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the Bit Opus#1 Digital Audio Player

the Bit Opus#1 Digital Audio Player

Rating:
4.33333/5,
  • the Bit Opus#1 Digital Audio Player

Recent Reviews

  1. ExpatinJapan
    the Bit Opus#1 is a high performing Dap at an affordable price
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Sep 15, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great speedy UI, Nice clear neutral sound, good size and weight
    Cons - EQ is a bit hard to work.
    The Bit, OPUS#1 Dap Review - Expatinjapan
    Originally published July 2016.
     
    *Full review text and photos  http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2016/07/the-bit-opus1-dap-review-expatinjapan.html 
     

    Opus#1 Dap and Jomo 6R
     
    Opus#1 Dap review
    -expatinjapan
     
    Thank you to The Bit/Audio-Opus for sending Head pie the Opus#1 for review.
    http://audio-opus.co.kr/
     
    I tried The Bit Opus#1 of a friend in April 2016 and was sufficient impressed and curious enough to contact the company about their product. They were kind enough to send Head pie a review sample of the Opus#1 for us to review and keep for further comparisons..
    I have had it for two months now and have been through several firmware updates, hours and hours of burn in time and listening on both the 3.5mm single end out and also the balanced 2.5mm jack.
     

    Opus#1 and Campfire Audio Andromeda, Nova and Jupiter(Balanced out).
     
     
    *The Bit, Opus#1 unboxing and build
    Full set of pictures here: http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2016/05/opus-1-dap-unboxing-expatinjapan.html
     
    Nice, simple and practical packaging. Not large or bloated.
     
    It comes with a protective screen already attached 
    and with a safety shield ready to be removed.
     
    Opus#1 comes with a stylish Dignis leather case that fits perfectly.
     

     
    Nice physical play, forward and back buttons.
     

     
    Micro USB for charging and file transfer (music and firmware updates).
     

     
    3.5mm single end jack, 2.5mm AK style balanced out jack and on/off switch.
     

     
    Volume control buttons and slots for two micro usb cards up to 400GB (2 x 200GB).
    32GB internal memory.
     

     
    The casing although plastic is robust (Enhanced ABS solid body) and it has a tempered glass screen.
     

     
    The Dignis case slides seamlessly onto the Opus#1 
     

     
    The OPUS#1 fits easily into the palm of my hand.
     

    Also fits snugly into a shirt pocket for daily commuting.
     

    *Boot up time
     
    The Opus#1 took 32 seconds to boot up from Full Power Shut Off.
    BUT.......!
    I usually just leave it in rest mode which does NOT seem to drain the battery at all
    and then takes less than a second to turn on.
     
     
     
    *About artwork.
    I like having artwork displayed.
    I did some experimenting today to find a manual fix (as is often the case).
    What seems to work
    Labeling each photo in each music folder
    folder.jpg or changing folder.jpeg to folder.jpg by manually typing.
    What does not seem to work
    No artwork (of course).
    tiff.
    png.
    SUMMARY.
    folder.jpg is working for me.
    *A recent update may have simplified the adding album art process but I have not tried it as such yet.
     

    OPUS#1 and Shozy Zero 
     
     
    *Specs
    (From the Opus website) http://www.audio-opus.com/opus1/  
    24bit / 192kHz High Resolution Sound
    32bit processor core
    Cirrus Logic CS4398 x 2EA Dual DAC
    ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core CPU DDR3 1GB
    SNR 115dB, THD+N 0.0007%, Crosstalk – 130dB, Output 2Vmrs
    Low-clock-jitter sensitivity: 50ps(Typ)
    4inch TFT Wide Touch Display (480 x 800)
    WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, DSD, WMA,
    MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast)
    Internal Memory 32GB
    External Micro SD Card Memory 200GB x 2EA
    Enhanced ABS Solid Body and Tempered Glass
    Ultra Power Saving Mode
    Model Opus#1
    Display 4″ TFT Touch Display(480*800)
    CPU & Memory ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core Memory(RAM) : DDR3 1GB
    Button Power, Play/Pause, FF, REW Vol+ / Vol-
    Supported Audio Formats WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WMA, DSD, MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast)
    EQ & Effect 10Band (T.B.D) , NORMAL/USER1/2/3
    Charge & Data Transfer USB Micro-B input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC))
    Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
    Outputs Phone (3.5mm) / Optical Out (3.5mm)
    Balanced Out(2.5mm, 4-pole support)
    Battery 4,000mAh/3.7V Li-Polymer
    Battery Life(Play) Time & Charge Time Play: Approximately 10 hours(44.1KHz 16bit, Vol.75, 32ohm, LCD off),
    Charge: 4 hours
    Memory Built-in 32GB(OPTION:64G)
    External microSD(Max 200GB) x2 Supports SDXC exFAT, NTFS
    Clock source/ Jitter 50ps(Typ)
    OS Android
    Supported OS Windows 7,8,(32/64bit), MAC OS x 10.9 or higher
    Dimensions 72mm(W) * 112mm(H) * 18mm(D)
    Weight 185g

