OPPO UDP-205 4K ULTRA-HD AUDIOPHILE BLU-RAY DISC PLAYER

By Michael Osadciw

The image quality of UltraHD Blu-ray continues to meet and exceed expectations with each new disc release. Building upon the success of their UDP-203 UHD Blu-ray disc player, Ultra HiDef videophiles can now enjoy the audiophile experience with this heavily-built universal disc player.

Movie studios are making a clear commitment with releasing many new A-titles on UHD Blu-ray disc. More colours, greater bit depth, and higher dynamic range are integral to the format’s success and it’s a significant upgrade to the already great HD Blu-ray disc format. Oppo’s UDP-205 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray disc player is their second entry into the UltraHD disc player category that’s becoming increasing competitive and populated with player choices. Fortunately for Oppo, this player targets a specific audience: videophiles who want the audiophile experience. Today I’m looking at Oppo’s first generation UDP-205 Ultra HD Audiophile Blu-ray Disc Player. Like the UDP-203, it supports 4K HDR10 BT.2020 discs with an upgrade path for Dolby Vision. But this is a radically different player – it’s an audiophile machine.

FIG 1:

Highlights

Oppo UDP-205 Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player

  • Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player with 3840x2160p resolution
  • Plays all optical disc formats: Blu-ray (UHD, HD, 3D), DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, CD
  • Advanced image processing upscales DVDs, Blu-rays, and external sources to Ultra HD
  • Dual HDMI outputs
  • HDMI 1.4 for legacy home theater preamps and receivers
  • HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2
  • Supports HDR10, BT.2020 colour
  • Firmware upgrade path for Dolby Vision support
  • Streams from home networks via WiFi and USB
  • Asynchronous USB DAC input
  • High-powered headphone amplifier
  • Differential balanced XLR stereo outputs

Introduction

I’ve spent so much time with UltraHD Blu-ray and can’t remember feeling so excited over a video format. Well, maybe I felt the same when Blu-ray hit the market over 10 years ago with its obviously higher resolution when compared to DVD. But UHD Blu-ray is different. It’s an entire different level of performance because we aren’t just looking at an increase in resolution. There has never been dynamic range in video as large as it is on UHD Blu-ray. We’ve never seen colours matched so closely to movie cinemas because we’ve take steps away from the restrictive BT.709 colour gamut of HDTV. Increased colour volume, bit depth, resolution, frame rates, and improved compression all create a new experience in home video. When combined with a capable and calibrated television or projector, it all makes me want to stay at home a little more and enjoy films in a way I never had before.

Just last month I reviewed the Oppo Digital UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray disc player. I thought it was a great player that worked well in my system. Oppo is a company that listens to its cliental and tracks how its players perform in the real world. In our ever-progressing world of digital connectivity, they take user feedback and continue to refine their players through firmware updates. It’s not just the immediate sale of the product that counts – it’s keeping in touch with its consumers and keeping them satisfied that truly matters. It’s no wonder that Oppo owners are life-long owners. There are few companies that strive to achieve this and therein lies the happiness of its owners.

The Oppo UDP-205 is Ultra HD audiophile Blu-ray disc player that builds on the success of the UDP-203. It’ll be difficult not to compare these two players throughout this review, but the UDP-205 does have an audience of its own. It seeks the people who know that high resolution two-channel audio is sacred and who demand performance from a universal disc player that is so much more than that alone. How much more? Read on to find out.

OPPO ULTRA HD AUDIOPHILE BLU-RAY PLAYER REVIEW SPECIFICATIONS

FORMATS: 4K UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, AVCHD, SACD, CD, Kodak Picture CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, BD-R/RE

VIDEO CODECS: HEVC, H.264, VP9 4K, Hi10P, MPEG-2

AUDIO CODECS: DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, AIFF, WAVE, ALAC, APE, FLAC, native DSD64 2.0 & 5.1, DSD128 2.0 & 5.1 converted to PCM

ULTRA HD: BT.2020, HDR10, Dolby Vision (with firmware upgrade)

UP-CONVERSION TO: 3840×2160

VIDEO OUTPUT: 1x HDMI 2.0 w/HDCP 2.2

SECONDARY OUTPUT: 1x HDMI 1.4a

ADDITIONAL CONNECTIONS: HDMI input, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, RJ-45 (LAN), RS-232C, trigger in/out, TOSlink, coaxial, 7.1/5.1/stereo RCA analogue out, XLR stereo out, USB/coax/TOSlink in

