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TheBit has created the most optimized solution for all music lovers to really feel what musicians feel and hear what they hear in Hi-fi & Hi-Res audio formats. Opus#3 will allow you to enjoy your favorite music in best sound quality up to 24bit/192kH

The Bit Opus #3

Rating:
4.33333/5,
  • opus3_img.png
    • Native DSD Playback (X-MOS Include)
    • 24bit / 192kHz High Resolution Sound
    • 4” Touch display (IPS Panel)
    • Burr-Brown PCM1792A DAC
    • ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core CPU & DDR3 1GB
    • Internal Memory 64GB
    • External microSD card up to 256GB
    • Metal Body ( Tempered Aluminum ), Metal Wheel Volume
    • WI-FI : 801.11b/g/n ( 2.4GHz )
    • Bluetooth 4.0( A2DP, AVRCP )
    • Ultra Power Saving Mode
    • Supports 3rd Party Streaming Application

Recent Reviews

  1. Dobrescu George
    Opus #3 - The Brilliant And Excellent DAP
    Written by Dobrescu George
    Published Aug 30, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sound Quality, Firmware, Streaming, Battery Life, Driving Power, Screen quality, Accessories, Deep but precise Bass, Sparkly Treble, Natural Mids, Soundstage
    Cons - Depending on the User, Battery Life might be a bit short at 8.5 Hours



    Opus #3 - The Brilliant and Excellent DAP!

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    Opus #3 is one of the most brilliant DAPs (Digital Audio Players) of this moment, created by new company The Bit. Opus #3 promises to deliver a total solution for audiophiles in terms of sound quality and overall performance.

    Introduction

    Opus DAPs are quite new to the market, especially when compared to older and established companies, but they already managed to gain a lot of interest from music lovers all over the world with their excellent build quality and with their sound. Although Opus doesn't seem to purchase a lot of advertising space and doesn't seem to be quite that intrusive in the eyes of their fans, their products have been loved by virtually everyone who heard one.

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    I have been slightly skeptical about #3 before testing it, but it has been almost two months since I owned one now, and my feelings towards it have gone from skepticism to curiosity, then to feelings of love and ultimately to enjoyment.

    I have absolutely no affiliation with Opus, Thebit or other partner companies at this moment, I am not receiving any kind of incentive to sweeten things out or change my opinions about the product. My review will be as objective as it is humanly possible and it is a description of my general experience with Opus #3, every opinion expressed here is mine and I firmly stand by it.



    About me

    My name is George Dobrescu and I am the Director of the Seventh Heart Studios game studio. I work as one of the main programmers for the company, and I am the writer for Quantum Magica and Falsetto Memories projects. I spend eight – twelve hours a day working on a computer, writing and sometimes drawing. I also take care of administrative work which means that I require a portable setup so I'll be testing the portability of iDSD as well.

    Music is present all around me for a big part of that time as working with music is always more fun. With all the devices I own, I need great sound, comfort and ease of usage, not to mention that my listening volume ranges from "please stop that, it's far too loud" to "I can't even tell that you're listening to music".

    My collection includes everything from Classical to Metal, from Rap to Pop, from Punk to Cabaret and absolutely everything in between. There are great artists from every type of music, and I'm one to collect their albums, and keep a tidy order for my files.

    You can check out more about our games on our pages https://www.facebook.com/seventh.heart.studios/ and https://twitter.com/7heartstudios .

    At Seventh Heart Studios, we all love music and this has had an impact on our games as we hold the music close to our hearts and we are committed to only use ogg -q10 as the encoding format for our music since it offers the best disk space to sound quality ratio, OGG -q10 being closest to audibly transparent when compared to FLAC encoding.

    Personal philosophy: Music is more than a hobby or sound. Music is inspiration. Music is life. Music has meaning by itself, being the one thing that can define one's life while shaping one's imagination and creativity. Music can open doors to new plains and music can change one's mood. Music can rest the mind better than days of sleep or can give one energy better than a thousand cups of coffee. Music can be anything we want it to be and the music we experience using professional audition tools is more but at the same time it is nothing more than our way of enhancing the emotion we get from music. Love is a concept too shallow, unable to encompass what music really means to a music lover.



    First Impression

    I've been using quite a few DAPs through time, from the first iteration of FiiO X5, up to the second generation of X5 (X5ii), FiiO X7, FiiO X3ii, Hidizs AP200, iBasso DX200, and a few others. I had many hours of fun with many DAPs, and when I saw that a newcomer DAP proposes to sweeten audiophile's experience even more, I instantly became curious about their offering.

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    I contacted Thebit with questions and typical audiophile quandaries and they have answered them well, providing lots of help through the process of installing and using Opus #3. Friendly and helpful, the service and PR departments of Opus can only be commended, and I'm sure that they provide a similarly good experience for the customers who bought their #1 and #2 DAPs.

    I should note that the way most people describe Opus DAPs is #1<#3<#2, it seems that they number doesn't define which DAP is their Top Of The Line.

    It has been almost a week since I discussed with Thebit about their Opus #3 and their #3 was sent through UPS, with package tracking and all details. Given that the package arrived in great condition, in just about a week, I can only say that I am happy with their flawless services, quite impressed by the punctuality offered.

    The package featured a lot of bubble wrap, to protect the #3 package, thing which helped a lot since UPS might sometime handle some packages without all the care necessary.

    That day… It was one of these damp summer days when I went to pick up the package. The sun was slyly gazing at us, from its throne, thinking probably nothing of the humans under it as they'd go on about their lives. One would at some point stop and think: "What if the sun feels lonely?" It is providing us all joys, summer and going to the beaches, winter and its snow, but what about the ball of light from the sky? Is it happy? Does it feel that it'd want us to notice it more?

    The blazing heat was probably getting to my head, when, in the middle of the day when I received a call from the UPS to meet with them to pick up a package. Quite unfortunately, this was just my second meet with UPS, and it was a new employee who had to deliver it, so I couldn't call to get a better schedule for everything. On the bright side, even though I couldn't live my location, I already had iDSD BL and a selection of headphones and IEMs to enjoy. This, and I always have a lot of work to do, so there were no chances of having any seconds wasted on waiting.

    I took a trip outside and met with the deliver guy who was not particularly nice or haughty. He handled me the package and I quickly got back inside, to stop the blazing star that brings us day from burning my skin any further.

    Inside the package was a box, a strange looking box. Compared to all the other packages I received and opened, #3 was clearly packaged to look differently, not necessarily more stylish, not more edgy either. It was almost as if The Bit wanted to have a completely original look with their Opus line of DAPs and created a new color theme just for them.

    The DAP itself smiled at me as I was unpacking it, tickling my curiosity as it was packaged in a pretty premium cloth.

    I turned it on, plugged a microSD card with music, plugged in Etymotic ER4-XR and went on a walk to hear how it sounds. By the time I got out of my place, the evening was already starting to slowly lower its crimson wings over the landscapes of Bucharest, but this only made my walk more emotional, more romantic. I learned how to use Opus #3 in less than a few moves, enjoying it for all my trip.



    Packaging:

    First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:

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    Opus #3 comes packaged in an entirely different flavor of packaging than I was used to seeing with most audio products in general, the typical black box being replaced by a marine-blue box, wrapped in a gray paper with information about the DAP this time.

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    There are a few extras in the package, but this time the unit wasn't new, so I'll talk about the most important highlight, which is the leather case included with #3. It seems that Opus includes a genuine leather case with their #3, the leather case feeling excellent in the hand, and leaving a really nice feeling to the user.

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    Like with all premium devices, there is a screen protector installed on #3, and after using it for more than a month, I found that it does an amazing job at protecting this ingenious DAP's screen.



    What I look in for a DAC/AMP

    When buying a DAP unit, there are a few things that a buyer should be looking at and considering, as sooner or later those will come in foresight:

    - Sound quality – Like with every audio-related purchase, this is the most important aspect of your investment

    - Battery life – at least 8 hours of battery life, at high volume on high gain, with effects engaged. Anything above this number will come in handy down the road, but this should be a minimum

    - Intuitive / ergonomic build – Buttons arrangement, robust build, no creaking noises, resistance to pressure for when it's a pocket, robust headphone jacks, no wearing issues after long term usage

    - Good Value – It'd be good for everything one owns to perform well for its price

    - Interesting design – The device must look modern / elegant / luxurious and fit in with both street usage and a business environment

    - Driving ability – To work well with both IEMs and over the ear headphones

    - USB DAC function – Always good to have!

    - Enough I/O ports – To satisfy all devices and current usage patterns

    - Firmware Support – Fluent, Fast, stable Firmware



    Build Quality/Aesthetics

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    Opus #3 is truly a beautiful device that has been built on a bleeding edge sense of fashion. The edges, or at least the corners, are quite sharp, but they aren't uncomfortable for me to use while on-the-go, while the back of the device features an interesting pattern texture along with an Opus #3 white text.

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    On the back of the device, you can notice the volume wheel, which I have to add, looks quite nice. The volume wheel is very well built, and after having used #3 daily for more than a month, the volume wheel feels just as it did when I opened the package. The travel distance between two clicks is not exactly small, and it has some play, but this works well with both making fine adjustments and with making large adjustments to the listening volume.

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    The bottom of #3 has a microSD slot and a microUSB port. The microSD slot is a plug and push type, and it works very well. I haven't tested the transfer speed since I always transfer my music using a mSD to SD adapter, but I never had a track skip or stutter, so I'm entirely satisfied with it.

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    On the left side of Opus #3, you will find 3 buttons, a FFWD button, a BKWD button, and a Play/Pause button. They feel quite high quality and they are clicky, and while I can't guarantee this, they also feel like they are made out of metal. Sliding your fingers towards the top side of #3, you will find the 3.5mm Headphone out, the 2.5mm Balanced out, and the power button. The plugs and ports are sturdy and they feel like they will hold for a good while. The click when the plug is fully inserted is really nice.

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    On the right side of #3, there are no buttons, but this is where the volume wheel is placed, on the back of #3.

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    The screen of #3 is much nicer than I expected, it presents color with good contrast, and the music list is easily readable even in the middle of the day in Bucharest, with the sun blazing off right into the screen. There is a bezel around the actual screen, and it is thicker above and under the screen than on the sides, but it actually provided a really good feedback for my touch usage, there were no mistypes / mis-touches or such, where bezel - less phones would sometime register a touch where it wasn't the case.

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    Although there are a few sharp corners on #3, Opus thought about it and they included a premium real-leather case with #3. The case is very functional, looks amazing, and most important, it feels really nice to the touch. #3 might get slightly warmer while it is used from within the case, but it will be fine for most people. I personally used #3 without any case since I like touching the metal parts of it, and I like feeling the texture on the back of it, but I think that the inclusion of the leather case means that everybody will have a good time from the get-go.

