Oppo UDP-203 & UDP-205 Ultra HD Blu-ray Players Review

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,408 22 9
#1
We reviewed Oppo's newest Ultra HD Blu-ray players, the UDP-203 and souped-up audiophile UDP-205. Both had very responsive interfaces, silent operation, and exhibited state of the art audio and video playback performance with every type of source material thrown at them. The UDP-203 and 205 leave videophiles wanting very little and both players should satisfy even the most critical audiophiles. So what does the UDP-205 offer for more than 2X the price of the UDP-203?

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Read: Oppo UDP-203 & UDP-205 Ultra HD Blu-ray Players Review
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
Ratings
513
#2
Great write up.

I own the 205...I heard the 203 in the store but never side by side so it was interesting to see another pro comparison review.

I'm 70-80% music...a little peeved I don't have a balanced input for a source on the pre/pro but the USB DAC is considerably better than my laptop's DAC. The 7.1 analog connection for multichannel audio is awesome.

Maybe it's me, but the dedicated 2 ch connection (CD) sounds a little different than stereo with the 7.1 and the media player. Supposed to be the same DAC. You can connect the 7.1 via usb and also hdmi and select on the pre/pro which connection you're using.


That said, if you're a casual music person, the 203 should be the play.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
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4,408 22 9
#3
Great write up.

I own the 205...I heard the 203 in the store but never side by side so it was interesting to see another pro comparison review.

I'm 70-80% music...a little peeved I don't have a balanced input for a source on the pre/pro but the USB DAC is considerably better than my laptop's DAC. The 7.1 analog connection for multichannel audio is awesome.

Maybe it's me, but the dedicated 2 ch connection (CD) sounds a little different than stereo with the 7.1 and the media player. Supposed to be the same DAC. You can connect the 7.1 via usb and also hdmi and select on the pre/pro which connection you're using.


That said, if you're a casual music person, the 203 should be the play.
Make sure you disable stereo downmixing and then try to recompare.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
Ratings
513
#4
I meant 7.1 rca and hdmi.

Noted Gene...thanks, that will likely do it, because it does have a matrix type sound when you switch to 7.1 stereo analog from dedicated stereo... I'll disable stereo downmixing next time and compare again.
 
P

Paul Lane

Enthusiast
Ratings
2
#5
It seems that Oppo is unable to implement MQA in a coherent way in any of their products..
I suspect an upper executives decision for this mistake..
 
M

M Bradley

Audiophyte
#6
After reading you review, I think you are confusing SDR with 1080P. You mentioned that most UHD discs include a SDR version as well. This is incorrect in that they sometimes contain a 1080P version. HDR is High Dynamic Range and SDR is Standard Dynamic Range. For example I have a Sony 4k projectors that is only capable of SDR but it still is true 4k. I currently used the Panasonic UHD player you spoke about that does the conversion internally before sending it to my projector and it does a great job. For the record, I have a OPPO 103D that I still use on the rare occasion that I am watching a non-UHD disc and it does an outstanding job of playing the disc with the added feature of adding Darbee.

Thanks
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
461 6 1
#7
After reading you review, I think you are confusing SDR with 1080P. You mentioned that most UHD discs include a SDR version as well. This is incorrect in that they sometimes contain a 1080P version.
Most UHD titles also include a standard 2K BD. This is correct.

HDR is High Dynamic Range and SDR is Standard Dynamic Range. For example I have a Sony 4k projectors that is only capable of SDR but it still is true 4k. I currently used the Panasonic UHD player you spoke about that does the conversion internally before sending it to my projector and it does a great job. For the record, I have a OPPO 103D that I still use on the rare occasion that I am watching a non-UHD disc and it does an outstanding job of playing the disc with the added feature of adding Darbee.

Thanks
SDR Projectors that support BT.2020 color space should also benefit from UHD.

- Rich
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
361 3 28
#8
Thanks for the comprehensive review Gene, Well done ! As an owner of the 205 I concur, with the exception of one thing ......... under your 'cons' listing you stated 'pricey', no way, for what you get it's a bargain !!
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,408 22 9
#9
Most UHD titles also include a standard 2K BD. This is correct.



SDR Projectors that support BT.2020 color space should also benefit from UHD.

- Rich
M Bradley/Rich;

Sorry I admittedly don't follow video as closely as I should. If what I wrote was either unclear or not accurate, please confirm and I will update that portion of the review. Thanks and sorry for the confusion.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
461 6 1
#10
M Bradley/Rich;

Sorry I admittedly don't follow video as closely as I should. If what I wrote was either unclear or not accurate, please confirm and I will update that portion of the review. Thanks and sorry for the confusion.
I re-read the article and do not find any inaccuracies. Concerning BD HDR/SDR disks, I prefer the SDR disk when displayed on a SDR display.

There are projectors cable of the expanded UHD color space BT.2020 but not capable or very good at displaying UHD. Oppo provides options for retaining the 4K/UHD BT.2020 color space and mapping the HDR to SDR.

There is no standard for this mapping and doing so involves trade-offs that are similar to tone-mapping; the detail in spectral highlights can be preserved at the cost lowering the overall image brightness or the low/mid tone picture levels can be preserved and the highlight detail lost.
HDR/SDR controls are adjustable to taste. I expect that Oppo will continue to refine the conversion adjustments.

