Opus #3 – The Brilliant and Excellent DAP!
Opus #3 is one of the most brilliant DAPs (Digital Audio Players) of this moment, created by new company The Bit. Opus #3 promises to deliver a total solution for audiophiles in terms of sound quality and overall performance.
Opus DAPs are quite new to the market, especially when compared to older and established companies, but they already managed to gain a lot of interest from music lovers all over the world with their excellent build quality and with their sound. Although Opus doesn’t seem to purchase a lot of advertising space and doesn’t seem to be quite that intrusive in the eyes of their fans, their products have been loved by virtually everyone who heard one.
I have been slightly skeptical about #3 before testing it, but it has been almost two months since I owned one now, and my feelings towards it have gone from skepticism to curiosity, then to feelings of love and ultimately to enjoyment.
I have absolutely no affiliation with Opus, Thebit or other partner companies at this moment, I am not receiving any kind of incentive to sweeten things out or change my opinions about the product. My review will be as objective as it is humanly possible and it is a description of my general experience with Opus #3, every opinion expressed here is mine and I firmly stand by it.
My name is George Dobrescu and I am the Director of the Seventh Heart Studios game studio. I work as one of the main programmers for the company, and I am the writer for Quantum Magica and Falsetto Memories projects. I spend eight – twelve hours a day working on a computer, writing and sometimes drawing. I also take care of administrative work which means that I require a portable setup so I’ll be testing the portability of iDSD as well.
Music is present all around me for a big part of that time as working with music is always more fun. With all the devices I own, I need great sound, comfort and ease of usage, not to mention that my listening volume ranges from “please stop that, it’s far too loud” to “I can’t even tell that you’re listening to music”.
My collection includes everything from Classical to Metal, from Rap to Pop, from Punk to Cabaret and absolutely everything in between. There are great artists from every type of music, and I’m one to collect their albums, and keep a tidy order for my files.
At Seventh Heart Studios, we all love music and this has had an impact on our games as we hold the music close to our hearts and we are committed to only use ogg -q10 as the encoding format for our music since it offers the best disk space to sound quality ratio, OGG -q10 being closest to audibly transparent when compared to FLAC encoding.
Personal philosophy: Music is more than a hobby or sound. Music is inspiration. Music is life. Music has meaning by itself, being the one thing that can define one’s life while shaping one’s imagination and creativity. Music can open doors to new plains and music can change one’s mood. Music can rest the mind better than days of sleep or can give one energy better than a thousand cups of coffee. Music can be anything we want it to be and the music we experience using professional audition tools is more but at the same time it is nothing more than our way of enhancing the emotion we get from music. Love is a concept too shallow, unable to encompass what music really means to a music lover.
I’ve been using quite a few DAPs through time, from the first iteration of FiiO X5, up to the second generation of X5 (X5ii), FiiO X7, FiiO X3ii, Hidizs AP200, iBasso DX200, and a few others. I had many hours of fun with many DAPs, and when I saw that a newcomer DAP proposes to sweeten audiophile’s experience even more, I instantly became curious about their offering.
I contacted Thebit with questions and typical audiophile quandaries and they have answered them well, providing lots of help through the process of installing and using Opus #3. Friendly and helpful, the service and PR departments of Opus can only be commended, and I’m sure that they provide a similarly good experience for the customers who bought their #1 and #2 DAPs.
I should note that the way most people describe Opus DAPs is #1<#3<#2, it seems that they number doesn’t define which DAP is their Top Of The Line.
It has been almost a week since I discussed with Thebit about their Opus #3 and their #3 was sent through UPS, with package tracking and all details. Given that the package arrived in great condition, in just about a week, I can only say that I am happy with their flawless services, quite impressed by the punctuality offered.
The package featured a lot of bubble wrap, to protect the #3 package, thing which helped a lot since UPS might sometime handle some packages without all the care necessary.
That day… It was one of these damp summer days when I went to pick up the package. The sun was slyly gazing at us, from its throne, thinking probably nothing of the humans under it as they’d go on about their lives. One would at some point stop and think: “What if the sun feels lonely?” It is providing us all joys, summer and going to the beaches, winter and its snow, but what about the ball of light from the sky? Is it happy? Does it feel that it’d want us to notice it more?
The blazing heat was probably getting to my head, when, in the middle of the day when I received a call from the UPS to meet with them to pick up a package. Quite unfortunately, this was just my second meet with UPS, and it was a new employee who had to deliver it, so I couldn’t call to get a better schedule for everything. On the bright side, even though I couldn’t live my location, I already had iDSD BL and a selection of headphones and IEMs to enjoy. This, and I always have a lot of work to do, so there were no chances of having any seconds wasted on waiting.
I took a trip outside and met with the deliver guy who was not particularly nice or haughty. He handled me the package and I quickly got back inside, to stop the blazing star that brings us day from burning my skin any further.
Inside the package was a box, a strange looking box. Compared to all the other packages I received and opened, #3 was clearly packaged to look differently, not necessarily more stylish, not more edgy either. It was almost as if The Bit wanted to have a completely original look with their Opus line of DAPs and created a new color theme just for them.
The DAP itself smiled at me as I was unpacking it, tickling my curiosity as it was packaged in a pretty premium cloth.
I turned it on, plugged a microSD card with music, plugged in Etymotic ER4-XR and went on a walk to hear how it sounds. By the time I got out of my place, the evening was already starting to slowly lower its crimson wings over the landscapes of Bucharest, but this only made my walk more emotional, more romantic. I learned how to use Opus #3 in less than a few moves, enjoying it for all my trip.
First things first, let’s get the packaging out of the way:
Opus #3 comes packaged in an entirely different flavor of packaging than I was used to seeing with most audio products in general, the typical black box being replaced by a marine-blue box, wrapped in a gray paper with information about the DAP this time.
There are a few extras in the package, but this time the unit wasn’t new, so I’ll talk about the most important highlight, which is the leather case included with #3. It seems that Opus includes a genuine leather case with their #3, the leather case feeling excellent in the hand, and leaving a really nice feeling to the user.
Like with all premium devices, there is a screen protector installed on #3, and after using it for more than a month, I found that it does an amazing job at protecting this ingenious DAP’s screen.
What I look in for a DAC/AMP
When buying a DAP unit, there are a few things that a buyer should be looking at and considering, as sooner or later those will come in foresight:
– Sound quality – Like with every audio-related purchase, this is the most important aspect of your investment
– Battery life – at least 8 hours of battery life, at high volume on high gain, with effects engaged. Anything above this number will come in handy down the road, but this should be a minimum
– Intuitive / ergonomic build – Buttons arrangement, robust build, no creaking noises, resistance to pressure for when it’s a pocket, robust headphone jacks, no wearing issues after long term usage
– Good Value – It’d be good for everything one owns to perform well for its price
– Interesting design – The device must look modern / elegant / luxurious and fit in with both street usage and a business environment
– Driving ability – To work well with both IEMs and over the ear headphones
– USB DAC function – Always good to have!
– Enough I/O ports – To satisfy all devices and current usage patterns
– Firmware Support – Fluent, Fast, stable Firmware
(Build quality, Sonic Quality and Usage Next Page)