Opus#1S Dap review - expatinjapan


Opus#1S Dap review
 - expatinjapan


The Opus#1S is the next version of the Opus#1. A spectacular and easy to use dap with a linear sound and efficient and speedy UI. The Opus#1S builds on the success of its predecessor.

Opus#1S and Campfire Audio Comet

See the earlier Opus#1 dap here:

Head pie has also reviewed the Opus#3:

And the Opus#2:


 Opus#1S and Jomo Haka

Opus#1S case

Opus#1S dap and Jomo 6R with Double Helix Cable (balanced 2.5mm).

Opus#1S and Shozy Hibiki Special Edition


`Enhanced ABS Solid Body and Tempered Glass
Available in 2 colors Lapis Blue and Palatinate Purple`

Build as in all Opus daps I have is solid and built to last. I have encountered no issues with either the body, buttons, screen or Micro SD slot to date.

Opus#1S and Campfire Audio Polaris

Build is solid and sturdy. 
This is the fourth Opus dap I have had the pleasure of carting around town with no issues in its construction. Above it looks likes it is in peril, but is in fact a reflection of a tree.

User interface

The Opus#1S echoes the UI of the other Opus daps, straight forward, simple, efficient, fast and very easy to use.

Simple swipe down Android style for access to shortcut icons, and also to the settings.
On the player menu accessed through a three lined icon in the top left there is `songs, albums, artists, genres, folders, favorite, playlists`
One can also swipe left or right to change the track.

With the swipe down menu it also shows the Settings cog icon. Tapping on this opens up the various options available:
Device: Screen (brightness, auto display off etc), Audio (equalizer, gapless), Output (Line out, L/R Balance, Gain L/M/H), Timer (sleep), USB (connect mode MTP/charging, USB DAC).
Personal: Language and input.
System: Date & time, Storage, Initialize, Update, information.

USB DAC function

ifi Audio Nano iDSD Black Label and Opus#1S to Campfire Audio Orion.
*Insert Star Wars prequel #1 `Its working, its working` gif.

Moar specs and stuff


24bit / 192kHz High Resolution Sound
Cirrus Logic CS43198 x 2EA Dual DAC
ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core CPU DDR3 1GB

SNR 123dB, THD+N 0.0007%, Crosstalk – 140dB, Output 3.1Vmrs ( Unbalanced )
SNR 125dB, THD+N 0.0005%, Crosstalk – 142dB, Output 3.4Vmrs ( Balanced )

Low-clock-jitter sensitivity: 50ps(Typ)
4inch TFT Wide Touch Display (480 x 800), IPS Panel

MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast)

Internal Memory 32GB
External Micro SD Card Memory 256GB x 2EA

Enhanced ABS Solid Body and Tempered Glass

Ultra Power Saving Mode 

The audioopus/thebit dap family.
Anti clockwise from 1 o`clock. Opus#1, Opus#1S, Opus#3 and Opus#2.


My brief Fujiya Avic show impressions from late 2017. 
I cannot write much more without going into inaccurate imagination territory.

I did spend some time with both though.

Using the Andromeda with stock Litz SE cable to try to stay semi reference for the day.

I really enjoyed the S1 and thought it was a step up from the #1 . Perhaps incorporating a few tricks from #3 and esp #2 daps.

But as always its a matter of taste.

I wrote above
“I A/B’d the original Opus#1 with the new Opus#1 (and volume checked with a spl meter).
As we know the original Opus#1 is quite linear, the new version of the Opus#1 mark 2 is more dynamic, deeper, fuller and bolder.”

But show impressions, fast and only surface can be informative, yet also not the be all and end all.

Photo from the Fujiya Avic Headphone show in Tokyo, Japan. Late 2017.

Further listening revealed that the Opus#1S is in my opinion a step up from the Opus#1, not necessarily only in sound, but more importantly in power.
Users in the prehistoric age of portable audio used to rubber band strap portable amplifiers to boost their players which at that time lacked decent power.

These days daps generally have oodles of power and it seems to be increasing as time goes by and each company tries to create a one stop shop dap.

The Opus#1S certainly benefits from the extra power and as one who likes to have plenty of body and layering to my music without having to stretch the volume and gain controls to their furthest extension.
The Opus#1 was no slouch and I still remember my `wow` response when first coupling it with Campfire Audio Jupiter IEM. 
The Opus#1S is more neutral tuned dap whereas the Opus#1S tilts a bit towards the warm side, though not excessively so and never veers into muddy territory.

The Opus#1:
Cirrus Logic CS4398 x 2EA Dual DAC
ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core CPU DDR3 1GB

The Opus#1S
Cirrus Logic CS43198 x 2EA Dual DAC
ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core CPU DDR3 1GB

The Opus#3:
Burr-Brown PCM1792A DAC
ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core CPU & DDR3 1GB

The Opus#2:
SABRE32 ES9018K2M x 2EA Dual DAC
ARM Cortex-A9 1.4GHz, Quad-Core CPU DDR3 1GB

All of the Opus Daps have 2 ohms output impedance on the single ended jack, and 1 ohm output impedance on the balanced jack. I often use multi driver BA IEMs and find I get a truer response and result by using the balanced jack. Those with single dynamic drivers or headphones would generally be ok with either.
The 2ohm jack/port is also more forgiving for the lower priced earphones also. Sacrificing some detail for smoothness.

