Oppo is well known for focusing on delivering superb audio fidelity with its universal disc players as well as its headphones. At high-end audio shows, I typically lose count of how many Oppo UDPs enjoy a prime spot in equipment stacks. Now, with the Sonica DAC ($800), Oppo eliminates spinning discs from the equation and presents a machine tailored that to the task of reproducing two-channel audio with exceptional quality.
A look at the Sonica DAC’s features and specifications shows how serious Oppo is about focusing on audio fidelity.
Oppo’s Sonica DAC high-fidelity networked audio player.
Asynchronous USB DAC capability means you can use the Sonica with a PC or Mac, and you can connect USB storage devices to it. The Sonica DAC also supports DLNA servers, Bluetooth, and AirPlay.
With USB input support for PCM audio up to 32-bit / 768 kHz and DSD512, it can handle pretty much any audio file out there. It’s also quite adept at handling high-resolution audio over a network. When streaming, it can handle up to 24-bit /192 kHz PCM as well as DSD64.
There’s a dedicated Sonica app for smartphones and tablets that lets you browse for content and control playback. Since Sonica is Oppo’s answer to Sonos, HEOS, MusicCast, Google Cast, Play-Fi, and other networked multi-room wireless audio ecosystems, any audio it plays can be synced up with Sonica Wi-Fi speakers throughout your house. This includes audio coming from its analog auxiliary input as well as digital sources. Notably, and perhaps a little bit disappointingly, there is no headphone output.
Rear view of the Oppo Sonica DAC.
The Sonica DAC is compact, measuring 10″ wide, 3″ high, and 12.2″ deep. It weighs in at 10.4 pounds and consumes 30 W when it’s operating or 0.5 W when in standby.
Rated frequency response is about as ruler-flat as it gets from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, with a deviation of -0.04dB. At 160 kHz, which is above bat-hearing territory, response is down by only 2.4 dB. Even your dog is guaranteed to hear totally flat response from this player.
Additional superlative specifications include a signal to noise ratio that’s above 120 dB, dynamic range that’s greater than 120 dB and channel separation that exceeds 120 dB. You can preorder the Sonica DAC from Oppo.com now, it’s shipping in just a few days.