Oppo BDP-95 Review

The BDP-95's audio performance earns its asking price all on its own. Toss in the fact that you get an outstanding Blu-ray machine with streaming ability and what you get is a terrifically nimble universal player with sky-high value.
The BDP-95's audio performance earns its asking price all on its own. Toss in the fact that you get an outstanding Blu-ray machine with streaming ability and what you get is a terrifically nimble universal player with sky-high value.
The BDP-95's audio performance earns its asking price all on its own. Toss in the fact that you get an outstanding Blu-ray machine with streaming ability and what you get is a terrifically nimble universal player with sky-high value.

Highs

  • Superb sound quality
  • Excellent video quality
  • Ruggedly built
  • Backlit remote
  • Dual HDMI outputs
  • Balanced XLR outputs
  • Audiophile stereo output

Lows

  • Wi-Fi requires large USB dongle
  • DLNA is buggy
  • No Internet audio via analog audio outputs

DT Editors' Rating

Oppo may not yet be a household name in consumer electronics, but the company has come a long way in just a few short years. Because it has managed to issue one top-notch product after another, Oppo has earned some hearty recognition and respect from A/V reviewers, industry pros and dedicated fans alike. Now, Oppo enjoys a special sort of brand recognitionamongst the tech-savvy –one that can only be achieved by consistently offering products with extremely disproportionate price-to-performance ratios.

We’re not privy to Oppo’s actual mission statement, but we’re willing to bet that it reads something like, “Do one thing and do it well.” Oppo makes universal disc players and that’s it. The Chinese company started out with upscaling DVD players that also played CDs, SACDs, DVD-Audio discs and just about every disc under the sun. Now that includes Blu-ray as well.

The BDP-95 Universal Audiophile 3D Blu-ray disc player is Oppo’s most recent and most expensive player. Some might initially balk at the $1,000 price point, particularly since network Blu-ray player prices plummeted below $100 this past holiday season. What needs to be understood, however, is that the BDP-95 is so much more than just a Blu-ray player. It plays almost anything and promises to sound better and look better doing it than its competition.

In our review of the Oppo BDP-95, we dig into what makes this player special, cover what it can (and the few things it can’t) play and rank its performance amongst the competition.

Out of the box

Yeah, we’re still on our soap box preaching about the importance of the out-of-box experience, because that first few seconds of exposure to a new product can really set the tone for the years of use to come. It’s all about feel-good-factor these days, and if you aren’t on board with that as a CE company, you’re lost.

Oppo gave us a great out-of-box experience with the BDP-95. Straight away, you get a sense that your money was well spent. Included in the box with the well-protected BDP-95 was a carrying satchel, a separate box containing a USB Wi-Fi dongle, a USB extension cable for easy rear-panel USB access, a power cable and the unit’s remote control. The player’s RCA jacks were even covered with protective plastic caps. Nice touch, Oppo.

oppo-bdp-95-review-front

The BDP-95’s heft offers a tactile confirmation of its superb build quality. Its heavy-gauge steel chassis and aluminum faceplate combine with a toroidal power supply and other high-quality parts to rack up an impressive 16 pounds.

All those premium components take up space, so the BDP-95 is a decidedly non-slim piece of gear. According to Oppo, the unit measures 16-7/8 x 12-1/4 x 4 inches.

Features and Design

We’ll do our best not to go overboard here, but the BDP-95 does so much stuff–almost all of it worth covering–that it’s going to take a little more page space than usual to fit it all in. Here we go.

The BDP-95 lives up to its name as a “universal” player. It plays Blu-ray, DVD, SACD, DVD-Audio, HDCD, CD, Kodak Picture CD, DivX, DivX plus HD and just about any burned CD or DVD you can create, though Oppo does say it can’t account for all hardware and software factors involved in burned discs.

That covers the physical media, but this player can also handle all sorts of digital media through some clever connectivity. The BDP-95 sports two USB 2.0 inputs (one front, one back) and an eSATA port for connection of external hard drives or thumb drives. Any of these connections will allow the player to stream high-resolution photos, music and video with support of most major file types; that list includes FLAC and WAV music files,plus AVCHD and MP4 video files. The advantage to the eSATA port is speed. Using it, navigating a large catalog of hi-res music files is a snap; way better than DLNA.

