Golden-earred home theater enthusiasts will be happy to learn that Oppo Digital’s eagerly awaited audiophile-grade Ultra HD Blu-ray player, model UDP-205, is now available on the company’s web site.

The sister model to Oppo’s high-quality $549 UDP-203, which was HD Guru’s top-performing Ultra HD Blu-ray player pick last year, the UDP-205 rings in at an eye-watering $1,299, but Oppo assures that the universal disc player supports 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and many other digital audio and video formats, in addition to producing state-of-the-art audio accuracy.

Read more on Oppo’s new flagship audiophile-grade UDP-205 Ultra HD Blu-ray player after the jump:

Like the Oppo UDP-203 before it, the UDP-205 has the ability to playback 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD, Audio CD and many other formats. It also supports High Dynamic Range (HDR10) out of the box and will support Dolby Vision following a promised firmware update, like the UDP-203. Other common features between the two players include: dual HDMI outputs – HDMI 2.0 for UHD and HDMI 1.4 for audio and an HDMI 2.0 input port for external streaming devices or set-top boxes.

Where the players part company is at the audio performance level. The Oppo UDP-205 is said to be a significant upgrade over the “and previous generation players,” by providing reference-level sound quality through the analog outputs.

It also improves the clock precision of the HDMI audio output, and increases the power of the built-in headphone amplifier. For the analog output stages, the UDP-205 utilizes two ES9038PRO DACs (the flagship of the ESS Sabre Pro series) for the richest, warmest distortion-free sound.

In addition to delivering high-performance multichannel audio, the UDP-205 has been designed for high-performance stereo listening.  The UDP-205 offers a dedicated stereo output in addition to its 7.1-channel analog audio output. The stereo audio output is powered by a dedicated ES9038PRO DAC chip and specially designed buffer and driver stages.

The UDP-205 also provides both XLR balanced and RCA single-ended connectors. The balanced output features a true differential signal path from the DAC to the 3-pin XLR connector, assuring professional quality connection stability and virtually distortion-free output to other XLR-supporting components.

By transmitting a pair of differential signals, the balanced output provides better common-mode noise rejection and improves signal quality.

The headphone amplifier in the player is connected directly to the ESS Sabre Pro DAC and offers what Oppo said is “a unique performance advantage over standalone headphone amplifiers.”

The new design offers more power and higher performance, compared to the built-in headphone amplifier in previous generation BDP-105/105D players, Oppo said.

In addition to its playback capabilities, the UDP-205 adds a USB DAC, and coaxial and optical digital audio inputs that enable other sources to share the high quality audio performance of the UDP-205, Oppo said.

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The asynchronous USB DAC input supports sample rates up to 768 kHz PCM and DSD 512. By bypassing the low fidelity, poor quality DAC of traditional computer soundcards, Oppo said the UDP-205 “turns any computer into a high performing multi-media source by utilizing the ES9038PRO DAC.”

The UDP-205 will also convert digital signals from cable and satellite boxes, televisions, video game consoles and other digital transports with coaxial and optical digital outputs to analog.

The UDP-205 incorporates a stable, high-precision HDMI clock and a special HDMI audio jitter-reduction circuit to significantly reduce jitter and eliminate timing errors. This brings increased accuracy using the audio-only HDMI output port. The PCM and DSD signals rely on the HDMI clock directly, so the HDMI audio jitter reduction circuitry can improve the sound quality of PCM and DSD audio.

For compressed bitstream audio, the UDP-205 offers error-free transmission “that may improve the audio performance depending on whether the audio decoder in the A/V processor or receiver uses a synchronous or asynchronous clock scheme.”

The UDP-205’s audio circuitry is powered by a toroidal power supply, which provides a very clean power source to the audio components.

To enhance rigidity while defeating vibration, the UDP-205 uses a new double-layered internal layout and chassis design engineered for ample air flow without the need for internal or external fans.

By Greg Tarr


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