DIMENSIONS: 16.8W x 12.2D x 4.8H inches

WEIGHT: 22lbs

WARRENTY: 2 years

MSRP: $1299

COMPANY: Oppo Digital

SECRETS TAGS: Ultra HD Blu-ray Player, Blu-ray Player, Ultra HD, 4K, HDR, BT.2020, Oppo, Blu-ray Player Reviews 2017

Design

The UDP-205 is even larger and heavier than the UDP-203. It’s approximately 17” width will fill the full rack or shelf space but I would advise not to stack any component directly on top of it. If you purchased this player for its audiophile capabilities, then take it seriously as one and give it a dedicated shelf that’s free from vibration. So much has gone into the design of this player and it would be sacrilege not give it its own space. There are ventilation holes across the top where heat will dissipate and blocking it could affect the long term performance and operation of the player. The toroidal transformer is on the left and the caps are along the right. Most of the heat comes from this area. There is a lot of space between them all which is good design for longevity. You will not find this level of detail and build quality from the other major manufacturers.

 

The player is taller than the UDP-203 to accompany the double layer chassis designed to reduce vibration. It’s got a slick curve on the top and bottom of the faceplate that prevents it from looking like a big block on a shelf. Oppo is thinking about both performance and design and this player is a simple beauty. The rest of the player’s face has the disc drawer and LCD readout in the centre and front panel access with seven essential push buttons to the right. The large, highly functional remote remains my favorite for everything else since all of the standard and specialty access key like HDR mode and resolution are quickly available. It’s the same remote that comes with the UDP-203 and the remote keys light up immediately as you touch it. Super cool. The keys are large and spread apart so there will be little worry of hitting the incorrect one. It’s really easy to memorize where they’re located once you’ve used it a few times. My common go-to keys are the Top Menu, Pop-up Menu, Options, Return, Set-up, and the arrow/enter keys in the centre. Once you’ve got these down into memory, the rest is easy.

The back panel is populated with essential videophile and audiophile connectors as well as all of the optional connectors depending on how extensively you’ll use the features. The UDP-203 and UDP-205 both have dual HDMI outputs (v2.0 and v1.4a) and an HDMI 2.0 input for 4K scaling. The MediaTek quad-core OP8591 does all of the advanced image decoding that Oppo is famous for and is shared in both players. The video should look identical between the units since nothing has changed in this department. They also share a coaxial and TOSlink output, one USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 inputs, analogue 7.1 outputs, triggers, RS-232, LAN connector, and a grounded power cord which is a bit thicker with the UDP-205. (*Please see my note at the end of this section regarding the HDMI 2.0 and 1.4a outputs as written in the UDP-203 review.)

There are many important features that set the UDP-205 apart from the UDP-203, and it’s a bit difficult to prioritize them here in this review because I find all of them such excellent and useful upgrades. Owners of Oppo BDP-105 players will be familiar with some of these features. So in no particular order of importance, let’s start with the dedicated stereo outputs. Oppo takes great pride to include ESS Sabre Pro DACs, two flagship ES9038PRO DAC chips. This DAC is able to operate for both multibit PCM as well as single bit DSD for true performance of SACD’s Direct Stream Digital without PCM conversion. Both single-ended and XLR balanced connectors are on the back panel. The balanced connectors are of true differential design from ESS Sabre Pro DAC to the XLR connector and should help improve the sound quality especially in systems that have the same balanced design goals. Another ES9038PRO is used for the 7.1 channel RCA analogue outputs. All of the analogue audio circuitry is powered by a toroidal power transformer to provide clean and sufficient power (a separate power supply is used for the video.) It’s not often you find one of this large size in a component of this price. Read further down for Dr. John E. Johnson, Jr.’s performance measurements on these analogue outputs.

It’s not just the analogue that gets the overhaul, but the HDMI audio gets some jitter reduction using a special circuit and a high-precision HDMI clock. This will improve PCM, DSD, and compressed bitstreams to deliver accurate transmission from player to preamp or receiver over HDMI. If the connected device doesn’t have its own jitter reduction system, the UDP-205 should provide that additional error-free precision.

