The Bit, OPUS#1 Dap review - expatinjapan

Opus#1 Dap and Jomo 6R

Opus#1 Dap review

Thank you to The Bit/Audio-Opus for sending Head pie the Opus#1 for review.

I tried The Bit Opus#1 of a friend in April 2016 and was sufficient impressed and curious enough to contact the company about their product. They were kind enough to send Head pie a review sample of the Opus#1 for us to review and keep for further comparisons..
I have had it for two months now and have been through several firmware updates, hours and hours of burn in time and listening on both the 3.5mm single end out and also the balanced 2.5mm jack.

Opus#1 and Campfire Audio Andromeda, Nova and Jupiter(Balanced out).

The Bit, Opus#1 unboxing and build

Nice, simple and practical packaging. Not large or bloated.

It comes with a protective screen already attached 
and with a safety shield ready to be removed.

Opus#1 comes with a stylish Dignis leather case that fits perfectly.

Nice physical play, forward and back buttons.

Micro USB for charging and file transfer (music and firmware updates).

3.5mm single end jack, 2.5mm AK style balanced out jack and on/off switch.

Volume control buttons and slots for two micro usb cards up to 400GB (2 x 200GB).
32GB internal memory.

The casing although plastic is robust (Enhanced ABS solid body) and it has a tempered glass screen.

The Dignis case slides seamlessly onto the Opus#1 

The OPUS#1 fits easily into the palm of my hand.

Also fits snugly into a shirt pocket for daily commuting.

Boot up time

The Opus#1 took 32 seconds to boot up from Full Power Shut Off.
I usually just leave it in rest mode which does NOT seem to drain the battery at all
and then takes less than a second to turn on.

OPUS#1 and Echobox Finder X1

About artwork.

I like having artwork displayed.
I did some experimenting today to find a manual fix (as is often the case).

What seems to work
Labeling each photo in each music folder
folder.jpg or changing folder.jpeg to folder.jpg by manually typing.

What does not seem to work
No artwork (of course).

folder.jpg is working for me.

*A recent update may have simplified the adding album art process but I have not tried it as such yet.

OPUS#1 and Shozy Zero 

(From the Opus website)  

24bit / 192kHz High Resolution Sound
32bit processor core
Cirrus Logic CS4398 x 2EA Dual DAC
ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core CPU DDR3 1GB
SNR 115dB, THD+N 0.0007%, Crosstalk – 130dB, Output 2Vmrs
Low-clock-jitter sensitivity: 50ps(Typ)
4inch TFT Wide Touch Display (480 x 800)
MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast)
Internal Memory 32GB
External Micro SD Card Memory 200GB x 2EA
Enhanced ABS Solid Body and Tempered Glass
Ultra Power Saving Mode

Model Opus#1
Display 4″ TFT Touch Display(480*800)
CPU & Memory ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core Memory(RAM) : DDR3 1GB
Button Power, Play/Pause, FF, REW Vol+ / Vol-
Supported Audio Formats WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WMA, DSD, MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast)
EQ & Effect 10Band (T.B.D) , NORMAL/USER1/2/3
Charge & Data Transfer USB Micro-B input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC))
Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
Outputs Phone (3.5mm) / Optical Out (3.5mm)
Balanced Out(2.5mm, 4-pole support)
Battery 4,000mAh/3.7V Li-Polymer
Battery Life(Play) Time & Charge Time Play: Approximately 10 hours(44.1KHz 16bit, Vol.75, 32ohm, LCD off),
Charge: 4 hours
Memory Built-in 32GB(OPTION:64G)
External microSD(Max 200GB) x2 Supports SDXC exFAT, NTFS
Clock source/ Jitter 50ps(Typ)
OS Android
Supported OS Windows 7,8,(32/64bit), MAC OS x 10.9 or higher
Dimensions 72mm(W) * 112mm(H) * 18mm(D)
Weight 185g

Complete stereo audio 24bit/192kHz
Digital/analog converter  (DAC) system. 
Support up to24bit / 192Khz 
Bit to Bit Decoding & High Definition Audio Files

Opus#1 has a saving power consumption function.
Display off: it will take 50~53 seconds + Suspend mode: it will take another 1 minutes. 
※ Opus#1 supports ‘Ultra Power Saving Mode’ in suspend mode. 
It means that opus#1 last almost 4weeks in Ultra Saving Mode, if it is fully charged.

