A review of theBit player OPUS#1S is a good step forward

Looking back, we can recognize that the company theBit has already proved its worth in the market of portable audio. Their players OPUS#2 and OPUS#3 showed that the company can produce stylish solutions with good sound and usability, it is competing with A&K. Now it’s time to get their portion updates the first model of the company, meet OPUS#1S.

Externally, the new “public sector” differs little from its predecessor, the difference touched only the color options of the housing and the improved screen. Inside the changes are more drastic, the DACs were changed to fresh chips from Cirus Logic CS43198, also underwent revision & power is higher, and the most specification (distortion, separation, etc.) — better. Unfortunately, the player never received the wireless interface as its older brothers, but theBit put to him quite humane compared to the first revision of the price tag of $ 400.

Specifications

  • Processor: 4-core ARM Cortex-A9 1.4 GHz
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • DAC: 2 × Cirrus Logic CS43198
  • Frequency range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz (±0.02 dB), 10 Hz – 70 kHz (±0.3 dB)
  • The ratio signal/noise (@ 1 kHz): 123 dB for unbalanced output, 125 dB balanced
  • Channel separation (@ 1 kHz): 140 dB unbalanced output, 142 dB balanced
  • Total harmonic distortion + noise: 0,0007% unbalanced output, 0.0005% of balance
  • Output level: 3.1 Vrms unbalanced output, 3.4 Vrms balanced
  • Formats supported: WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WMA, DSD, MP3, OGG, APE
  • Maximum resolution: up to 192 kHz/24-bit
  • Screen: 4″ TFT, 800 × 480
  • Outputs: 3.5 mm TRS nauchnikov, 2.5 mm TRRS balanced
  • Inputs: MicroUSB
  • Built-in memory: 32 GB
  • Memory cards: 2 x MicroSD up to 200 GB
  • Battery: Li-polymer, 4000 mAh, 3.7 V
  • Working time on single charge: ~ 11 hours
  • Charging time from 2A charger: ~ 4 hours
  • Dimensions: 72 mm × 112 mm × 18 mm
  • Weight: 190 g

Packing and delivery

That the packaging does not look quite so traditionally, in theBit decided to play a little, but not with fonts and colors. Therefore, the inner box has a nice red color, and the outer cover is made of grey and with a stylish texture. Printing is traditionally restrained, the rear side of the printed specifications.

Inside is the player, a MicroUSB cord for charging, user manual with warranty card and spare screen protectors (in addition to those that are glued from the factory).

As always with theBit, the player has a very cool leather case, and this time in two colors (as the player), but it must be purchased separately. However, now many sellers offer sets of player+case at once at a discount.

Design and management

The appearance of the player did not change, the same qualitative plastic, such as panels of glass on the front and rear panels. Of diversity this time the ride changed colors, new 1S there are in dark blue and Burgundy versions, both look very impressive. The back panel is now made with a pattern, it also looks good. The build quality of the player is still not satisfactory, all neatly fitted without gaps, backlash and squeaks. Touch plastic feels nice and, purely in my opinion, copes with its tasks not worse than aluminum.

Sam OPUS#1S is a large, although the line “carminati”, in my opinion, does not go in the hand is comfortably operated with no problems. The body in the form of rectangle with beveled angles is not like any other model, which gives the player identity.

Despite the presence of the touch screen, the developers have not forgotten about managing blind: on one side of the player placed the navigation buttons on the tracks (3 PCs.), on the second volume (2 PCs). The buttons are quite small, but with good progress, so the management is quite comfortable (though in the case to find them difficult). On the left side, at the bottom put two slots for MicroSD cards, closed the lid.

On the upper side of the accommodated outputs: 3.5 mm and 2.5 mm, about them is the power button/lock. On the lower side is the expected MicroUSB slot used to charge the player, memory access and functions of the USB DAC.

The front panel is almost entirely occupied by a touch screen, the developers decided that the new revision of the player a decent new display, so the quality of the matrix is greatly increased. This, of course, the screen of modern top-end smartphone, but for the world of the players, he is very good: resolution, color reproduction, viewing angles do not cause problems, and even stock brightness enough to see at least something on a bright Sunny day (although with the weather lately I’m beginning to doubt that there is such a thing).

Time player performance in my standard test (FLAC 44.1/16 and MEEAudio P1) was 10 hours and 10 minutes. Charged player 2A from the charger 3 hours and 50 minutes. OPUS#1S very well implemented sleep mode, so the break even is in the on state takes the charge very economical.

Firmware

As in the previous version, in the role of OS here is Android, however, unlike the older models, equipped with wireless modules and the ability to install third-party applications, youngest OPUS from this fact, as they say, “neither cold nor hot”. Operating system from here Google does not show almost anything, and the entire interface is user undertakes custom software player.

Immediately after starting user welcomes the playback screen, everything is familiar: large display album art, track info and playback controls. Tap on the cover shows additional information and the button for adding to favorites and playlists. For go to the media library meets the button with three bars in the upper left corner. In the media library all the usual: browsing by folders, genres, albums, artists, favorites and playlists. The fonts are large, so navigation is very easy.