If all of this wasn’t enough, the Oppo UDP-205 can also be a USB DAC, a stereo/multichannel DAC, and surround sound decoder for your other sources. The big sell is the asynchronous USB DAC. Many people have moved away from CD and are using computers as their music source. There’s such a large choice of outboard USB DACs, which one shall you chose? Oppo is reeling in people considering outboard USB DACs; with the flagship Sabre PRO DACs, it seems to make less sense to add yet another component to the system to do something that Oppo does well. If you have downloaded music files up to 768kHz PCM and DSD512, they’re accepted on the UDP-205. It’s optical and coaxial inputs can accept 2ch/96kHz PCM, Dolby Digital and DTS streams from cable boxes and streaming boxes. You’ll need to use all of the 7.1 surround RCA outputs to a 7.1 analogue input on a receiver to fully utilize the ESS Sabre PRO DACs for all channels if you plan on surround decoding within the player (although the HDMI input can also accept surround signals, too.) There are so many configurations possible it would be too exhausting to list. You’ll know your own needs, and it’s likely this player can do it.

*Just a note to new readers who are making the transition to UHD 4K: newly installed systems would only need to use the one HDMI v2.0 connector on the Oppo UDP-205 to pass UHD through an HDMI v2.0 receiver/preamp and that device would pass it to the HDCP 2.2-compliant UHD video display. This connector will also pass audio bitstreams for DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD, and object-based audio DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. But many existing audio/video systems transitioning to 4K, including mine, require the use of two HDMI outputs from this player – one to the video display for UHD and the other to the receiver/preamp for lossless audio. Ultra HD video requires an end-to-end system communication of HDMI v2.0 with HCDP 2.2 copy protection to get an image. Since my Theta Casablanca IV’s HDMI card only has v1.4a, I can’t route UHD video through it to my JVC DLA-X550RB projector which does have HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2. If I wanted to pass Ultra HD through my preamp, Theta offers a simple solution to upgrade the HDMI video card in my unit. But since all other A/V components don’t offer this sort of upgrade path, everyone else would require a complete replacement of a perfectly good working receiver or preamp, which isn’t practical. This is where the 2nd HDMI output comes into use; the audio from the Oppo is routed to the HDMI v1.4 receiver/preamp through this secondary HDMI connector and the video is routed from the primary HDMI v2.0 connector to the UHD display. There’s nothing to do on Oppo’s end to get this working – just connect the two HDMI cables to the right component and then press the right buttons on your audio and video devices. My preference is to get a programmed universal remote control that could do it all with the press of one button. Your local audio/video installer would be more than happy to do that for you.

Setup

Setup of the UDP-205 is the same as the UDP-203. Powering and setting up this unit was easy. The home menu is your hub for all of your digital media should you use the UDP-205 as an advanced device and more than an Ultra HD Blu-ray player. The home menu lays out all of the options from left to right at the bottom of the screen for your media playback and is viewable as icons in 2.35:1 constant image height applications such as my own. The first item listed is the type of disc in the drawer (e.g. Blu-ray, SACD) with music, photos, movies, and network connectivity following. A “favourites” folder exists for commonly accessed items you’ve saved. The setup menu is also in this layout. Most settings are typically done when the player is installed, but this menu can also be brought up during playback via the setup key on the remote. This is convenient for installers and I don’t know of any other player that does this.

OPPO HOME MENU

The supplied English user manual is very detailed and includes separate commentary on various settings within the setup menu. Enthusiasts will like reading this level of detail. Most of us know how vague other user manuals are as features are rarely explained to any degree of usefulness. There’s also pride of ownership when reading a user manual that’s like a book. I feel Oppo cares as much as everything in their player I do. As firmware updates happen, the user manual will be updated online to reflect those changes. You can go to www.oppodigital.com to read through it, or to read through in fair detail with what each firmware update did to your unit. The player did one update just before this review was submitted.

All of my current UHD Blu-ray content is 2160/24p so I set the player’s resolution to UHD Auto. Most existing HDMI cables won’t have a problem with this setting, but some content is available at 2160/60p and depending on the player’s bit depth and colour space selection, the HDMI cable may require up 18GBPS bandwidth. You can manually set resolution, colour space, bit depth, and HDR options. I recommend to first test these options with your display device before settling on them. A display may perform better with one option over another. Use a test Blu-ray such as Spears & Munsil to confirm. For everyone else, the default Auto modes will likely be the best settings to enjoy Ultra HD Blu-ray right out of the box. Once I set my audio option to bitstream, I was ready to watch some Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.