    The design itself is fairly industrial and goes for a rather edgy presentation, Opus #3 being a DAP I'd recommend for a metal music listener, with the strong silvery color, the textured sides, and back presence.

    With every button feeling nice and clicky, with the ports feeling secured and clicking right in place, I'd say that Opus #3 is a really well built and it is an edgy looking DAP that is sure to impress and won't go unnoticed if left on a table.



    Testing

    I have tested #3 with many headphones, Ultrasone Signature Studio, Meze 99 Classics, HiFiMAN RE-2000, Etymotic ER4-XR, Sennheiser ie800, Dunu DK-3001, and a few others. I have also tested #3 against other DAPs, like DX200 and AP200, and even against a full desktop quality DAC/AMP like iDSD BL.

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    Opus #3 works as a USB DAC, and it does so flawlessly, there is no noise, and the connection is fairly easy, after the driver is installed for windows. Sadly, I don't have a Linux PC, or a MAC to test for those, but I'd expect it to work just as well.

    Opus #3 also offers Streaming abilities, along with Android Apps install options. All Android Apps can be installed from settings -> streaming -> and click on + for installing a new App or click on the installed app to run it.

    I am running with great success the following apps:

    - Aida64

    - APK Pure

    - CPU-Z

    - Foobar2000

    - Navigation Bar

    - SoundCloud

    - VLC

    - Neutron

    - PowerAMP

    - Etc.

    The Android found on #3 is not exactly a default Android configuration, but a stripped down and optimized version of Android, that offers the best of both worlds, Android, and High-Resolution Music Playback. I feel that the Android found on #3 is fairly mature, the built-in music app is really good and offers anything I need, recognizes all my tags (Japanese, Chinese, Romanian, English and Russian characters), and most apps for music will work as well. The GUI is rather elegant and looks luxurious, making the usage of #3 a delightful experience.

    Since to get access to the bar that offers access to the back button you have to swipe up from the bottom of the screen, I highly recommend installing Navigation Bar, which will place a little tool on the screen, that gives you access to all basic Android buttons. This little tool can be placed on the right side of the screen, near the top and it can expand down from there, feeling quite "At Home" for MIUI users.

    After installing this little tool, I have to admit that a large part of my usage has been done with #3's native music app, it sounds and works flawlessly for my usage patterns.

    By pulling down the top area, you will get access to Wifi, Bluetooth, Line Out setting (which will basically set the volume of the HO to max), Equalizer, Sleep, Repeat Mode and Shuffle.

    By going to Audio, you can select whether to enable or disable the EQ function, along with creating your own custom EQ profiles and choosing one of the 5 user-defined profiles. In Audio settings, you will also find the option to enable Gapless playback.

    In Output, you will find the option to enable Line Out, change the Balance (L-R), DSP mode (I'm not exactly sure what this does, I left it on 32 Bit X-MOS for most of my listening), and Gain Control (Which was left on high for most of my tests).

    For using #3 as a USB DAC, you need to enable this option from the Settings -> USB.

    Firmware updates can be done from either offline memory, or after downloading the update using Wifi.

    GUI wise, everything feels fairly native to me and using the default music app is quite native, after three hours it is possible to master and enjoy it to the fullest.



    Sound Quallity

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    Opus #3 has a unique tonal signature, going for a neutral-ish sound, with an enthusiastic approach, a sparkly top end, a sweet midrange, a very convincing 3D soundstage, vivid presentation and amazing detail level. All in all, the refinement and detail levels are on par with TOTL and End-Game devices, being very hard to tell those apart, except for the signature, Opus #3 having a signature that I really enjoy. #3 presents all music with energy, with life, and with vividness. It manages to bring the details to the listener, without being shouty. It manages to stay musical, while it is neutral and while it plays everything as a whole, presenting every layer in a space of its own.



    Little disclaimer

    For the sonic impressions, I have used Ultrasone Dj One Pro, Sennheiser ie800, Meze 99 Classics, Ultrasone Signature Studio, HiFiMAN RE-2000, HiFiMAN RE-800, Etymotic ER4-XR, Oriveti New Primacy, Dunu DK-3001, and a few other transducers. Each headphone has a signature of its own, and will influence the sound impressions to some extent.



    Channel balance

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    With the channel balance set to be equal from the settings, the channels are in perfect balance, even when the sound volume is set to 1-3 out of 150. The volume control wheel doesn't have any impact on the channel balance and #3 will be free of any channel imbalances for all users.



    Bass

    The bass is tight, solid, quick but bears an amazing impact, leaving the listener dazzled by its quality and by how crisp it feels. There is a very good sense of layering and Opus #3 has enough power to bring even the lowest notes to life, being a DAP that will satisfy both bass heads and people looking for a neutral / reference sound. Bass guitars keep an amazing level of texture and detail, being presented vividly and with very good speed.

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    With electronic music, the bass has good weight, hits deep and hits hard, while with rock music, the bass has a natural presentation, not being enhanced nor recessed, but being the perfect bass to hear with rock and metal music.

    Drums hit quickly, and they feel natural, leading to a playful and generally lively presentation. All in all, Opus #3 is not a relaxed DAP, but it is not dry either, having enough Ooomph effect to dazzle every listener.

    Haggard – All'inizio e la Morte – The song starts with great impact, the bass being felt in its sweet spot, the voices and every other instrument playing harmonically together. All strings bear an amazing texture and a realistic timbre while the choirs feel real. It is easy to notice multiple layers of instruments, each layer being well defined and being presented vividly. Male voices sound musical, but can also scream well when they're supposed to, guitars sound musical and romantic, and flutes also sound quite musical. It is very easy to close your eyes and imagine the journey in the story Haggard evokes, about Galileo Galilei and his tragedy. There is an impressive level of detail evoked, every instrument of the orchestra being audible and blending in to create a life-like presentation.

    Dream Evil – The Book of Heavy Metal – The first scream of the song comes through with good strength and bears a very realistic tone and texture. The guitars that follow bear a very nice texture as well, along with a wide spatial presentation. The first verse is played vividly and lively, the cymbals being noticeable and making a great company to the other instruments. The voices are well-textured and they feel sprinkled by a very good impact, the bass being presented at the right spot for this song, everything feeling right in place for an authentic Heavy Metal song. The rather tragic story of the man who dedicates his entire life to Metal is presented with a good amount of details. It is very easy to start headbanging and to emphasize with the protagonist while listening to this song.

    Eminem – We Made You – There is a good sense of space and instrumental resolution to the whole song, and #3 has a very natural texture to voices and instruments. The bass notes are deep and heavy, but aren't over-enhanced, while the mids are clear, vivid and all stringed instruments are presented vividly. There is a nice sense of width to the whole song, leading to a very airy presentation. Voices sound natural, and the tonality is spot-on.

    Rings of Saturn – Utopia – The song starts quick and strong, with a combination of melodic guitar tones entwined with a quick and precise drum pattern. Rings of Saturn are known for their extremely aggressive music that can go faster than a race car, but which also features extremely melodic bridges and choruses. There is a very good sense of space and a very good sense of texture throughout the whole song. The listener can feel the guitars moving throughout the sonic scape and can actually touch certain notes that are skillfully played by Rings of Saturn. Although the song doesn't have any lyrics and is an instrumental song, there is a story to be heard here, a vivid yet sad story, about the utopia that's enriched by feelings of nostalgia.



    Midrange

    Opus #3 brings an amazingly detailed and wide midrange, with a very vivid presentation of textures and a very good resolution. At times, I had to stop the music while taking a walk, because I had the sensation that someone told me something, but it was just an effect in certain songs.

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    The vocal tone is spot-on for both male and female voices, Opus #3 being enjoyable with both sweet female vocals and rock songs, even metal songs.

    The details in strings and in electronic instruments are amazing, Opus #3 being an experience one has to feel personally before understanding how many details were in each song.

    Spoken – Through It All – The song starts with a juicy set of guitars and with a crispy drum pattern sprinkled over them. The voices come through with amazing clarity and emotional impact, the soundstage is expansive and it is very deep, and the sound is very well layered. The bass is strong and precise, the top end is sparkly and the midrange is sweet and natural. Spoken are taking us in an adventure of the jaded protagonist, who has been burned by fate, rising back from the ashes, led by his love. The whole song is extremely involving and the experience on Opus #3 and RE2000 is indeed amazing.

    Skillet – Comatose – The song starts with a clear and well-textured set of strings that entwine deeply with the other instruments, drums and guitars. The piano plays musically in its layer, and the voices come through with great strength and with an incredible naturalness. The story of the man who suffers from the absence of his dream in his reality is presented vividly, and Skillet's song feels tangible and the drama / emotional pain of the singer can be felt, being easy to start singing along while listening to this song.

    Infected Mushroom – Becoming Insane – The song's start is marked by a crispy and natural sounding set of guitar notes. The electronic part of the song that follows presents amazing bass depth and impact. The highs are well pronounced and clear, and the whole sound is ethereal and crystalline. There is a clear and vivid texture with every single instrument that is played. The voices have a very natural resonance and tone to them, along with a great, believable texture. All acoustic guitar notes are vivid and come through with the right amount of bite to sound natural and believable. The story of the song, the story of the man who becomes insane can be felt, and the most active part of the song is just as vividly and lively presented. One can't just listen to this song without moving his feet and softly singing along.



    Treble

    Opus #3 has a forward or semi forward treble that has great impact and adds a sparkle to the sound. There is an amazing level of detail in the treble, but I didn't feel it getting hot or harsh with ie800, RE-2000 or Signature Studio, even though all of them are treble-happy transducers. The layering and airiness of the treble presentation are amazing, and they are sure to satisfy those who crave the last bit of detail that is to be revealed.

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    Opus #3 will make trumpets truly shine, will mark cymbal hits with a great impression, will give electronic effects an edge, and will make the whole sound energetic, enthusiastic, happy and lively. There is very little to fault with this presentation, but it should be noted that #3 is not made for smooth signatures lovers, it is intended for neutral type of sound or for treble lovers.

    Icon For Hire – Hope Of Morning – The song starts with a very melodic and playful combination of electronic instruments. Female voices are liquid, vivid, playful and melodic, with a spot-on tonality to them. Guitar notes that are played along have the right texture to them to feel tangible, you can visualize the strings of the guitar being touched and played. The whole song has a quick and musical bass that presents itself with good impact. There is a tendency for this song to be melodic, but Opus #3 makes the experience even sweeter. The story of the song is presented with a good amount of details and clues of all types, one can imagine the crazy landscapes painted in this song.

