Oppo HA-2 – 2007 All Over Again

Disclaimer: Oppo Japan loaned the HA-2 for the purposes of this review. The HA-2 starts from 300$ USD depending on where in the world you are located. Oppo is a new Headfonia sponsor. 

Update: I wasn’t clear in my description of the volume pentameter and DAC. I have cleared that up in the appropriate section and added text from Oppo’s HA-2 Knowledge Base. Apologies.

You can’t write about the Oppo HA-2 without mentioning the iPhone. I don’t for a moment think the HA-2’s feature set is revolutionary, but like the iPhone, it ohwill bifurcate the market into two camps: pre-HA-2 and post-HA-2.

Today’s amps no longer look like garage pranks. Sony, Audio Technica, Pioneer, and a few others brought mass-market manufacturing skills to the table. To their credit, Sony’s new DAC/amp carries balanced outs. Pioneer’s allows the end user to tweak the chipset to her heart’s delight. Audio Technica’s has a big nob. But each is a vulgar display of technology, and in its own way, each is inelegant, and cumbersome.

The HA-2, on the other hand, is elegant. It takes up a footprint the size of an iPhone. And, it plugs and plays with iDevices and Macs. I have no idea how Android handles. I’m sure Windows users have to install something to get the HA-2 running. That’s not Oppo’s fault. Oppo have gone over and above to make the HA-2 easy, and safe, to use.

I don’t get why Oppo went with leather, or white stitching — to what are they stitching that leather anyway? –, and coordinating the correct input switch with an input device isn’t all that easy, especially when inputs span both the front and rear of the HA-2; but what the Oppo’s DAC gives up in coherent design cues, it returns in polish, in beauty, and for the most part, in feature performance.

The HA-2 will decode everything your computer and your smart device can throw at it. You just have to remember to slide the input to A for your Apple devices, B for computer and Android, and C for analogue. I have a sneaking suspicion that people who spring for the HA-2 will primarily use it as a DAC. For the computer user, the rear-mounted USB input is ergonomically sound. If you own an Android phone, you already have micro USB cables. If not, the HA-2’s reliance on micro USB is a pain.

Computer people have mini USB cables all over the place. And there is enough space on the back to slot in a mini jack. I think it fair infer that Oppo really have iDevice and Android users in mind. The single USB type A jack connects to iDevices just like it connects to a computer. Currently it is connected to my iPod nano. The same nano has gone lightning port to 30-pin to the HA-2’s analogue in. Both sound, and work, great.

And the HA-2 gets okay battery life. During the course of this review, I have charged it just thrice. Despite my grumblings above, I’ve mainly used it connected to my Mac. The reason for this is that when connected as a DAC to an iDevice, the otherwise ergonomically sound HA-2 no longer fits in a pocket. Cables out the front and out the back do not a comfortable train ride make. And despite living in Japan, I hate carrying a purse. The HA-2’s battery indicator does a good job of defining how much juice is left inside. With all the plugging and unplugging, and shifting of buttons, fondling of corners, and hardware tests I do, I’m surprised the HA-2 has managed to nail 7 hours a pop as a DAC. But it has. I haven’t used it enough from the analogue output of my iPod or iRiver AK100 to get much a hold on its battery life. According to Oppo’s literature, it should be better.

The HA-2 has several nice safety features:

Adjusting gain first switches off the amp before returning power to the output at a steadily increasing rate. This ensures that you don’t immediately fry your ears.

Removing headphones from the headphone jack, or line out shuts the amp off. If you plug into the line output jack by mistake, there is a barrier of about 2-3 seconds in which the circuit outputs a very low voltage.

And while the slight delays in amp switching make the HA-2 seem that much more like a computing device, they also enforce a growing opinion of mine: that Oppo have made 300$ go a long, long way. That was obvious to me before I ever lifted the DAC from its beautiful box. The first clue was the box. The advertising image is beautiful. The rear diagram is clearly laid out, and serves as a wonderful reference. Typography is clear, logical, and, with the notable exception of a side uselessly dedicated to blaring mundane features like ‘Multiple Device Support’ and ‘VOOC Rapid Charge’ in massive, neon iconography, the HA-2’s box is a design paragon among add-on audio devices. This is how DAC/amp boxes should be. Under its lid is a minimum of plastic, which is wonderful for a lad living in a country that burns everything plastic it can. The hefty charger spits enough juice into the HA-2 fast-charging circuitry to charge the battery in 90 minutes. It is heavy and it looks like an Apple AirPort Extreme.

Sound impressions after the jump:

Oppo HA-2 – 2007 All Over Again
4.2 (84.4%) 50 vote[s]

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

155 Comments

  • Reply March 13, 2015

    cs098

    I dunno, I think the cayin c5 and fiio e17 are nicely designed amp and dac/amp as well. Performance though compared to the ha-2 is another story.

    • Reply March 15, 2015

      ohm image

      I responded to this and somehow my response didn’t get through. I’m sorry.

      They are nice amps, but design goes far beyond physical looks. I have no idea when this idea of looks crept into the definition of ‘design’. The HA-2 is every bit as well put together as an iPhone, and every angle is well though-out. Even the safety features are wonderful.

      This is unprecedented both at its price and far above it. This is by far the most thoroughly designed portable amp/DAC and the finest machine work I’ve seen in any portable tertiary device, ever.

      • Reply March 16, 2015

        cs098

        Nice, so well thought out is the word.

        Now I’m really itching to try it out. I would possibly buy it if I was’t looking for a desktop setup.

  • Reply March 13, 2015

    George Lai

    Sex sells. ’nuff said.

    • Reply March 17, 2015

      ohm image

      How much?

      • Reply March 17, 2015

        George Lai

        Depends on the oppo-rtunity cost.

  • Reply March 13, 2015

    dalethorn

    “….if only had less background noise from its headphone jack, and if only its volume pot achieved balance a bit earlier on….”

    So if I were using a typical portable headphone, i.e. a Momentum or T51p etc., I should expect noise and imbalances? The sentence I quoted did not qualify those dings to any particular headphones.

    • Reply March 14, 2015

      ohm image

      I have tried to clarify it now.

      It hisses only with sensitive earphones. I was referring to its use with the MH335 and others. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Reply March 13, 2015

    DTSxJP

    I have a question, if you had to use Oppo HA-2 or the Sony PHA-1 with only the iPod Classic, which one would you choose?

    • Reply March 14, 2015

      ohm image

      The question confounds me for this one reason: I do not have a classic and have no idea if it works with either. I’ve tried the PHA-1, and was reasonably impressed. Here is my review of the PHA-1

      http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/10/09/sony-pha-1-idevice-dac-and-headphone-amp-in-review/

      But that unit was not mine, so I cannot comment on how it sounds/performs with more than hindsight. I for one prefer the slim lines, the safety features, and the DAC on the HA-2, but I can’t compare them directly now. Sorry.