Opus#1S and Campfire Audio Polaris

Further on the sound....

I would recommend reading the earlier reviews of the Opus#1, Opus#3 and Opus#2 featured on Head pie as they have some good insightful comparisons of the earlier models previous to the Opus#1S.

To quote from the earlier Opus#3 and Opus#2 reviews:

"I found the Opus#3 to be more resolving overall.
The Opus#1 has a vocals forward signature at ordinary volumes, whereas with the Opus#3 seems the music is up with the vocals, making the sound more engaging and richer and there is more definition.

The sound stage on the Opus#3 is much larger than on Opus#1, on  height and width. Making the Opus#3 more exciting, intimate and engaging. But its incremental and not absolute.
The Opus#3 sound stage is increased in the width, slightly in the height whilst not much more in the depth.
The sound stage increases when using the balanced out, as does instrument separation.
They both retain the characteristic smoothness of the Opus brand, more so when using the 2 ohm single ended out, things get a bit more apart when using the balanced out.
Instrument separation is cleaner on the Opus#3.
When I turn up the volume louder the Opus#3 seems to cope better with it.
In summary, its very close to call in terms of sonics but the Opus#3 just pulls ahead on the single end, and more so on the balanced out.
In terms of extended listening sessions I would pick the Opus#3 over the Opus#1.
The Burr-Brown dac just adding that extra little something."

Opus#2 review 'Sound is neutral towards reference with a hint of warmth here and there at times, it packs detail and resolution with a deep depth of musicality that at no times alters its intent as an accurate player. The instrument separation is brilliant, and with a sound stage that doesn't disappoint'.

'The Opus#2 departs from the earlier models in its ability to achieve a wide sound stage, in height, width and depth, its speed, effortlessness, detail, neutral transparency and separation.
Highly resolving and detailed without using any tricks of boosted treble.
The Opus#2 veers slightly onto a warm edge at times, but my emphasis is on slightly, If anything it gives a sense of fullness, of weight and gravity.
It comes across as neutral, transparent and all those other goody good good audio buzzwords we like to hear and read being bandied about. But the Opus#2 is the real deal in this matter.'

So where does the Opus#1S fit in all this?

The Opus#1S has more power than its predecessor and that alone is worth the extra investment in my opinion. One cannot have too much power, better to have oodles in reserve rather than stretching the machine so that its sounds like it is straining to perform.

If I can run most earphones etc on low or medium gain I am happy, rather than having to max out on high gain all the time.

Whilst the original Opus#1 is no slouch itself and generally has a more linear, detailed, fast and pleasant sound quality, the Opus#3 has a more detailed and extended high end, the Opus#2 the flagship generally neutral, layered with a bit of warmth in the low end.

I have not heard the Metal Opus#1 as of the time of this writing.

The Opus#1S fits nicely into the scheme of the line up, adding as mentioned before more power into the mix, depth and a musicality which could be described as dynamic.
It is full, deep (one could use the term warm though not entirely all of the story - a little bump to the mids perhaps), smooth with a richness, larger sound stage and a nice blackish back ground.

If you like a bit of spirit, a little bounce in your step on a sunny day the Opus#1S would be a good companion. It doesn't lack anything from the other Opus daps, of course it is true they scale up as you go but the Opus#1S holds its own and delivers a beautiful, full, accurate sound with a low floor noise, decent sound stage and a slight warmth of mids.

Opus#1S and Kinera SEED (early prototype build).

Opus daps screen and size compared

The lighting isnt ideal, but you can get the general idea.

Opus#1, Opus#1S (shown without case)
Opus#3, Opus#2

Opus daps 1, 3 and 2
(Opus 1S is the same size as Opus#1, this photo is from the Opus#2 review)

The Opus#1S is US$399.00 from Musicteck.

The earlier Opus#1 can be also purchased from Musicteck for US$249.00.


The Opus#1S is more warmer in the mids compared to the earlier Opus#1 which is more of neutral sound. It is not to say that the Opus#1S fully departs from a linear or neutral sound, just that it has some extra smoothness, warmth, depth and energy.

The Opus#1S is more powerful than the earlier edition.

It is a dap that is a pure player, no wifi or internet connection. It has internal memory and also two Micro SD slots. Enough for a sizable music library on the go.

As a stand alone player it is a pleasure to use from the simple UI, selection of settings, size, sound and overall ease of use.
In the market of today it has a few competitors of varying sizes and sound signatures. Opus#1 or Opus#1S would be pleasing for most entering into mid fi territory.
One must as usual do their reading and research themselves and find the dap which suits best their needs in term of function and sonic signature.

The Opus#1S, smooth, deep, lush and rich, decent sound stage, a touch of mids, room for memory expansion, a stand alone player ie no wifi, black back ground and an easy UI makes it one of the main choices out of many options for a decent player on the go to enjoy the universality of the musicality of music.

Opus#1S dap and Jomo Haka

Thank you to TheBit audioopus for sending the Opus#1S to Head pie for review

1 comment :

  1. Great review. I love their no BS approach to making DAPs.