    Age of Days – I Did it for Love – The song starts with a playful tune of guitar notes and a crispy pattern of drums. There is a good separation between instrument layers, and there is a very good sense of space throughout the song. All details are presented vividly, and the different guitar layers help create a very good exposition of the song's mood and landscape painted. The solo is juicy and guitar tonalities are once again spot-on. The story of this song is presented nicely vivid, and although it is not a happy story, it is still fun to listen to.

    Veil Of Maya – Unbreakable – The song starts with very good strength and impact. There is a good sense of space and the drums sound crispy yet playful. The bass notes go deep and hit the lowest notes very well. All guitars are well textured, and Opus #3 is able to keep up very well with the speedy drum patterns of this song. The top end is sparkly and well enhanced, while the mids are sweet and playful, yet presented with a natural tonality. The story of this song, which is mostly a motivational song that tells people to believe in themselves, is sent through nicely and the song feels both uplifting and motivating to listen to.



    Soundstage

    Opus #3 presents music with a wide soundstage that has good depth, and very good layering and instrument separation. It is amazing to notice so many layers and different instruments / different musical notes in songs that you heard all over for more than ten years. Songs that I think I knew, now entice me with even more intrigue and even more small things that I can now notice.

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    It is amazing to hear how far things can come from, and while Opus #3 is not a DAP intended for in-your-face type of sound lovers, I think that anyone who hears it will want to hear it more, Opus #3's soundstage having a WOW effect, just like a pair of Sennheiser HD800.



    ADSR/PRaT

    The ADSR (Attack Decay Sustain Release) and PRaT (Pace, Rhythm and Timing) are again excellent, feature related to the high-quality Burr-Brown PCM1792A DAC found within Opus #3. Every musical note has a very clear start, duration, end, and the peak of each musical note is natural, without any trace of digital compression.

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    This helps music push through with high resolution, excellent definition and a naturalness that's otherwise lacking with lower end DAC chips. The decay of every note is especially good with PCM1792A as it provides a natural, but clear bound to every musical note. Textures feel enhanced, vivid and clear.



    Portable Usage

    Opus #3 is intended for portable usage, being a DAP (Digital Audio Player), so its portable usage is quite important. So far, I found it to be good in portability. The sound is really good for a portable unit, the ergonomics are good, and it is not a very heavy unit. Opus #3 has a very good grip due to its textured sides, so it doesn't absolutely require a case to be used with it, the screen is bright, vibrant and it is visible outdoors, the buttons and volume wheel making a good pocket usage scenario. The power button on top works well with #3 due to its size and thickness, and the touchscreen registers things properly almost every time.

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    I can move quickly through my library, find the songs I want to hear, and press play. I found that even the library scanning process goes pretty quickly and Opus #3 is up to the task of my rather hectic and chaotic usage.

    The streaming abilities of #3 are very good, the wifi receiver has a very good strength and I would sometimes use my smartphone as a Personal Hotspot, place it in my pocket or my bag, then connect Opus #3 to it, and stream music like this.

    If I really had to find a fault in #3's portable usage, that would probably be the lack of playing through folders and maybe the rather sharp edges and corners, but then again, I was able to use it in my pockets and hold it in my hands without hassle.

    Opus #3 is thicker than my daily smartphone, but it is far less tall and has less width, so the thickness doesn't impede its usage. In fact, I think that the added thickness improves my grip with it, as well as how easy it is to use the volume wheel.

    The battery life is estimated at around 8.5 hours of playback, and this is close to what I got, which is great considering that my usage patterns include a lot of screen time, and usage of loud volumes and Equalizer, so Opus #3 should last at least 8 hours even with the most serious usages out there.



    Drive factor

    The specification sheet of #3 doesn't include its power rating (Or it might, but it is not in English). Even so, #3 has been able to drive every single headphone and IEM I have to louder levels than I listen to, all while keeping an excellent clarity and control over the sound. I don't have any headphones with an impedance over 300 OHM right now, but based on the sonic results it provided so far, I don't foresee #3 struggling with any headphone either way. Opus #3 has no hiss, and this is great for IEM users, providing a clear and well-controlled sound even at low volumes.



    EMI

    Since Opus #3 is a DAP, and since it features Wifi, it is very important to know whether it has any kind of EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference), so it went through a few more tests than IEMs and headphones do.

    I placed #3 on top of my wireless router while streaming music, and played it at low volumes.

    I used it under the high voltage power lines from the Politehnics area, and placed it through all kinds of typical usage. As far as I can tell, there was't any trace of EMI with #3 after it has been through all these tests, so it should be fairly free of any EMI.



    Comparisons

    Opus #3 vs Xiaomi Mi Max – The comparison is quite unfair due to the price difference, and the purpose of each device (Mi Max is a mid-end smartphone at most, while Opus #3 is a high-end DAP), but it still is fun to know what you gain when going from a smartphone to a dedicated DAP. Comparing them directly, Opus #3 extends much more in the treble, has a much tighter and precise bass, has a much more natural sound, has no digital glare, which is evident on Mi Max, #3 has a lot better body to the sound, much more impact, a considerably better definition/resolution and considerably better textures. The soundstage also extends in a very spatial way on #3, with much better width and depth, and the ADSR sounds spot-on. There are also a lot more details in the sound of Opus #3, Mi Max not being the best smartphone for music.


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    Opus #3 vs iDSD BL – This comparison is also slightly unfair since #3 is a DAP, while iDSD BL is a dedicated DAC/AMP, but both of them are high end devices, both rely on Burr-Brown DACs, and both have impressed many music lovers with their sound. The first thing to notice when comparing them is that iDSD BL has slightly more body and weight to its bass, while #3 is slightly tighter. In the midrange, both are amazing devices, #3 enhancing textures slightly more, while iDSD BL presents textures in a natural yet fun way. The soundstage has more depth on iDSD BL, but it is presented with more width on #3. There is a clear sense of space on both, and layering feels rather good on both. The detail level is insane on both, but the way details are presented is slightly different, #3 presenting details more "In-Your-Face" than iDSD BL, at this point it being strictly a matter of preference. iDSD BL has more driving power (4W peak power output to be more precise), and slightly more control over the sound in general, but Opus #3 keeps up very well. All in all, both iDSD BL and Opus #3 perform exemplary and you can say that both are winners.

    Opus #3 vs iBasso DX200 – This is where the fair comparisons begin, both Opus #3 and DX200 being high end DAPs. There is a small difference, #3 being the middle ground DAP from Opus (There is a #2 as well out there), while DX200 is the Top-Of-The-Line, State-Of-Art DAP from iBasso. Starting with the build quality, DX200 has a smoother body, #3 looking slightly more edgy, while DX200 goes for an elegant approach. The displays are bright and easily readable outside on both DAPs, the colors being somewhat warmer on DX200 (closer to ideal). General smoothness of the system is slightly better on DX200, the display resolution and warmer colors adding to this impression. The volume wheel works amazingly well on both, and both offer a good headphone out, but it should be noted that DX200 offers a dedicated SPDIF port, and every AMP module will bring some new features, like the balanced LO on AMP3. After careful listening, the sound is different more than it is similar, DX200 being less enhanced all around, while #3 is slightly more vibrant in highs and in the lows. DX200 has the edge when it comes to textures, presenting them extremely vivid, but #3 has quite a vivid presentation as well. The soundstage is presented wider on Opus #3, while DX200 presents the soundstage with similar levels of width, and a tad more depth. Instrument layering is similar, and midrange tonality is spot-on on both.

    Opus #3 vs AP200 – AP200 is a high quality, Android, entry-level DAP, that costs considerably less, so the comparison might be a bit unfair, but still good to keep in mind. First, both devices are made out of metal and offer a nice feel to the hand. #3 is larger and offers a more edgy design. The screen surface is also larger, so the control is slightly better. Opus #3's display has more brightness, but AP200 should be fairly easy to read outdoors as well. As for the sonic differences, AP200 has more enhancement in the bass area, while #3 is more neutral and tighter. The midrange is presented similarly, and the treble is presented with more enhancement on Opus #3. AP200's level of detail is fair for AP200's price, and keeping in mind that Opus #3 is much more expensive, it performs as such, presenting music with more detail, vividness, and resolution. The soundstage is wider on #3, and has a similar depth on both, while the layering is more evident with #3. After careful consideration, it is possible to say that AP200 is, in some ways, like a mini distant relative of #3.



    [​IMG]

    Opus #3 vs HiFiMAN Megamini – Megamini is a mini DAP, which has only the basic features, and comes in a slim and small factor. #3 is larger, has a larger screen, and a much more complex set of functions and usage scenarios. On the sound, Megamini is actually quite good, being vivid, having a good amount of impact and being fairly energetic in the treble. The resolution is better on #3, but the price is also higher, so Megamini performs very well for its price range. Opus #3 and Megamini have a similar width and depth for their stage, Megamini having a really good performance for its price point and physical size. All in all, if we talk about the sonic performance, Megamini feels like a mini Opus #3, which is quite an impressive feature for it.


    [​IMG]

    Opus #3 vs FiiO X5ii – FiiO X5ii has been one of my favorite devices for a long time, but it has been replaced, right around the time I received Opus #3. I am still considering bringing back FiiO X5ii by buying another one from FiiO. FiiO X5ii servers its purpose well, while Opus #3 has a few more functions inside. The display quality is commendable on both devices, X5ii having a slightly and better colored display, and ease of usage is great on both. When it comes to sonics, FiiO X5ii is slightly tiled towards a warm signature, while #3 feels more neutral by comparison. The top end is also slightly tilted towards a smoother presentation on X5ii, while #3 has a vivid and energetic presentation of cymbals and highs in general. The midrange is similarly presented, but #3 has a wider soundstage while X5ii has a deeper soundstage. Instrument separation is great on both, X5ii being an absolute steal for the price it goes on now, quite close to Opus #3 in most aspects.



    Bonus Photos


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    Value

    Opus #3 is on sale with many shops right now, so there isn't a precise value it sells for now, but it costed about 900$ at the time of release, which is also the price it should be judged for.

    [​IMG]

    Opus #3 brings a good feature set, with Wifi, Bluetooth, streaming support, Android and many other features that will surely entice and enrichen every music lover's experience. The sound alone may be very well worth the price, #3 having a sonic performance that is fully commendable. The sound is vivid, it is full of energy and life, the top end is lively, the bottom end has great impact, the mids are natural and the textures are presented vividly.

    TheBit and Opus included a leather case in the package, and there is also a high-quality cable included with it. Opus #3 can also replace your current soundcard as it offers support to be used as a USB DAC, and it will work perfectly for both listening to music, or watching movies and playing games. Besides its fantastic build quality, Opus #3 comes with a single microSD card, and it also features 64GB of internal memory.