    • Reply March 21, 2015

      linuxprophet

      The Oppo HA-2 is formidable. The Combo of Sony PHA-1 and iPod Classic is limited by the material it can play.

  • Reply March 14, 2015

    jason theo

    They look sexy af though. Think i might get it just for the looks and the sound quality as a bonus haha

    • Reply March 15, 2015

      ohm image

      The SQ is very good, again, the background hiss with sensitive earphones is its only real drawback.

      • Reply March 16, 2015

        SallyMaeSusan

        D’Oh!!!

  • Reply March 14, 2015

    Murray Winiata

    On the Android front it works fine. I auditioned it with my Note 4 a few weeks ago.

    • Reply March 15, 2015

      ohm image

      Thank you for the update. I’ll include this in a recent edit.

  • Reply March 14, 2015

    Tibor

    Perfecto! I red only positive reviews so far, and here is another one! Thank you! I think, that the price of this unit is unbeatable, just £259 here in UK. I was thinking of getting myself Picollo DAC, but $549 plus import tax would be almost double the price. And I do not own any sensitive cans, so perfecto again! Thx 😉

    • Reply March 15, 2015

      ohm image

      Price is ridiculous, but not at all, in any way, compromised because of it. Again, this is 2007 and the iPhone has just come out. How does that ‘smartphone’ of yours look now?

      • Reply March 15, 2015

        dalethorn

        I have the v-moda Verza and the Beyer A200p. I don’t like the Beyer at all, and while the Verza sounds OK, I wonder if this DAC/amp might be better.

  • Reply March 14, 2015

    lachlanlikesathing

    Great review Nathan! I’ve played with this unit, it’s quite lovely. A perspective I just had to share though: virtually every device I have is micro-USB, except for my Zoom H2n recorder which is Mini-USB. It enrages me every single time I have to dig out the mini-USB cable just to connect the recorder. So I seem to have the opposite stance to yours 😉

    • Reply March 15, 2015

      ohm image

      If you’re a hardcore desktop user, however, there are virtually NO professional devices whose connection is micro USB. It seems all micro stuff comes from the portable or laptop world. I do not own a laptop.

      But thanks for adding your thoughts. I actually need to update a few things. I may add those if you do not mind.

    • Reply March 16, 2015

      SallyMaeSusan

      Love your reviews, Lachlan.

  • Reply March 14, 2015

    Pokersound

    Hi.

    I have a Galaxy S5 and Cowon J3 that use with the Alpen E17 and Yuin PK1 (I prefer earbuds)

    Do you think that HA-2 could be a good choice to get a better SQ?

    • Reply March 15, 2015

      ohm image

      I neither have the E17 nor the J3, but I would assume the HA-2 would have more power than the S5, and I _know_ from early testing that the J3 isn’t able to supply enough low-ohm current to low-ohm earphones.

      As for the PK1: they are rather easy to drive, needing only voltage and the E17 probably works just fine for them.

  • Reply March 14, 2015

    Chris

    This is really a stylish product.

    • Reply March 15, 2015

      ohm image

      Looks great with audio technica headphones, too.

  • Reply March 16, 2015

    SallyMaeSusan

    Great review, thank you.
    When you talk of ‘sensitive earphones’, are you including all IEM’s?
    I am waiting to hear from my local dealer when they have the little Oppo in to audition and intend to take along my iPod Classic 160Gb as source, Shure SE 425’s and some Ety HF3’s; should I expect ‘noise’ with these?

    • Reply March 16, 2015

      ohm image

      Not all IEMs will hiss with the HA-2. If you have an iPod nano from 2005 or iPod Video or iRiver AK100, you will know the level of hiss I’m talking about.

      Earsonics SM series by and large will NOT hiss with the HA-2 and ditto earphones that are similarly insensitive to hiss.

      The SE425 I am not familiar enough with to give any guidance. Sorry.

      • Reply March 17, 2015

        SallyMaeSusan

        Thanks.

  • Reply March 19, 2015

    dalethorn

    I took the oppo-rtunity today to order this HA-2, and so I expect to compare it to the $600 v-moda Verza. I won’t bother to compare to the Beyer A200p, unless someone can think of a good reason to.

    • Reply March 20, 2015

      ohm image

      Dale, will be great to have you on board. Alas, I won’t have one to corroborate evidence with you by the time yours arrives.

      Enjoy.

  • Reply March 21, 2015

    linuxprophet

    I got the HA-2 yesterday in a nice quiet shop in the West End of London.
    My first regret: Not buying a 128GB iPhone 6 instead of the limited 16GB I have!
    Why? Because the few DSD64, DSD128 and DXD 352s that I have tried out… Heavenly.

    My kit includes my reference IEMs the Shure SE846CLs and I also own UE Triple-Fi 10s (which I barely use anymore). Before yesterday’s procurement, my default was FiiO X5/E12 Combo and I had been dreaming of upgrading to Astell & Kern AK240 – not anymore!!!

    Instead of replacing the iPhone 6, I had also tried out the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. My o my!
    To get the most out of this DAC with either iOS or Android, I would strongly recommend the Onkyo HF Player. Whilst the player itself is Free, the HiRes decoding features are not. In the UK it would set you back GBP 7.99, or $9.99 USD for iOS. Android is $8.49.

    This little app will recognise your DAC and bypass decoding the material to it. Just make sure that under settings you select DoP output. That is DSD over PCM.

    Compared to the E12, which simply amplifies the already decoded analog signal, the HA-2 is simply divine.

    I need to spend a wee bit more time with it and then I should upload a Youtube video of my experience.

    I could list a whole bunch of material to listen to, but I will limit to:

    1. Sahara Sun – Darshan Ambient (24/96 FLAC)
    2. As You Were – Darshan Ambient (24/96 FLAC)
    3. Tchaikovsky Symphony No4 in E Minor Op. 36 – DXD (32-bit 352K)
    4. Allegretto Movt. Beethoven’s 7th – DSD128

    There’s more. Much more, but start there.

    • Reply March 23, 2015

      ohm image

      linuxprophet: great to have your thoughts. I can’t wait to hear how your HA-2 adventures unfold.

    • Reply March 23, 2015

      dalethorn

      If $10 USD is the only extra charge for the Onkyo player, that’s not much.

      • Reply March 23, 2015

        linuxprophet

        Trust me Dale, it is well worth every dime.

        It plays everything from good old 44.1KHz 16-bit CD Rips all the way up to 384KHz DXDs as well as DSD4x.

        Forget what is on paper… It works. I have tried them all.

        My one and only grouse with the HA-2… no S/PDIF coax input. How I wish!

        But small matter. I will simply buy a cheapo chinco Android 5.0 with a MicroSIM slot and put all my HiRes on it. None of that MP3 CD Redbook stuff!