    Complete stereo audio 24bit/192kHz
    Digital/analog converter  (DAC) system. 
    Support up to24bit / 192Khz 
    Bit to Bit Decoding & High Definition Audio Files
    Opus#1 has a saving power consumption function.
    Display off: it will take 50~53 seconds + Suspend mode: it will take another 1 minutes. 
    ※ Opus#1 supports ‘Ultra Power Saving Mode’ in suspend mode. 
    It means that opus#1 last almost 4weeks in Ultra Saving Mode, if it is fully charged.
    Single end 3.5mm (output impedance 2 Ohms).
    Balanced out 2.5mm (output impedance 1 Ohm).
     
    Algorithm
     
    High-Res Audio Players require a large storage space in order to store and play not compressed studio files. 
    Opus#1 is equipped with a 32GB internal memory which can be additionally extended up to 432GB by adding two 200GB microSD cards to its slots.
    Support Internal Memory 32GB +  External Micro SD Card Memory
    200GB x 2
    Up to Max. 432GB
     

    Opus#1 and JOMO 6R IEMs 
     
     
    *Overview of the user interface
    The OPUS#1 user interface is user friendly, very responsive to touch and fast and snappy. 
    It reminds me of the ease of which I use my ipod touch 6G.  `Nuff said.
     

     
     
    The main user screen.
    Across the top from left: 
    Shows whether its playing or paused, folder or SD card active, volume and battery.
    Second menu line: 
    Return to album/songs, track number, quick settings look.
    Lower menus: 
    Time played of track, bit rate, time remaining.
    Back, play/pause/ next song.
    Repeat, favorite a song/track, shuffle.
     

     
    Songs, Albums, Artists, Genres, Folders (and SD Cards), Favorites.
     

     
     
    A quick check menu.
    EQ,  balanced or single out, sleep, screen brightness.
     

     
     
    Equalizer photo from the Opus#1 website. I myself prefer not to use EQ.
     

     
     
    Main options menu: Fairly self explanatory
     

     
    A nice function for those who have one ear stronger at hearing than the other, or like me like to check whether my IEMs or headphones have been inserted or put on correctly.
     
     

    With MEZE 99 Classic headphones.
     
     
    *Sound
    Whew, finally. I thought expatinjapan would never get to the sound section. Whilst it is true this review stretches longer than my usual reviews, I have found that I have much to say about this DAP.
    I have enjoyed it immensely and it has become my current daily commuting Dap, not just because it is next in line for a Head pie review but because I am genuinely enjoying it, both for its sound and the UI.
     
    I have 329 hours on the 3.5mm single end jack,  182 hours on the 2.5mm balanced jack.
    Seven battery discharges on the 3.5mm jack, and seven battery discharges on the 2.5mm jack.
    When using the Opus#1 Dap I used a wide variety of music, mainly I listened more on shuffle mode so I would not stick to my familiar tracks and so get a few surprises along the way. Occasionally of course I did listen to my favorite albums of course.
     
    The sound of the Opus#1 has changed through the several firmware updates that I applied in the time I have had the Opus#1 in my possession. Though not large drastic changes, I found they tightened it up in areas like the lower bass, more airy in the top end and helped it move more towards a flat response rather than a colored sound.
    I myself prefer the Daps/players to be more on the reference/flat side and let my earphones do the coloring.
     
    I used FLAC of various sizes, mainly CD 16/41 but also tried more Hi-resolution tracks.
    Some of the earphones I used when demo`ing and reviewing the Opus#1 were:
    Campfire Audio Andromeda, Jupiter(balanced out)  and Nova, Jomo 6R, Advanced AcousticWerkes W300U, Shozy Zero, ATH-CK10, ATH-ESW11 headphones, Paiaudio MR3 and PR1, MEZE Classic 99 headphones, Echobox Finder X1...
    The last Firmware I was using was 1.11.02.
     