    All in all, the 900$ price tag is not exactly cheap, but Opus #3 is a premium device, coming in a premium package, with premium accessories included. It is possible to say that Opus #3 justifies its price by its sound quality, build quality and good software support, and while it is not a budget king, it is good to keep in mind that "you get what you pay for", Opus #3 being one of the best DAPs the market has to offer at this point, performing fairly good for its price point.



    Conclusion

    Listening to Opus #3 has been a great experience, and reviewing it has been an even better one.

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    Opus #3 is a high-end DAP (Digital Audio Player) that features a natural and rich sound, a deep bass with amazing impact, and a sparkly top end, along with an airy presentation and a great resolution for its textures, and an amazing detail retrieval.

    The typical battery duration is pretty good, around 8.5 hours, and the usage outdoors is excellent, maybe minus the sharp corners and edges, but Opus #3 comes with a genuine leather case to alleviate this problem.

    Opus #3 runs quite smooth in general, and it has a pretty mature implementation of Android, featuring support for third party apps, along with very good support for all music files, resolutions and sample rates.

    At its price point, Opus #3 is not a budget DAP, but a premium offering, and it is well worth its asking price. It is even possible to find a unit on sale right now.

    It is easy to recommend Opus #3 to the ones passionate about music and to those who want to seek the last drops of quality and who love the house sound of the Burr-Brown DAC, along with the Opus experience and presentation.



    Thank you for reading! I hope that this review is of help to you! Stay safe, and please remember to have fun while listening to music!



    Link to the review on Audiophile Heaven: https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.com/2017/08/opus-3-brilliant-excellent-dap.html

    Link to the official store (USA): https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/opus

    Link to the official Thread on Head-Fi: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/opus-3-hi-res-audio-player-w-wifi-and-streaming.842632/

    Link to the writer’s head-fi page: https://head-fi.org/members/dobrescu-george.170938/

    Audiophile Heaven: https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.com/

    Audiophile Heaven on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiophileHeaven/
      icefalkon, ValSilva and majo123 like this.
  2. cleg
    Another hit by theBit
    Written by cleg
    Published Jun 6, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - design, price, sound, UI, firmware
    Cons - wiggling volume wheel, but it's not really an issue
    Looks like theBit have decided to become a king of the hill, or at least join those who are already standing on the top. After the first successful skill test (I mean OPUS#1) they've come back with really flagship OPUS#2 model that can be considered as one of the TOTL solutions. And now, theBit strengthen their position with great OPUS#3.
    1-Main Pic.jpg

    First of all, I'd like to thank theBit for providing me a sample in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

    I'll shorten my work and won't go deep into describing OPUS#3 package, accessories set and overall design. There are few stellar reviews done by fellow Head-Fiers, you've read them, and I don't have much to add to them.
    2-Box.jpg

    The package is simple and stylish; DAP looks interesting and fresh, it feels solidly built and operates smoothly. There is a little wiggling of volume wheel, but it's still doing its job flawlessly (better than one on my AK320 actually). Firmware is rock-solid, as usual for theBit products, and recently added wireless streaming applications are an excellent addendum. Well, this time looks like I was brief in sharing my impressions, so, let's move on to the sound.
    3-Accessories.jpg

    First of all, I'd like to mention that my feelings on OPUS's general representation slightly differs from other reviewers. I'm not sure what it the reason, maybe it's a subjective perception, perhaps there is some other reason, who knows. Personally, I don't found OPUS#3 sounding very neutral or bright. There is a small accent on treble, but it's not enough to call it bright. Also, there is a slight hint of added warmth on lows, so for me, OPUS#3 has a bit of "fun" sounding coloration, but without sounding colored or non-natural, because accents are subtle.
    4-Rear Side.jpg

    The bass is very, very slightly accented to create a slight effect of warmth. A speed of lows is slightly reduced to make the sound more massive, but it's done very neatly, without making sound bloaty or muddy. The player is superb in texturing and instruments separation in the low-frequency range. Sub-bass is present, but it is slightly reduced quantitatively, to avoid muddy sounding on the LF.
    5-Wild Garlic.jpg

    The mid frequencies are transparent and slightly emphasized regarding emotionality. Sometimes it seems that the player especially highlights the vocals and adds emotions in the vocal. With OPUS # 3 it is very pleasant to listen to classic bluesmen, favorite jazz singers, emotional rockers. Naturally, the player is right at the resolution, but it does not go into sharp, dry sounding, and does not try to pull out all the tiny nuances from the record. On the contrary, it can even sometimes hide some mastering/recording flaws. The imaginary stage is very wide, but without further inflation, the depth is bigger than average, but not as record-breaking as the width. The separation of layers is magnificent, especially due to the emphasis on vocals.
    6-Again Rear Side.jpg

    HF "in general" are good, detailed enough and have splendid decays. Sometimes, rarely, OPUS adds too much energy to treble attacks and can cause a bit sharper sound than intended, but with appropriate headphones, it won't be an issue. Also, this problem seems to be less pronounced in the DSP mode of XMOS, although the difference is small and can be attributed to the placebo effect.

    Few quick comparisons

    theBit OPUS#1 The first OPUS sometimes loves to "inflate" the imaginary stage, it gives a spectacular, but not always natural sound. Also, OPUS#1 sounds more neutral and has slightly drier representation. OPUS#3 does not try to exaggerate the stage, representing it as it is, and in general, the player sounds a little darker and more vigorous. Plus OPUS#3 has a darker "background."

    theBit OPUS#2 The primary task of the flagship is to sound as neutral as possible, without going too dull, and the "second OPUS" is doing that well. He's less accenting emotions (although he's flawlessly showing what is present in the recording), he has a deeper bass and better in layering. Treble is a bit better too. Although in fact, the difference between #2 and #3 is not that significant (less than between #3 and #1), but the feeling of "step forward" is present.

    iBasso DX200 Quite the opposite of OPUS #3, iBasso is neutral, not colored, with maximum resolution and detalisation. The main problem of the iBasso player is a pickiness to the quality of the recording. Opus in this respect is more tolerant, and his presentation is more emotional but slightly less resolving.

    Fiio X7 + AM2 In general, the representation of these players can with a little stretch be called similar, but in fact, there is a noticeable difference in the accents - the Fiio player is slightly less sharp on the HF and somewhat simpler in the mid range.

    Fiio X5-3 Not quite a competitor for OPUS#3, but since the model is popular, I can not ignore it. The newcomer from Fiio is just an even greater deviation in the direction that Opus only hints. X5-3 has more warmth in the sound, relaxed HF, everything that is necessary to create a "comfortable" sound.
    7-Screen.jpg

    Compatibility
    OPUS#3 isn't super-powerful, it shows very reasonable approach, allowing battery saving and background noise reduction. Player's power is more than enough for almost all IEMs and reasonably tough full-size cans. I've tried lots of IEMs, but best results I've got with Ambient Acoustics LAM7 (customs from Kiev laboratory) and Noble Kaiser Encore. Of the more affordable models, I can mention Dunu's hybrids and new Periodic Audio Beryllium IEMs.
    8-Knob.jpg

    So, to summarize — theBit made a balanced player with good sound, beautiful design, and great ergonomics. They've chosen right niche and select competitive price (best price I've seen are offered by MusicTeck). IMHO, now theBit is the strongest A&K competitor.

    P.S. As usual, I have an initial impressions video for this excellent DAP

  3. ExpatinJapan
    Opus#3 - a versatile dap for todays demands
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Jun 1, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - A modern dap that meets the majority of most audiophiles needs
    Cons - Volume wheel can get a tad loose
    The Audio-Opus Opus#3 Dap Review - Expatinjapan


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    Opus#3 and PlusSound Exo Series cable.

    Audio-Opus, TheBit, Opus#3 review
    -expatinjapan
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    http://www.audio-opus.com/?page_id=17235

    Thank you to Audio-Opus/TheBit for sending Head pie the Opus#3 for review.

    `TheBit has created the most optimized solution for all music lovers to really feel what musicians feel and hear what they hear in Hi-fi & Hi-Res audio formats. Opus#3 will allow you to enjoy your favorite music in best sound quality up to 24bit/192kHz, providing unforgettable experience and unique sensations from the original sound.` - From the Audio-Opus website.

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    Opus#3 and Jomo - `Pretty little beast`
    with Double Helix Cables Pure OCC Silver Litz IEM cable

    Head pie reviewed the Opus#1 at an earlier stage, see here for the review:
    http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2016/07/the-bit-opus1-dap-review-expatinjapan.html

    Build
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    Metal Body ( Tempered Aluminum ) with a plastic back and a metal volume wheel.
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    Single ended 3.5mm out, and 2.5mm balanced out, on/off switch.

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    Micro SD slot, micro USB charging port.

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    FF, Play, Reverse buttons.

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    Size comparison between Opus#1 and Opus#3 Daps.

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    Opus#3 Dap booting up.

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    Opus#3 with Meze 99 Neo headphones.

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    Opus#3 and Opus#1 size comparison without the leather Dignis cases.
    (With Campfire Audio Andromeda and ALO Audio Reference 8 balanced cable)

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    Opus#3 dap with the Dignis leather case.