Single end 3.5mm (output impedance 2 Ohms).
Balanced out 2.5mm (output impedance 1 Ohm).


High-Res Audio Players require a large storage space in order to store and play not compressed studio files. 
Opus#1 is equipped with a 32GB internal memory which can be additionally extended up to 432GB by adding two 200GB microSD cards to its slots.

Support Internal Memory 32GB +  External Micro SD Card Memory

200GB x 2

Up to Max. 432GB

 Opus#1 and JOMO 6R IEMs 

Overview of the user interface

The OPUS#1 user interface is user friendly, very responsive to touch and fast and snappy. 
It reminds me of the ease of which I use my ipod touch 6G.  `Nuff said.

The main user screen.
Across the top from left: 
Shows whether its playing or paused, folder or SD card active, volume and battery.
Second menu line: 
Return to album/songs, track number, quick settings look.
Lower menus: 
Time played of track, bit rate, time remaining.
Back, play/pause/ next song.
Repeat, favorite a song/track, shuffle.

Songs, Albums, Artists, Genres, Folders (and SD Cards), Favorites.

A quick check menu.
EQ,  balanced or single out, sleep, screen brightness.

Equalizer photo from the Opus#1 website. I myself prefer not to use EQ.

Main options menu: Fairly self explanatory

A nice function for those who have one ear stronger at hearing than the other, or like me like to check whether my IEMs or headphones have been inserted or put on correctly.

Opus#1 and Meze Classic 99 headphones.


Whew, finally. I thought expatinjapan would never get to the sound section. Whilst it is true this review stretches longer than my usual reviews, I have found that I have much to say about this DAP.
I have enjoyed it immensely and it has become my current daily commuting Dap, not just because it is next in line for a Head pie review but because I am genuinely enjoying it, both for its sound and the UI.

I have 329 hours on the 3.5mm single end jack,  182 hours on the 2.5mm balanced jack.
Seven battery discharges on the 3.5mm jack, and seven battery discharges on the 2.5mm jack.

When using the Opus#1 Dap I used a wide variety of music, mainly I listened more on shuffle mode so I would not stick to my familiar tracks and so get a few surprises along the way. Occasionally of course I did listen to my favorite albums of course.

The sound of the Opus#1 has changed through the several firmware updates that I applied in the time I have had the Opus#1 in my possession. Though not large drastic changes, I found they tightened it up in areas like the lower bass, more airy in the top end and helped it move more towards a flat response rather than a colored sound.

I myself prefer the Daps/players to be more on the reference/flat side and let my earphones do the coloring.

I used FLAC of various sizes, mainly CD 16/44 but also tried more Hi-resolution tracks.

Some of the earphones I used when demo`ing and reviewing the Opus#1 were:
Campfire Audio Andromeda, Jupiter(balanced out)  and Nova, Jomo 6R, Advanced AcousticWerkes W300U, Shozy Zero, ATH-CK10, ATH-ESW11 headphones, Paiaudio MR3 and PR1, MEZE Classic 99 headphones, Echobox Finder X1...

The last Firmware I was using was 1.11.02.

Ok enough introduction and storytelling. The sound. What can you expect besides the easy UI etc.

As mentioned earlier the sound has evolved and improved with each update.
Now it leans more towards a flat/reference style.

What does that mean for the listener/consumer?

Well for me, I don`t like to use EQ at all. Zero. Zip. I prefer to at least attempt to have the music presented to me as the artist and/or engineer intended. 
I also like my earphones/IEMs/headphones to also be presented in the manner in which they were designed and to retain that certain individual sound signature.

I find the Opus#1 to do this fairly well.

How so? Let us examine some of its many virtues as a player when focussed on purely the sound experience aspect.

Sound stage:
The Opus#1 has a decently wide sound stage and gets larger when using the balanced out.
I has a very good height and width. Using the Campfire Audio Jupiter.

Instrument separation:
It is able to give accurate placement and lovely instrument separation.
Listening now to Lana Del Rey - `Music to watch boys to` with the JOMO 6R and it has a dynamic almost 3D/holographic aspect to it. Great width. Exquisite treble and a sense of airiness.

It is neither a warm or bright DAP, although one can move closer to these ends depending on what earphones are employed. I was continually surprised at how the reasonably flatness of the Opus#1 and how it revealed the true sound of my earphones.