My associated gear for this review is JVC’s DLA-X550RB 4K e-shift projector I calibrated with two memories, HD-SDR BT.709 and UHD-HDR BT.2020. The image is thrown onto a 10 foot wide 2.35:1 EluneVision Reference Studio 4K NanoEdge Fixed-Frame screen. The Theta Casablanca IV with four external Theta Generation VIIIs3 DACs handles all lossless audio decoding, volume control, crossovers, and digital to analogue conversion. The 5.2 audio is sent via balanced to seven Theta Enterprise monoblocks connected to Dunlavy SC-IV/a mains, HRCC-I centre, SC-III surrounds, and dual TSW-VI subwoofers. The Oppo’s XLR analogue outputs were compared to my Ayre D-1xe’s XLRs as well as the Generation VIII Series 3 internal DAC using the UDP-205 as a transport. All Theta and Ayre equipment is zero-feedback fully balance circuitry, and is connected in this manner.

In Use & Benchmarks

I spent several evenings watching some movies on Ultra HD Blu-ray and HD Blu-ray. But I spent more time listening to this player as a CD, SACD, and Blu-ray Audio disc player and comparing it to my two reference devices. After all, this is touted as an audiophile player so I just had to test its claim.

Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray

I’m well aware of the video quality of this piece. It’s on par with the UDP-203 so I spun mostly UHD titles for this review. The new BBC Planet Earth II is everyone’s reference these days. If you want to see some amazing video on your UHD display, you need to run to pick this one up. The UDP-205 treated all episodes with high accuracy as it displayed phenomenal images on my screen. The Islands shows the incredible capability of high dynamic range and color of the UHD platform and displayed depth unlike anything I’ve seen before. The UDP-205 delivered on all of that excitement. I love showing friends the opening scene of the sloth because there such a wide range of colors displayed that just haven’t been possible with regular HD video. Many shots appear intentional for HDR; the sunlight in the background and animals in the foreground create great silhouettes. The result are simply stellar. Planet Earth II has an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and only fills up 8 feet of the 2.35:1 EluneVision Reference 4K screen, but it was 8 feet of unadulterated, compression artefact-free viewing.

I also checked out the opening sequence of Warner Bros.’ Pacific Rim.  This is a great title to have on Blu-ray disc and Warner’s UHD Blu-ray is just awesome. The battle sequence took on a whole new look; the additional highlights made this movie and much better experience than what I saw at the movie theater adding new life to the Kaiju creatures and the robot Jaegers battling it out in the ocean. Guillermo Navarro’s cinematography just draws you into every scene and the Oppo passes with top grades in the class. The soundtrack is object-based Dolby Atmos which the Oppo passes easily to compatible decoders, and my Theta Casablanca IV decoded the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 stream without a hitch. Dialogue was much on par with the video and there was a little less monkeying around with A/V Lip Sync than there was with the UDP-203.

A favourite of many, I also picked up San Andreas to check the full movie out. I typically watch snippets of films when calibrating my clients’ video systems, so this was a good chance to watch the whole movie straight through. While the movie only OK, the UHD presentation is crisp and a bit subdued in color just as the filmmaker wants. Ultimate earthquake destruction kicks up a lot of dust, but again the HDR pass on the film gives it more excitement and depth. The movie is wide to fill up the full 2.35:1 EluneVision screen and every bit of disaster threw me into ultimate destruction. The Oppo UDP-205 delivered the intended suspension of disbelief.

The only Blu-ray I watched was episodes from Fear the Walking Dead since I need to catch up on this spin-off of The Walking Dead series. I don’t particularly find them as engaging as the The Walking Dead, but the images much crisper than the 16mm film of the original series which by comparison is softer and grainy (but that wreaks havoc on the Blu-ray compression system.) The UDP-205 continues to deliver that great Blu-ray image quality associated with Oppo.

