Since Oppo’s departure from the high-end Blu-ray player market, amateurs of Ultra High Definition discs have felt left out by the lack of a real successor to the Oppo UDP-203 and Oppo UDP-205. The French manufacturer Reavon intends to fill this gap with the Reavon UBR-X200 4K Blu-ray player. This universal model is compatible with Ultra HD 4K HDR Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and SACD discs. Its audiophile qualities are confirmed by the meticulous choice of components and extensive connectivity: dual HDMI output and XLR balanced output. With such features, can the Reavon UBR-X200 Blu-ray player become the new reference for movie lovers and audiophiles?
Reavon UBR-X200: packaging & accessories
The Blu-ray player comes in a large plain box inside which it is held in place and protected by packing foam. It comes with three power cables – one of which is European standard – and a remote control with batteries. However, no start-up guide is included with the player. It is therefore necessary to refer to the manual available on the manufacturer’s website if you have any trouble with its configuration.
Reavon UBR-X200: presentation
4K HDR UHD
Driven by the French group Archisoft, which is also behind the Zappiti network players, the young Reavon company has made an impressive entry into the Blu-ray player market with two high-end models: the Reavon UBR-X100 and Reavon UBR-X200. They share the same video features, with support for 4K UHD Blu-rays, Full HD 1080p 3D Blu-rays and DVDs. They both benefit from a 24p True Cinema mode that preserves the original movie frame rate, as well as support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision standards for displaying wide dynamic range images. As a result, they promise to display maximum detail in both dark and bright areas within the same scene. The Deep Color standard is supported at 36 bits for more refined color variations, while 4K upscaling of Full HD 1080p content has the potential to optimize all older movies, including the conversion of SDR programs to HDR.
Although the video section is the same, when it comes to audio the Reavon UBR-X200 offers more in order to satisfy the demands of both home-theater amateurs and audiophiles. This difference is reflected in its Pure Audio mode, as well as its SACD (DSD and DSF) and audio CD compatibility. To ensure optimal playback of these discs, but also of movie soundtracks, the Reavon UBR-X200 uses carefully selected components usually found in high-end hi-fi equipment. In particular, a toroidal transformer which guarantees very low noise and no electromagnetic interference. Associated with audiophile capacitors, it provides a cleaner and more stable current to the various components which are then able to operate in optimal conditions.
At the output of its playback system, the Reavon UBR-X200 sends the signals along the shortest path to Texas Instruments Burr-Brown Audio PCM1690 8-channel DACs. Although they aren’t the most recent, they are still considered to be a reference in the multi-channel DAC market, with a very precise conversion of many formats and, above all, an excellent signal-to-noise ratio. The latter is measured at 113 dB for the Reavon UBR-X200, a level that a lot of hi-fi equipment struggles to reach.
The design quality of the Reavon UBR-X200 Blu-ray player matches its performance, with an all-metal chassis that has an exemplary finish. It is 43cm wide, 8cm high, 35cm deep and weighs 6.8kg. This is a far cry from plastic entry-level players. Its chassis has two layers, with a 1.6mm thick base reinforced by a second 3mm thick steel plate to minimize the noise of the optical drive mechanism. This results in effective vibration absorption for improved performance and overall component operation. In addition, this design lowers the player’s center of gravity and provides excellent rigidity which in turn eliminates the transmission of external vibrations into the chassis, ensuring optimal disc playback. This protection is reinforced by four feet that decouple the chassis from the TV cabinet.
The Reavon UBR-X200 Blu-ray player confirms its audiophile character with its range of connectors, which is even more extensive than that of the Reavon UBR-X100 and offers a double HDMI output. The first HDMI output is intended for the connection of a TV, a video projector or an A/V receiver and transmits both the image and the sound. The second is dedicated to audio and can be connected to an older generation A/V receiver without HDMI 2.0 inputs. This dual HDMI output can also be used to separate picture and sound for better performance in both areas.
The rest of the Reavon UBR-X200’s connectivity is composed of an RCA 7.1 pre-out, as well as two stereo outputs: one unbalanced RCA format and one balanced XLR format. The latter are intended to connect the player to an amplifier or hi-fi preamplifier. When playing audio files, an audio CD or an SACD, it is possible to activate the Pure Audio mode to disconnect the video circuits and maximize the information that passes through these analog outputs. Finally, two digital outputs — one optical and one coaxial — are also available to connect an external DAC.
USB and DLNA
In addition to Blu-ray and SACD playback, the Reavon UBR-X200 can also play a wide range of video and audio content (MKV, FLAC, DSD, DSF, AIFF, MP3…) stored on an external hard drive or USB flash drive thanks to its two USB ports: one USB 2.0 on the front and one USB 3.0 on the back. However, this layout is rather unusual and it would have been better to place the USB 3.0 on the front instead of the back. It wasn’t a huge problem however, and the USB 2.0 port proved to be effective enough to read our files and even 4K HDR UHD movies larger than 80GB.