        • Reply March 23, 2015

          dalethorn

          Understood. We do need to ensure that downloads have the resolution advertised. There are tools to check those now.

          • Reply March 23, 2015

            linuxprophet

            I agree with you yet again.

            But so far I have not had any issues. But I am a linux man and there are standard tools to check WAV and FLAC files. DSD is a bit trickier as the format is newer. But can be done.

            • Reply March 29, 2015

              dalethorn

              One more question about the Onkyo player – if it’s set for DSD output, then I presume it won’t process FLAC or WAV correctly until it’s reset for those formats? The reason I ask is because I use WAV files for testing different gear, but in regular listening mode I’d prefer the player to play seamlessly without my attention. Maybe it can do that anyway, if it’s just set for WAV/FLAC and I allow it to play DSD’s at the lower resolution?

              • Reply March 29, 2015

                linuxprophet

                No Dale,

                Once you set it to play high res, it simply decodes regardless of format or resolution.

                It will upsample if necessary say from 44.1/16 Bit to 176/24 Bit.

                So it doesn’t matter if the files are ALAC, FLAC, WAV (including DXD).

                • Reply May 26, 2015

                  Javier Blanco

                  hi looking for a little advise i have the full version of poweramp (for me the best music player ever) the app plays high res audio but i don´t know if it will play through the usb to the oppo and use the full pcm capabilities do i really need the onkyo player? as anyone tried it with poweramp
                  ps. still waiting on mi oppo ha 2 will update when i tried 🙂

                  • Reply May 26, 2015

                    Observer

                    Hello Javier,

                    I also have PowerAmp. I can try it out for you and revert back say tomorrow or the day after.

                    What is important is for the app to pass the data through the micro-USB – MicroUSB port via USB OTG to the Oppo HA-2 for offboard decoding.

                    • May 26, 2015

                      Javier Blanco

                      please it would really make the world for me 🙂 looking forward for the feedback

                    • May 29, 2015

                      Observer

                      Javier,

                      Sorry to report that PowerAmp does not support this device, possibly because it is not USB-OTG aware. I ran several tests but came up empty.

                      The Onkyo and USB Audio Pro (both paid apps for full functionality) bring the HA-2 to life.

                    • May 30, 2015

                      Javier Blanco

                      aww that to bad i really like the poweramp app, im going to leave a request for future updates in the website who knows maybe they add the otg support. thanks man great community has always

            • Reply July 20, 2015

              Lukas Grand

              Is this device can work as a DAC for linux computer? And one more question is this device can continuously work as a dac for my computer with continuous charging? Thanks in advance

        • Reply July 16, 2015

          3RDegree

          Hi linuxprophet. I’m “new” to hi res files and just bought the HA-2 and the PM-3’s. I also have an iPhone 6+. I’m trying to find out what the maximum resolution I can get onto an iPhone. It seems to be 24bit/48khz. Is that right? The internet said 24/96 but I got the free sampler from HDTracks.com and the only ones of the bunch that would copy from iTunes into the iPhone were ones that were 24/48. Do I need a different app on my MacBookPro AND my iPhone to be able to listen to 24/96 or higher out of my iPhone and into my HA-2?

          • Reply July 16, 2015

            linuxprophet

            Hi 3rdDegree.
            Congratulations on your purchase. I just got a pair of PM-3s yesterday.

            With the iPhone 6, all you need is an app like the Onkyo Hi Res player for iOS. It is free to download but you need to pay $8.99 to unlock hires support.

            What it does is to bypass the iPhone circuitry and send the entire PCM or DSD signal to the HA-2.

            So since the HA-2 supports DSD64, DSD 128 and DSD256 as well as PCM all the way to DXD 24/384KHz, you have just begun to enjoy the products and your music.

            Please don’t forget to enable DoP for DSD output format.

            Enjoy!

            • Reply August 29, 2015

              Henry Huang

              I’m also considering the PM-3 + HA-2 combo. I mainly listen to music from Spotify using iphone 5s and computer. Will HA-2 make a lot of difference?

              • Reply August 29, 2015

                dalethorn

                Very little difference with iPhone5s or computer. If you’re getting good performance now with the phone, i.e., the sound is clean and you have enough volume with the PM3, then consider buying a better DAC/amp for the computer. The Dragonfly v1.2, Microstreamer, Audioengine D3, etc.

                • Reply August 31, 2015

                  Henry Huang

                  Thanks a lot. I’ll get the headphone first then decide if it alone is good enough for me.

    • Reply April 1, 2015

      ace15

      Hi – I just downloaded the Onkyo HF player with the HiRes decoding features and I have a question with regards to settings with the HA-2 besides setting the DoP as my output for HiRes. I also see two settings – DSD3,6MHz DoP. and Real Time DSD conversion. Do I also turn these two option on?

      • Reply April 2, 2015

        linuxprophet

        Sorry, just seen your mail.

        You have downloaded the latest version of the app. The one I had didnt have the option for Real Time DSD. I would recommend you enable that, so long as you are running it on an iPhone 5/5s or 6.

        • Reply April 2, 2015

          ace15

          Yes, I have the latest version. Thank you!!!!

      • Reply April 3, 2015

        ohm image

        BTW, that application doesn’t just resample hi-res, it brilliantly uses the iPhone 6 and allows the iPhone to outperform 16-bit playback by a huge margin. This has been documented here: http://archimago.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/measurements-apple-iphone-4-iphone-6.html

        • Reply April 3, 2015

          ace15

          Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading that article. It’s a good thing I bought the 128gb Iphone 6+. I’m happy so far with the combination HA-2 and PM-3 setup. If I can get somewhat close to what I hear in my listening room through a portable headphones, I’m happy camper. The Onkyo HF player as good as it is, I find not as intuitive, e.g. I was able to create a Playlist but can’t seem to find a way to add a song to a current playlist. Besides that quibble. I love the app.

          • Reply April 3, 2015

            dalethorn

            The app at the app store says “easily add songs to playlists”, so I wonder if that’s your version or some premium upgrade version?

            • Reply April 3, 2015

              ace15

              Hi Dale – I have the latest build 2.0.1.150316.2 with the HD Play Pack. I haven’t found the “easily add songs to playlist yet”

              • Reply April 3, 2015

                dalethorn

                I just did one, so let’s see if I can repeat the steps. Wait a couple minutes….

                • Reply April 3, 2015

                  ace15

                  Thanks Dale.

                  • Reply April 3, 2015

                    dalethorn

                    I figured how to create one (it’s very tricky), but not how to add to it yet, but anyway you apparently cannot add to playlists created any other place except the Onkyo app.

