My experience with an Oppo Blu-Ray player has changed my point of view. I speak with a lot of customers who want suggestions on what to purchase along with our speakers to complete their home theater systems. It continues to amaze me how technology has produced low priced components that are really terrific.

So, when it comes to blu-ray players, I have recommended inexpensive ones from companies like Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic. These players have really great video quality. When it comes to the audio, it’s usually decoded by the Audio/Video receiver anyway. So, I would normally tell a customer to go to his local Costco and pick one up for under $150 and people have been quite happy. Some of our customers would tell us that they own an Oppo blu-ray player.  Oppo has 2 models priced at $499 and $999. They are sold directly on their website  I thought, “Why do you need such an expensive player when an inexpensive one will work so well?”.

I decided to order an Oppo BDP-95 when we were preparing for our demonstrations at the T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach, CA. The Oppo is supposed to play just about any audio format. I had downloaded some high-resolution audio files from HD tracks (24 bit – 192 KHz). These files were encoded in Flac (a compressed, but losseless file). Many people at the show bring their own source material. Some of it is on CDs burned at home.

Some of it is be on SACDs The Oppo plays just about anything, except vinyl record albums. Not only did we use it in the home theater room, but we also used it in the stereo room. I hooked it up to a computer monitor so I could navigate the tracks. I loaded all of my music into a big flash drive and plugged it into the USB input of the Oppo. I worked flawlessly and made it so easy for us at the show. So how does the Oppo sound? One answer is to look at the reviews. They all contain superlatives.

My first test was to evaluate its audio quality with CD’s. I hooked it into my system and compared it to my existing CD player, an Audio Research CD2. While it’s an older model, it originally sold for $3,500 and will hold its own against most players today. After carefully listening, I felt the $999 Oppo sounded every bit as good as the Audio Research player! So, if you want a blu-ray that can get the best out of just about anything you can throw at it, be it audio or video, look no further than the Oppo. Even though it is more costly than a good basic blu-ray play, this one will continue to reward you year after year regardless of the kind of source material. I think it is a really great investment.