Wireless lifestyle audio is where the action is these days, and Oppo’s new Sonica speaker ($300/each) stands as the company’s entry into a sound-related category pioneered by Sonos. Sonica is a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Airplay-compatible speaker that can stand alone, be paired-up for true stereo sound, or become part of a whole-house wireless audio system. Oppo says Sonica is available for purchase now.
Since its an Oppo, there’s a strong focus on build quality as well as high-fidelity sound. The company touts a design that incorporates a 3.5″ woofer (with 30 watts of power) coupled to a pair of 3″ passive radiators that are mounted on the sides of the unit for a force-cancelling effect. Twin 2.5″ full-range drivers handle everything but the bass and are said to include distortion-reducing copper shorting caps as part of their neodymium-magnet motors—each driver gets its own 15-watt amp. Wireless reception benefits from multiple adaptive antennas and MIMO technology that boosts signal strength for 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi (compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n).
Between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Airplay users will have no problem playing music from the cloud, networked computers, or mobile devices. Sonica also offers connectivity for a stereo 3.5mm aux cable, as well as a USB input that can read audio files off a thumb drive. It is capable of rendering Hi-Res audio files with up to 24-bit/192-kHz resolution (FLAC, WAV, and Apple Lossless formats are supported) and includes various presets that optimize output for different room types, speaker locations, and listener preferences.
As is typical for such systems, you control a Sonica system with a smartphone or tablet running iOS or Android. Oppo makes a specific point of mentioning that the system supports Tidal lossless streaming within the Sonica app, and offers a 90-day free trial of the service.
Sonica shown in a typical usage scenario for such a speaker.