                    So here’s create: 1) Press ‘Songs’ at bottom of screen. 2) Press any song and hold, then press Add To Up Next on the popup. 3) Repeat step 2 as needed. 4) Press ‘More’ then press the right-arrow at the top right, then press the ‘hatch’ symbol at top right, then (the tricky part) pull down on the screen until you see the Save As Playlist button.

                    I’ll see now if I can add to my playlist.

                    • April 3, 2015

                      ace15

                      I was able to do that but it’s the last step that I wasn’t able to figure out. “Adding another song to a created playlist”

                  • Reply April 3, 2015

                    dalethorn

                    Well, that fizzled. It created a playlist name, but it seems it added everything, not just the 2 songs I selected. So if I can create a real playlist with 2 songs only, maybe I’ll find how to add one. Or maybe this only works with the premium version.

                    • April 3, 2015

                      ace15

                      Yeah…pretty much did what you did. I ended up adding a bunch of songs to a playlist but not a single track to the playlist. Don’t spend too much on it. I appreciate having another set of eyes look into it. It’s not a deal breaker for me but that feature would be nice to have. Thanks again.

    • Reply July 13, 2016

      SAMM063

      LINUXPROPHE: I did buy the Onkyo HF player and my overall music experience has just become surreal. Oppo Ha2 comes to life with this app, coupled with Shure 215, I am lost in the devine world of music, but there is one issue. I tried all the settings you mentioned and the app is working really well till the screen (of my smartphone) remains ON, the moment is switches OFF, the music starts to stutter and there are too many glitches coming in the music. If I turn the phone ON again, the app starts working fine till the phone turns its screen OFF.
      I have to constantly keep my screen ON for this reason, which is draining my battery (even at extremely low brightness). Are you aware of this issue? do know of any fix?

      • Reply July 13, 2016

        dale thorn

        The HA-2 is very sensitive to the digital feed from the music player. There are several things that interrupt the signal from my iPhone 6s, and those times I have to restart the song, or even disconnect the cable from the iPhone to the HA-2 to get it restarted. So that isn’t exactly your situation, but it does seem that when your screen goes off, the digital feed from your player isn’t maintaining proper handshake with the HA-2.

  • Reply March 28, 2015

    dalethorn

    Got the HA-2 today. It sounds pretty clean using WAV files on the iPhone6-plus. Although the iPhone’s DAC and amp are supposedly bypassed, the iPhone’s volume control are still in-line (just like the Beyer A200p), but unlike the A200p where operating either volume control (on the A200p or the iPhone) also changes the other control, changing the control on the HA-2 does not change the setting on the iPhone. So while the v-moda Verza is more ideal in having only one volume control in-line, and the A200p is the least ideal, the HA-2 is somewhere in-between. Oppo promises that their system assures that no resolution is lost when the i-device volume is adjusted, but I’m just a little bit skeptical of that. The other thing that surprised me is the case – the leather partial-case with sewn stitching is somehow glued to the metal case and is not removable. Definitely not ideal – I prefer a case that fully seals to keep out dust.

    • Reply March 28, 2015

      dalethorn

      Continuing, comparing to the v-moda Verza, there’s a pretty astonishing difference in the bass. Connecting each DAC/amp to iPhone6’s straight from the music player, and using a B&W P5, switching the P5 between each amp so I don’t have to take it off my head — in the Tony Bennett track San Francisco (ca. 1962) where the lyric begins around 0:43, the bass hits fairly hard on the Verza and is surprisingly light on the HA-2. Then playing Trombone Shorty’s Backatown, when the really deep tones come in the HA-2 plays them full strength and with great detail, while the Verza tends more toward boom than detail. The mids are close enough, although with most songs I think the Verza is a little more ‘hard’ sounding while the HA-2 is more airy, but that changes on some tracks to be more similar. The highs are very similar, and there’s a very strong, very detailed bunch of high frequency percussion in David Chesky’s track with Wonjung Kim — Girl From Guatemala around 3:00 – and you can hear those bells, xylophones, etc. practically “breathe” with harmonics, yet I haven’t found much difference there. More to come.

      • Reply March 29, 2015

        dalethorn

        Repeated the previous tests with the P7 headphone – same result. Tried the T90 with a similar result, but not so much difference in the bass on the tracks listed above. Then I played my 16 hz organ pedal track using the T90, and the HA-2 played that with good detail and a fair amount of weight, but while the Verza had about the same amount of weight, the detail wasn’t as good and there was a lot of background noise I can’t describe. So I think the T90 did well on the ultra-deep bass, and the Verza amp just wasn’t getting it right, but I wouldn’t recommend the HA-2 with the T90 for most music, since the sound on a lot of tracks has a steely kind of edge to it.

        • Reply March 29, 2015

          dalethorn

          Tonight’s test compared the HA-2 to the HRT Microstreamer. I considered other amps from my small collection, primarily the FiiO E17k and the Microstreamer, but since the E17k isn’t a DAC to Apple i-devices and I decided to ignore the Beyer A200p, and the Microstreamer is a good choice for laptop computers, I thought the best comparison was the Microstreamer (computer only) and HA-2 (computer only for this test).

          Not much of a contest here – the Microstreamer had a reasonably large soundstage and natural extended tone, while the HA-2 sounded less 3-D and the high harmonics (and transients?) sounded a little blunted. Interestingly, the deep bass in ‘Backatown’ had about the same strength with either amp, but the overall sound in the deep bass passages was better, more alive with the Microstreamer. Playing the 16 hz organ pedal tone, the HA-2 had enough detail to resolve the 16-cycle beats somewhat, but the Microstreamer had better detail and the fundamental tone was stronger or more solid.

          Overall, using 44 khz WAV tracks on a Macbook Pro in iTunes – the same tracks I played on the iPhones as noted above – everything was better with the Microstreamer, but I don’t think the HA-2 did much different than with the iPhone. I suppose since the HA-2 got the same digital data from the computer that it did from the iPhone (or possibly not), the sound should be about the same anyway.

          • Reply April 1, 2015

            ohm image

            Generally listening impressions for sound stage and other immaterial nuances I take with a grain of salt as unfortunately everyone hears stereo cues differently.

            But thank you for the updated review.

            • Reply April 1, 2015

              dalethorn

              It’s not a difference in hearing, since I have many reference points from a lot of gear. That’s why I don’t declare absolutes such as “Amp xyz has a wide soundstage” (as you’ve read in numerous reviews) – instead I do comparisons only, and if I do an absolute it would be “sounds good to me” etc.

              • Reply April 1, 2015

                ohm image

                Which is why I appreciate your disclaimers. Interestingly enough, oftentimes, amps/DACs that output wide stereo separation often are said to have ‘smaller soundstages’, probably because through headphones, stereo information has to somewhat be crossfed, or fed through less separated channels in order to sound wide as the ear is used to hearing joint stereo.

