Originally Posted by ichhaporia
I have been a happy owner of the 95. And yes, I too can hear the fan and have never been satisfied with the circumstances in which it runs. It is barely audible, but not silent. The 95 sits 7 feet from my listening position.
The funny thing is, the people who complain they can hear the fan are probably the same people most likely to appreciate the 95. If your hearing isn't good enough to hear the fan, how can you really fully appreciate the audio from the 95?
Same situation: I sit about 7 feet from the 95, which sits on top of 4 vibrapods on an open stand, with ventilation on all 4 sides, and about 35 cm. of space BEHIND the unit. All in all, it should be more than enough. I can hear the fan at all times, though, even when not paying attention. It usually kicks-in after around 30 minutes of playing and after that it varies in its speed and intensity, but never really comes to a full stop. The latest firmware DID mercifully improve this. The noise now seems more subdued, and, at least to my ears, it feels as if the fan is not working as hard. But the noise IS still present. I do not understand how most people do not hear this. It is particularly noticeable when you shut the unit off after a couple of hours of use. The contrast between the unit working and the unit fully off is not subtle. After I press "power off", a few seconds go by, then there's a loud "pam!" followed by a welcomed burst of silence once the display goes blank and everything is fully off. Am I the only that experiences this? Again, it is not subtle at all.
All my previous Oppo's have been a little on the noisy side, even the ones with no fans. My 980H's drive mechanism was pretty temperamental, for example. But that unit is still kicking and working great, so I am not complaining. I now use it mostly for PAL R2 DVD's.
I do agree with the quote above. A lot of people either do not hear that particularly frequency from a short distance (granted, it IS low, but still audible and bothersome), or probably learned to subconsciously block and ignore it. In any case, I envy them!
I wonder: what would happen with NO fan at all? Is it really necessary? We are talking about something that barely uses 50 watts. If the unit is handled with reasonable care, would it really get THAT hot if it has no fan in it? If you are into classical, and enjoy low listening levels, there is no way the whirling noise from a fan, ANY fan, will not intrude your listening session. Would it really be that counterproductive and dangerous NOT to use a fan in a future unit?
I realized how much information was truly being "obscured" or "covered" by this noise once I switched to my Squeezebox Touch, playing the same content and using the Touch's own internal DAC connected directly to my tube integrated amp. Even though there is no comparison between the Touch's DAC and the Oppo's, what is the point of such a resolving and detailed DAC when you have so much "external interference" to ruin part of your enjoyment? In the case of the Touch, the PC feeding it via wi-fi is in a different room, so no spinning mechanisms nor moving parts are in the equation. Just 100% ABSOLUTE silent backgrounds during quiet passages or whenever music is not playing. It is pretty amazing.
Having said all of this, I love my 95 and would not part with it. Once Oppo figures out a way to use the fan in a more "conservative" manner and offers a solution to control the unit via an external app or similar device (specially when it comes to browsing USB drives connected to it), I'll truly be a 1000% happy owner. In the meantime, there's nothing out there that comes even close to it for $1K.