In contrast to OMNI’s smoother, comfier, and perhaps more traditionally audiophile-friendly sound, Vibro MKII, with the same pads is notably brighter. It’s got a gentle, but noticeable u-shaped sound, with similarly warm and smoothly gradated bass. Bass doesn’t hammer, but it warms up the bottom, and can hit rock bottom frequencies when fed the right signal. The Crystal Method’s High Roller pushes loads of pressure into low-voiced frequencies, which causes Vibro MKII to positively throb. High-voiced vocals are a bit more bitey than OMNI, but there’s a bit more bleed on the decaying edge of cymbals.
In my opinion, that bite makes Vibro MKII a better trance and EDM headphone. In fact, its take on equal loudness is pretty close to neutral. Of course, low frequency stereo separation and placement middle out, deferring to the midrange when defining placement and space. OMNI’s 3D space is larger with a longer Z-axis and more Y-axis height. Vibro MKII’s 3D space is shaped like a fat banana laid on its side, curving forward and anchoring at the base of the spine. Upper midrange percussion tends to hit around the eyebrows and case forward by 30 centimetres. Bass largely centres within the skull. Upper midrange and low high energy stretches forward, from the eyeballs and curl around the shoulders but can extend far beyond them. Frenetic trance fans may wish for more Y-axis height, but otherwise, should be happy with upper midrange speed, stereo width, and absolute balance of highs to bass. If you plug its bass ports, you can down the bass further, which extends the midrange a bit and, even though just fractionally, opens up the sound.
I fall squarely into that cohort. And, if it was my money, and I had to do it all over again and choose sound over fit and finish, I’d throw my money into Vibro MKII way before I’d spend up for a PM-2.
It is a good-sounding headphone that sometimes really trips out with an excellent balance and sense of speed. And, despite the warming sheen of the Lynx HILO’s headphone amp, Vibro’s semi-bright posture, comes through.
As is typical of the last few weeks, I’m apt to apologise; this time for being less than clear, and detailing less about fit/modularity functions unique to ZMF phones. There’s nothing you can do to make them Oppo PM-2 comfy. But there is a lot you can do to make them work well. While it’s just one man’s opinion, OMNI is better suited to audiophile staples and Vibro MKII to the stuff stuffy audiophiles often frown on.
Which, considering that I’m not a good audiophile, makes Vibro MKII totally up my alley.