Review: Audio Opus #2 DAP (End Game DAP)
Firstly I would like to thank Audio Opus for this sample, as always I will try to write an honest review, this unit has been my daily player for the last couple of months.
Gear Used: Opus #2 > Inearz P350 / Mee Audio M6 Pro / Advanced M4 and more, it has also been used as the source for my Hifi system both via Optical and Line Out.
Comprehensive list on their website: http://www.audio-opus.com/?page_id=16867
Packaging, Build quality and Accessories:
The Opus #2 packaging is very simplistic and not over the top, which I appreciate. You don’t end up having to keep a box 5 times the size of the actual product, the outside sleeve is plain white with Opus #2 embossed in rose gold at the top on the front and left hand side, and a list of specifications is featured on the back. Out of this outer sleeve slides another white box again with Opus #2 embossed, pull this box apart and you will find the DAP held tightly in a foam insert, underneath this insert you will find a compartment with the included accessories. Overall a very sleek, professional looking box that serves its purpose well without being over the top.
The build quality of this DAP is stunning, the outer shell is CNC aluminium, there is weight to the design and all the parts fit together flush and with precision. You will find the microSD card slot on the bottom, next to the micro USB connector. On the left side you will find 3 playback buttons, on the top you have a normal 3.5mm output (doubles up as optical), and next to it a 2.5mm TRRS Balanced output, along with the power button. On the right side you have the volume wheel, which has protectors either side. This wheel has smooth clicks (150 steps) so you can fine adjust the volume. The front is glass as it is a touch screen player (4”TFT 480*800), overall it is a very well build player that feels and looks built to last.
Accessory wise you get a very nice Leather case (made by Dignis ), which fits the contours of the player without adding much bulk or affecting any functions. Also pre-fitted is a screen protector but a spare is included, a quick guide and a USB cable, this does not come with any extra unnecessary items. I really like that they include a very nice leather case, rather than have it as a paid for extra.
Features and Usability:
This DAP has a lot of features in its favour, I will try to keep this part concise.
First off you have the 3.5mm output on top which can be used as an optical out, but also you can change the settings to make it a line-out for using with an external amp. This is a simple toggle on option from the settings.
The #2 runs a custom version of Android, it currently doesn’t support 3rd party apps but it is built as a music player, it would be nice to have streaming services added in the future though. The interface is very simple and easy to navigate, you will soon get used to it, it does support playlists, folder browsing, but the normal artist/album/song/genres is the easiest way to navigate providing you have your files tagged properly.
If you open the settings you can set the L/R balance, the output DSP (Auto/32bit (X-MOS)/24bit (I2S)), there are 3 gain settings (low/mig/high), 3 user equalizers and then all the screen settings etc...
This DAP has Wifi for OTA updates, and Bluetooth V4.0, it can be used as an external DAC too.
It has 128gb of internal storage, along with a microSD card slot, I would have liked to see 2 microSD card slots like on the Opus #1, but memory is getting cheaper and companies are always cramming more memory into microSD cards (although if you really needed more, I think you could use a microSD to SD adapter strapped to the back and it would likely still fit inside the Dignis case).
This DAP as stated is very easy to use, it flicks between screens without lag, playback time is stated at 8.5hrs, I would say that is fairly accurate, I do find the deep sleep mode is not as effective as the one on the Opus #1, I find the battery drains a lot more when on standby compared to the Opus #1 (could leave for a week with no noticeable battery drain). But again most of us are not often in the situation where we are going 8.5 hours without access to charging facilities.
Bugs: There are a few bugs, but firmware updates should fix these. Some people have album artwork issues (can be a tagging issue too), the playback buttons on the side do not work when the device is in deep sleep (so what you can do is toggle the screen on, and then press the relevant button). I personally haven’t found any major issues that hinder my overall opinion of this DAP.
I don’t have any other TOTL players to compare this to, but I will try to explain the sound and compare to the Opus #1.
First off I have a preference for neutral sounding devices, and this ticks the box, I find this DAP to have a very refined and balanced sound from which you choose headphones to match your preferred signature. I find it difficult to explain the sound of some devices because they just tick all the right boxes, and in my opinion that makes it a very, very good device. There are no glaring flaws, I cannot say anything about the sound is bad, because it isn’t.
I find a lot of people get caught up in the equipment side of things, and for me, getting the Opus #1 was the first DAP I considered a real upgrade from the humble iPod Classic (after a few other DAP’s none could match the iPod’s simplicity and give a substantial SQ upgrade until the #1). Then the #2 came along, and it made me re-evaluate the Opus #1 in terms of ultimate sound quality. The #2 took the same formula of offering great sound at a great price, but took it one step further, adding a more solid build, more features and overall enhanced sound quality.
Is the sound worth the price increase, maybe not, but as a whole package? Yes it is in my opinion, like with the #1, I find myself evaluating the equipment less, and enjoying the music more, which is what it is all about.
If you want technicalities this delivers, it has a very precise sound with incredible detail retrieval without a hint of harshness, everything is well controlled and the resolution is astounding. There is also a very slight hint of softness to the sound that helps take away any sharp edges, but this in no way takes anything away from the intricate sound this DAP produces. The #1 had an ever so slightly softer sound, and was slightly less resolving.
Having the Opus #2 allows you to know that you really are not missing out on anything in your music, it presents it without adding much of a flavour, and for this I really like this DAP. I can hit play put it in my pocket and enjoy, my IE-P350’s (whilst not being high end are very coherent) sound more open and also extended with the #2.
Conclusion: Well the Opus #1 still presents excellent value for money, and the Opus #2 has come along at 3 times the price. For that you get extra features and better build quality, as stated the sound is close but the Opus #2 is more resolving, refined and slightly cleaner. As a whole package the Opus #2 really impresses, nothing is thrown in your face, nothing is jumping out at you, which in turn lets you forget about the equipment and get on with enjoying the music, which is why we all started this journey right?
Audio perfection is a never ending chase, but as for a portable player, I think it would be hard to not consider this DAP if you are looking for an end game DAP. You can use it with your home HiFi via the line-out and it’ll sound fantastic, hook it up via optical to another DAC it’ll be an excellent transport, hook it up to your PC and have it as a DAC feeding headphones or line-out to another device and it will never disappoint. Audio Opus know what they are doing, they have combined a lot of very good components, in harmony to produce a very revealing yet easy to listen to device.
Sound Perfection Rating - 9/10 (feature packed, excellent sounding DAP)