"Convenience and Hi-fi Sound Quality" – The Absolute Sound
Oppo's Sonica DAC pairs the sound quality of a traditional audiophile DAC with the convenience and versatility of a high resolution network player. Whether you're connecting a computer via USB, or streaming from DLNA servers on your computer or NAS drives, the Sonica DAC ensures that you're hearing your favorite music at its best.
The Sonica DAC allows you to access your favorite music in many different ways. It can be used as a traditional DAC to improve the audio performance from your computer via USB, as a high resolution media player decoding audio from connected USB storage devices, or even as a network streamer playing content from DLNA servers and via AirPlay and Bluetooth.
"The new Oppo Sonica DAC improves upon the highly regarded audio performance of the Oppo HA-1 and BDP-95/105 players and presents an upgraded DAC chipset, the flagship ESS ES9038PRO SABRE DAC," reports The Absolute Sound Buyer’s Guide to Personal Audio, Analog, and Vinyl 2016. "The Sonica DAC combines the convenience of modern network streaming and the hi-fi sound quality of the traditional audiophile DAC."
Convenient Control and Connectivity
Sonica DAC is controlled via a dedicated app for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to easily find and access content from DLNA servers, connected USB drives, and streaming services such as Tidal and Spotify. (A smartphone or tablet running Android or iOS is required.)
Top of the Line Digital to Analog Performance
With more and more music coming from digital sources, the DAC is one of the most important components for digital audio playback. OPPO Sonica DAC is equipped with an ES9038PRO 32-bit HyperStream DAC chip at its core. The flagship of the ESS SABRE PRO series, ES9038PRO sets a new benchmark for audio excellence.
Clean Power for Clear Music
The Sonica DAC's audio circuitry is powered by a massive toroidal power transformer, which offers superior efficiency and significantly lower exterior magnetic field interference compared to traditional laminated steel core transformers.
Fully Balanced Design
The Sonica DAC's audio output path is fully balanced from the DAC chip all the way to the XLR outputs, and even the RCA output signal is converted from the balanced output. The balanced design provides better common-mode noise rejection, improves signal quality, and results in better channel separation by eliminating the common ground return path.
Play and Stream High Resolution Music
In addition to its traditional DAC capabilities, Sonica DAC is also a high resolution network player that can decode audio files up to 24-bit 192 kHz from formats such as FLAC, WAV, and Apple Lossless, as well as DSD64 files from DLNA servers and connected USB drives.
Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth
The Sonica DAC supports Apple AirPlay, which allows you to stream your music from iTunes, iOS devices, and OS X computers to Sonica DAC through your network. In addition, Bluetooth support adds another layer of convenience, allowing you to quickly connect your mobile devices to Sonica DAC to stream music.
Asynchronous USB DAC
The Sonica DAC turns any computer into a high performance audio source by bypassing the typically low fidelity, poor quality DACs found in traditional computer soundcards. The asynchronous transfer mode uses the high precision clock inside the Sonica DAC rather than relying on the computer's clock. The USB DAC input supports PCM up to 768 kHz 32-bit and up to DSD512.
Easy Integration with the Sonica Multi-Room Speaker System
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 Sonica DAC enables you to connect existing analog audio source to the Sonica multi-room network using the AUX input. Add some Sonica Wi-Fi speakers and enjoy your favorite tunes anywhere in the house.
Easy Connection with Source Components and Amplifiers
Sonica DAC provides both XLR balanced and RCA single-ended outputs, and the outputs can be set to volume-controlled or bypass, making it suitable for connecting to either pre-amps or power amplifiers. 12V trigger input and output make it possible to turn on and off the entire audio system with one click. In addition to the USB DAC input and network streaming, Sonica DAC also offers coaxial and optical digital inputs for additional digital audio sources.
Classic Design with Contemporary OLED Display
Sonica DAC sports a classic aluminum chassis with the familiar volume and source selection knobs. A 2.8-inch OLED display complements the brushed metal front panel, offering read out of the current volume and detailed information about the audio signal.
"The new Oppo Sonica DAC improves upon the highly regarded audio performance of the Oppo HA-1 and BDP-95/105 players and presents an upgraded DAC chipset, the flagship ESS ES9038PRO SABRE DAC. The Sonica DAC combines the convenience of modern network streaming and the hi-fi sound quality of the traditional audiophile DAC."
- The Absolute Sound Buyer’s Guide to Personal Audio, Analog, and Vinyl 2016
"Sonica DAC/streamer is not just an audiophile gem, but also a legitimate bargain."
- Chris Martens, Sept 12, 2017 – hi-fi+
"Sonica DAC is a great way to improve the sound quality of your system without a hefty price tag."
- Kevin Nakano, June 15, 2017 – LA Audio File
"At its price point, there isn’t any serious competition in the audiophile arena."
- Harris Fogel & Nancy Burlan, May 25, 2017 – Maceditionradio.com
"The Sonica DAC is a remarkable device for the money, encompassing just about every computer music need in one simple package."
- Andrew Everard, May 17, 2017 - Gramphone
"OPPO has really stolen a march here on pretty much every mid-fi DAC maker out there with the launch of the Sonica DAC and using the ES9038PRO DAC inside."
- Marcus Downey, May 21, 2017 – Headfonics.com
"The Oppo Sonica streaming DAC is one of the most versatile, best sounding digital sources I have ever used. Add to the fact that it only costs $800 and that just about makes me doubt my sanity!"
- Jack Roberts, May 5, 2017 – Constantine Soo’s Dagogo.