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    Specifications
    -Native DSD Playback (X-MOS Include)
    -24bit / 192kHz High Resolution Sound
    -4” Touch display (IPS Panel)
    -Burr-Brown PCM1792A DAC
    -ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core CPU & DDR3 1GB
    -Internal Memory 64GB
    -External microSD card up to 256GB
    -Metal Body ( Tempered Aluminum ), Metal Wheel Volume
    -WI-FI : 801.11b/g/n ( 2.4GHz )
    -Bluetooth 4.0( A2DP, AVRCP )
    -Ultra Power Saving Mode
    -Supports 3rd Party Streaming Application

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    Model Opus#3(HA-530)
    -CPU & RAM ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core & DDR3 1GB
    -Display 4″ TFT Touch Display(480*800) IPS PANEL
    -Button POWER, PLAY/PAUSE, FF, REW VOLUME(WHEEL)
    -Supported Audio Formats WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WMA, MP3, OGG,APE(Normal, High, Fast), native DSD(DFF,DSF)
    -Sample rate PCM : 16kHz ~ 192Hz (8/16/24bits per Sample)
    DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz, Stereo),
    DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz, Stereo),
    DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz, Stereo)
    -EQ & Effect EQ:10Band NORMAL/USER1/2/3/4/5
    -Input 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)
    -Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
    -Bluetooth V4.0 (A2DP, AVRCP)
    -Feature Enhancements Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)
    -Battery 4,000mAh/3.7V Li-Polymer
    -Battery Life(Play) Time & Charge Time Play: Approximately 8.5 hours.
    Charge:4 hours
    -Memory Built-in 64GB
    External microSD (up to 256GB) / Supports SDXC (exFAT, NTFS)
    -Clock source / Jitter 50ps(Typ)
    -OS Customized Android 5.1.1
    -Supported OS Windows 7,8,10 (32/64bit), MAC OS x 10.9 and up
    Audio Performance
    -DAC Burr-Brown PCM1792A
    -Decoding Support up to 24bit / 192kHz Bit to Bit Decoding
    -Frequency Response ±0.026dB(Condition: 20Hz~20KHz) Unbalanced & Balanced
    ±0.3dB(Condition: 10Hz~70KHz) Unbalanced & Balanced
    -Signal to Noise Ratio 114dB @ 1KHz, Unbalanced
    114dB @ 1KHz, Balanced
    -Crosstalk 130dB @ 1KHz,Unbalanced / 135dB @ 1KHz, Balanced
    THD+N 0.0009% @ 1KHz
    -Output Impedance Balanced out 2.5mm(1ohm) / Phone 3.5mm(2ohm)
    -Output Level Balance 3.0Vrms / Unbalance 2.5Vrms(Condition No Load)
    -Volume Step 150 steps
    -Gapless O

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    Sound
    The Opus#3 was burned in for over 150 hours to satisfy the burn in fans and the rest say it doesnt matter, so everyone is a winner.
    I used mostly 16/44 FLAC and also some more hi res tracks. Mostly I used shuffle mode as I like the unexpected tracks when testing as it keeps me on my toes and also means I listen to tracks I would otherwise skip over.
    I tested the Opus#3 in a variety of situations, at home, on the train, walking, cafes etc.
    Many different earphones and cables were used during the listening and testing period, some of them pictured in the various rig photos to give me a sense of the true Opus#3 sound.

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    Opus#3 and Simgot EN700 Bass

    I usually write quite a bit about Daps I review but feel I can use a bit more brevity when talking about the Opus#3.

    The Opus#3 is a a Dap that fits within its asking price quite comfortably, perhaps due to its many functions.
    The sound is a clean, natural and accurate signature.

    I find I enjoy the 1ohm balanced port more than the 2ohm single ended port. Its more accurate, has more control and cleaner for my many multi driver IEMs.
    the smoothness of the extra ohm on the single end would appeal to many who intend to pair the Opus#3 with sub $500 or so earphones.

    At no time did I feel the Opus#3 to be lacking in general terms of resolution or power. Whilst not a super beast in terms of amplifying power it is more than enough for its intended portable use.

    With a UI that is easy to use, lightweight within ones hand and a sensible size i was quite taken with the Opus#3.

    Its tonality is like the eye of Sauron.

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    Opus#3 and Campfire Audio Vegas


    The specs reveal the Opus#3 to be similar generally to the Opus#1 (not taking into account the added bells and whistles, wifi etc)
    .
    But is the sonic performance the same?

    I connected the Opus#1 and Opus#3 to a headphone switcher and volume tested them with a SPL app to get a near enough matching volume level to try to discern the differences.

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    I found the Opus#3 to be more resolving overall.
    The Opus#1 has a vocals forward signature at ordinary volumes, whereas with the Opus#3 seems the music is up with the vocals, making the sound more engaging and richer and there is more definition.

    The sound stage on the Opus#3 is much larger than on Opus#1, on height and width. Making the Opus#3 more exciting, intimate and engaging. But its incremental and not absolute.
    The Opus#3 sound stage is increased in the width, slightly in the height whilst not much more in the depth.
    The sound stage increases when using the balanced out, as does instrument separation.
    They both retain the characteristic smoothness of the Opus brand, more so when using the 2ohm single ended out, things get a bit more apart when using the balanced out.
    Instrument separation is cleaner on the Opus#3.

    When I turn up the volume louder the Opus#3 seems to cope better with it.

    In summary, its very close to call in terms of sonics but the Opus#3 just pulls ahead on the single end, and more so on the balanced out.
    In terms of extended listening sessions I would pick the Opus#3 over the Opus#1.

    The Burr-Brown dac just adding that extra little something.

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    Opus#3 Dap with Campfire Audio Andromeda and Alo Audio Reference 8 balanced cable.

    Size
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    The Opus#3 fits nicely in ones palm.

    Features
    I didn`t try out all the various features that the Opus#3 has to offer due t my stubborn luddite old school backwards attitude and way of life. Streaming?, meh more like screaming.

    I had no trouble connecting the Opus#3 to the ifi Nano iOne which is connected to my simple home mini system of Onkyo CR-N765 with D-112EXT speakers. I found connectivity better without the leather case and was able to walk around the room without loss of connectivity.
    Wifi I mainly used for updating the firmware without any hitches.
    The USB DAC certainly improved the audio output of my Macbook pro. the set up was easy and quality of audio excellent.

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    Opus#3 via Bluetooth to ifi Nano iOne DAC to Onkyo CR-N765.

    Value
    The Opus#3 retails for US$899.
    This price fits in nicely between the two forerunner Opus daps.
    Opus#1 retailing at US$350 - US$599, and the Opus#2 Dap retailing at US$1,100 - US$1,599 (depending on current deals).

    Musicteck in the USA have some good deals on all the Opus daps
    https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/opus

    I reviewed the Opus#1 previously (and still use it) and have only spent brief listening sessions with the Opus#2 at audio shows.

    I have covered the similarities and differences in sound signature with the Opus#1 in the sound section.

    The value lies more in what extras do you want?
    Opus#3:
    A slightly more increase in resolution?
    Wifi?
    Streaming music?
    Apps?
    Bluetooth?
    USB DAC function?

    And:
    One Burr-Brown DAC (Opus#3) versus two Cirrus DACs in Opus#1.
    Opus#3 supports 9+1 (aac) audio codecs, Opus#1.
    Metal and plastic casing - Opus#3, versus plastic- Opus#1.
    One Micro SD card slot versus two slots on the Opus#1.

    It all depends on functions needed/wanted for each persons intended use as to the value in this case.

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    Opus#3 Dap, Jomo6R and Double Helix Cable Pure OCC Silver Litz IEM cable

    Overall

    The Opus#3 is the third in the Opus series of Daps, the #3 fitting nicely in between the #1 and the #2.
    For those of you who may be confused at the numbering system:
    The first is Opus#1,
    The second is Opus#2,
    The third is Opus#3...
    Product names are Opus#1 (HA-501), Opus#2(HA-600), Opus#3(HA-530).

    I reviewed the Opus#1 earlier and the UI navigation screens are the same. Take the link for the UI photos http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2016/07/the-bit-opus1-dap-review-expatinjapan.html

    The Opus#3 delivers a clean, nearly neutral and with a dash of warmth sound.

    The UI is easy to use and responsive.
    Firmware updates are simple via wifi.
    I found the Bluetooth to be strong, wifi connectivity is easy and the USB DAC function excellent.

    The volume wheel has a generous 150 steps, and is firm enough and protected against sudden increases in volume by the leather case. The leather case can loosen the wheel a bit, but I was able to retighten it myself.

    Its quite close to its cheaper sibling the Opus#1 but does edge it out, especially in longer listening sessions or when using the balanced out.
    Much of the operating system is the same when comparing the specifications. But the devil is in the details and the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Opus#3=Yum.

    I ended up preferring the easy sound of the Opus#3 at the end of each listening session, I would happily plug the balanced cable back into the Opus#3, then slowly change it back to the Opus#1.

    Although change from two Cirrus Dacs (Opus#1) to a single Burr brown the Opus#3 loses nothing but seems to gain in smoothness, clarity, detail, sound stage and resolution overall.

    I would have liked a bit more power under the hood - but I generally didn`t max much past 80-90 on the volume side of things. And I do like to listen louder than most. It was more than satisfactory.

    The Opus#1 is definitely no slouch and has earned a stellar reputation for its many virtues, the Opus#3 just edges it out in sound, and of course overall features.
    The different features are listed in the value section.

    The Opus#3 is a device that can meet the multi media needs of the majority of todays demanding audiophiles, who desire a variety of functions from their dap of choice.


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    Thank you to TheBit Audio-Opus for sending Head pie the Opus#3 for review
  4. ostewart
    Another great player from Audio Opus
    Written by ostewart
    Published May 27, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Balanced, transparent sound, great build quality, easy to use
    Cons - Firmware still has a couple of bugs
    Firstly I would like to thank Audio Opus for selecting me to review their latest player; I always try to write honest reviews. This player has had well over 50hrs of burn-in and has been my daily player for a while before reviewing, it has been tested with multiple headphones at home and at work.

    You can purchase it here from MusicTeck

    [​IMG]

    Tech Specs:
    MSRP: $899

    [​IMG]

    Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:

    The Opus #3 comes in a similar box to its siblings, but in dark grey this time. The outer grey sleeve has the model number on the front, and tech specs on the back, once this is removed you are greeted by a blue box made of hard cardboard. Lift the top cover off and you are greeted by the Opus #3 held tightly in a velvet intray, underneath you will find the included accessories. The packaging has a very premium feel to it, and also serves its purpose of protecting the player during shipping. My leather case came in a separate small grey box.

    [​IMG]

    The Opus #3 is well built like the rest of their players; it has an aluminium main body, which is CNC milled and expertly finished, and a plastic backplate. Now I have seen people say the plastic makes it feel cheap, but here is my opinion, the plastic used is very good quality, the texture is great and also Bluetooth connectivity is very good, where an all metal chassis could affect this. All the sockets and ports are tight with no play in them, however the volume wheel does have some play in it. It does not affect functionality, but it is something I have always disliked in the A&K players (The Opus #2 wheel has very little play).

    Accessories included are a manual, USB cable, extra screen protector (one is factory fitted) and a very nice Dignis leather case. Everything you need to get going apart from a pair of headphones (which you have if buying this player).

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    Usability and Bugs:

    First off the Opus #3 has the same UI as the other players in their range, it is a stripped back version of Android made for music playback. The main difference is the Opus #3 now supports streaming, but with limited 3rd party support. The UI of the main playback app is perfect; it has playlist support and is very intuitive and easy to use. You get the usual EQ settings, multiple gain settings, settings to change the DSP Processing (Auto, 16 or 32bit), balance settings and gapless on or off.

    You can toggle Line-out to use with external amps, this is not a true line out and the gain settings affect the gain on the line-out, but at middle gain it is set at 2.1vrms, and the quality of the amp stage is excellent so the line-out quality is perfectly acceptable. The 3.5mm jack can also be used as an optical output. You get aprox 8-10hrs playback out of this player, which to me is not an issue.