Bass is fast and tight, there is an ample amount of deep sub bass when needed, but no unnecessary over compensation or flabbiness to it.
The Chemical Brothers - `Music: response` The bass has a deep wide sound, tight and fast decay when using the Campfire Audio Nova.

Mids are silky and present in oodles at times and sparse in other tracks, as it should be. There is no boosting of the mids to cover for low end earphones.
The mids have a nice body to them, very smooth, full and rich .
Massive Attack - `name taken` - performs well, deep rich bass, warm silky mids, great details and separation, wide soundstage and reaching highs. 100th window is a great albums for testing so many aspects. Using the Campfire Audio Nova.
When using the Echobox Finder X1 the same track is more compressed and sound stage is less wide.

Continuing with the Echobox Finder X1 a similar experience is to be had with Lana Del Rey - `National Anthem`. A smaller sound stage , and less holographic and technical. Still a great set of earphones, just not a match for this Dap that demands more.
Same track with the Campfire Audio Andromeda their TOTL IEM, everything has a consistency and coherence, great balance between the lows/mids and highs and really reveals the actual potential of the Opus#1.

Lets keep continuing using the Andromeda....

Moving on Nina Simone - Ne me quitte pas`. A track recorded some time ago, a slight hiss on the recording itself does not diminish the amazing song. Full, breathy and strong vocals. great forwardness to them with clarity and smooth notes. The strings in the background are quick and clear. I feel transported back in time.

As usual to please some audiophiles I have to include some Norah Jones - `The nearness of you`. I usually listen to lively music with a few chosen quieter performers. I enjoy the vocals and balance of how they are recorded with Norah Jones. Although I am not a major fan, I find the tracks on `Come away with me` to be excellent indicators of an earphones or daps strengths and weaknesses.
This plays back super smooth, great height, separation and imaging are excellent.

Gnarls Barkley - `Necromancer` is a messy track full of ups and down, distortion and everything thrown into the mix. The Opus#1 to its credit seems to be able to hold it together.

Slayer - `Necrophobic` Super fast double kick drums and screaming drums. I am able to get the full expected experience of Slayer.

Neil Young - `The needle and the damage done`. Shuffling through the tracks really shows what the Opus#1 can do. Each genre and musician retains their uniqueness, the sound isn`t degraded into a slush of everyman. Neil Young sounds as he should, it is as If a live performance. fantastic clarity and depth of emotion conveyed.

The Breeders - `New year`. Cranking up the volume. I find my multi drivers sit at around 80 - 95 in the volume range whilst the single driver in ears require more juice.
Thumping, speedy bass, grinding and scratchy but clear guitars, vocals are smooth, rounded and strong. Pity this album recesses the vocals too much in the recording.

Dead can dance - `Nierika` is another superb track for checking instrument separation. height and width are satisfactory. very dynamic and energetic.

The Pixies - `Nimrods son` shows the treble at work, it can reach quite far but seems to stop just before sibilance steps in to spoil the party. I really enjoy the Pixies with the Opus#1.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - `Nine million rainy days` is a great band to check murkiness and darkness. A warm dap will choke the life out of a J&MC recording, whilst a bright Dap will turn them to stone in the light of the day.
The Opus#1 once again manages to tread that middle path, just enough low end to please the fans, precious mids to keep that creamy drawl of the Chain, and clarity added with a touch of transparency to keep it listenable as intended.

DJ Champion - `No heaven` from the trailer to the first Borderlands video game. An old favorite track of mine for testing gear along with Bauhaus `Bela Lugosis dead`, Rammstein `Du hast`, Norah Jones `Come away with me` to name a few.
Once again, tight and fast bass response, present and balanced mids, dynamic 3D aspect, good separation, excellent height and width.

I should have stopped writing a while back as I have covered the sound enough, but in all honesty i am enjoying myself, listening to the Opus#1.

Led Zeppelin - `No quarter`. one thing you can`t see whilst reading my review is the many times when the music hits me and have started nodding my head and/or tapping my feet. This is one of those tracks when the drums kick in. Wide with great height and super separation.
I never really `got` Led Zeppelin until I possessed a decent set of earphones.

The Fugees `No woman, no cry` Sweet, bouncy and fun. more sway to my body than the last track. Once again all the boxes have been ticked.  Either with the Opus#1 current firmware there are less points that are weak, or it is my splendid Campfire Audio Andromeda IEMs or a combination of them both.

