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OPPO Digital has established itself as the premier manufacturer of universal disc players by doing business the right way; delivering well-built high performance gear paired with customer service that’s known to be excellent. And the company’s reputation isn’t limited to disc players, having successfully dipped its toes into high-end audio waters with well reviewed headphone and headphone amp offerings. Talk to just about any enthusiast and you’ll hear the same thing: OPPO delivers an overwhelming amount of performance for the price. That kind sentiment makes every new OPPO product a true curiosity, and is exactly why the company’s 2016 entry into wireless audio is exciting.

Thinking back to its birth in the early 2000s, wireless audio has transformed from a spark into a modern day four-alarm fire fueled by demands of convenience, ease of use, and quality sound reproduction. The current number of standalone Bluetooth speaker options (not to mention entire ecosystems of manufacturer specific wireless technologies) is quite staggering. OPPO’s entry (called Sonica) is a moderately priced standalone product aimed squarely at buyers that want a high quality experience across both performance and usability spectrums. At $299, its price point has plenty of competition from the usual suspects in the industry, making distinctive performance an absolute necessity for survival. Of course, that notion is almost a given, but the sheer number of available options makes it particularly poignant.

Today, we’ll take an up-close look at Sonica and put it through its paces with a sound performance test drive. Definitely read on, as Sonica has a lot to offer.


 

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Just to note, the original version of this review showed the wrong in-room measurement graphs. It has now been corrected.
 

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what about compared to the Peachtree Deepblue2? The Oppo looks better and is smaller, but wondering if you've heard both and can comment on the sound.
 

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Deepblue2 is a slightly different animal. I've not had an opportunity to hear one... I would imagine it's capable of higher output (just based on specs). If I'm not mistaken, it's purely a Bluetooth (AptX) based speaker, no? It's not capable of decoding Hi-Res Audio...or AirPlay...or Wi-Fi streaming.

Kind of a case of more elegant vs heavy hitter.

I think OPPO is planning on releasing a larger version of Sonica early next year... so stay tuned for that.
 

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Deepblue2 is a slightly different animal. I've not had an opportunity to hear one... I would imagine it's capable of higher output (just based on specs). If I'm not mistaken, it's purely a Bluetooth (AptX) based speaker, no? It's not capable of decoding Hi-Res Audio...or AirPlay...or Wi-Fi streaming.

Kind of a case of more elegant vs heavy hitter.

I think OPPO is planning on releasing a larger version of Sonica early next year... so stay tuned for that.
I have a DB2 and like it a lot. It does play plenty loud and the bass is exceptional in quantity and quality for a product of its type. It isn't the most elegant package and is bluetooth only, except for the inputs on the back. It does have an optical in and I did hook up an appletv and streamed Tidal to it but didn't hear enough of a difference to keep that set up. My parents have the BW A7 which cost much more at the time. It looks nice but I think the PT DB2 sounds better, just more detail and more open sounding. My wife is starting to work from home so was thinking of putting a BT speaker in her office and was thinking of another DB2 so I'm just curious if the OPPO is an upgrade in sound. She'd probably like the look of it more.
 

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I wish I could offer you analysis of sound differences...

The OPPO is very smooth sounding. Nice user interface on the app. I guess it comes down to what kind of listening she plans on doing.
I used Sonica for about 2 months and had zero issues with it.
 

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I wish I could offer you analysis of sound differences...

The OPPO is very smooth sounding. Nice user interface on the app. I guess it comes down to what kind of listening she plans on doing.
I used Sonica for about 2 months and had zero issues with it.
Might be worth trying just simply because. I'm sure they both sound great and the app + room correction + wifi, etc. would be an upgrade. Her office is much, much smaller than the space the DB2 occupies so it would probably sound great.
 

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Yup... $100 cheaper, too. ;-)

The various Presets for sound optimization that you're hinting at don't use any kind of microphone to analyze the room. But, you can use it to tone down boomy sound (as you saw from the graphs, the Presets really just target the bass region). Also, on the app you can use a help feature to decide which Preset is best for your particular room. It's a neat little feature.
 

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Even better Oppo's Sonica speakers will feature Dirac Room Calibration from an iOS/android smartphone or tablet.

Dirac Room Calibration is a mobile user-friendly version of Dirac Live that applies speaker and room correction with four measurements taken with the smartphone or tablet... these are screen previews, not final but they convey the idea:

http://diracdocs.com/MRC4.png

http://diracdocs.com/MRC5.png

They may be present at our CES booth,
:) Flavio
 
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