    This player has a touch screen which is good quality for a music player, with good viewing angles, and also has a couple of hardware buttons on the side for skipping tracks, and playing/pausing music, it can also be used as an external DAC/Amp via USB.

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    Now to some issues:

    Firstly to install apps, you have to sideload them and install from the APK, which is awkward and brings another problem (To install, go to settings > streaming, then you click the little plus at the top, select the app you want o install, then install. You must press close after installing, and not open the app straight away).

    I have found that because apps don’t automatically close when you go out of them back to the regular player, the player gets very hot due to processes running in the background.

    To solve this you have to long press the app, and force close it, so not great.

    The only other bug I have come across is that using a 3rd party app, Bluetooth output stopped. Again these are issues that will hopefully be fixed in firmware updates. And when using as a pure player, I have had no issues.

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    Sound:

    My opinions here are in comparison to the Opus #2 which is my reference point.

    The Opus #3 sounds a little colder in comparison to the #2, it sounds a little leaner but has the perception of being more detailed upon first listen. I wouldn’t say it is harsh, or bright just very neutral, towards maybe a little cold/analytical. This works wonders with most headphones, and brings out a little added sparkle in some more boring headphones, yet it still somehow works well with slightly brighter headphones. I would have thought it would become piercing, but again these are not night and day differences.

    The differences are small, but still there, the highs are very controlled and detailed without any harshness. This means that even though it has a tiny bit more presence up top compared to the #2, it is not a fatiguing listen.

    It’s always hard comparing 2 players that are so similar, but they are both fantastic pieces of kit, the #2 still edges it out with overall refinement and effortless sound, but the #3 in some ways is more exciting and more likely to reveal unheard nuances upon first listen.

    The Opus #3 has better attack and a drier sound, the Opus #2 is overall slightly more organic sounding.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion: Audio Opus have done it yet again, a very nice player at a very good price compared to some of the competition. It offers a very engaging sound that is balanced, detailed and works wonders with nearly all portable headphones, and some harder to drive ones too. It has plenty of features and with firmware being updated regularly the bugs will be fixed.

    Sound Perfection Rating: 8.5/10 (Superb player at a good price, firmware needs a little work)

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      Denio and Hawaiibadboy like this.
  5. twister6
    Can you feel theBit?
    Written by twister6
    Published May 25, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - solid build, high res neutral-revealing sound sig, leather case, responsive touch screen, balanced output.
    Cons - 3rd party apps must be side-loaded, fw related to app support is still work in progress, all metal except for the backplate.



    The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion. The review was originally posted on my blog, and now I would like to share it with all of my readers on Head-fi.

    Manufacturer website: theBit, for Sale on MusicTeck and Amazon.




    Intro.

    After releasing their first Opus#1 dap, which can still give other daps even at twice its price a run for their money, and following up with their flagship Opus#2 release, which hopefully will receive soon a streaming/app support like in #3, theBit revealed their new Opus#3 model which… created a bit of a confusion. Many Opus fans expected an incremental update, if you follow the logic of #3 being greater than #2. Instead, I have a feeling theBit team revisited the idea of Opus#1 Metal edition, and came up with an all new model to fill in the gap between Opus#1 and Opus#2. Whatever you call it, #3 or #1.5, it won’t change the fact they accomplished their mission by creating Opus#3 which does exactly that – taking Opus#1 to the next level while reminding us that Opus#2 is still a flagship.

    From my communication with theBit, Opus#3 was an important release for them because they tried to keep pricing under $900, used a premium CNC metal material (except for the sculptured backplate that was kept plastic to lower the manufacturing cost), and introduced streaming and app support (side-loaded) which supposed to make its way into Opus#2 as well. At the same time, Opus#3 ended up being in a very challenging spot with a lot of competition around its price point. So, let’s take a closer look to see what the latest Opus#3 release brings to the table!

    Unboxing.

    Having the unboxing experience with Opus#1 and Opus#2 behind my belt, I didn’t find too many surprises and, as expected, theBit used a quality packaging with a minimalistic artwork cover sleeve (only model name on the front) and a very detailed spec on the back. With a sleeve taken off, you will find a high quality giftbox where, underneath the cover, Opus#3 was securely sitting inside of a protective foam cutout.

    With #3 out of the way, you will find a slim envelope with some accessories and at the bottom of the giftbox a leather case and usb cable box. Even so the genuine leather case supposed to be optional and was included here for the review purpose, you can’t help but notice there is a special area inside of the packaging allocated specifically for the leather case box, and the distributors, such as MusicTeck, offer Opus#3 now with a leather case included.

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    Accessories.

    Along with a warranty and a manual card, you will find a screen protector and a high quality micro-USB charging and data transfer cable. But the star of the accessories package is the leather case. I don’t want to assume that a case will be a stock accessory included with every Opus#3, but I hope that many global distributors will be able to offer it together with a purchase of this DAP because this is a top class Dignis brand name genuine leather case.

    Continuing with their #1 and #2 tradition of including custom re-branded Dignis case, #3 also offers a tight fitting custom leather case that compliments the design without hiding details of the chassis. You get a thicker protective padding on the back, fully open top, covered transport control buttons with a more flexible material to push them easily, a generous micro-usb port opening that works with many connectors, and covered microSD slot. If you want to remove the card, you must slide the DAP out of the case, where pushing it with an eraser side of the pencil through micro-USB port opening does the trick (at least for me). Otherwise, just copy the files to/from your computer.

    Of course, I was curious about the new analog volume wheel on the back and the compatibility with a cutout in the leather case. Here, they nailed it with a tight opening and a clever wrap-around cutout that gives a comfortable access to turn the wheel with your thumb without a problem. The quality, the fit, and the usability of this leather case is perfect. And the case doesn’t just protect #3 from minor drops and bumps, but also covers the sharp corners of the DAP.

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    Leather case.

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    Design.

    While it’s a challenge for some manufacturers to distinguish their touch-screen DAP design from a regular smartphone, theBit never had an issue making their Opus daps stand out from the crowd, and #3 is not an exception. With dimensions of 117mm x 74mm x 18mm, it’s positioned between #1 and #2 in size, and with 220g has enough heft to feel that metal chassis in your hand without being too bulky.

    While the front of the dap is occupied by 4” TFT touch display with a decent resolution of 480x800 (IPS panel has a good viewing angle), the rest of the chassis are CNC metal (tempered aluminum) except for the back panel which is plastic. The left/right sides and the back feature a textured diamond pattern which theBit refers to as “pyramid shaped machined protrusions”, and due to the complexity of manufacturing and the added cost and weight, they decided to use hard plastic material for the back panel, which I believe also serves a purpose of keeping the wireless antenna from being blocked. From a distance the backpanel blends in well with metal chassis and it doesn’t “look” plastic.

    This textured diamond pattern enhances the grip and makes the look of #3 more unique, but my review unit from the first production batch had a bit sharp corners, thus I was grateful for the included leather case which made the handling of the DAP more comfortable without hiding the design details. As if you haven’t figured out by now, I really LOVE the leather case included with Opus#3.

    Looking around the chassis, you will find hw playback buttons on the left side (Skip Next/Prev and Play/Pause in the middle), microSD port at the bottom which can accommodate up to 256GB flash card (supports exFAT and NTFS), and micro-USB port for charging, data transfer, and usb-DAC connection. The right side doesn’t have any controls, but you do have access to the edge of a volume wheel located on the back. The volume wheel has a diamond cut surface for non-slip thumb operation and enables a precise 150-step control with a nice feedback click action.

    The top has a power button which also doubles as a screen on/off, along with 2.5mm TRRS balanced HO (1ohm output impedance) and 3.5mm TRS single ended HO output (2ohm output impedance) which also functions as Optical digital out and Line out.

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    Under the hood.

    In the heart of this DAP you have ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz quad-core CPU to keep all the process running smoothly without skipping a beat, and 1GB of DDR3 RAM. Opus#3 enables side-loading and running of 3rd party apps, but keep in mind it’s not intended for heavy duty CPU/GPU applications or multi-tasking since the primary functionality of #3 is audio playback, while app support is just a bonus where they don’t guarantee compatibility with every app, and obviously 1GB of RAM and A9 cpu will not be enough to run fancy games.

    And speaking of audio playback, here theBit decided to use Burr-Brown PCM1792A 24bit DAC. It’s not the latest DAC, but it’s still highly regarded due to its unique sound characteristics. In addition to PMC1792A DAC, it also uses a separate X-MOS chip for a playback of high def sound files, supporting up to DSD256 with a native playback, no conversion to PCM. Per manufacturer, you get a support of all the popular lossless and lossy file formats such as WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, and native playback of DSD (DFF, DSF).

    It also features a low jitter (50ps) dual crystal oscillator to accommodate two fundamental clock frequencies covering all the data formats. Even so only a single DAC is being used, the architecture of the design has two separate L/R channel paths going to a balanced driver output as well as a single end head-amp output. Furthermore, per theBit spec, #3 has a pretty good 114dB S/N ratio for both BAL and SE outputs. Under no load condition, output level of BAL is 3.0Vrms (roughly 280 mW under 32ohm load) and SE is 2.5Vrms (roughly 195 mW under 32ohm load) which is enough to drive most of the portable and even some demanding headphones, as I will cover in my pair up section of the review.

    Furthermore, it has USB Audio Class 2.0 which supports native DSD and other PCM formats in USB DAC mode. You also get Wi-Fi support (802.11 b/g/n, 2.4GHz) which enables wireless streaming, as well as over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates, and Bluetooth 4.0 (with A2DP and AVRCP profiles) for wireless headphone connection. And when it comes to battery, theBit used a nicely sized 4,000 mAh 3.7V Li-Po battery which gives on average 8-9hrs of playback depending on the volume setting and screen on/off time, but do keep in mind the DAP is on a warmer side during charging. And last, but not least, in addition to already mentioned support of up to 256GB external microSD card, you also have 64GB of internal memory.

    opus#3_design.jpg

    GUI.

    Once you power up Opus#3, you will see theBit native audio app on top of the Android OS running in the background. The app itself is very intuitive with a clear layout and easy navigation which looks great on Opus#3 4” display.

    Starting at the top across the Notification bar, in the upper left corner you will have Playback icon status and Repeat selection. Then, moving to the middle you have Volume icon with a step value (150 steps maximum), and in the right corner you have a battery indicator icon and a system clock.

    Typical of Lollipop Android OS, you can swipe down the notification bar to reveal shortcuts of other controls. When swiped down, the notification area has a time with a day and a date, battery indicator with an exact percentage, and Setup icon. Below it you have a Brightness adjustment bar, Wi-Fi enable icon with drop-down box to get into wi-fi setup menu, Bluetooth enable icon with wireless Bluetooth menu access, Line Out (to enable line out output), Equalizer enable (which enables the currently selected Preset), Sleep mode enable, Repeat selection (one full repeat cycle, continues repeat cycled, single song repeat), and Shuffle enable. The pull-down bar is very convenient for a quick access to shortcuts of commonly used functions.

