The Oppo UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player is one of the most popular offerings currently on the market, boasting technologies such as Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision and DTS:X. It’s no longer the flagship player for Oppo, however. That’s because the company has just released its follow-up, the Oppo UDP-205.

This new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player is being specifically aimed at audiophiles, with support for a wide range of audio formats, and a significantly upgraded sound quality compared to the UDP-203.

According to the company, the Oppo-UDP-205 provides reference level sound quality through the analogue outputs, improves the clock precision of the HDMI audio output, and increases the power of the built-in headphone amplifier. For the analogue output stages, the Oppo UDP-205 utilises two ES9038PRO DACs, which are the flagship of the ESS Sabre Pro series. All this supposedly adds up to an audiophiles dream 4K Blu-ray player, and is a major upgrade to the UDP-203.

Stereo listening accounts for a large part of audiophile usage of a universal player, and that is why the UDP-205 offers a dedicated stereo output in addition to its 7.1-channel analogue audio output. The stereo audio output is powered by a dedicated ES9038PRO DAC chip and specially designed buffer and driver stages. It provides both XLR balanced and RCA single-ended connectors. The balanced output features a true differential signal path all the way from the DAC to the 3-pin XLR connector.

By transmitting a pair of differential signals, Oppo says that the balanced output provides better common-mode noise rejection and improves signal quality. Headphones can also be connected directly to the UDP-205’s built-in headphone amplifier, allowing for a more private viewing experience. The headphone amplifier is connected directly to the ESS SABRE PRO DAC. Compared to the built-in headphone amplifier in Oppo’s previous generation BDP-105/105D players, the new design promises more power and higher performance.

In addition to its playback capabilities, the Oppo UDP-205 adds a USB DAC, a coaxial and an optical digital audio input so users can take advantage of the audio performance of the UDP-205 with other sources. 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, the UDP-205 turns any computer into a high performing multimedia source by utilising the ES9038PRO DAC. For additional convenience and flexibility, the UDP-205 can convert digital signals from cable and satellite boxes, televisions, video game consoles and other digital transports with coaxial and optical digital outputs to analogue.

The UDP-205 features a high-stability, high-precision HDMI clock and a special HDMI audio jitter reduction circuit. This unique design significantly reduces jitter and eliminates timing errors, allowing customers to enjoy their music with increased accuracy when they use the audio-only HDMI output port for connecting the audio signal. 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, it helps to ensure error-free transmission, and may improve the audio performance depending on whether the audio decoder in the AV processor or receiver uses a synchronous or asynchronous clock scheme.

All of the details for the Oppo UDP-205 were chosen to maximise audio performance. That includes the massive toroidial power supply, the four heavy-gauge machined feet, and the new double-layered chassis. The internal layout and cassis design have also been engineered to promote healthy air flow.

The Oppo UDP-205 is priced at £1,399 in the UK, including VAT, and will be available from independent AV retailers.

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