If planning to upgrade to a 4K/UHD display, I recommend buy the UHD disk which almost always also contains a standard SDR BD. The 30+ UHD titles I have purchased all came with companion standard BDs.

- Rich
 
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G

Gilbert koh

Audiophyte
#11
Thanks for the excellent review and timely too as I've been wondering what the differences between the 2 models are given the large price difference.

Glad to note both models don't differ much in both audio and visual departments....so I guess I can save $$ and get the 203.

I read that the 205 has got support for MQA and roon. Any comments on that? Can it stream MQA files from Tidal?
 
D

dmusoke

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
4
#12
I've had the Oppo 83SE, 95 and now the 105 due to their superior analog performance. Now that the 203 has equaled the 205 in audio performance, what real audio advantages does the 205 really have over the 203? We know video performance is identical for both players.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
Ratings
513
#13
I've had the Oppo 83SE, 95 and now the 105 due to their superior analog performance. Now that the 203 has equaled the 205 in audio performance, what real audio advantages does the 205 really have over the 203? We know video performance is identical for both players.
I don't think it has actually. I think you can question whether the audio improvements are worth the difference in the price, but the audio improvements are evident over the 203. One big improvement for me...the Asynchronous USB DAC turns my laptop server into a high quality source cable of hi res playback...considering I have nearly 5000 songs & counting on that server, that's a big feature not available on the 203.

As always...we're talking about subtle SQ improvements that often bring your speakers into play when it comes to hearing the difference.
 
R

Randy Nugent

Audiophyte
#14
I have noticed that there is almost never an orchestral recording used in the audio testing and evaluation.
The rapid change, complexity, and textures might add a great deal to the evaluation.
Would this make a difference in the new OPPO review? I don't know but it would help me and others in forming opinions on the results of the review. Right now, I still do not know if the more expensive OPPO is right for me or not. Perhaps the less expensive OPPO is more suitable..... but I think more musical examples need to be used, eg. a Brahms symphony.

Thanks.
 
J

John Heintz

Audiophyte
#15
Thanks to Gene for this very thorough review. However, since I am thinking of replacing my current CD player and DAC with one of the Oppos, I would appreciate Gene's comparison between the Oppos and his own CD/SACD player and DAC for two-channel sound.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,408 22 9
#16
Thanks for the excellent review and timely too as I've been wondering what the differences between the 2 models are given the large price difference.

Glad to note both models don't differ much in both audio and visual departments....so I guess I can save $$ and get the 203.

I read that the 205 has got support for MQA and roon. Any comments on that? Can it stream MQA files from Tidal?
From Oppo:
"Yes the 205 recently got firmware updates to support Roon and MQA. However each of these features is individually developed and uses its own audio path. As a result the Roon-ready audio streaming endpoint in the 205 does not support MQA. We plan to optimize the audio signal path in the future and hopefully we can enable MQA decoding for Roon."
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,408 22 9
#17
Thanks to Gene for this very thorough review. However, since I am thinking of replacing my current CD player and DAC with one of the Oppos, I would appreciate Gene's comparison between the Oppos and his own CD/SACD player and DAC for two-channel sound.
John;

I use the DAC in my Pre/Pro most of the time which in this case is the Yamaha CX-A5100 and has virtually the same DAC as the UDP-205. If your primarily using the DAC function of the player, than I'd say go with the 205. If you're primarily using HDMI and light analog output usage, the 203 is definitely the way to go.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,408 22 9
#18
I have noticed that there is almost never an orchestral recording used in the audio testing and evaluation.
The rapid change, complexity, and textures might add a great deal to the evaluation.
Would this make a difference in the new OPPO review? I don't know but it would help me and others in forming opinions on the results of the review. Right now, I still do not know if the more expensive OPPO is right for me or not. Perhaps the less expensive OPPO is more suitable..... but I think more musical examples need to be used, eg. a Brahms symphony.

Thanks.
It's difficult for me to use orchestral music since it doesn't often repeat the same sounds over and over again. I listen for differences in high hats from percissions, or brass instrument tone, etc. I don't have both players in the same room at the moment, but next time I do, I will try to include some orchestral music.
 
Stanton

Stanton

Audioholics Contributing Writer
Ratings
42
#19
It's difficult for me to use orchestral music since it doesn't often repeat the same sounds over and over again. I listen for differences in high hats from percissions, or brass instrument tone, etc. I don't have both players in the same room at the moment, but next time I do, I will try to include some orchestral music.
Gene is an engineer...and drummer (like me)...so I "hear" where he comes from!
I often focus on drums/percussion during critical audio listening (like when I write CD reviews)...which classical music typically just doesn't have enough of!
 
B

Big Show

Audiophyte
#20
We reviewed Oppo's newest Ultra HD Blu-ray players, the UDP-203 and souped-up audiophile UDP-205. Both had very responsive interfaces, silent operation, and exhibited state of the art audio and video playback performance with every type of source material thrown at them. The UDP-203 and 205 leave videophiles wanting very little and both players should satisfy even the most critical audiophiles. So what does the UDP-205 offer for more than 2X the price of the UDP-203?

View attachment 23011

Read: Oppo UDP-203 & UDP-205 Ultra HD Blu-ray Players Review
Hi Gene, love the review. Can you elaborate on the headphone output? Is it up to the quality of the rest of the player? I have Sennheiser HD600 cans.(300 ohm) Old but I enjoy them. Would there be a marked improvement using a quality headphone amp over the UDP-205.
 

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