An Ethernet port and built-in Wi-Fi adapter offer access to content stored on a local network, as well as multiple video and audio-on-demand services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu HD, Blockbuster on Demand, Pandora, YouTube…the list goes on and will likely grow as future firmware updates expand app availability.

oppo-bdp-95-review-rear-inputs

That covers how content goes into the player; now let’s dive into how it comes out. We can start with the dual HDMI outputs, which have a few potential uses. For those without a 3D-compliant A/V receiver, having two HDMI outputs allows for 3D video enjoyment without necessarily having to miss out on the best available surround sound. Just run one cable to the TV and another off to a receiver. Also, dual HDMI outputs allow the player to serve up a TV in another room without necessarily relying on an A/V receiver’s multi-zone complexities.

For additional audio options, Oppo has built in coaxial and optical digital audio outs and provides a full 7.1 set of pre-outs with all decoding and digital-to-analog conversion done on board.

Now for a little surprise: Oppo’s BDP-93, which costs $500 less than the BDP-95, offers every single one of the features we’ve listed so far. That begs the question: what does the other $500 go into?

oppo-bdp-95-review-toroidal-power-hrTo cut right to it, the additional $500 goes toward all the parts and connections necessary to make an “audiophile” component out of the BDP-93 design. We suspect a big chunk of change is going to the massive Rotel toroidal power supply that Oppo uses in the BDP-95, but we know there’s more to it than that.

In addition to that toroidal transformer from Rotel, Oppo uses a very high-quality DAC chip (SABRE32 Reference ES9018) for a dedicated stereo audio signal that comes as an addition to the front left and right outputs that are part of the 7.1 pre-out section. This special output can be tapped by way of a pair of RCA jacks or a pair of balanced XLR connections (AKA microphone cables).

If $500 seems like a lot of bread for what sounds like some simple modifications, consider that competing manufacturers such as Cambridge, Denon and Marantz charge anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 for high-end universal players, and that’s just scratching the surface. McIntosh, for example, makes one that goes for $8,000.

We’re running out of space here and we haven’t even touched on the BDP-95’s killer backlit remote, its excellent Qdeo video processors or its PAL/NTSC conversion capability! For a more detailed list of specs, be sure to visit Oppo’s website.

Home Theater

Demystify home audio with our ultimate A/V receiver buying guide

Today's A/V receivers are packed with lots of advanced technology and just plain cool features. From understanding watt ratings to Wi-Fi, we explain how to buy one that will last you for years in our ultimate A/V receiver buying guide.
Computing

Will Apple introduce a new MacBook at its Oct. 30 event? Here's everything we know

Whether it's called the MacBook Air or just the MacBook, Apple is highly rumored to introduce a new, affordable laptop in 2018. We discuss reports about upgrading displays, processors, sign-in features, and more.
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet! To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. Here are the best Blu-ray players you can buy right now.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Home Theater

They’re not just for gaming: Watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X

While the Xbox One S and Xbox One X boost the visuals of your games, they also can pull double-duty as Blu-ray players, but there's a bit of set up needed. Need help? Here's our guide on how to watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and X.
Product Review

Google’s third HD Chromecast is still a good streamer, but its value is slipping

At Google’s October event, we saw a slew of new products, but the new third-generation Chromecast didn’t even make it onstage. We spent some time with the incrementally upgraded, third-generation HD Chromecast to see if it’s worth…
Movies & TV

You can ditch cable but still get your 'SportsCenter' fix with ESPN+

ESPN's streaming service, ESPN+, is finally here. Despite appearances, ESPN+ isn't a replacement for your ESPN cable channels, and it differs from other streaming apps in a few key ways.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Smart Home

SiriusXM, Amazon team up for two Echo Dot deals with freebies

Amazon and SiriusXM partnered on two joint promotions. New SiriusXM subscribers can receive a free Amazon Echo Dot. People who already own an Echo device can sign up for new SiriusXM subscription with the first three months free.
Music

Bolster your HD music catalog with the best high-res audio sites

Music connoisseurs relish HD audio, but scouring the web for all the best streaming and downloading sites can be a pain. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Check out our list, and let the high-resolution good times roll.
Home Theater

Lynxsonic’s 4:33 headphones offer premium features at a not-so-premium price

If you're looking for a set of wireless headphones that has a similar feature set to Bose's QuietComfort 35 but with a lower price, the Lynxsonic 4:33 is an intriguing new contender on Kickstarter.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.