If the Sonica were just a DAC, it would still be a deal, but it’s also a versatile streaming file player. The file player section plays most hi-res files, though not the highest-resolution ones. The DAC section does play extremely high-resolution files, though not MQA-encoded files. Does that matter? We hear a lot about Tidal streaming MQA-encoded files, and other MQA-encoded files being available for download, but currently I see only a handful of MQA files either streamed on Tidal or available for purchase. Hopefully more will appear soon. [At the time this issue went to press, there were just over 5000 MQA-encoded titles on Tidal. —RH] But the Sonica played the highest-resolution PCM and DSD files in my collection without breaking a sweat, and in today’s marketplace, those vastly outnumber MQA files. Paired with the SOtM sMS-200 streaming music player, another high-value component, the Sonica’s DAC was even more spectacular playing the highest-resolution files commercially available. In short, the Oppo Digital Sonica sounded and looked great, and was a super deal for $799—just what I’d expect from Oppo. An easy recommendation.
Specs & Pricing
Type: DAC and network streamer
Inputs: USB 2.0, SPDIF on RCA and TosLink digital; one RCA analog
Formats supported: AAC, AIF, AIFC, AIFF, APE, FLAC, M4A, M4A (Apple Lossless), ALAC, OGG, WAV, WMA, DSF, DFF
Output: Balanced or unbalanced, variable
Dimensions: 10" x 3" x 12.2"
Weight: 10.4 lbs.
OPPO DIGITAL, INC.
162 Constitution Drive
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Speakers: KEF Q700
Amplifier: NAD C 368 with optional BluOS module
Digital sources: Dell Latitude E6330 laptop computer running 64-bit Windows 10 Professional, JRiver Media Center Version 23, and Roon music server software; SOtM sMS-200 network music player with mBPS-d2s power supply; QNAP TS-251 NAS
Power conditioner and distribution: Isotek Sirius