                • Reply April 1, 2015

                  dalethorn

                  Well, that’s a big subject – the theoretical “straight wire with gain” is as elusive as ever. To be honest, I like the idea that manufacturers of these goodies are willing to market things that break new ground, even at the risk they won’t be popular every time. I doubt that there’s much missing from the HA-2 sound in spite of my impressions. It’s a lovely and strange little amp, and for me it’s a definite keeper.

  • Reply April 4, 2015

    Burju

    What would be nice to pair for portable use with LCD-XC?
    1. Oppo HA-2
    2. Herus dac + Alo Continental V2
    3. Ibasso DX90 + external amp
    4. Or..Forget about point 1 and 2, just go with CypherLabs Theorem.

    I like warm sound.
    cheers

    • Reply April 9, 2015

      ohm image

      The Continental is the only one of the bunch that gives you a ‘warm’ valve sound, so pair it with anything, DAC or no DAC.

      • Reply April 10, 2015

        Burju

        Thank you Nathan, I appreciate you.

  • Reply April 23, 2015

    aras87

    It looks absolutely stunning from the photos. Thanks for the review. Would this pair well with Earsonics Velvets? Could there a better dac/amp for the Velvets that will work with iphone?

    • Reply May 9, 2015

      ohm image

      Great pairing with the Velvet. Velvet is also wonderful because it reveals less background noise than do competitor’s earphones. I can’t think of a better pair for the price/functionality/build quality, etc.

  • Reply April 23, 2015

    Tegar M K P

    Do you think that HA-2 pair well with AKG K551?

    • Reply April 23, 2015

      dalethorn

      It works great from the iPhone to the K553 (similar to 551).

  • Reply April 24, 2015

    Hybrid

    Herus better

    • Reply April 24, 2015

      dalethorn

      Did you compare an iPhone with each amp, or a computer?

    • Reply May 9, 2015

      ohm image

      Herus is great, but it isn’t even competition. They are two very different DACs/amps, one for portable use and one for desktop. Not to mention, one accepts more than just USB input.

      Herus is awesome. But it is direct competition for the likes of Audio Engine’s D3, not the HA-2.

  • Reply May 18, 2015

    Steve

    Do you think that the Oppo will be able to drive the EQ8 to enable its full potential?

  • Reply May 18, 2015

    Steve

    Hi Dale
    I was going to use an iPhone 6 connected to the oppo HA-2 via usb to lightning with the ortofon eq8 . I’ve read in a couple of reviews that the eq8 needs amping to get the best out of them. Straight out of the iPhone they sound balanced but a bit thin.
    Kind regards

    Steve

    • Reply May 19, 2015

      dalethorn

      It may be a close call. I have a popular headphone that’s fairly inefficient and that doesn’t achieve full dynamics on my iPhone 6-plus, and adding the HA-2 with high gain ON, it doesn’t make any difference. Hard to believe, no difference on high gain? I’ve validated that as well as I can with different headphones. Nathan says the EQ8 is very difficult to drive, so that’s a red flag, but who knows? Your actual music tracks will make the most difference. If they’re low volume orchestra music, probably not a good choice.

  • Reply June 1, 2015

    Ken

    Hi,
    I have an iphone 6 and B&O H6 and I am considdering the HA-2. There are no shops with Oppo HA-2 near my home, so I can not test it myself. I am a bit worried that the treble will be a bit too harsh with the B&O H6 and Oppo HA-2 combo. Anyone tried that combination?

    • Reply June 1, 2015

      dalethorn

      Yes, me. A lot. Playing a few treble-centric songs now, with bass off, high gain, no EQ, iPhone 6-plus, HA-2, B&O H6 Grey Stone color. William Orbit – Optical Illusion – no problem. Chris Isaac – Wicked Game – crispy sound, but no sibilants or irritation. Scarlatti (Kipnis) – Sonata in E Major – harpsichord is bright, but clean detail and no spikes. Sophie Milman – Lonely in New York – voice tends to be sibilant, but no irritations with this setup.

      The thing is, the HA-2 doesn’t really brighten the iPhone 6, or increase the “crispy” effect where music tracks have those things, in my experience of several months now.

      • Reply June 1, 2015

        Headfonia_L.

        Thanks Dale!

      • Reply June 1, 2015

        Ken

        Thank you very much Dale. That is very helpful! I might get an opportunity to listen to HA-2 in Hong Kong in a month or two, but I am not sure. Do you find that HA-2 improves iPhone -> H6 a lot or is it just a “nice” improvement? I realize that is very subjective.

        I will primarily use HA-2 with B&O H6, but have you any idea how they will sound with Denon D7000 (my stationary setup)?

        • Reply June 2, 2015

          dalethorn

          As objectively as possible, the improvement is very minor, mainly because the iPhone 6 is that good. I have 2 iPhone6’s and 2 of the H6, so it’s easy for me to do the A/B. Now there is a slight gain in extension, “air”, soundstage etc., but you’ll need a very quiet place to hear it, and you’ll need to listen undistracted (no TV or Internet etc.) As a portable, the HA-2 is probably redundant. I can’t guess whether the HA-2 would work better or worse with the Denon, since the headphone impedance makes a difference, especially if the impedance changes a lot with frequency.

          • Reply June 3, 2015

            Ken

            Hi Dale, thank you very much again. Your answer has made me reconsidder a purchase again. I definitely need to audition these before I make a decision. I have a nice stationary setup with an Audio-GD NFB 10.32 together with my lovely Denon D7000, but I don’t use it much anymore. Perhaps the HA-2 can replace my big dac/amp? Time to think again

            • Reply June 3, 2015

              dalethorn

              The HA-2 was part of a new generation of DAC/amps for smartphones, especially Apple, that broke a price barrier to sell for only $300. The first such quality product I knew of and purchased was the Beyer A200p (same as AK-10 I think), but it wasn’t so great on sound quality, and the HA-2 is much better.

              But, the HA-2 is still a $300 product – pretty much a minimum entry-level DAC/amp for smartphones, and as long as you don’t expect more than that you should be OK. But for any home use I would save up and get something better, because you need not only better sound in a home system, you need more power for proper dynamics etc.

              • Reply October 20, 2015

                R12wan

                Hi Dale. Just reading some of your posts. If I am understanding correctly, you are saying that the HA2 is redundant as a portable if using iPhone, because the iPhone is so good. You’re also saying that as a desktop, there are much better options. So I’m just wondering, in your opinion what is the HA2 good for and where does it fall into the spectrum of Dac/Amps from say Fiio’s all the way up to say Theorem? I might have read things out of context so just wanted to clarify. Thanks.