     
     
    Ok enough introduction and storytelling. The sound. What can you expect besides the easy UI etc.
    As mentioned earlier the sound has evolved and improved with each update.
    Now it leans more towards a flat/reference style.
    What does that mean for the listener/consumer?
    Well for me, I don`t like to use EQ at all. Zero. Zip. I prefer to at least attempt to have the music presented to me as the artist and/or engineer intended. 
    I also like my earphones/IEMs/headphones to also be presented in the manner in which they were designed and to retain that certain individual sound signature.
    I find the Opus#1 to do this fairly well.
    How so? Let us examine some of its many virtues as a player when focussed on purely the sound experience aspect.
     
    Sound stage:
    The Opus#1 has a decently wide sound stage and gets larger when using the balanced out.
    I has a very good height and width. Using the Campfire Audio Jupiter.
    Instrument separation:
    It is able to give accurate placement and lovely instrument separation.
    Listening now to Lana Del Rey - `Music to watch boys to` with the JOMO 6R and it has a dynamic almost 3D/holographic aspect to it. Great width. Exquisite treble and a sense of airiness.
    It is neither a warm or bright DAP, although one can move closer to these ends depending on what earphones are employed. I was continually surprised at how the reasonably flatness of the Opus#1 and how it revealed the true sound of my earphones.
    Bass is fast and tight, there is an ample amount of deep sub bass when needed, but no unnecessary over compensation or flabbiness to it.
     
    The Chemical Brothers - `Music: response` The bass has a deep wide sound, tight and fast decay when using the Campfire Audio Nova.
    Mids are silky and present in oodles at times and sparse in other tracks, as it should be. There is no boosting of the mids to cover for low end earphones.
    The mids have a nice body to them, very smooth, full and rich .
     
    Massive Attack - `name taken` - performs well, deep rich bass, warm silky mids, great details and separation, wide soundstage and reaching highs. 100th window is a great albums for testing so many aspects. Using the Campfire Audio Nova.
     
    When using the Echobox Finder X1 the same track is more compressed and sound stage is less wide.
    Continuing with the Echobox Finder X1 a similar experience is to be had with Lana Del Rey - `National Anthem`. A smaller sound stage , and less holographic and technical. Still a great set of earphones, just not a match for this Dap that demands more.
    Same track with the Campfire Audio Andromeda their TOTL IEM, everything has a consistency and coherence, great balance between the lows/mids and highs and really reveals the actual potential of the Opus#1.
     
    Lets keep continuing using the Andromeda....
    Moving on Nina Simone - Ne me quitte pas`. A track recorded some time ago, a slight hiss on the recording itself does not diminish the amazing song. Full, breathy and strong vocals. great
    forwardness to them with clarity and smooth notes. The strings in the background are quick and clear. I feel transported back in time.
     
    As usual to please some audiophiles I have to include some Norah Jones - `The nearness of you`. I usually listen to lively music with a few chosen quieter performers. I enjoy the vocals and balance of how they are recorded with Norah Jones. Although I am not a major fan, I find the tracks on `Come away with me` to be excellent indicators of an earphones or daps strengths and weaknesses.
    This plays back super smooth, great height, separation and imaging are excellent.
     
    Gnarls Barkley - `Necromancer` is a messy track full of ups and down, distortion and everything thrown into the mix. The Opus#1 to its credit seems to be able to hold it together.
     
    Slayer - `Necrophobic` Super fast double kick drums and screaming drums. I am able to get the full expected experience of Slayer.
     
    Neil Young - `The needle and the damage done`. Shuffling through the tracks really shows what the Opus#1 can do. Each genre and musician retains their uniqueness, the sound isn`t degraded into a slush of everyman. Neil Young sounds as he should, it is as If a live performance. fantastic clarity and depth of emotion conveyed.
     
    The Breeders - `New year`. Cranking up the volume. I find my multi drivers sit at around 80 - 95 in the volume range whilst the single driver in ears require more juice.
    Thumping, speedy bass, grinding and scratchy but clear guitars, vocals are smooth, rounded and strong. Pity this album recesses the vocals too much in the recording.
     
    Dead can dance - `Nierika` is another superb track for checking instrument separation. height and width are satisfactory. very dynamic and energetic.
     
    The Pixies - `Nimrods son` shows the treble at work, it can reach quite far but seems to stop just before sibilance steps in to spoil the party. I really enjoy the Pixies with the Opus#1.
     
