The boutique audio business makes a whole lot of money offering prospects with that final 1- to 10 % of audio high quality. That’s the market Oppo Digital is aiming for with its $1299 UDP-205 4K Extremely-HD Audiophile Blu-ray participant. That’s past costly for the common shopper, although in reality, being constructed to the nines and sounding glorious, it’s simply one of the best participant we’ve examined to date.
Replace: Oppo has added MQA decoding support to the UDP-205. Current house owners can allow the function with a firmware replace that’s obtainable now (the unit must be related to the web for this).
Fashion and design
For those who’re searching for a svelte, low-profile participant, look elsewhere. The UDP-205 is a hefty, double-height piece of A/V tools (it is 16.Eight inches vast, 12.2-inches deep, and four.Eight-inches excessive). Factoring the unit’s hefty 22-pound weight into the shopping for equation, you’ve gotten a discount when it comes to value per pound.
Okay, that is a stretch, however the dimension and weight does replicate sturdy development, tremendous high-grade elements, and a whole lot of room to flow into air. Simply take a gander on the image under. That is most undoubtedly not what you’ll discover in most Extremely Blu-Ray gamers.
We did be aware that the unit runs very cool, and the optical disc tray is sturdier, quieter, and has a extra stable really feel than what you discover in your run-of-the-mill disc participant. Tastes in design range, however the look of the UDP-205 (see the opening picture) marries nicely with most prosumer and audiophile tools. Put one other method, it seems to be as costly as it’s.
Interface and distant
The UDP-205’s on-screen interface is simple to make use of and straightforward on the attention. Choices are logically laid out, and the GUI typically will get you the place you wish to go rapidly. The distant, alternatively, is a slightly huge affair with a whole lot of buttons.
In precise use, it’s not dangerous in any respect, and sports activities a motion-sensitive backlight (all buttons) so it’s in all probability disingenuous of us to complain about it. But it surely simply doesn’t appear to 100-percent jive with the standard or fashion of the remainder of the unit. Particularly, a $1299 unit. Then once more, hefty unit, hefty distant. There’s symmetry.
Output and enter nirvana
Earlier than we are saying a phrase about ports, take a protracted gaze on the rear panel of the UDP-205 proven under. Click on on the picture and enlarge it.
Spectacular, eh? Analog audio followers will definitely recognize the UDP-205’s balanced XLR outputs, in addition to its commonplace RCA analog stereo outputs and eight RCA outputs that present true 7.1 analog out. True, the sound comes off the disc or USB machine in digital type, however some argue that tagging analog on the top of the output chain delivers a hotter sound. We’re not complaining.
So far as digital audio is anxious, there are three USB ports (one on the entrance) for taking part in again audio, video, and picture information (you’ll be able to play music whereas viewing photographs) from USB media, one HDMI 2.0a and one HDMI 1.four output (for older receivers), coax and optical digital outputs, in addition to coax, optical, and USB enter. The latter is for playback from DACs or different USB audio interfaces.
Clearly, the HDMI outputs can be utilized for video as nicely, although solely the two.0a port with its HDCP 2.2 will deal with 4K UHD content material. There’s additionally an HDMI 2.0a enter for passing by means of enter from one other participant or streaming machine.
Rounding out the ports are RS-232C, IR, and set off I/O for system integration. Networking is obtainable each by way of gigabit ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. You’ll wish to community the unit to acquire firmware updates.
Most Extremely HD Blu-ray gamers do a greater than satisfactory job of rendering video, no less than the with discs they’re largely designed for. The UD-205 helps each HDR-10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient, which places it one up on a lot of the present competitors that helps solely HDR-10. It rendered each the aforementioned flavors of 2160p (Extremely HD Blu-ray/4K UHD) HDR very nicely, in addition to content material from DVDs and 1080p Blu-ray discs. It was additionally fairly fast to enumerate discs, i.e., it will get you to the title display briefly order.
The unit aced our video file compatibility assessments, taking part in all of the h.264, and h.265 information we threw at it, whatever the container or body charge. 23.97, 60, 59.96 frames per second, no drawback. The UDP-205 is the primary participant we’ve examined that didn’t choke on no less than one file. Good.
The place we did hit a small snag was with HDR-10 information performed from a USB drive outputting to a TCL P-series TV. They performed, however they weren’t rendered as HDR, solely SDR materials. Because the UDP-205 did simply positive with a Samsung Q9F, we’ll lay this one on the really feel of an immature know-how, or presumably the TCL P-series.
On the audio aspect, the UDP-205 helps SACD and DVD-Audio discs in addition to the extra widespread CD. As this can be a very dear unit supposed for the prosumer contingent, we examined audio each by means of a few TVs and a few top-notch audio tools. The digital audio is nearly as good as we’ve heard from any participant we’ve examined. The 32-bit ESS Sabre Professional ES9038PRO DAC is admittedly fairly good, and the sound was no less than the equal of the Focusrite Solo USB audio interfaces we additionally used for testing.
On the analog aspect, we didn’t have the tools to check the encompass, however the audio from the balanced XLRs and stereo RCA jacks was stellar. Then once more, so is the analog audio from the Focusrite. Take into account that each of those items sound that is noticeably higher than output from the common pc, in addition to the output from most consumer-grade audio tools.
When it got here to taking part in again information from a USB drive, we had been a tiny bit dissatisfied that the UDP-205 didn’t deal with Home windows Lossless, although the format has largely been supplanted by FLAC. It additionally mis-stepped on 64kHz/24-bit and 96kHs/32-bit information. The previous you’ll not often see, however we do see the latter produced by many DAWs (digital audio workstations for recording purposes).
The one different small problem was that it wouldn’t play DST-compressed .DFF (DSD) information, one other uncommon file sort, although turning into much less so. Word that based on Oppo, 2.8MHz DSD 64 is rendered straight, whereas DSD 128 will likely be transformed to PCM for output.
On the exceedingly vibrant aspect, every little thing the UDP-205 plays–and that’s all the most typical codecs, together with MP3, FLAC, APE, OGG, and Apple compressed and lossless–sounds improbable.
Expensive, however price it to those that care
We love the UDP-205. It’s constructed like a tank with tremendous high-grade elements, and it performs marvelously. The interface, video, and particularly the audio, are top-notch. To be blunt, of all of the gamers we’ve examined, that is the one we’d prefer to preserve. For those who’re into tremendous high-end (and costly) A/V tools, the Oppo Digital UDP-205 will match into your world properly. Properly certainly.
However $1299 is some huge cash for these final couple of % of high quality that you could be not even have the ability to see, hear, or care about. If the remainder of your tools isn’t audiophile and analog, there’s little level; the common shopper ought to look to Samsung, Panasonic, and even Microsoft’s XBox and save a bundle.