The Opus#3 is a a Dap that fits within its asking price quite comfortably, perhaps due to its many functions.
The sound is a clean, natural and accurate signature.
I find I enjoy the 1ohm balanced port more than the 2ohm single ended port. Its more accurate, has more control and cleaner for my many multi driver IEMs.
the smoothness of the extra ohm on the single end would appeal to many who intend to pair the Opus#3 with sub $500 or so earphones.
At no time did I feel the Opus#3 to be lacking in general terms of resolution or power. Whilst not a super beast in terms of amplifying power it is more than enough for its intended portable use.
With a UI that is easy to use, lightweight within ones hand and a sensible size i was quite taken with the Opus#3.
Its tonality is like the eye of Sauron.
But is the sonic performance the same?
I connected the Opus#1 and Opus#3 to a headphone switcher and volume tested them with a SPL app to get a near enough matching volume level to try to discern the differences.
The Opus#3 retails for US$899.
This price fits in nicely between the two forerunner Opus daps.
Opus#1 retailing at US$350 - US$599, and the Opus#2 Dap retailing at US$1,100 - US$1,599 (depending on current deals).
Musicteck in the USA have some good deals on all Opus daps
I reviewed the Opus#1 previously (and still use it) and have only spent brief listening sessions with the Opus#2 at audio shows.
I have covered the similarities and differences in sound signature with the Opus#1 in the sound section.
The value lies more in what extras do you want?
A slightly more increase in resolution?
USB DAC function?
One Burr-Brown DAC (Opus#3) versus two Cirrus DACs in Opus#1.
Opus#3 supports 9+1 (aac) audio codecs, Opus#1.
Metal and plastic casing - Opus#3, versus plastic- Opus#1.
One Micro SD card slot versus two slots on the Opus#1.
It all depends on functions needed/wanted for each persons intended use as to the value in this case.
The Opus#3 is the third in the Opus series of Daps, the #3 fitting nicely in between the #1 and the #2.
For those of you who may be confused at the numbering system:
The first is Opus#1,
The second is Opus#2,
The third is Opus#3...
Product names are Opus#1 (HA-501), Opus#2(HA-600), Opus#3(HA-530).
I reviewed the Opus#1 earlier and the UI navigation screens are the same. Take the link for the UI photos http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2016/07/the-bit-opus1-dap-review-expatinjapan.html
The Opus#3 delivers a clean, nearly neutral and with a dash of warmth sound.
The UI is easy to use and responsive.
Firmware updates are simple via wifi.
I found the Bluetooth to be strong, wifi connectivity is easy and the USB DAC function excellent.
The volume wheel has a generous 150 steps, and is firm enough and protected against sudden increases in volume by the leather case. The leather case can loosen the wheel a bit, but I was able to retighten it myself.
Its quite close to its cheaper sibling the Opus#1 but does edge it out, especially in longer listening sessions or when using the balanced out.
Much of the operating system is the same when comparing the specifications. But the devil is in the details and the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Opus#3=Yum.
I ended up preferring the easy sound of the Opus#3 at the end of each listening session, I would happily plug the balanced cable back into the Opus#3, then slowly change it back to the Opus#1.
Although change from two Cirrus Dacs (Opus#1) to a single Burr brown the Opus#3 loses nothing but seems to gain in smoothness, clarity, detail, sound stage and resolution overall.
I would have liked a bit more power under the hood - but I generally didn`t max much past 80-90 on the volume side of things. And I do like to listen louder than most. It was more than satisfactory.
The Opus#1 is definitely no slouch and has earned a stellar reputation for its many virtues, the Opus#3 just edges it out in sound, and of course overall features.
The different features are listed in the value section.
The Opus#3 is a device that can meet the multi media needs of the majority of todays demanding audiophiles, who desire a variety of functions from their dap of choice.