    The Jesus and Mary Chain - `Nine million rainy days` is a great band to check murkiness and darkness. A warm dap will choke the life out of a J&MC recording, whilst a bright Dap will turn them to stone in the light of the day.

    The Opus#1 once again manages to tread that middle path, just enough low end to please the fans, precious mids to keep that creamy drawl of the Chain, and clarity added with a touch of transparency to keep it listenable as intended.
     
    DJ Champion - `No heaven` from the trailer to the first Borderlands video game. An old favorite track of mine for testing gear along with Bauhaus `Bela Lugosis dead`, Rammstein `Du hast`, Norah Jones `Come away with me` to name a few.
    Once again, tight and fast bass response, present and balanced mids, dynamic 3D aspect, good separation, excellent height and width.
     
    I should have stopped writing a while back as I have covered the sound enough, but in all honesty i am enjoying myself, listening to the Opus#1.
    Led Zeppelin - `No quarter`. one thing you can`t see whilst reading my review is the many times when the music hits me and have started nodding my head and/or tapping my feet. This is one of those tracks when the drums kick in. Wide with great height and super separation.
    I never really `got` Led Zeppelin until I possessed a decent set of earphones.
    The Fugees `No woman, no cry` Sweet, bouncy and fun. more sway to my body than the last track. Once again all the boxes have been ticked.  Either with the Opus#1 current firmware there are less points that are weak, or it is my splendid Campfire Audio Andromeda IEMs or a combination of them both.
    Nick Cave and the Bad seeds - `Nobody`s baby now` - Perfect. Captured perfectly. Vocals strong yet smooth, excellent instrument separation, wide sound stage, height is acceptable for Nick cave, lots of lows and reaching highs as to be expected and the Opus#1 handles them well.
    Dire Straits - `On every street` - Ticks all the boxes again. Dire Straits albums are well recorded. Playback is full and super wide. Height is well high. Instrument separation is done right.
     
     
    Summary
    The Opus#1 is a dap that is generally flat with its most recent of firmware updates.
    The user can expect playback of music tracks and albums when in FLAC etc to be fairly accurate.
    Performance, enjoyment and clarity also require a decent set of earphones to make the most out of the Opus#1.
    Instrument separation, width and height, sound stage are excellent.
    Lows/bass is tight and fast and not afraid to get heavy when needed.
    Mids are present but no overly so, just the right amount to add body without overdoing it.
    Highs/treble is light and far reaching without overdoing it, rarely have noticed If at all any sibilance.
    Hiss is near non existent to me (Other hiss masters may disagree).
    Neutral, linear, a touch of musical lushness at times, can be analytical, detailed, flat, natural.
    All in all a more than decent dap that hits above its weight and promises more to come with each firmware update and the future Opus#2.
    This is one Dap I will keep in my weekly rotation.
     

     
     
     
     Value

    The Opus#1 retail price is US$599 in USA and Korea (Though the price is converted into Korean currency).
    The price varies country to country depending on exchange rates and customs duties etc as is the same with all audio products.
    The Dignis leather case MSRP is USD $50 - $60 depending. I recommend it for its beauty and protection.
    It is a mid price Dap that I think performs above its price bracket, either that or some other brands have inflated prices. Whatever.
    Opus#1 is a number one in my books.
     
     

     
     

    Overall
    The Opus#1 as a first Dap release is stunning.
    The UI is fast and responsive, simple to use and the unit itself is a straight player with no bloatware to slow things, nor confuse the user. Simple three steps to anywhere style menu.
    The casing although plastic is robust (Enhanced ABS solid body) and it has a tempered glass screen. The addition of the must have gorgeous Dignis case gives it an extra shield in case of any accidents.
     
    The size is perfect for fitting within ones hand, jeans pocket or breast pocket of a shirt.
     
    The sound is clear, flat and reference style with little or no coloring.
    Lows/mids/highs are all presented well with great coherency.
    Excellent instrument separation, width and height within the sound stage.
     
    There are some steps one has to go through to get the EQ working, there is some info on head-fi but as I don`t use EQ I admittedly have not looked into this much. I believe you have to wait 6 seconds for it to kick in - maybe.
    (There was an update today that may have fixed this-I haven`t uploaded yet).
     
    I could not detect hiss as such, even with my sensitive IEMs, whilst not possessing a completely black background it gets very close.
    The single end is 2 ohms, the balanced jack is 1 ohm. I did find subtle differences, and also used the Centrance Hifi-M8 and its impedance switches to double check my findings. 
    1 ohm or less is optimum for multi driver IEMs and I hope both jacks are <1 ohms for Opus#2.
     