On the home screen expected is “blind” settings, which contains the main options of the player. There is a button that opens the advanced settings menu. It is almost completely duplicates the one used for any smartphone on Android, with the exception of a few added paragraphs (sleep timer, switch the gain, the USB mode).

As players theBit use a common code-base, firmware is very stable, picky in the formats and not seen in “bad behavior.”

Sound

To listen to the device used the following headphones: iBasso IT03, 99 Meze Classics, Audio Zenith PMx2, Noble Kaiser Encore, Campfire Audio Andromeda, 64 Audio U12, HUM Pristine and others.

The first option, “Junior Opus” the sound was quite an interesting model — neutral feed is further increased to the width of the stage gives a classy holographic effect, but not in all styles and genres it is appropriate. In theBit perfectly understood it, and in the updated version pretty much changed the flow of the player: 1S offers a more driving sound with nice weight almost the whole range, but without any bright accents.

There is bass weighty, massive but not imposing, with good textures and good drums. The bass goes very deep, although the deepest bass is slightly reduced in quantity so as not to crawl to the main part of the range. The resolution of the bass is very good, as well as the separation of instruments in this register. Fans of accentuated bass player will not work, but connoisseurs of naturalness would be very to the court.

Midrange is a nice combination of macro and microdynamic that, on the one hand, allows him to play well different strokes, the rumble and the roar, and with another — gives the supply good detail (although not ideal) while avoiding excessive monotonnosti the first revision. The player is only slightly inclined to “scale” in the flow, he slightly emphasizes the emotions and energy of execution, with a little disguise the shortcomings of the recording. An imaginary scene here is not artificially inflated, so it is narrower than the first version, but still more than the average in both directions. The player has a high-quality separation of instruments and plans. Of course, to the brilliance and three-dimensional OPUS#2 “little brother” away, but let’s not forget about the difference in price.

Treble is a bit simplified in terms of attacks and attenuation, but they have a good length and resolution that allows them very nice to play “air” and high overtones, which largely compensates for the way the rest of the range. The resolution of top of the range of normal, so high quality headphones even the upper price segment player sounds good.

Few comparisons.

Other models theBit. The difference with the first revision of OPUS#1 I’ve painted above, so let’s talk about the other two models. OPUS#2, of course, is the flagship with all inherent in this status attributes: more natural, more natural, closer to neutral and unembellished flow. He also builds a better imaginary stage and shared tools. OPUS#3 is a bit of an outlier, he’s a little smoother in the flow and a little darker, which leads to a more vintage sound and a little less than the #1S, the imaginary stage, while the midrange of the “Troika” are, perhaps, more effectively.

FiiO X5-III. This player also takes the rather massive sound, especially the lower half of the range, but it is slightly darker in overall sound. OPUS#1S slightly more emotional delivers the midrange and slightly better treble is working, but to call the difference “big” is an exaggeration, the main difference is still more taste.

Lotoo 5000 Mk II. This player overall on the pitch very similar to the hero of this review, and the difference between them it is necessary carefully to listen to, but OPUS#1S makes a small but tangible step in the naturalness.

Cayin N5ii. Well, here it is obvious that the players are very different, so you can just read two reviews and comparing, to understand their fundamental differences.

Compatibility

Grown power, of course, went to use, almost all modern headphones now it not problem: panoramagram have enough power (except for very very tight models) and IEM almost no noise. I would advise the player something neutral, since HiFiBoy OS V3 and ending even Andromeda. The latter, of course, you can pick up the source and abruptly, but a bunch of this “Opus” — is quite harmonious.

Stylistically, this player is quite versatile, I can’t allocate any more or less successful genres, critical to the quality of the recording — medium, somewhere in the 7 points on a notional scale of “fault-finding”.

Traditionally some tracks for example

The Cinematic Orchestra — Time & Space. With all my love to this band, the live recordings they have obtained noticeably better than the Studio, and this is a very meditative track — a vivid example. Updated OPUS perfectly emphasizes the many facets of this recording, immersing the listener in the atmosphere of the performance.

Frank Sinatra — Somethin’ Stupid. That’s all good old songs one of the best vocalists in the world, except the recording quality. Fortunately, here we have the remaster, for example, this one from 2008. On the one hand, preserved the orchestral backing, which is a mandatory attribute of the compositions of those years, with different vocals beautifully restored, and with a little help from OPUS#1S just fall in love with.

FKJ — Tui. Sometimes, quite by accident, Deezer mode Flow throwing out tracks that I’d never listened to, and this is a Prime example. I did not Google what kind of team did not meet with the rest of the work of this project and decided to leave him a fleeting meeting. An amazing combination of deep bass and easy the main melody in “the weight” performed by the hero of today’s review enchant once and for all.

Insights

In General, if you are looking for a player in the midrange segment, the choice becomes a bit more complicated, because in this niche there is another very good player. theBit significantly improved the flow of his player, and he is now able to compete with their classmates, often leaving the winner. It is unfortunate that the player got wireless interfaces, but the new screen fall in love with immediately.

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