                • Reply October 20, 2015

                  dalethorn

                  The HA-2 will make a significant difference with iPhones older than version 6, and with iPods older than the 2015 version. The main difference between the HA-2 and FiiO E17k seems to be the E17k is a little darker or dirtier sounding, but I haven’t spent time on that. The E17k should be useful for increased power if nothing else. But for people with excellent hearing, the HA-2 should make a subtle improvement in extension of highs etc. even with the newest phones. And that depends on the music tracks, headphone issues like impedance etc. I’ve found the HA-2 to be consistent and stable at least, which I can’t say for some other DACs. I’ve never heard the Theorem, but if I had the extra money I wanted to spend on it, and were staying in hotels so size wasn’t an issue, I would. But then, I’d probably get the Hugo. I don’t have any reservations recommending the HA-2, just saying that a person’s circumstances and ancillary gear may not give them the improvement they expect for the $300 USD.

                  • Reply October 20, 2015

                    R12wan

                    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I understand where you’re coming from now.

  • Reply July 20, 2015

    John Phelan

    Got the Ha-2 today….i have the ipod touch (latest) playback in Apple lossless…with shure 846…I listened to it and then had 2 others listen, and we all agree..the oppo provides a deeper, richer sound experience…Once you turn on the bass, its even better. we listened with and without the ha-2….and noticed the ipod has much less body and is much more tinier (too much treble). listed to electric music (ladytron) and heavy metal(metallica) (2 spectrums 🙂 ) and both sound quite good.

  • Reply July 30, 2015

    Bey

    Hi Mike, I still wondering if we compare HA 2 with dx90 for SQ. Which is the better one?thanks

    • Reply July 30, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      Come on guys, Mike left HFN almost 2 years ago…

      • Reply July 30, 2015

        Bey

        Sorry about that 🙁

        • Reply July 30, 2015

          Headfonia_L.

          Nathan could probably answer that, I only have the DX90 and haven’t heard the HA2 yet. Nathan?

    • Reply July 30, 2015

      dalethorn

      The sound is very different depending on the source (computer, phone ….)

      Edit: If the intent is portable, like using with iPhone, the DX90 should do much better.

  • Reply September 21, 2015

    Alberto Martinez

    Hi All, sorry if this has been asked and answered, if so send me the link and I will get the info.

    My portable hi-res is iPod Touc 5G – Audioquest Dragonfly v1.2 – Ety ER-4, and bulky connectivity of CCK, mini USB hub and Y-USB cable to get an external powerbank to feed Dragonfly and get some hours of listening; not really very confortable. Files played are classic rock and jazz, 16/44.1 and 24/96 FLAC, no more hi-res needed.

    Want to replace only Dragonfly by something same level of sound quality to pair with iPod (MFI approved) and to pair with ER-4, but self powered (including battery). I am thinking on:
    – Sony PHA-1A
    – Oppo HA-2
    – Onkyo DAC-HA200

    Which one of those 3 do you suggest to me?
    Any other alternatives into the $250-450 range?
    Thanks a lot in advance.

    • Reply September 21, 2015

      dalethorn

      The HA-2 is very slim and perfect size to carry with iPod Touch. It has good battery life, but the iPod Touch will run down much faster.

      • Reply September 21, 2015

        dalethorn

        Addendum: In my experience, a Dragonfly will sound much better on a laptop computer than any DAC that I’ve used on an Apple i-device. But that assumes the most common configurations and music players. As a rule, my portable listening isn’t critical enough to demand better than the Oppo HA-2 with i-devices.

        • Reply September 21, 2015

          Alberto Martinez

          Thanks a lot.
          So, apart the slim factor and battery life, do you think HA-2 is over Sony and Onkyo?

          • Reply September 22, 2015

            dalethorn

            There may be a reason to compare them for sound quality if you’re using them with a computer, but for iPod use, you should look at the physical aspects only, as the sound quality should be comparable.

            • Reply September 22, 2015

              Alberto Martinez

              Really I don’t understand sound quality is round computer or not, if DAC it’s same. I have two configurations, the portable one (this explained) and the desktop one based on computer, Schiit Modi 2 and Asagard 2, paired with HD600.

              But for portable apart of improving ergonomics I will be using the iPod Tough 5G and ER-4, but I want DAC/Amp in the same sound quality range than DragonFly, so no mucho power needed to drive ER-4. If Oppo HA-2 is not better than Dragonfly, which one is it? Thanks

              • Reply September 22, 2015

                dalethorn

                If you play the Oppo DAC on a computer it will sound much different than playing the Oppo DAC from an iPod, even if you use the same exact WAV files on the computer and the iPod. I think it has to do with the music players or something like that. You should know that most music players manipulate the digital data *before* it goes to the DAC. But there may be a player for iPod that does not use the Apple iTunes music library, so possibly that would help.

                Another thing to keep in mind is that the Oppo’s amp is not as good as its DAC, so the amp is a limiting factor. In the Dragonfly, the “amp” is really just the DAC, where the volume is limited by the host computer.

                • Reply September 22, 2015

                  Alberto Martinez

                  Thanks for this fantastic explanation as I was not aware of players manipulation.
                  I am using
                  – Onkyo HF Player for 24/96 HDTracks.com FLAC files and TIDAL for 16/44.1 in Touch
                  – Foo2000 for same FLAC files and TIDAL for 16/44.1 in computer Windows 7
                  I don’t know if any of them manipulates the file before sending to DAC.
                  Any recommendation on music players to be used on both platforms is very welcome.

                  Oppo or Sony will be always used with Ety ER-4 and 95% of time with Touch as source. Windows 7 always paired with schiit Modi2/Asgard2 and HD600.

                  Any other DAC/Amp you suggest in this portable class (MFI compliant)?
                  Thanks a lot for your comments, I appreciate them as I am learning a lot.

                  • Reply September 22, 2015

                    dalethorn

                    The Schiit amps should be fine for computer use. If it were me and I wanted better, I’d just upgrade to better Schiits. For the i-devices, I think the Oppo is perfect. I can’t re-state what reviews say here, but as a general rule, you can either buy the bulkier and costlier DACs such as the Theorem or Hugo series, or buy a good DAP and use that instead of the i-devices. BTW, I’ve heard good things about the Onkyo player, although I used it only for a short time.

        • Reply September 21, 2015

          Yaroslav

          Sorry, did not quite understand that — say I got a Dragonfly and looking to upgrade, would Oppo HA-2 or a device in the same class be a huge improvement over it?

          I’m just trying to decide if my idea of portable is “USB-powered” or “Look for a portable AMP/DAC with a battery” if I’m only playing out of my laptop.

          From what I understand now, USB-powered devices are usually not that powerful and not that good compared to Theorem/HiFiM8/iDAC, even if we’re talking Concero HP. Correct?