CD, SACD, BLU-RAY AUDIO

Here’s the showdown: just how much of an audiophile player is this? All of the music titles I’ve selected come from the original CD releases that have wider dynamic range and not the new dynamically compressed remastered re-releases. So let’s first focus on the digital. I quickly tested the bitstreams of the UDP-203 and UDP-205 again using my two copies of Tori Amos: Under the Pink – Past the Mission. I used this song for the last review comparison to stay consistent. The UDP-205’s jitter reduction technology could improve sound quality if they HDMI on the receiving end doesn’t have any. My Theta Casablanca IV has Theta’s Jitter Jail II and the Theta Generation VIII series 3 DAC feeding the front channels also uses Jitter Jail technology. So my system’s jitter is already so low I didn’t detect a difference between the two players using bitstream when doing on the fly switching. This isn’t to knock the UDP-205 at all since Oppo does make this scenario fairly clear in their literature. It’s great that they put the extra effort into ensuring low jitter for those people without advanced jitter control on the receiving end.

The player revealed major differences using the analogue output. It’s not subtle – I noticed it immediately. For this part of the review I skipped the connected Theta Casablanca IV and went straight into my Theta Generation VIII series 3 preamp/DAC. The XLR outputs of the Oppo UDP-205 were compared to the XLR outputs of my CD player reference, the Ayre D-1xe that include the over 10 year old 24/96 Burr Brown PCM1704 DACs. I used the same AudioQuest Red River XLR interconnects into the same XLR inputs on the Theta Generation VIII series 3 preamp with some manual switching between players. I immediately noticed that the Oppo was louder than the Ayre so I had to user a sound level meter to find a close enough volume for comparison.

A favourite track of mine is Creep from Radiohead’s Pablo Honey. Thom Yorke’s voice is placed firmly in the center and slightly to the back, the full drum kit has a decisive air to it that’s refreshing to hear on a pop album, and the electric guitar cuts through the chorus as if his amp is sitting on the floor just right of his vocals. The Oppo had a heavier bottom end and a slightly thicker midrange. The bass guitar and the drums were more punctuated and stood out more in the mix. If you tend to prefer bass then you’ll love the Oppo. The Ayre sounded like a lightweight by comparison and after switching back and forth a bit, I started thinking that maybe the Ayre was missing out on something with older DAC technology.

With Chris Cornell’s recent passing, I had to play Spoonman from Soundgarden’s Superunknown album. I had a chance to see them live on tour with Nine Inch Nails a few years back in Virginia Beach, so I had to crank this tune to bring me back to the time. The Oppo delivered a live, amphitheater feeling as Chris Cornell’s voice broke through the grungy guitars. Again, the same rocking bottom end performance shone on the Oppo which the Ayre did not give. The drum solo just had more impact on the Oppo and gave the alternative rock band their edgy sound.

Broken Bells: Holding Onto Life from the After the Disco album is a favourite cut of mine. Highly produced and compressed, the track felt more analytical on the Ayre, more flat, and less musical. I found my foot tapping with the Oppo as I followed the bass line. The rest of the sound blended together a bit more than the Ayre did. The top end was difficult to discern major differences, but I’d give the Ayre’s overall lightness an edge in its soundstage delivery and depth with all of the CD tracks I tried. This player retailed for well over $10K when it hit the market, their designs are quite different, and the Ayre is almost limited to CDs.

On the other hand, the Oppo is the best SACD player I’ve ever tried in my system. I’ve had a few sub-$3000 players pass through, but I cannot remember my SACDs sounding this good. I gave up on the format a few years back – and maybe that’s because the players I was using was substandard – but now the Oppo has given new life to my discs in my collection.

I love blues music and Jay McShann: What a Wonderful World is full of good cuts. Piney Brown Blues had me smiling ear to ear when playing this track. I closed my eyes and imagined listening to the band playing in a blues bar while sipping on a good peaty scotch. If I decided to grab a Laphroaig while listening to the Oppo, I wondered if I’d be drinking on the job? All humor aside, I finally figured out why SACD has such a huge following and now I’m interested in seeking out new tracks to enjoy. I completely enjoyed the fullness of The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet – Jigsaw Puzzle, but the player also revealed the inconsistent soundstage in the original recording from track to track. I’ve only been listening to the CD layer since I retired my SACD player. I felt that my Theta Generation VIIIs3 did a much better job than my old SACD player did. But now I need to rethink of how I listen to SACDs. The front panel of the display and the internal click shows the DSD layer played and output without PCM conversion (which can be done if you wish.) There’s something magical going on here and I really enjoyed it.

