A very impressive day yesterday (Weds, 21 Sept) at Bath Rugby’s Farleigh House to see the launch of several Oppo products that included the new Oppo 4K BDP, a new Sonica DAC and a range of Sonica wireless speakers to compete in the Sonos, Mu-so market. Alongside the new products was an introduction to the hugely impressive Oppo Digital organisation and also a talk from the equally impressive Stuart Hooper, Bath Rugby’s captain of the last five years
Oppo 4K BDP
The key A/V highlight of the day was the launch of the new Oppo 4K BDP, an ultra HD Blu Ray disc player. This is a rather impressive bit of kit that, to a non A/V type, is networked, offers better colours and has a 32 bit, 8 channel DAC and it features Dolby Atmos. I gather this box will upgrade to future technologies with firmware updates!
The Oppo BDP-203 is available later this year and the estimated cost is around £599.
Oppo Sonica Grand
Also, introduced yesterday was the new Oppo Sonica Grand wireless speaker. The Sonica Grand has an aluminium chassis, seven drivers including two planar ribbon tweeters and a 5inch bass driver. And on demonstration with the BDP the punch was there. The Sonica Grand, alongside the smaller Sonica, is a multi-room wireless system that will be App driven and will look good where ever it sits. The Sonica Grand will retail at an estimated £699 with the Sonica retailing at an estimated £279.
The Sonica and the Sonica Grand are fine partners with the Sonica itself introduced in a wireless stereo configuration, driving Tidal from an Oppo smartphone. I’ll have more detail on these products as review samples emerge, but keep an eye on this space for a comment on these excellent products.
Probably for me the highlight from a two channel perspective was the introduction of the Sonica DAC.
Oppo yesterday introduced the new Sonica DAC, a complete reworking of the HA-1 headphone amplifier which has been one of my personal highlights of the last few years and I recall only wishing it could stream. Well now the Sonica DAC will do just that and indeed stream music, receive Bluetooth Apt-X and manage multi rooms solutions, such as the SonicaGrand and the Sonica, using D to A technology over wireless networks. All of this was great news but then it was revealed the Sonica DAC has no headphone output, oh well, can’t have it all. The Sonica DAC, additionally will support AirPlay and Tidal & Spotify streaming. I think this picture of the back sums up the pre-amp/DAC flexibility of this Sonica DAC, that features the latest 32 bit ESS SABRE ES9038PRO.
Oppo HA-2 SE
Finally, on show yesterday was the new upgraded HA-2SE which will support portable headphone optimisation to a higher level. A USB C connector is being developed for all those Androids out there. It is expected, again, at the end of the year and is estimated to retail near £289.
Stuart Hooper, Bath Rugby
At least as impressive as the Oppo products introduced was the insight into elite sport offered by Stuart Hooper, former captain of the hosts of yesterday’s product launch, Bath Rugby. “Bath Rugby”, declared Hooper, “is about People”. No really. The players take the lead in improving their performance and tactics under the facilitating hand of the Coach and the Strength and Conditioning teams that surround them. But so do the chefs, the kit men and the ground staff. It is all about people taking responsibility for their roles in this historic Rugby Club. The chat given by Hooper was an inspirational end to a day of excellence from both Oppo and Bath Rugby.