
Really into anew planar driver to compete with sundaras and the sendy hope this is good.
Curious to see how this one turns out, could be solid, who knows lol
There’s at least one positive review from Brent Butterworth:
I’m very curious to learn what this community thinks of these cans, though.
It’s very interesting how small that driver is in comparison to the headphones for a planar, almost looks like a modded t50 driver
Yeah, I thought the same.
It’s like a weird mash up of an Audeze LCD, Monoprice M1060, and Hifiman with like Beyer pads.
That’s typically what the chifi stuff looks like, they like to, ahem, draw inspiration from existing popular designs
Haha. Is a common ChiFi technique. But also, there are are only so many designs they make sense. There’s only an innovation like the Heddphone every so often. Music is actually a good example. There are only so many chords and with the amount of music out there, some of it will inevitably sound like it’s ripping off other music.
Do these count as chi-fi? Andover website looks like these are made by a group of American audio engineers.
Not sure, just noting that the design looks pretty chifi, not sure if it actually is or not
kind of crazy they already have a $100 discount off the original price tag but i’m guessing that’s because they need to compete with something like the Sundara.
Definitely agree on the looks. I’m trying to find info on the headphones origin / manufacturer but the company itself seems to occupy a retail space just outside Boston, MA. Doesn’t look like a space for manufacturing necessarily but who knows.
Edit; saw in the deals thread that they are 100 off right now direct from Andover. The few reviews I’ve found seem to look at them comparatively to the Hifiman Sundara and that was at 500 USD. Might be a more appealing choice at 100 discount. Especially if they are made in USA (yet to be seen).
The company is American. It seems the design is most likely done domestically (in USA). It’s unclear where the manufacturing happens. Here’s some additional information:
The Andover Audio PM-50, designed in Boston and made in China, is not an impulsive purchase at $ 500, but its specs are impressive: 15Hz – 50kHz frequency response range and 102dB / 1mW driver sensitivity.
Seems a lot of these planars that share a similar look are probably using off the shelf parts / construction.
A bit disappointing as I was hoping to support North American manufacturing but I’m probably naive to imagine that’s possible anymore (at least in this price range). North American engineering at best it seems.
Edit: Looks like Zeos has at the very least unboxed these at some point recently
Head-Fi Reviews both seem pretty damn positive on everything except for comfort.
Also just went in on them. Will compare to sundaras when they get here.
edit : getting here today . In-state shipping ftw. Will give impressions soon as they get here.
They have arrived!
Initial impressions are quite good (keep in mind this is an hour into a cold start with these cans). Comfort is…different. They’re almost like really fancy 7506s. Will need to get used to, but they are quite nice. They’re definitely on-ear though. Vocals are sounding great. Sibilance is very little to nonexistent. Separation isn’t the greatest. Bass quantity is good. Bass isn’t the tightest. Impact and punchiness feel close to perfect (is getting me to unconciously head bob and foot tap to stuff the sundara struggles with making engaging). Not really handling busy stuff super well right now. We’ll see what an amp / pad change and break in do to them. Imaging feels pretty good. I’m liking how percussion sounds on this. Kick drums and cymbals are sexyyyy. Not really liking how bass guitar sounds. Almost too loose. Strings are decent if not good.
Not as ‘lifelike’ to me as the sundaras. Live music does feel somewhat like I’m listening to a recording. I really think it’s cause of the ear cup size / shape. Even though the sound stage is almost wider than the sundaras, it loses a lot of the airyness that the sundaras have that caters so well to live and orchestral / busy music. Would really want to switch to larger pads (currently using exactly what was on them out of the box). Maybe a more sterile or detailed amp would help. However, despite the flaws, am rocking out with these and really don’t want to take them off. Detail feels pretty comparable to the Sundaras. Just not as much ‘airyness’ to help them stand out, but the detail and resolution for mids and treble are definitely there. Volume wise, turns out the PM-50s are definitely easier to drive, but not by a whole lot. Dynamics are definitely better on te PM-50s.
Initial 1.5 hours in verdict. I like them. Good complement to the sundaras. Definitely engaging and encourage jamming out. Will be keeping if nothing majorly bad happens.
Will update as I get new gear and break these in. Currently trying with Geshelli Labs Enog2 + Archel 2.5 stack.
EDIT : Also, forgot to say, box + build quality + wire are outstanding. At least in comparison to the sundaras. Feel rock fucking solid. Walnut wood is real (and sexy). Even if the sound profile isn’t yet my thing, the build quality / looks alone are a huge plus.
Also, I dunno if it’s new gear syndrome, but listening to a lot of the rock / blues / jazz / folk tunes that are pretty good on the sundara just are more fun with these cans. Audibly went ‘oooph’ and smiled unconciously at the beginning of The Greatest Story Ever Told. Went from browsing to immediately listening and jamming