OPPO Digital has introduced the new Sonica DAC/music streamer. As a DAC, it uses the ESS ES9038PRO SABRE chipset, features asynchronous USB input, has XLR and RCA outputs, and supports hi-res PCM and DSD playback. As a music streamer, it can connect to your network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, has built-in AirPlay and Bluetooth, and works with the Sonica control app for iOS/Android and the company’s Sonica multi-room speakers. The product will be available soon for $799.
From OPPO Digital
OPPO Digital announced that the new Sonica DAC is ready for release. The newest entry into the OPPO family of digital audio products, the Sonica DAC merges audiophile-grade performance with the latest network streaming technology.
With more and more music coming from digital sources, the DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) is one of the most important components in the playback chain. The Sonica DAC improves upon the highly regarded audio performance of previous OPPO products, such as the HA-1 headphone amplifier and BDP-105 universal player, and presents an upgraded DAC chipset, the flagship ESS ES9038PRO SABRE DAC.
The Sonica DAC is ideally situated at the point where two different worlds in high-end audio intersect: the convenience of modern network streaming and the ultimate sound quality of the traditional audiophile DAC. As a network streamer, the companion Sonica app for iOS and Android allows you to conveniently stream music from your smartphone or tablet, as well as from network shares on a computer or NAS drive. As a traditional audiophile DAC, the Sonica DAC features all of the inputs and features that you expect, including the ability to handle high-resolution PCM and DSD audio formats. On top of that, its ability to function as a high-resolution audio player and decode files directly from connected USB hard drives and thumb drives enhances its versatility.
The main features of Sonica DAC include:
• Asynchronous USB DAC for Computer Audio: By bypassing the low-fidelity, poor-quality DAC of traditional computer soundcards, the Sonica DAC turns any computer into a high-performance multimedia source by converting digital audio to analog through the ES9038PRO chip. The asynchronous transfer mode uses the high precision clock inside the Sonica DAC to drive the audio signal, not relying on the clock quality of the computer. The USB DAC input supports PCM up to 768-kHz/32-bit and DSD up to 25 MHz (DSD512).
• High-Resolution Music Playback and Streaming: Play music files of many formats from USB drives attached to the Sonica DAC, or from home network computers and servers connected via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Stream music from your smartphone and tablet via Wi-Fi using the Sonica app. The Sonica DAC is a high-resolution audio player and decoder capable of decoding audio files up to 24-bit/192-kHz from formats such as FLAC, WAV, and Apple Lossless, as well as DSD files at 64x sample rate.
• Bridging the Gap between Traditional and Wireless Audio: The Sonica DAC brings high-resolution audio playback, network streaming, and mobile device connection to your existing home audio system. As a member of the OPPO Sonica product family, the AUX input of the Sonica DAC enables you to connect an existing analog audio source to the Sonica multi-room network. Add some Sonica Wi-Fi speakers and enjoy your favorite tunes anywhere in your home.
The Sonica DAC provides both XLR balanced and RCA single-ended connectors for its audio output. The audio path is fully balanced from the DAC chip all the way to the XLR jacks. Even the RCA output signal is converted from the balanced output. The balanced design provides better common-mode noise rejection and improves signal quality. It also ensures better channel separation by eliminating the common ground return path. A toroidal linear power supply provides a very clean and robust power source to the audio circuitry.
The Sonica DAC is easy to set up and convenient to use. For the network connection, it offers both wired Ethernet and built-in Wi-Fi supporting 802.11a/b/g/n and ac standards. The free Sonica app allows you to easily navigate your music collection and control playback, and it is available for both iOS and Android smartphones or tablets. Additionally, the Sonica DAC supports Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth, enabling instantaneous wireless audio. Coaxial and optical digital audio inputs provide an easy connection to additional digital audio sources, while the 12V trigger input and output make it possible to turn on and off the entire audio system with one click.
With its handsome build quality, premium parts selection, and innovative feature set, the Sonica DAC is as at home in an audiophile system as it is in a modern network streaming music environment.
The Sonica DAC is available for $799 at oppodigital.com.