Muscle, Grace, and Purity – A Review of the Opus#2

For those of you familiar with my work, I don’t cover the boxing/packaging. Not unless a gun’s to my head, or I’ve been offered erotic delights as an incentive. I’ll just say the box is nice, and everything was safe inside.

The first experiment that came to mind was to try and power the thing on. The battery was dead. Ok, no big deal. That’s not unusual. I plugged it into my 2-amp Samsung microUSB cable. But the screen didn’t come On, and there were no LEDs letting me know it was charging. So I freaked out, and hooked the player up to my PC’s USB port, using the supplied Opus cable. Still nothing. Did I fry the thing, using 2 amps of power? I gave it about 20 minutes of charge time before I tried again, and this time the Opus#2 booted up.


I have since used that same 2-amp adapter and cable again, and it works just fine. Your options for charging this player are good and broad.

Boot-up is around 20-30 seconds (I didn’t time this, so don’t hold me to an exact count). Scanning a full internal storage and a full 128GB microSD takes forever. Fortunate for Pinky, I only ever use Browse By Folder on any DAP I use, and this doesn’t require the scan to be complete. You can find a song and start listening right away.

This might not be a big deal for you, either. Because the Opus#2 (and #1) has the world’s best Deep Sleep Mode. In fact, today was the first time I’ve powered it off since I got it. The battery can go something like 2 months in Sleep Mode, waking up with just a quick press of the button. There’s no re-scanning, coming out of Sleep Mode, so this doesn’t have to cause undue stress on your life.

Don’t ask me why, but I love volume wheels. I have a dangerous fascination with them. Now there are so many good options in the wild, I won’t buy a DAP without one. My favorite player, in terms of physical build and aesthetics, might be the Cayin i5. The massive knob at the top has a lot to do with that. The Opus#2 may possess my second-favorite wheel. It’s certainly sturdier than the AK, which wobbled some and turned a little too easily. I like some resistance. It makes the volume less likely to change by accident.

Button arrangement could be better, though to be fair, I’m not sure how. All I know is, due to the wide dimensions of the Opus, it sits awkward in the hand, and from time-to-time I will unintentionally hit the track back on the side. I shall not mark this against the Opus, because with amperage comes size. It’s what I wanted, I keep telling myself. Still, next to the AK120II, it does seem massive and ungainly.

The screen is a 4” IPS. It’s good, but certainly no AMOLED, like my Astell&Kern. In comparison, the Opus looks washed out. But the image is clear and detailed, and does its job.

Coming from the lap of luxury in my old DAP, I am accustomed to only the prettiest of things. The Opus is not exactly sexy. It dresses less for the ball and more for a military assembly. That’s not to say it’s without artistry or elegance. With a full aluminum chassis, and tight, strong assembly, the Opus#2 is utterly top of the line in build. The feel of the thing leaves no question as to its status.

My biggest complaint with the Opus#2 must be operating speed. Just switching on the screen takes a second longer than it should. Regular UI interaction isn’t terrible, but there is a sense of lag that I just don’t experience with the Astell&Kern.

The GUI is quite good. Minimalistic, and classy. It’s the best I’ve seen apart from the AK. Much better than Cayin, or FiiO’s X7. This is on firmware v1.00.03, before they implement the full Andoid OS, with App Store and streaming (something they assure us is coming). Pinky is not looking forward to that. I’ve preached enough in the past, from my high and noble pulpit, on the sins of smartphoning our audio players. I’ve gone on and on about how a DAP should be a standalone device, and a smartphone a pocket PC, and keep the two ideologies as separate as possible. For the sake of the sound! Keep them separate! I don’t have it in me to kick that up right now. ho ho! Don’t relax too much, though! I’m sure I’ll get worked up about it again, sooner or later. After all, it is the gravest plight facing our species today.

Good man Andrew tells me the case which is included with this package is genuine leather. I guess it could be, though I wouldn’t have thought so. It doesn’t look like real leather. Nor does it smell like it. When I lick the hide, I do not taste the soul of the creature it came from. It’s been treated so thoroughly it’s indistinguishable from synthetic. Either way, the case is neatly wrought, and fits like a love glove on a rhino.

So far, I’ve experienced only one crash. It was a hard lock. The screen wouldn’t turn on, and none of the buttons worked. I did not panic because just recently my Samsung Galaxy S6 had a similar crash, where even the LED light remained dead when I plugged it into the charger. I freaked the f**k out! Before I gave up all hope, though, I consulted the Interweb and found out how to perform a hard reset. This also worked for the Opus#2. Just a few seconds holding down Power+Track-Down and the device rebooted.



Pinky Powers

Pinky Powers

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.


4 Responses

  1. It’s unrealistic to expect anything to VASTLY outperform a god-tier device. Whenever I find a thing that so much as performs at the same level as the AK120II, I praise the hell out of it. Because I rarely ever find that.

  2. Mm..not sure what to make of the Opus 2 after reading the review (well-written and easy to understand, btw). If it just manages to outperform the AK 120 II by just the barest of margins (overall), why should anyone buy it? The AK was iRiver’s best effort… 2014 and Opus 2 barely squeaks past it? Not masterly.

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