"If you are looking for a desktop solution or whole house audio, you simply can’t go wrong with the OPPO Sonica DAC."
- Gary Alan Barker, April 24, 2017 – headphone.guru
|Write Your Own Review|
Got this DAC a few nights ago and ... I love it! Comparing it to my Yamaha WXC50 the sound is even better. Using with Woo WA2 tube headphone amp and I'm getting a huge soundstage and monster dynamics with my Focal Elear headphones. The Sonica app is good and about on par with the Yamaha Music Cast app although the Yamaha app runs a little faster. The sound is the big difference here and the Sonic wins that battle in spades.
|Nice System Upgrade|
Owned the Sonica for one month now and can say without reservations it sounds better than my BDP105. I hear excellent soundstaging, sweet lower-mids to mid bass and silky highs. Using Woo Audio WA22 into Bryston 4BSST into PSB Synchrony One speakers. I'm not using the Sonica app. It's OK, but i prefer using JRiver which is my favorite app. Overall, I'd like to give it 4.5 stars but am rounding up to five because it provides a nice upgrade in my system.
|- Peter M.8., MD|
|Would Recommend To A Friend|
The Sonica is my third Oppo product and the best so far. Packaging is excellent and build quality is above-average. Sound is wonderfully neutral with timbre accuracy and authentic bass punch. Easy to use with a large easy to read display. The Sonic app is pretty complete, I can't think of anything missing. The sound is the best thing about this player - both through my Sennheiser HD headphones and my B&W speakers. Yes, I would recommend to a friend.
|- Lew A, INT|
|Yes, Would Recommend|
Amazing clarity and detailed sound. I love the streamer , I use the Spotify, and love the sound. Connected using the balanced outputs to my integrated receiver. High quality construction. Three digital input and one analog , and a usb reader too. cool !! Both LAN and wifi connections. I highly recommend it.
|- Jones J, NC|
|Best dac I've owned to date|
I've been auditioning dacs recently with a price limit of $2500. The Sonica tops everything I've heard - resolving subtle detail without digital annoyance - delivering a stunning musical experience.
|- jerome slavata, WI|
|My For and Against|
After one month of listening, my rating: For: If you need an outstanding, well built, stand alone streaming player that can be networked for local playback and has Airplay, Bluetooth and multiple digital inputs then I would highly recommend the Sonica. It sounds fantastic and would make a great addition in almost anyone's home. Against: I can't think of anything right now, but let me get back to you on that one.
|- G.L. Brown, NC|
I compared the Sonica directly to the Yamaha WXC-50, Pioneer N50 and Marantz N6005. Sonically the Marantz comes closest to the Sonica, but Sonica destroys the other two. The Sonica app is light years ahead of the Marantz app - what's up with that Marantz? So, on balance, the Sonica is my choice.
|- Killman T, AL|
|Five Star Product|
Received last friday and burned it in all weekend and here's what I can report. Setup was breezy. Network connection went smoothly and Sonica saw all the music files on my NAS drive. I was able to compare directly to my old setup - Mac Mini server and iFi One DAC - with my Focal Elear reference 'phones. Sound was a marked improvement with Sonica, I hear more detail, more dynamics, and more natural sound. Solid Five Star Product.
|- Lenard K, FL|
|Another good Oppo product|
Overall I'm very pleased with this. You already know about the great sound, build quality, and value so I won't reiterate those. I have some suggestions for improvement though. 1. When I first turn it on and start playing music from the network, I'm never sure what the initial volume is going to be. Instead of always defaulting to the last volume setting that the unit was playing, there seems to be some complicated interaction between the mobile apps' last volume setting, which can have multiple instances on multiple devices, and the unit's, which I haven't quite figured out yet. So occasionally when I hit play, the music blasts out very loudly and I have to quickly turn down the volume. 2. The volume control scaling needs to be changed so that there's more play on the higher level settings. In my system, the first 75% of the volume slider is useless because it's all almost inaudibly quiet, so I only have a tiny little segment at the end of the slider on the app to adjust the volume. However, the volume knob on the unit is great and allows very fine adjustments, but I use the app most of the time because I'm a typical couch potato. 3. On the app, I would move the power off button to a more accessible location. It requires too many clicks deep into the menu to reach this frequently used function. 4. Also on the app and unit display, I would always show the numerical volume setting, since the volume bar position isn't very intuitive. 5. Would love to see more integrated music streaming services on the app, like Spotify, Google Play, etc. But I hope Oppo doesn't get sucked into this MQA scheme. 6. Lastly, I'm waiting hopefully for a firmware upgrade to enable gapless playback so I don't have to put up with interruptions on classical music listening.
|- John S, CA|
Got this because its such a great value for the price. Sabre ESS DAC - easy to use app that works on my android phone and iPad - whats not to love? Sound would be one thing, but here the Sonica delivers highly immersive sound for me. Listening right now to the Firebird on DSD and my system sounds airy with a palpable richness to the strings, brass and reed instruments. Tympani's sound awesome. Excellent buy!
|A Lot For Your Money|
Purchased the Sonica in part because of Oppo's stellar reputation, but also because it is the most affordable DAC using the ESS Sabre DAC chip that by all accounts is the most cutting-edge audio chip on the market. Cut to the chase: soundstage is expansive and reaches beyond the outside edges of my tower speakers and is moderately deep as well. Tonality is excellent. Operation is flawless. You get a lot for your money with this machine.
|- Stan N, KY|