I finally spun a few Blu-ray Audio 24/96 discs to see how they measured up. Roger Waters: Amused to Death was produced with Q-Sound and the CD always sounded great. The PCM 24/96 Blu-ray Audio disc is a good step up from the CD when played on the Oppo. There are so many great tracks; The Ballad of Billy Hubbard, Watching TV… all create this giant soundstage way outside of the boundaries of my speakers. This is what audiophiles love to hear. The Oppo’s XLR outs using the Sabre PRO DACs prove that this machine is up to the task of being an audiophile device. Roger Waters’ raspy and wailing voice cuts through the air with bone-tingling realism. Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts I-V on Blu-ray Audio is a real step up from the CDs. This all-instrumental project features some interesting nameless tracks to create some sort of mood for the listener. Trent Reznor’s intent is for us to close our eyes and imagine what the track is about, knowing that the interpretation will be different for everyone. The music through the Oppo UDP-205 was very resolute on these tracks which are highly layered with both real and electronic instruments. Ghosts 1 and 2 are my go-to piano tracks on this album just because I love how the piano fills the entire room. The sound of the Oppo in 24/96 puts it a step above the 16/44.1 CD even when played in the Ayre.

The Oppo can also be used a transport using its coaxial and TOSlink outputs. Sent to my Theta Generation VIIIs3 preamp/DAC, which uses multiple Burr Brown PCM1792A DACs, the Oppo put up a good fight, but didn’t quite match the speed and articulation of this $14K preamp/DAC. I wish both the UDP-203 and UDP-205 had an XLR digital output to feed to an external DAC like my Generation VIIIs3, but I guess I can’t have everything even though Oppo has pretty much provided it all!

STREAMING

The UDP-205 is also an asynchronous USB DAC but unfortunately I couldn’t give it a try. If you have a Mac you’re good to go, but Windows operating systems will need the appropriate file from Oppo’s website to get it working. My laptop has never behaved correctly after the Windows 10 update, and even after the download my laptop just wasn’t making the match without problems. Boo to that. This isn’t an Oppo issue, it’s a Samsung laptop issue since Samsung no longer supports their older laptops. The Oppo UDP-205 can stream content from mass storage devices through the dual USB 3.0 inputs, as well as your home network. Unfortunately there are no built-in apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube. Since I have a projector and not a SmartTV, I need an external device that’s 4K-HDR capable for these apps. I’d like the Oppo to be the solution but it isn’t. You’ll need to connect that other device through the Oppo’s HDMI 2.0 input, receiver, or directly to your display. Streaming quality is a mixed bag though, even from 4K HDR Netflix and Amazon Prime offerings. The high compression just destroys the image. I’d like to have these services within the player to reduce signal path and the number of boxes I have in my system. It’s a bit of a bummer if you use these services, but this is only one shortcoming of this otherwise excellent player.

Conclusions

THE OPPO UDP-205 is an Audiophile player for Audio Discs and Files of all types, and at $1299, it Demonstrates Superb Performance as Ultra HD Blu-ray Audio and Video Player.

LIKES

  • High performance video quality
  • Excellent analogue audio quality
  • Dolby Vision support via firmware update
  • Good upscaling of Blu-ray and DVD
  • Can be used as central media hub
  • Heavy, isolated, and solid construction

WOULD LIKE TO SEE

  • 4K Streaming apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime
  • Efficient use of Home Menu screen space
  • An XLR AES/EBU digital out

The Oppo UDP-205 serves its purpose as an audiophile machine. Its audience are those who wish for the top performance from all disc and file types and from PCM and DSD. If you’re looking for one machine to check most of your needs off of the list, the UDP-205 needs to be seriously considered. For the rest of the market, Oppo’s entry level UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player should be looked at. It’s not overbuilt as the UDP-205 and doesn’t sound the same, but its image quality is identical and its sound via bitstream should be right on with appropriate jitter reduction. Some serious thought into the design and components has been put into this audiophile component. After all, it did challenge my components eight times the price and is one of the best SACD players I’ve come across at this price point. I think I’m about to retire this review and toss on a few more of my SACDs. What new sonic adventures will be revealed next? I can’t wait to find out and I recommend for you to try the same.

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