    To get the most out of the Opus#1 the user would definitely need to own a decent mid fi and up pair of earphones. I found the sub $400 earphones to yield less listening pleasure than the $700 plus. Not to be a Captain Obvious but thats how it plays out.
    Battery life is around 9-10 hours. The rest mode is excellent in that it does not drain the battery.
     
     
    I have enjoyed every day with the Opus#1 and look forward to many more. 
    I jumped out of the Dap game quite a while ago and stayed with the Apple/portable Dac/amp combos as the earlier Daps were very large and had UI problems etc, then they got a bit smaller yet when I read the forum threads, problems with UI, build issues and firmwares (that seemed to completely change the device etc) were still continuing.
    It is only of late that I have decided to step out of my shell and try many of these new generation daps that seem to be getting the basics right, and one of these is the Opus#1.
    Neutral, linear, a touch of musical warmth at times, often analytical, flat, natural.
    Opus#1, I like it.
     

    Thank you again to The Bit/Audio-Opus  http://audio-opus.co.kr/ for providing Head pie with the OPUS#1 for review.
    -expatinjapan.


     





      pr0b3r and thetest10 like this.
    1. BartSimpson1976
      Still using Micro USB in 2016 appears to be a big minus. Otherwise I very very much like theis DAP also when I tried it.
      BartSimpson1976, Sep 15, 2016
  2. remastered
    Opus Opus Number 1 - A realist's review
    Written by remastered
    Published Jun 23, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Price, Dual SD, Soundstage
    Cons - TFT Screen
    theBit is a company that found itself a success just 12 years into the industry and with its own R&D facility, launched the Opus#1 as its first foray into the world of Digital Audio Players (DAP). Being new in the industry is in no way a stumbling block to theBit as can be seen by the feature-filled entrée introduced.
     
    Technical
    The Opus #1 employs a 24bit/192khz Cirrus Logic CS4398 Dual DAC, 32bit processor core with 50ps clock jitter and an output of 2Vrms SNR 115dB. 3.5mm single eded and 2.5mm balanced.
    The internal memory is a humble 32Gb however, the expandable memory enables up to 2x 200GB microSD card inserted, bringing the total memory allowed to 432 GB. That in itself, would be a tick in my checklist as this is the epitome of a Digital PORTABLE Player. I enjoy the luxury of being able to bring the entire music collection with me on the go, accommodating the fluctuating mood of mine.
    The body is made out of ABS and tempered glass. While the tempered glass looks good, the display underneath (a 4inch TFT touch screen 480x800) is a disappointment. Colors look washed out when viewed just a few degrees off the perfect viewing angle.  One thing to note though, I love the look of the ABS and it does feel premium to me. I’ve had the opportunity to purchase the grey leather case protector free of charge together with the unit and I have to say, while it does a fairly good job protecting the unit, it brings the Aesthetics value down. To put things into perspective, the Opus#1 without the leather case would be a 9/10; with the case, a 7/10. Perhaps it’s just me, YMMV.
     
    User Adjustments
    When it comes to user adjustments such as equalization, the Opus#1 features a 10 band EQ with 3 user-defined settings. This is where it downplays a little. The changes that come with the adjustments does not take effect immediately. It takes a good 4 seconds before the effects can be heard. Having said that, the EQ does indeed perform well with no audible distortion and a little goes a long way. I would definitely use the EQ to compensate for certain IEMs of mine.
     
    Start Up and UI
    Snappy. The Opus#1 has a much faster start-up and indexing as compared to the AK Jr. that I had before. UI is comfortable with a dark theme and is pretty much intuitive with no learning curve. Users get to navigate between Songs, Artists, Albums, Genres, Favourites and folders. With the exception of folders, songs in the internal and external micro SD card slots show up as a combined list. 
    Navigation under "Folders" would direct users to the respective directory that they have saved the files under. The traditional drag and drop method works well here. 
     
    Battery Life
    Nothing spectacular, like the Cowon Penue D that i managed to squeeze 80 hours out of, but decent. I managed to clock 9hours with 24bit flac files playing at a volume of 70/150. For ease of comparison, a volume matched AK Jr. does about 7hours with the same playlist. 
     