          • Reply September 22, 2015

            dalethorn

            If the headphone were appropriate for the USB DAC (HA-2, Dragonfly, FiiO E17k, etc.) used with a computer, then all is very good. But the less efficient headphones like HD800 or Beyer T1 would need more power for full dynamics, and to accomodate impedance variances. Assuming your headphone were well within the mini-DAC power limits, then comparing that to the more expensive DACs and amps is going to require a lot of serious listening, or faith in the reviews. Reading the reviews, you can see that it’s not simple – you have to believe, or do the hard work yourself.

            • Reply September 22, 2015

              Yaroslav

              I see, thanks for your answer!

  • Reply October 9, 2015

    DTSxJP

    Is the HA-2 powerful enough to drive HD 650? If not can use the HA-2 as a DAC only and pair the Fiio E12 with it?

    • Reply October 9, 2015

      dalethorn

      Yes you can run the E12 from the HA-2’s Line Out. Driving the 650 from the HA-2 alone, most normal or louder music tracks will play fine, but some low-volume tracks will probably be a problem. I use the High Gain setting with all of my headphones, since there’s not a huge dynamic reserve with my HA-2. But hey – just get the HA-2 and try it with the 650, and if you’re running very close to maximum volume most of the time, or have other lack of power issues, then buy the E12 and go from there. The only thing I would worry about is having multiple volume controls in-line, but any digital volumes that can safely be set at maximum should be OK.

      • Reply October 10, 2015

        DTSxJP

        Thanks, I’ll combo both the Fiio E12 via HA-2 line out with my iPod classic.

  • Reply October 14, 2015

    Rainbow

    Hello. Can you give advice,
    Oppo Ha-2 or Ifi Nano IDSD for my T51p.
    I would like an increase in vocal and treble to be better for acoustic music. Thank you

    • Reply October 14, 2015

      dalethorn

      Oppo or iFi from your computer?

      • Reply October 14, 2015

        rainbow

        for computer and my galaxy note 4

        • Reply October 14, 2015

          dalethorn

          Get the iFi – better sound with computer.

  • Reply December 3, 2015

    brian morris

    I want a dac/amp to pair with my UMPro 30’s, preferably $300 but less than $400. I use a 4th Gen iPod touch and iPhone 4S, right now the 4S mostly to preserve the touch I guess. I have on the phone the app JetAudio which I love a lot. I only use the HALL feature to give the sound a live effect and the X-WIDE to give the sound more spaciousness and imaging. Basically I want something that can emulate those features and then I would deactivate JetAudio and use the amp only. I welcome and appreciate all thoughts and expertise.

    thank you….

    • Reply December 3, 2015

      dalethorn

      There won’t be such a thing. But whatever JetAudio does on the iPhone should feed right through the USB to the DAC, and you wouldn’t lose anything – you’d just get a better DAC conversion and amplification. If you feel that JetAudio is reducing your source quality too much, you might be looking far and wide to get a DSP elsewhere that does any better, with no success. BTW, it’s my experience that the biggest reality-and-soundstage killers are colorations in the headphone, so addressing those is usually the first order of business in getting better sound.

      • Reply December 3, 2015

        brian morris

        Hey thanks for getting back so quickly. Ok so firstly, don’t judge but I’ve never owned a dac/amp, ever. I’ve procrastinated for a long time and now want to get a taste. Heck I’m still learning the technical jargon that is spewed from so many reviewers. At the present I have only a pair of UMpro 30’s which I enjoy very much. I’m more into a neutral sound, no tampering of the frequencies, so the monitors purpose is simply reproduce every song exactly the way they were created. To me the UMpro’s do that. I must admit that what took them to another level was adding a little sparkle which makes them come alive, and that’s where the Jetaudio comes in. Hope I’m making a little sense and not making a fool of myself. I make no claim of being an audio and sound aficionado, though I deejayed in my early years. I just know I love music and technology. I don’t want to bore you if I’m not already, so I’ll be brief.
        I’m about to order a company called Eartech Music. Very affordable. Kind of how 1964 were. Your probably familiar right? Not 1964. This’ll be my first venture into the CIEM market. And I think it’ll be a good place to start. So what are the questions I aught to be asking so far as what I’m looking for? Most important for me is cost. It has to be affordable, you know something that’s tangible now. Second is something that can add a little brilliance and separation to the instruments. Anything beyond that is a bonus. I use a iPhone 4s and 4th Gen iPod touch. I’ve yet to delve into the DAP realm, mainly because (this may sound trivial) of the design. They’re so bulky and boxy, absolutely no design innovations. Are they that way because of amount of parts needed to build them? Can they not, right now at least be sort of cell phone or iPod dimensions?your expertise is greatly appreciated.

        • Reply December 3, 2015

          Headfonia_L.

          • Reply December 3, 2015

            brian morris

            Yeah! It was your article that I read that I discovered them from. So thank you. I’m going for the triple driver set which I was told is thee more neutral sounding set. I’m excited because I’ve reading and looking for the longest. What kept from taking the plunge is the price. So I’m thrilled that I can actually obtain and even get something that’ll be of good quality. You sounded pretty chuffed which elevated my glee, so thank you Dale. Any thoughts on what I can pair it with?

        • Reply December 3, 2015

          dalethorn

          Despite what trillions of advertisements and reviews tell you, the concept that your ancillary gear will ‘add’ anything is a mistake waiting to suck up your dollars. At best, your amp will provide a crystalline pathway from your source to your earphone, and add nothing. The transducer – that which changes the electronic signal to real acoustic sound (i.e. the earphone) is where the issues are, assuming you have the good amp. And no matter HOW good the earphone, it has resonances – those nasty things that kill soundstage and realism. Sometimes they’re subtle, especially if the mfr. does a good job of dampening them, but they exist. So address those and you’ll be better off.

          • Reply December 3, 2015

            brian morris

            Is that a fix an amp takes care off. And are for or against these add ons, amp/dacs etc?
            Sent from my iPad

  • Reply December 3, 2015

    brian morris

    Is that a fix an amp takes care off. And are for or against these add ons, amp/dacs etc?

    • Reply December 3, 2015

      dalethorn

      All an amp (a good DAC/amp) will do is clarify the sound, give you more “air”, firm up the bass, etc. If your phone or DAP is poor quality, the improvement will be dramatic, but from iPhone 6 and up, the Oppo HA-2’s improvement is subtle. All of this assumes your device has enough power – if not, the amp will help by adding power. If you want to add “special” DSP’s for soundstage or whatever, go ahead and do so, but be aware that if your headphone has colorations from an uneven response, you’re just bandaging the wound instead of cleaning it first.

  • Reply December 6, 2015

    Red Six

    Is the mojo a step above this? Like is the improvement noticeable.. Thanks

    • Reply March 28, 2016

      ohm image

      Yes, it is. Lower noise floor, better DR, etc., but at normal listening volumes, the main benefit is lower noise floor.

