2021 HASN'T BEEN a good year for many things but it’s been a cracker for 4K Blu-ray. A wealth of titles has been released, from vintage classics to modern blockbusters to TV series. You're going to need something to spin these new titles on. And what are the options if you don't yet have a UHD disc player?
Many companies have left the 4KBD market, including Oppo and Samsung. Pioneer ostensibly soldiers on but its UK distribution appears to be in tatters. Panasonic and Sony continue to support the format, yet neither sell a do-it-all disc spinner able to handle 4KBD, Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio. Two of those formats are very niche indeed, but people still look for the logos...
Enter Reavon, a brand that none of us had heard of this time last year. A spin-off from French company Archisoft (also behind the media players sold under the Zappiti brand), it's seen an opening in the market and taken a punt, producing two UHD Blu-ray machines.
The UBR-X200 auditioned here is a universal player supporting SACD, DVD-A, and everything from CD to 4K Dolby Vision. Okay, not everything: HDR10+ playback is missing.
Pricing is a premium £1,500. Reavon's other model, the UBR-X100, sells for a more palatable £700, but jettisons Super Audio CD playback and the UBR-X200's analogue audio outputs.
These connections are what most obviously separates Reavon's deck from the high street competition. Not only does the UBR-X200 have a 7.1 set of RCA outs (tethered to a Burr-Brown DAC), there's a separate stereo output offered on both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR. This is reminiscent of Oppo's UDP-205, although that long-gone universal player used a premium ESS Sabre 32-bit chip, whereas the X200's dedicated stereo DAC is a 24-bit delta-sigma design.
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