     
    Sound
    The Opus#1 fills up the middle ground between clinical and musical very well.  It gives a clear presentation of positioning without being overly dry. However, the characteristics of a Cirrus Logic DAC does not go unnoticed and is slightly cold sounding as compared to the AK JR that utilizes the Wolfson DAC chip. Yet, the sub bass body and speed manage to find itself a place in the midst of a very wide soundstage. This is where I find myself in a disillusioned and confused enclosure. I was expecting a better high end frequency response after the setback on the low end. Boy was I disappointed. The highs lack sparkle but its presence was fortunately tuned to balance out the mids. an observation which I eventually found out. Vocals have a good body and resolution as a result. The added space in between instruments are a very welcoming enhancement. Audio fatigue is not a problem here as the highs are cut-off just before sibilance hits.
     
     
    Comparisons
    With the iPhone 6s and Chord Mojo, the Opus #1 performs slightly better overall.  The Sub bass of the Opus has more texture and speed while the Mojo Duo has more aggressive low-end that has a nice decay. The Mojo duo has a slightly warmer representation that led to a more natural representation of vocals. One thing to note, highs are still better on the Opus#1. It has a higher resolution and better speed. After messing with the EQ, bumping a few dB up on the mids, the Opus#1 comes to a close second behind the Mojo duo.  Personal take: I would gladly utilize the EQ on the Opus and do without the additional bulk that battery drainage that comes with the Mojo.
     
    With the Ak240, the Opus #1 can be said to be more reference sounding. Its speed and resolution fares better than the AK240. The AK240 sounds a tad more natural but easily translate to a slightly muddy mess when it comes to faster and more complicated tracks.
     
    With the AK Jr, the Opus #1 is a clear winner. A Better overall resolution and a wider soundstage with a much faster UI and battery life. The only downside would be attributed to the lack of a USB DAC feature which can be easily resolved with a software release by Opus, hopefully in the future.
     
    Conclusion
    With that said, the bass of the Opus #1 does indeed lack dynamism but I was more than happy to be compensated by its massive soundstage and speed of the instruments. There is a certain element of space that complements my current IEM very well. For the price range, i would think that the Onkyo DP-X1 would be a worthy competitor at a price premium of 150USD more with streaming applications and full android support. 
    This is a DAP for the realists out there that does not buy into brand names and wishes to support smaller companies without having to suffer from condensed features and of course, do not find themselves looking for spotify/tidal on the go. 
      
                        IMG_2473-2.jpg
     
     

      ostewart likes this.
    1. Sonic Defender
      Interesting new DAP. You should review the GUI a little. Safe to assume this isn't a streaming capable DAP, any idea of the price in US dollars? Thanks for the review mate.
      Sonic Defender, Jun 23, 2016
    2. remastered
      Sure, i'll include my thoughts on the UI soon to come. It is currently priced just under 590usd where I am at. So give or take, depending on the exchange rate and dealer's discount.
      remastered, Jun 23, 2016
  3. MikePortnoy
    the Bit Opus#1 Review: A Price/Performance Success
    Written by MikePortnoy
    Published Feb 2, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - SQ is very good for its price, Resolution, Separation, Dual SD slot
    Cons - Plastic body, Firmware needs updates.
    Introduction:
     
    Opus#1 is a pretty new and recently launched digital audio player from the BIT company that is located in Seoul, Korea. The BIT (the Best Internet Technology) is established in 2004. They have been developing the ICT devices such as Navi, Digital TV and PMP since the beginning. They have also supplied to Samsung, Best Buy and Sandisk in the States, as well as possessing solutions for ARM, Android, Linux etc. As it can be seen, the BIT built a strong background before designing and launching their player, Opus#1.
     
    So far, the BIT has launched only Opus#1. They expect to launch an ultra slim portable amplifier that is called as Opus#11 in the first quarter of 2016. Regarding their portfolio on the website, they are planning to launch a high-end player as well as a high-end portable amplifier in future. Opus#1 has a really good audio performance; I can’t wait to hear Opus#2.
     
    The reviewed unit is a sample provided by Turkish local distributor. I would like to personally thank to both local distributor and the BIT company for this review sample.  
     
    opusmain.jpg
    Photo courtesy of the Bit
     
    Build Quality and Firmware:
     
    Nowadays, players that carry aluminum body are quite popular and they look premium. In contrast with this popular approach, Opus has a plastic main body, but the material they use and the quality is quite good; operation of cutting the material is very well determined. Just by seeing it without holding it in our hands, we might actually think it has a metallic body.
     