Playing movies and music shared on the network from a NAS or a computer is also possible thanks to DLNA compatibility. However, it is essential to connect the player via Ethernet to take advantage of this feature, as the Reavon UBR-X200 has no WiFi receiver. This is unfortunate for a player in this price range, especially large files sometimes take a long time to load. Finally, it’s also disappointing that in DLNA, the Reavon UBR-X200 can’t resume playback at the point where we left off, like when playing a Blu-ray.
The remote control of the Reavon UBR-X200 4K Blu-ray player is basic, with an all plastic design. While competing brands tend to make this accessory increasingly minimalistic and small, the Reavon UBR-X200 remote control is quite imposing. It isn’t always easy to handle and you have to move it around in the palm of your hand depending on the keys you want to activate.
With its unusual format, the Reavon UBR-X200’s has the advantage of being able to provide countless controls. The central part accommodates the traditional directional and menu keys for navigating the player’s settings and the Blu-ray and DVD menus. The lower part manages the playback (pause, play, rewind, fast forward, etc.) and also offers numerous controls for sound and image adjustments. Finally, the upper part of the remote control has a numbered pad from 0 to 9 to skip through the films or discs and offers some additional settings. An information button is also included to view all the technical information of the film during playback, as well as the output settings.
Reavon UBR-X200: key specifications
- 4K UHD and Full HD 3D Blu-ray
- CD and SACD playback
- 4K UHD upscaling
- HDR10 and Dolby Vision
- Double HDMI output
- Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatible
USB and DLNA playback
- “Pure Audio” feature
Reavon UBR-X200: configuration
For our review, we connected the Reavon UBR-X200 Blu-ray player’s HDMI video output directly to an LG OLED 65CX television using an Audioquest Carbon 48 HDMI cable. Using an Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI cable, the HDMI audio output was connected to a Marantz A/V receiver, which itself was connected to a Cabasse Eole 5.1.2 speaker pack. Lastly, we were able to enjoy the player’s audiophile qualities by connecting its RCA analog output to the NAD C375 BEE amplifier using Audioquest Yukon RCA cables. We used KEF LS50 Meta, Dali Opticon 2 MKII and Cabasse MC40 Majorca speakers, all connected using Viard Audio Silver HD12 HP cables.
When you first turn on the player, the initial configuration menu is automatically launched. You then choose the interface language, the resolution of the connected TV or projector (Source Direct, Auto or forced from 480p to 4K 60 fps), then its native image format (4/3 or 16/9). Once these settings have been applied, you arrive on the home page, which consists of five icons: Disc, Video, Music, Photo and Setup. Navigating through these different tabs is easy to do to play Blu-rays and content shared over the network or stored on a USB hard drive. There were a few minor translation errors, but the player is still rather new and these will probably be corrected via future updates.
If you want to customize the settings a bit more, simply go to the “Setup” tab on the home page. As is often the case with Blu-ray players, the menu interface has a rather generic and slightly dated look. This is all the more unfortunate here when you know that Reavon belongs to the same group as Zappiti whose players feature a much more refined interface. Fortunately, it is quite intuitive and you can easily take advantage of the numerous settings to configure playback modes, image formats, as well as audio and video outputs or network parameters.
Reavon UBR-X200: our impressions
We began our test of the Reavon UBR-X200 with Tenet on 4K UHD Blu-ray. When the disc begins to spin, the Reavon UBR-X200 is quite noisy and vibrates slightly depending on the surface it is placed on. Fortunately, the speed decreases after a few seconds and the operation is much quieter during the rest of the playback. The Reavon UBR-X200 is even more discreet as it adopts a fully passive cooling system.
We were then able to properly enjoy the film’s visual richness and Christopher Nolan’s work, which was perfectly reproduced. The colors were saturated, the various nuances were applied with subtle variations and the contrast was well defined. The brightness was always well managed thanks to the HDR10 encoding which allows scenes with very high contrast to be reproduced with a maximum of information in the different areas: the highlights aren’t overexposed and the shadows remain detailed and not underexposed. The overall image was particularly impressive, and even made us want to go back and admire certain scenes. Rather ironic for Tenet!
With the Full HD 1080p Blu-ray disc of the first installment of the Jurassic Park saga, we were able to test the performance of the upscaling system by forcing the output of the Reavon UBR-X200 to 4K 60 fps. This upscaling is more accurate and faithful to the original content than the upscaling performed by the TV. The colors were more saturated, vivid and contrasted, without going overboard. The various hues and nuances were always well respected, in particular the skin tones which remained very natural.