Nick Cave and the Bad seeds - `Nobody`s baby now` - Perfect. Captured perfectly. Vocals strong yet smooth, excellent instrument separation, wide sound stage, height is acceptable for Nick cave, lots of lows and reaching highs as to be expected and the Opus#1 handles them well.

Dire Straits - `On every street` - Ticks all the boxes again. Dire Straits albums are well recorded. Playback is full and super wide. Height is well high. Instrument separation is done right.

The Opus#1 is a dap that is generally flat with its most recent of firmware updates.
The user can expect playback of music tracks and albums when in FLAC etc to be fairly accurate.
Performance, enjoyment and clarity also require a decent set of earphones to make the most out of the Opus#1.
Instrument separation, width and height, sound stage are excellent.
Lows/bass is tight and fast and not afraid to get heavy when needed.
Mids are present but no overly so, just the right amount to add body without overdoing it.
Highs/treble is light and far reaching without overdoing it, rarely have noticed If at all any sibilance.
Hiss is near non existent to me (Other hiss masters may disagree).
Neutral, linear, a touch of musical lushness at times, can be analytical, detailed, flat, natural.

All in all a more than decent dap that hits above its weight and promises more to come with each firmware update and the future Opus#2.

This is one Dap I will keep in my weekly rotation.


The Opus#1 retail price is US$599 in USA and Korea (Though the price is converted into Korean currency).
The price varies country to country depending on exchange rates and customs duties etc as is the same with all audio products.

The Dignis leather case MSRP is USD $50 - $60 depending. I recommend it for its beauty and protection.

It is a mid price Dap that I think performs above its price bracket, either that or some other brands have inflated prices. Whatever.

Opus#1 is a number one in my books.

Fun shot. Opus#1 with Meze Classic 99 headphones,  Lego Millennium Falcon and books.


The Opus#1 as a first Dap release is stunning.

The UI is fast and responsive, simple to use and the unit itself is a straight player with no bloatware to slow things, nor confuse the user. Simple three steps to anywhere style menu.

The casing although plastic is robust (Enhanced ABS solid body) and it has a tempered glass screen. The addition of the must have gorgeous Dignis case gives it an extra shield in case of any accidents.

The size is perfect for fitting within ones hand, jeans pocket or breast pocket of a shirt.

The sound is clear, flat and reference style with little or no coloring.
Lows/mids/highs are all presented well with great coherency.
Excellent instrument separation, width and height within the sound stage.

There are some steps one has to go through to get the EQ working, there is some info on head-fi but as I don`t use EQ I admittedly have not looked into this much. I believe you have to wait 6 seconds for it to kick in - maybe.
(There was an update today that may have fixed this-I haven`t uploaded yet).

I could not detect hiss as such, even with my sensitive IEMs, whilst not possessing a completely black background it gets very close.

The single end is 2 ohms, the balanced jack is 1 ohm. I did find subtle differences, and also used the Centrance Hifi-M8 and its impedance switches to double check my findings. 
1 ohm or less is optimum for multi driver IEMs and I hope both jacks are <1 ohms for Opus#2.

To get the most out of the Opus#1 the user would definitely need to own a decent mid fi and up pair of earphones. I found the sub $400 earphones to yield less listening pleasure than the $700 plus. Not to be a Captain Obvious but thats how it plays out.

Battery life is around 9-10 hours. The rest mode is excellent in that it does not drain the battery.

I have enjoyed every day with the Opus#1 and look forward to many more. 

I jumped out of the Dap game quite a while ago and stayed with the Apple/portable Dac/amp combos as the earlier Daps were very large and had UI problems etc, then they got a bit smaller yet when I read the forum threads, problems with UI, build issues and firmwares (that seemed to completely change the device etc) were still continuing.
It is only of late that I have decided to step out of my shell and try many of these new generation daps that seem to be getting the basics right, and one of these is the Opus#1.

Neutral, linear, a touch of musical warmth at times, often analytical, flat, natural.

Opus#1, I like it.

Opus#1, Campfire Audio Andromeda and CA Nova in its box.

Opus#2 coming in August 2016!

The DAP Opus#2 (32bit/384Khz),
DAC Sabre ESS9018K2M * 2EA (Dual DAC). 
It will have a metal body.

Thank you again to The Bit/Audio-Opus for providing us with the OPUS#1 for review.


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