    The main screen has upper half of the display dedicated to showing song’s artwork and if none is embedded – theBit includes a collection of music related images which are displayed randomly as song’s artwork. Tapping on the area of the artwork brings up file info with Genres/Composer/Pathname and file type/size. Second tap brings up lyrics if it’s embedded into the song. Also, with either first or second tap you’ll see in the upper right corner a Star icon to tag the file as Favorite and another icon to add it to a Playlist which you can create and name on the fly.

    In the upper left corner of that display you have an icon which takes you to file browser where you can sort by Folders, Favorites, Playlist as well as more common sorting by Songs, Albums, Artists, and Genres based on metadata of your audio file. In the same menu, you can also switch between viewing the Internal Storage or uSD card.

    Back to the main Playback screen, underneath of the artwork area you have a playback bar where you can fast forward (scrub) through the song by dragging a pointer while tracking the current time marker position relative to a total song duration. Above this bar, you have a counter of how many songs are in the current playback folder and the basic info about the file such as bit depth and sampling rate. Below playback progress bar you have a full song/artist name and clearly labeled Skip Next/Prev and Play/Pause touch controls.

    From drop down notification bar you can get into Settings where you have a typical for a smartphone selection of controls, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a new Streaming, and Screen setting with Brightness adjustment and Auto display Off timeout setting. In Audio setting you can enable Equalizer and select one of the 5 available custom presets which you can customized individually (10 Bands with 31.5Hz, 63Hz, 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz, 4kHz, 8kHz, 16kHz) with an adjustment of audio playback in real time. Audio setting also has Gapless enable control.

    Output setting has Line Out enable, Balance (L/R) control, DSP mode selection (Auto, 32bit X-MOS, or 24bit I2S). Gain control let you switch between Low, Middle, High to fine tune your output to accommodate everything from high sensitivity to more demanding earphones and headphones. There is also a Sleep enable with Sleep time setting, but I’m not sure if it’s even necessary since Opus#3 by default goes into Super Power Saving mode. My only gripe here is that I wish there would be a time to set a delay for Power Saving mode since it kicks in too soon. When your screen is off during playback, and power saving mode starts, you no longer can control playback with hw transport control buttons.

    Another setting is USB which selects Connect mode as either MTP (for file transfer) or Charging only connection. And USB DAC mode which starts that mode when you connect Opus#3 to your PC/MAC or a smartphone. Then, like with smartphones, you have Language and Input selection, Date & Time setting, Storage info to show capacity of internal and external memory, initialize settings (database initialize, settings initialize, and Factory reset), Update (manual system update or to check for OTA update), and Info about the device.

    Overall, the main playback screen is very easy to navigate, all the common controls are conveniently located by swiping down notification bar, and the main Settings are clear and self-explanatory. The touch screen swiping interface is very fluid and highly responsive. Also, once you start turning the volume knob, you get a brief screen with a volume bar and corresponding value setting which you can quickly swipe up or down for a faster adjustment.

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    Streaming and side-loading apps.

    The new addition to Opus#3 is a support for Streaming apps, accessible from a menu in Settings, where by default you will find Spotify. Other apps could be side loaded as well, including getting Spotify back if you Factory Reset the device which erases apps from the internal memory. Also, since there is no clean way to exit some of the apps yet, going back to the Streaming menu and selecting AudioPlayer will get you back to a default theBit Audio player or you can press’n’hold the app to force close it.

    Opus#3 is not like your smartphone or some other DAPs with an open Android OS and Google Play app store access. And that has its advantage and disadvantage, of course, but it’s not a show stopper to get you going with Spotify or being able to play a few games or maybe even watch a movie. But you need to have clear expectations that you will not get a full Android experience like with a smartphone.

    To install the apps, you first need to find/download corresponding apk files and copy them to internal \Download\ directory.

    In Settings, go to Streaming and click (press and hold for a few seconds) on NetOpusPlayer

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    which going to bring up the app info:

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    where you click on ‘+’ to open a list of available apk files stored \Download\ directory:

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    and click on the one you want to install:

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    When installation is done, select Close (don’t Open the app) and go back to Settings -> Streaming to select which app you want to run from the list.

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    What I found so far, YouTube will obviously not play because it needs Google Play, but if you search on XDA-Developers forum you can find a special version of YT which bypasses Google Play verification. Netflix opens-up, displays the shows, but when you click play - it buffers with Loading... and I can hear the audio but can't see the video. This is as far as I can get to view the list of shows, but can only play audio, so hoping there will be some workaround for this as well:

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    But, if you want to play videos, copy them to internal storage and install MX Player which has every latest codec under the sun. Here, just tried it playing Happy Feet (audio and video in sync, looks and sounds very good):

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    You can also play some games, works fine with Unblock Me and Solitaire:

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    Of course, keep in mind that once you perform Factory Reset - all the apps and apk files are deleted from internal memory, and you must repeat the steps above. I hope that in a future theBit guys will allow installation of apks files from a flash card since typically microSD is not erased during factory reset. This way you don't have to copy apk files again, and can just re-install it from uSD card.

    The good news, you can now side-load apks of the apps, but of course at your own risk since not everything is guaranteed to work with Opus#3.

    Sound analysis.

    While I prefer to describe DAP sound through a comparison to other DAPs and often find an audio player sound analysis turning into a description of a synergy with a pair of headphones, I still try to find a common denominator with a specific sound characteristics unique to the DAP under test.

    With that in mind, I find Opus#3 to have a neutral-revealing sound signature with tonality skewed more toward a brighter (yet still natural) coloring. It doesn’t have an analytical or the reference type of sound, instead you can hear a natural smoothness that gives body to the sound while still pushing it closer to a neutral-revealing level.

    Soundstage expansion is above average, not exactly holographic but above average with a little more intimate feeling due to more width than depth. But even with a more intimate space, it still has a relatively accurate imaging and a convincing placement of instruments and vocals. I also find its slightly brighter signature and treble airiness injecting some air between the layers, making separation more pronounced and the sound more dynamic, more energetic.

    Furthermore, while comparing Single Ended (SE) vs Balanced (BAL) HO, the only noticeable difference I hear is blacker background and cleaner transient of a sound on/off. In term of power and soundstage expansion they are quite similar.

    Comparison.

    All the comparison testing below was done using U18 with its stock 3.5mm TRS cable.

    #3 vs #1 - both share a similar soundstage expansion, but #3 has a little brighter and more revealing signature with a blacker background and improved dynamics of the sound. Upon closer listening, I find #3 bass to be tighter and a little faster, with a better control, mids to be a little leaner and more layered, with improved resolution, and treble to have a little more sparkle and airiness which contributes to improvement in layering and transparency.

    #3 vs #2 - while both have a similar soundstage depth, #2 width is more expanded. In terms of the sound, while I think #3 is closer to #2 than #1, #2 still feels a little more layered and transparent, and with some improvement in dynamics of the sound. I can also hear a little more rumble in sub-bass with #2, while #3 mids have a little more body where in comparison #2 sounds more neutral. Treble in #2 also had a touch more airiness, but not by too much. While #2 has some improvement over #3, the gap is not as wide as between #3 and #1.

    #3 takes a solid position between #1 and #2, more toward #2. In a way, I would imagine that's what #1 Metal was going for. I still consider #2 to be a flagship in theBit line up of DAPs, but if you are looking to save some money and don't have the patience to wait for the next #2 FW update to enable streaming, #3 is a good alternative which is available right now.

    Other DAPs comparison.

    #3 vs X5iii - #3 has a wider soundstage expansion, and a more revealing signature with better transparency, layering, and dynamics; all this doesn’t add up to a night'n'day difference but upon close listening with more revealing IEMs you can hear it. With X5iii being closer in sound to #1, these differences are expected, where #3 has a tighter bass, a little leaner lower mids, more revealing upper mids, and crisper treble. Also, X5iii has more hissing.

    #3 vs Plenue M2 - while both have a similar soundstage expansion, the rest of the sound and technical performance are very like a comparison between X5iii and #3, where #3 still has an advantage in better layering and separation, and better sound dynamics, with overall signature being more revealing, bass being tighter and faster, mids having a better layering, and treble having a little more sparkle and airiness. Of course, the sound improvement with Plenue JetEffects is a whole different story.

    #3 vs i5 - here we got a lot of similarities. While perhaps #3 is a touch wider, the overall signature and sound tonality is very close between these daps. Maybe with i5 being just a touch smoother, but other than that both have a very similar level of transparency, layering and separation, and sound dynamics.

    #3 vs ak120ii - #3 soundstage is a little wider, while depth is the same. Overall tonality has a lot of similarities, though ak is a touch smoother. They do have a similar level of layering and both have great sound dynamics. One noticeable difference is in bass where #3 has more sub-bass rumble, tighter and more authorative mid-bass, and better control and separation from lower mids.

    Opus#2, Opus#3, Opus#1

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    Pair up.


    For a pair-up test, I set Opus#3 in medium gain, and in every case noted a volume level.

    UERR (v100) - nicely expanded neutral detailed sound with a natural tonality; the signature is nicely balanced with a neutral laid back bass, very detailed organic mids, and well defined extended treble with a nice touch of sparkle.

    VEGA (v81) - expanded soundstage, warm laid back sound with a v-shaped signature, powerful low end impact, organic detailed mids, and crisp airy treble.

    Xelento (v85) - very nicely expanded soundstage, balanced detailed signature with a natural tonality, deep sub-bass rumble with a fast and punchy articulate mid-bass, layered revealing mids with a natural tonality, well defined crisp airy treble.

    W80 (v79) - nicely expanded soundstage, balanced smooth signature with a natural tonality, nicely extended sub-bass and moderate speed mid-bass, full body detailed organic mids, well defined moderately crisp treble.

    Zeus XRA (v73) - zero hissing; very nicely expanded soundstage, neutral balanced signature with a revealing natural tonality, great sub-bass extension and punchy mid-bass, layered detailed mids with a natural tonality, crisp airy treble with a nice sparkle.

    Zen earbuds (v134) - expanded soundstage, natural organic tonality with a balanced signature, neutral extended bass, natural smooth detailed mids, well defined crisp treble.

    W900 (v84) - expanded soundstage, balanced smooth signature with a natural detailed tonality, deep extended sub-bass rumble, not too fast mid-bass punch, full body detailed natural mids, and well defined crisp treble.