The upscaling of the Reavon UBR-X200 Blu-ray player also benefits files played in DLNA. With the 1963 movie The Great Escape, the image gained precision and detail. Colors were more natural, less washed out and more flattering. The natural grain of the film was preserved, without adding digital noise as is the case with the upscaling done by the TV. Overall, the image remained very crisp and clear. The SDR to HDR upscaling also added extra vibrancy to some hues to slightly increase their brightness. However, it didn’t manage to miraculously extend the dynamic range of movies. The overexposed and underexposed areas remained that way.
With Roger Waters’ The Wall concert in Dolby Atmos, the soundtrack was perfectly reproduced. The soundstage was wide, spacious, and the various arrangements were very well placed. Each song was delivered with accuracy and an undeniable sense of rhythm. The Atmos recording of this concert is particularly interesting when it comes to recreating the atmosphere of the concert hall. Some of the guitar notes and the applause seemed to come from the ceiling, just like the natural reverberation of the hall. This sound bubble effect was particularly immersive and gave us the impression of being right in front of the stage.
With Jurassic Park in DTS:X, the association of the Reavon UBR-X200 with a Marantz A/V receiver and a Cabasse Eole pack was very dynamic. The roars of the dinosaurs were reproduced with phenomenal power and were always well controlled. Their footsteps were embodied with impact, authority and were increasingly oppressive as they got closer and louder. The dialogue was always very clear and realistic. The movie’s iconic soundtrack sounded energetic and was perfectly distributed by the different speakers. We were truly immersed in the atmosphere of this cult movie.
In stereo with the NAD C375 BEE amplifier, the Reavon UBR-X200 Blu-ray player fully revealed its audiophile characteristics. With the album Brothers In Arms by Dire Straits in DSF, the sound was pure and transparent with no interference. The soundstage was spacious, airy and very well layered. The Reavon UBR-X200 player displayed great accuracy and every tiny detail was reproduced and positioned with precision. The percussion instruments had great height, impressive impact and unwavering consistency. The mesmerizing electric guitar was smooth and impactful. The vocals were textured, rich, and well embodied at the center of the soundstage.
Reavon UBR-X200: compared to…
Reavon UBR-X100: sold for €799, the Reavon UBR-X100 is the Reavon UBR-X200’s smaller sibling. It shares the same video section, with support for 4K UHD Blu-ray, Full HD 1080 3D Blu-ray, as well as HDR10 and Dolby Vision standards. The Reavon UBR-X200, on the other hand, stands out with its more audiophile design: toroidal transformer, SACD playback and extensive connectivity. With high-end systems, these differences bring noticeable improvements, especially in the audio department. Whether in stereo or in multichannel, the reproduction is even more accurate and, above all, more transparent and pure.
Panasonic DP-UB9000 MKII: available for €1099, the Panasonic DP-UB9000 MKII is Reavon’s only true competitor in the high-end Blu-ray player market. They both have very similar connectivity, with RCA 7.1 outputs, dual HDMI outputs and XLR balanced outputs. Regarding video, these two players are extremely efficient for UHD 4K HDR movies. Full HD 1080p Blu-ray and DLNA files, on the other hand, are even more impressive with the Reavon UBR-X200, whose 4K scaling system is smoother and offers richer colors.
Reavon UBR-X200: who is it for?
The Reavon UBR-X200 is for the discerning movie buff and audiophile who wants the best video and audio quality for their high-end system. It’s ideal for making the most of 4K HDR UHD movies, but also for rediscovering your entire Full HD Blu-ray or DVD collection thanks to its highly efficient upscaling system. Its audiophile design also gives it great versatility by allowing it to replace the CD/SACD player of a hi-fi installation to which it can be connected via a balanced, unbalanced or digital connection. The Reavon UBR-X200 is a flexible solution to be used as the central element of a home theater and/or hi-fi installation.
Reavon UBR-X200: conclusion
With the Reavon UBR-X200 player, the French manufacturer could well revive the interest of home theater enthusiasts for physical media. The image is always smooth, clear and perfectly detailed. It is a world away from the picture quality offered by the most popular streaming platforms. The upscaling system is very convincing and adopts the right balance to enhance movies, without ever going over the top. However, there are still some minor points that need to be improved, such as the loading time of videos shared over the local network, as well as the outdated interface. Nothing dramatic that can’t be corrected by updates. In spite of these minor flaws, the Reavon UBR-X200 player has a great chance of becoming the reference model of the coming years and may finally allow movie lovers to move on from Oppo.
- The finesse and precision of the images
- The rich and well saturated colors
- The 4K upscaling system
We would of liked
- Quicker loading times for movies played via DLNA
- A more contemporary interface
- WiFi connectivity