    On the right side, there are next song/previous song and play/pause buttons. On the left side of the player, volume level buttons are located and there is power button at the top. The quality of the buttons is quite good and they work without a problem. Opus utilizes two micro SD card slots as well as having 32 GB of internal storage. Opus supports memory cards up to 200 GB and we may have a total of 432 GB maximum storage, at least theoretically.
     
    opus1.jpg
     
    The screen quality and resolution is very good, one of the best that I have ever tested. Sensitivity of the touch screen is very well and it responses quite fast. However, there is slowness during play/pause operations. I think this is about the firmware and the processor; the BIT may take care of it.
     
    The operation system is Android based and the BIT is fast in releasing new firmware updates. Although the player is quite new to the market, they already released a firmware update to fix some bugs. However the operation system still has some bugs to fix and I believe the company will solve all the problems about the firmware in close future. Opus has a native DSD playback function and also supports many popular formats including 24 bit recordings. There are 10 bands of EQ, but I didn’t play with the EQ. I have to say that I am not of a fan of EQ’ing.
     
    The battery life is approximately 8 hours with the high bitrate formats, but it can reach to 9-10 hours when playing on low volume levels.
     
    Opus has two outputs: 3.5 single ended and 2.5 mm balanced. I haven’t gotten a chance to review the balanced output due to the absence of 2.5mm TRRS cable in my inventory; so the review is determined with 3.5mm single ended output. The volume has 150 steps and the player warns us about high listening levels’ possible damage on hearing after 120th step. The power of Opus is good enough. Mostly, I listen to my customs between 80 and 110. It is able to create enough power for SA-43 that is my most difficult iem to drive.
     
    Main Screen:
    opusmainscreen.png
    Photo courtesy of the Bit
     
    Settings Screen:
    opussettings.png
    Photo courtesy of the Bit
     
    Song and Folder Selection:
    opussongselection.png
    Photo courtesy of the Bit
     
    General Specs:
     
    §  24bit / 192kHz High Resolution Sound
    §  32bit processor core
    §  Cirrus Logic CS4398 x 2EA Dual DAC
    §  ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core CPU DDR3 1GB
    §  SNR 115dB, THD+N 0.0007%, Crosstalk – 130dB, Output 2Vmrs
    §  Low-clock-jitter sensitivity: 50ps(Typ)
    §  4inch TFT Wide Touch Display (480 x 800)
    §  WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, DSD, WMA,
    §  MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast)
    §  Internal Memory 32GB
    §  External Micro SD Card Memory 200GB x 2EA
    §  Enhanced ABS Solid Body and Tempered Glass
     
     
    Algorithm of Opus#1:
     
    opusalgorith.png
     Photo courtesy of the Bit
     
     
    Sound:
     
    Opus slightly tends to sound open-tone without crossing borders of being bright or piercing. The sound is neither too warm nor too cold, but slightly closer to warm side. At the beginning, some may think that there is a lack of punch in low region and slightly dry sound. However, when we come to A/B test, these thoughts are changed. Many custom in ear monitors have been used during my tests such as Spiral Ear SE5Way Reference, M-Fidelity SA-43 and Perfect Seal AR6. All them perform very well with Opus. 
     
    Low Frequency:
     
    As I mentioned just above, low-end punchiness and dynamism may seem lacking at the beginning of audition. This is due to Opus focusing on mid and high frequencies in terms of balance and energy. However, after spending some time with Opus, the sub bass power shows itself and its adequate amount of rumble. Sub-bass texturing and speed is very successful for its price. Its tone is not very emotional and warm, but neither cold. The sub-bass hits from a medium area of impact with quite tight and controlled notes.   
     
    Mid-bass notes are not very forward. It doesn’t overcome the entire presentation and let Opus create a good air between instruments. Overall, mid-bass doesn’t have a very emotional tone and very full notes, but quantity is enough and resolution and detail level is high.  
     
    opus2.jpg
     
    Mid Frequency:
     
    The midrange has a little open-tone and can be considered as intimate in accordance with its location on the stage. Lower midrange’s note reproduction is very clear and there is no compression from mid-bass presentation. Average note thickness is on the thin side of neutral, but by a very small margin. Transparency level is high, but the most impressive part of Opus is the resolution. Indeed, I think Opus resolution performs above its price and can compete against more expensive players. With the advantage of resolution and general control, background timbres are very well presented and throw details in a nice way.
     
