Oppo Does MQA, Klipsch Launches New-Vintage Headphone Amp

Oppo has never been shy when it comes to new audio software. Extensive exposure to their products over the past 7 years brings a quick name drop of multiple codex, early chipset adoption and a myriad of tech that has always pleased and delighted any fan of the spec page. Now the DAC/AMP/Disc-spinner company is adding MQA to the list, being the first to drop the high resolution folding technology into a Blu-Ray player. The Oppo flagship UDP-205 brings the new capabilities (via a firmware update) for use through the player’s “Music” application. The company is also working to get a full MQA experience through the external-facing USB DAC interface that is included with the player. The incorporation of MQA into the hifi product market has been slow but steady the past few years. The new tech’s story has already fared better than the audiophile-favorite DSD codex in many respects and the partnerships help to continue to spread their fanbase even further than the pool of Tidal subscribers – one could say both the files and the associated products are in a constant state of unfolding.

Interested parties: https://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-udp-205/


Big box retailer fav Klipsch doesn’t make it onto these pages very often, but when they do it’s for a fairly good reason. The aesthetic look of their new headphone amplifier is undeniably going to pull at the memories of many audiophiles. Just look at those switches. The weighted, anodized switches and knobs are deliberate here, claiming “a quality and satisfying tactile response” in the press release. The casing is “formed aluminum with a genuine walnut veneer”, and the overall look almost makes you wonder why the words USB and OPT appear on the faceplate. The Klipsch Heritage Amplifier also packs a solid feature set into that panel, personal audio enthusiasts will surely appreciate the 4 pin balanced XLR in addition to the 1/4″. Specs for the internals are non-to-shabby as well, an ES9018K2M controls the digital handiwork and dual class AB amplifiers take care of the preceding stage. The new amp is currently available to order and retails for $499.

Feel free to hit the page flip for more from the PR release.


From the Oppo press release:

Menlo Park, CA / London, 28 November 2017 – The OPPO UDP-205 is a universal disc player specifically designed for audio performance, providing reference level sound quality for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and many other digital audio and video formats. The latest firmware update to the UDP-205 adds MQA decoding to the UDP-205’s digital audio file playback. When a user navigates through music files using the UDP-205’s “Music” app, the player will be able to identify and decode files encoded with MQA. Listeners can enjoy the full benefit of MQA-encoded music with studio-quality sound. This firmware update is OPPO’s first step in supporting MQA. OPPO is continuing the work on MQA-CD support, as well as adding MQA decoding for the USB DAC and coaxial/optical inputs.

The player utilises two ES9038PRO DACs, which are the flagship of the ESS Sabre Pro series. Output connectors include a dedicated RCA/XLR pair for stereo, and a 7.1-channel group for surround sound. Additionally, there is an HDMI audio output port with a unique clock jitter reduction circuit. A built-in headphone amplifier offers the users an intimate listening experience. In addition to playing back discs and digital files, the UDP-205 also features a USB DAC, a coaxial and an optical digital audio input, so users can take advantage of the excellent audio performance of the UDP-205 with other sources.

“Delivering reference audio performance has always been the core feature of the OPPO UDP-205 universal player. We are thrilled to work with MQA to incorporate MQA decoding into the player,” said Jason Liao, CTO of OPPO Digital. “Our audiophile customers will enjoy the lifelike and engaging listening experience with the studio master sound quality provided by MQA.”

Added MQA Founder & CTO, Bob Stuart, “We are proud to be partners of OPPO and extremely happy that MQA’s technology has been incorporated into the UDP-205 universal disc player. This is just the start of our cooperation and we’re looking forward to enabling more features on more models across the OPPO range in the future.”

Existing UDP-205 owners can update their players directly using the online firmware update feature if the player is connected to the Internet. The firmware is also available for downloading at OPPO Digital’s website. New users can purchase the UDP-205 directly at oppodigital.com and from specialty retailers and custom installers. For more information, visit: http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-udp-205/.”


From the Klipsch press release:

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. (November 28, 2017) — Klipsch®a tech-driven audio company and wholly-owned subsidiary of VOXX International Corporation (NADAQ: VOXX), today announces the debut of its Heritage Headphone Amplifier. It is a true audiophile solution with mid-century design characteristics that drives headphones to deliver music in the cleanest, most efficient manner, for higher energy and dynamics.

The Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier is encased in formed aluminum with a genuine walnut veneer, giving it a nostalgic, vintage feel. Inputs and gain settings are controlled by weighted anodized aluminum switches and knobs for a quality and satisfying tactile response. Its analog switches operate through relays, delivering the lowest distortion in its class and advanced sound staging abilities.

The Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier is driven by a high resolution, high performance ES9018K2M ESS Sabre32 Reference digital-to-analog converter (DAC) capable of 192kHz/24-bit sample rates, delivering the cleanest sound and with minimal distortion. Complete with dual Class-AB TI TPA6120A2 amplifiers, the signal path minimizes crosstalk while increasing total system output. The amplifiers are as quiet as the reference DAC in order to provide the optimal signal to noise ratio. In addition to its primary use as a discrete balanced headphone amplifier, the Heritage Headphone Amplifier doubles as a digital analog processor for USB audio, optical, and coaxial inputs, making it an ideal desktop companion.

“Harkening back to vintage audio gear, this amplifier brings the nostalgia of flipping switches and turning analog knobs, while packing first class electronics for the best possible rendition of your music”, said Vlad Grodzinskiy, Sr. Manager of Product Development for Klipsch Group, Inc.

The Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier (U.S. MSRP $499) is packaged with a power supply, global power clips, and a 2.0m USB Type-A to USB Type-B Case. It is available now at select retailers and at Klipsch.com. For more information, visit Klipsch.com.”