    U18 (v79) - very nicely expanded soundstage, natural revealing tonality with a perfectly balanced signature, great bass extension with a nice sub-bass rumble and fast mid-bass punch, neutral revealing layered mids with a natural tonality, well defined crisp treble with plenty of airiness and a nice sparkle (maybe just a bit too crisp).

    T5p2 (v113) - nicely expanded soundstage, natural smooth tonality with a balanced signature though leaning a little more toward v-shaped due to mids being pushed a little back, warm extended bass with a slower mid-bass punch, spilling a little bit into full body lower-mids, organic natural detailed upper mids, little nasal vocals, and a well-defined treble.

    EL8C (v135) - expanded soundstage, revealing balanced signature with a brighter more analytical tonality, neutral extended bass, lean lower mids and analytical revealing upper mids that has a little metallic sheen but no sibilance, treble is very crisp and airy, a bit too much sparkle.

    PM-3 (v118) - nicely expanded soundstage, smooth balanced signature with a warmer tonality, good low end extension with a nice mid-bass punch, full body clear detailed organic mids, well defined crisp treble.

    R70x (v141) - very nicely expanded soundstage, smooth balanced signature with a natural warm tonality, extended neutral low end with a nice mid-bass punch, neutral organic detailed mids with a little warmth, and well defined extended treble with a natural sense of airiness.

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    Other wired/wireless connections.

    Taking advantage of all the available connections while using Opus#3 as a source, here is what I found.

    #3 vs #3 + iDSD Micro (optical) w/T5p2 - a great pair up with a sound being a little more neutral where you also get a little more transparency thanks to Micro iDSD. Optical connection is flawless.

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    #3 vs #3 + E12A w/T5p2 - another great pair up which also gives you a better idea of how the internal DAC sounds by itself due to E12A neutral transparency. Like iDSD Micro testing, the sound is a little more neutral and you get a little more transparency and clarity when bypassing internal amp.

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    Bluetooth - easy and fast pair up. While testing with Sennheiser HD1 wireless Momentum in-ear, I get 45ft of open space coverage and the sound quality is no different than with my Note 4 which supports aptX.

    Streaming - I only have access to free Spotify, and found it to work and to sound great. I had an opportunity to compare Ed Sheeran "Shape of you" streamed vs local FLAC playback, and I do hear loss of some transparency with a touch lower resolution, but that's expected. For a true audiophile experience - local playback of high-res files is what you want. But to discover a new music and to be able to have access to streaming services - you can give your smartphone a break and use Opus#3 instead.

    Also, you can use Opus#3 as USB DAC, but unfortunately all my laptops are loaded with Win7 Home Edition which has several security limitations, including blocking the install of unsigned drivers. This has been an issue with many other DAPs I've tested, and only related to my Win7 setup. As far as I know, others can use Opus DAP as a dedicated USB DAC without a problem.

    Conclusion.

    I probably starting to sound like a broken record in many of my recent DAP reviews, bringing up the current state of saturated DAP market and so many choices that can drive both seasoned audiophiles and fresh audio enthusiasts crazy. With so many new releases, I think that many manufacturers are relying on the loyalty of their returning customers. The original Opus came out of nowhere and quickly built a fan base around Opus#1 which I still consider to be as one of the top price/performance ratio DAPs (especially at the current discounted price). Opus#2 raised the bar with an impressive flagship sound quality, and at the same time shocked quite a few with its "flagship" pricing that wasn't as bad relative to other flagships, but was a considerable jump from Opus#1 (even with a current #2 discounted price). Now with a release of Opus#3, I found this DAP to take a solid position between their previous #1 and #2 releases.

    I know some people were a bit confused with Opus#1 Metal edition, but there is no confusion with #3 since it's a brand-new design with an updated neutral-revealing tuning, all metal construction (except for the backplate), support for Bluetooth wireless headphones, and WiFi streaming with is enabled by side-loading 3rd party apps. You still get both 3.5mm Single Ended and 2.5mm Balanced HO, Line Out, Optical Out, a responsive touch screen interface, hw playback controls, a new (ak jr style) volume wheel control, and a top quality Dignis leather case. I'm sure many have been waiting for Opus#2 fw update to enable streaming, and I have a feeling the implementation will be similar to Opus#3 fw. So, if you were impressed with Opus#1 and ready for an upgrade while staying with theBit family, Opus#3 is definitely a good option to consider.
  6. Whitigir
    Affordable and practical!
    Written by Whitigir
    Published May 11, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Blooming bass, touch of warmth, wide and expanded staging. Long standby battery, customizable apk 3rd party apps, often firmware upgrades. External DAC, and USB digital transports. Affordable!
    Cons - Trebles may be harsh at times
    Opus #3

    Disclaimer: I was chosen by the bit randomly to have received a free sample of the Opus 3 player in exchange for my honest review. The followings are what I found from testing and observing with my systems which include different adapters and cables. Opus 3 balanced into Sony MDR sa5000, balanced into Utopia, balanced line out into Stax KGHV GG and to Stax SR009.

    Introduction:

    The bit as a brand has been out to catch us enthusiast who appreciate good quality DAP with their development speed and customer supports. I have never seen any manufacturers to respond to email so quick like the bit. So, after the Opus 1, then Opus 1 Metal, Opus 2, now we have Opus #3. Beside using different DAC chips, there are some minor tweaks here and there between these 3 versions. But they carry on with Opus design and aims. To stay with enthusiasts who prefer DAC sound signatures, while tuning them to the absolute best that their design and engineers can afford to while competing fiercely against others.

    With the release of opus #3 the Opus 2 is still remained as the flagship judging from the price to specifications stand point

    It comes with a nicely packaged in a box with screen protection already applied, and there is a spare one on the side as well. My unit is an evaluation unit so the additional accessory of leather case was sent together on the side. Inside the retail box there was no leather case even though it can fit inside, so it is safe to say that at this moment, the bit has no intention to have it comes with the purchase.

    Where to buy in the USA
    https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/opus
    Main website
    http://www.thebit.co.kr/content/pubf.action?fn=product/product3

    Practicality:

    Running on custom android Os but with the ability to install 3rd party apps by APK files. The 3 actually comes with Spotify installed from the factory. Simply drop down the setting and go to streaming. The instruction booklet doesn't actually show how to install apk files. Once you are in Setting>>>streaming, press and hold any apps, then apps details>>>add. This add function will bring you directly to internal storage/download folder. Make sure to download all apk files into this. The Android custom Os has no google stores, so some apps may not work as intended. Install at your own risk. I was able to install YouTube the modified version that require no google store to use

    https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/apps-games/youtube-app-google-play-services-t3194244

    wifi will have option to let wifi sleep together with the device or wifi always on. I have it in all the time and the sleep mode seems to have been improved as it drains little battery and stay on for more than a week if I don't use it just fine.

    The player doesn't have any extra sensors to rotate the video or so, unlike the Zx2 Walkman, but with a more dedicated hardware configurations together with more power to drive your headphones and can still stream contents ? That is a big Plus. The ability to play Bluetooth into my car unit is excellent

    The ability to custom and install apk for 3rd party app is awesome !

    Controls buttons are on the side similar to other players from opus. The volume potentiometer is actually laying sideways instead of upward like the 2. This allows the volume scroll to be barely exposed and that you can only reach it when you are meant to, so you won't be able to slide it accidentally when it is in the pocket. Even though you can lock the volume but I prefer unlocked and have the volume scroll designed this way.

    DAC features: similar to the 1 and 2, the 3 will allow connection from Apple idevices with camera kit, or androids and laptop as an external DAC, a very useful feature!

    It is very quiet if used as analog line out into your stereo or passive speakers. Even though it has nothing too special here, it is still a niche to be had.

    Powerful enough to drive some full size headphones. It can run up to 8 hours out of Balanced 2.5mm depending on usages, and gets a bit warm but not terribly so.

    Hardware specifications:

    With the use of Burr-Brown PCM1792A and Xmos, the Opus 3 is well equipped to be taking challenge with anything in it price range, and it certainly will do a great job at it. It takes up to 24 bits and 192khz for sampling and format. Native DSD 64, and 114db SNR as disclosed by the manufacturer, the 3 definitely is aiming toward mid-tier players. So how does it perform ? As well all know that our perceptions is great, but relying one specifications alone would be a mistake.

    Sound signature: It is on the warmer side of the sound signature while retaining the transparency and speed from lower mid onwards. Soundstage is very wide and impressive with width being larger than depth. Tonal body is great

    Bass: blooming with a slight touch of warmth, your typical Burrbrown signature though a bit soft on sub-bass. It dives deep with nice mid bass body and punches with upper bass well defined. If you love Burrbrown DAC, you just can not ignore Opus 3 once you give it a listen. IMO, a little more controls would do even more wonderful, but that is just personal preferences

    Mid: good transparency and separations with vocal a bit more forward. However trebles extensions can be a bit shouty, especially female vocal. It is not exactly the uncomfortable kind of shouts but it is there and presenting. It would depend heavily on personal preferences and genres. I feel like the 3 is being this way to try and balance out the blooming bass and to achieve it own sound signature. Upper mid and lower treble are great !

    Treble: airy, detailed very fine with good extensions. Lower trebles is nicely defined with thick and dense body. It can get a bit shouty here and there


    Conclusion with the understanding that Opus 3 is among mid-tier gears. It has great separations, fine and airy trebles with a touch of warmth and expansive soundstage, the 3 carries on with a very modern sound signature. It may be very appealing due to the unique blooming bass and good trebles in some places depend on your own preferences. The things that stand out the most in my opinion is the impressive soundstage width coming from this little player and the blooming but well articulated bass, and good lower trebles. If I would love improvements, I would love the trebles to be more sweet while retaining the definitions and extensions, better bass dynamic while retaining the warmth is great. If a top of the line is a must, remember Opus 2 is still TOTL from the bit current production lineup

    **Updates**

    The Bit has recently launched a few firmware updates, and this is exactly what makes me value the Bit as a company that stand behind it products on firmware and updates, unlike Sony and it Android flagship couple years back ZX2.

    I can confirm that with firmware, there are possibly changes in the sound signatures, and it is awesome that Opus #3 is still retaining the signature of BB as the core values.

    The most valuable things about the Opus #3 with the latest firmware is the ability to play USB digitally, and that I can use it as a digital transport into my DAC. This feature together with the ability to act as an external DAC when connected to your Other devices are excellent. Not to mention the long play time of 8-10 hours using Balanced out, and idling time of more than a week with short charging time. The practicality is up another level, at this pricing, Opus #3 has become a "must have" item for me when I am traveling on the airplane, to other states, or just camping out while having some good performances to my ears streaming movies or music.
      12lior12, faithguy19, pr0b3r and 11 others like this.

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