    From upper to lower regions, the midrange has a sweet aliveness, but it never becomes metallic or unnatural. Opus keeps this thin line, doesn’t jump into piercing levels and uses coloration as less as possible. Vocals have good body and resolution, but they can sometimes tend to sibilance by a small margin due to slight aliveness/open tone in upper midrange.
     
    High Frequency:
     
    Treble notes of Opus have just a little bit open-tone and there is an ideal quantity. Its presence is neither too much nor too laid back. Thanks to the balanced aliveness, Opus keeps smoothness and never turns into a metallic/piercing sounding unit. Details aren’t fatiguing and resolution/speed level is very good. Open-tone may be a problem with already too bright earphones, but overall naturalness, transparency and clarity level is quite high for its price.   
     
    Soundstage and Separation:
     
    Opus has a good and enough stage width, but I think the depth could be slightly deeper. Still, it has a good layering and imaging for its price. The air between instruments is not very warm in accordance with mid-bass tone and presentation style, as a consequence Opus’ instrument placement becomes less stressed and compressed. There is also an impressive background blackness and instrument separation with a good speed.
     
    opus3.jpg
     
    Selected Comparisons:
     
    Opus vs Mojo: (650 USD vs 599 USD)
     
    Mojo is a great unit for portable use and I think its performance is close (perhaps better than some) to more expensive players such as Sony Zx2. Opus and Mojo, they both take a high price/performance ratio among their rivals. Honestly, I found them both very good, but Opus performs slightly better overall.
     
    Sub-bass of Opus is faster, while Mojo has slightly more prominent low-end. Mojo has more dynamic sub-bass presentation, but Opus has more controlled and better-textured punches. Mojo has greater mid-bass body with slightly warmer approach, while Opus has more control over this region.
     
    Opus has slightly open-tone on midrange; on the other hand Mojo creates fuller lower midrange in accordance with the mid-bass presentations’ difference. Overall, Opus performs cleaner and clearer, Mojo has a more musical approach. Considering resolution superiority, Opus articulates details more, while Mojo has more stressed note releasing and less transparent notes. Vocals are clearer on Opus, but it tends sibilance more just by a very small margin.
     
    opuscase.jpg
     
    Opus has slightly brighter treble tone, but it has better resolution, separation, and control in treble region. Also, I find Opus slightly faster in comparison. Both have a natural approach and don’t sound metallic.
     
    Both have similar stage width, but Opus’ stage is deeper. Distance between instruments is longer on Opus with somewhat spacious stage structure. The background blackness is similar, but Opus has superiority over Mojo in terms of keeping instruments more separated on the stage. 
     
    Opus vs Sony ZX2: (650 USD vs 1000 USD)
     
    Sub-bass presentation and low-end depth is similar, but Opus has fuller mid-bass with more resolved notes. Opus can reproduce all the notes from mid-bass region, while ZX2 misses some little nuances. Opus’ low end has actually higher quantity compared to ZX2 however we may feel the opposite due to its general character and energy balance.  
     
    Opus has slightly brighter midrange tone in comparison with more forward and fuller notes. Resolution levels are close, but Opus has a forwardness advantage over ZX2 and this increases vocals’ resolution and makes their location truer. Additionally, ZX2 represents the midrange a little laid-back in comparison. Opus has more natural and slightly prominent treble presentation, while ZX has more control over high frequency notes.
     
    In terms of 3D imaging, ZX2’s performance is better. Opus has a more intimate stage structure with a better separation. Overall, ZX2 is slightly leaner, while Opus has more full-bodied presentation.
     
    Final Words:
     
    Opus#1 from the BIT is a very impressive digital audio player and deserves appreciation considering its audio performance. Opus can better more expensive daps in terms of sound quality, but the firmware needs to be improved. I can recommend Opus to who is looking for slightly less bassy but resolved presentation. Finally, I can easily say that the price/performance ratio is the most successful part of the player. The price may differ in accordance with distributors’ policies, but its average price is approximately 650 USD.
     
    For The BIT website other info:
     
    http://www.audio-opus.com/?page_id=15881
     
     
      
      Brian Oneal, zdrvr, NotARobot and 7 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. karanehir35
      Thanks for the review @Mike Portnoy.
      karanehir35, Feb 6, 2016
    3. karanehir35
      I like a lot of player opus.I found the successful mid and treble.
      karanehir35, Feb 6, 2016
    4. NicolasM
      Great review all999! Thanks!
      By any chance, did you ever tried the Fiio X7? They are in a same(ish) price range, and it would be interesting to compare their SQ :)
      NicolasM, Feb 13, 2016

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