  • Reply December 7, 2015

    Aladdin Tarakji

    I’m considering getting this HA-2, but I’m concerned about the noise when paired with sensitive IEM’s. budget is around 300, and I use almost exclusively in-ears (like the 2015 q-jays, flare r2pros, bang & olufsen h3), so i need something with minimal noise with sensitive IEM’s. Prefer laid back, fatigue free sound, maybe some bass boost. Source is macbook pro mainly

    What would you guys recommend?

    • Reply December 7, 2015

      dalethorn

      I can’t imagine a problem – my H3 never got hiss on my HA-2 in low gain mode. I had the tJays-4 but not Q-Jays. The R2Pro shouldn’t be super sensitive but I haven’t heard it. Laid back, fatigue free, with a bass boost switch – that’s the HA-2.

      • Reply December 12, 2015

        Aladdin Tarakji

        So I received my HA-2 Dac and it sounds amazing! but i have a few questions regarding how to get the perfect sound from my setup.

        So I’m using a macbook pro connected to the HA-2, and the spotify app on the laptop for music playback with the Q-Jays.

        As far as volume control, what is the best volume configuration to have the cleanest sound? Should I set macbook volume to max, spotify player volume to max, and then control the volume using the dac volume knob? or should laptop volume be set to less than max to reduce distortion (like midway or something).

        Also, I’m trying to buy an upgrade USB micro-B to USB cable to use with the HA-2 and my macbook. Do you have any recommendations for the best option. I need a shorter cable than the stock one.

        Thank you

        • Reply December 12, 2015

          dalethorn

          I bought some 6 inch Belkin cables. Those should work. The volume issue can be a problem when there are 3 volume controls in line. On the Mac, if you’re playing straight with no EQ or other DSPs active, you should be able to set the system volume and player volume to maximum, and use the volume control on the HA-2. If you do experience any signs of strain, roughness, distortion etc., try other players to see if they’re cleaner at their full volume (with no EQ or other DSPs active). If they are, then your streamer app may have to be checked or the volume reduced. For that you would need to research it. If all players including the streamer have problems, then either reduce all of those volumes, or find out if the system volume is the problem. The system volume should not be a problem, but sometimes the USB configuration isn’t right, or something else is messing things up.

          In spite of the above, if you set all of the computer’s volumes to maximum, and you find that the Oppo volume is barely turned up at all, then try low gain, and if it’s still at the lowest setting, you might need to reduce the signal coming in.

          • Reply December 13, 2015

            Observer

            I will defer to your counsel and wisdom Dale!

            I can’t profess expertise in high end cabling.

            • Reply December 13, 2015

              dalethorn

              Interconnects, i.e. analog cables, usually should be as short as possible, and good quality, unless you have measuring gear that can determine capacitance and other properties so you can build a custom cable to your specific needs. USB or digital cables shouldn’t be that critical, but I like the assurance of a decent quality brand, and to keep it reasonably short also. Optical cables I don’t know. On a distantly related note, yesterday some rips I was doing with Foobar got nasty digital glitches in the ripped tracks, and I had to enable error correction/validation of the rips, to eliminate those errors. I figured that computers normally do CRC checking in all file-copy functions, and that would work automatically with CD rippers. But it didn’t. So as a general principle, I try to always play it safe, to eliminate extra work in fixing problems later on.

        • Reply December 13, 2015

          Observer

          I don’t think you can control the volume of the HA-2 from a Mac. I tried it without any traction.
          I also do not think there is much to gain by using a cable other than the stock ones. I have been drawn into the high-end cabling trap before. And I reckon my hearing is pretty sensitive.

          • Reply December 13, 2015

            dalethorn

            Some devices allow reduction of the “volume” going out of the USB port and some don’t. Gordon Rankin, one of the famous USB audio developers, has a lot of insight on it. USB cables, to the extent that they make any difference, make a lot less difference than interconnects between DACs and amps.

  • Reply December 23, 2015

    peter green

    HI Guys,I just bought the oppo HA2 and i have to say its the best thing i have ever bought,if you are thinking of getting one its worth all the money.

  • Reply January 5, 2016

    Ian Wade

    Hello there. I got an HA-2 for Christmas and a pair of K550 headphones. All works fine through my iPhone, however on my PC it doesn’t seem to work. I downloaded the bits and bobs I needed, and in Control Panel made it the default. When you test the speakers in there, they work. But that’s the only time any sound has come out of the HA-2. Still not playing itunes through it. My laptop is three years old, an ASUS x550c. Do I need to change anything else so that it will work through the computer? Thank you.

    • Reply January 5, 2016

      Ian Wade

      Also, on the oppo USB control panel, the ‘input’ in the format section doesn’t offer anything

    • Reply January 5, 2016

      dalethorn

      All of the control panels are different. For starters, and even though it’s not the same amp, you could search the materials on the Dragonfly DAC, where they show you many examples of “Sound” settings for different computers. In my control panel, I click on Sounds, then the Audio tab, then the default device for Sound Playback (i.e. the amp). I can also change the current output device in my music player (usually Foobar2000). Then when operating, check the computer system volume, the music player volume, the music player’s output device, and then the amp volume. If the amp has stopped responding (if it’s been idle for awhile), turn the amp off and back on.

    • Reply January 15, 2016

      Kripa Singh

      On the Windows, make sure for playback you have selected the HA-2. I have everything working fine on my PC. Though I don’t use iPhone or iTunes, but it does play fine from Groove, Foobar or any media player I use, locally or online.

      Fyi.. don’t forget to slide the slider to B.

  • Reply May 25, 2016

    DTSxJP

    Hey guys I have a question. I have the ha-2 with a iPod touch 6g paired with the akg k553. I’m not a fan of this sound I’m getting from this combo. When I pair the k553 with my iPod classic 7g and JDS labs c5 it sounds outstanding. So with the ha-2 which headphone will compliment it’s sound? Beyerdynamic DT770/DT880, Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7BK? As for iems are the RHA t20 a good match? Thanks.

  • Reply July 3, 2016

    Dragos Ungureanu

    Hey guys. I bought Oppo pm-3 and like them much. Still for home listening I would like to go for hd650. At this point, I don’t have any amp/dac. Thus, will hd650 go along with oppo HA-2?

  • Reply June 7, 2017

    nan

    in regards with android usage… I paired my oppo ha2 with my LG V20. its crystal with the grado 325e, no absolute problem with my other Senns, Beyers and B&W P7…. highly recommend this amp. its portability is the cherry on top. I wish there are tube amps as portable as this.

  • Hi there,I read your blog named “Oppo HA-2 Review” regularly.Your writing style is witty, keep up the good work! And you can look our website about free anonymous proxies.

  • […] attachment of the cover to the music player is very similar to how Oppo attached the cover to its HA-2 DAC/amp, except that since the HA-2 doesn’t have a screen, its cover does not open like the M2. I really […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.