Aug 16, 2016

Thoughts on OPPO HA-2 Portable DAC/AMP?

What are your thoughts on this portable DAC/AMP combo? Z Reviews says its the best portable DAC on the market right now. I'm planning on using it primarily for my MacbookPro at the Office. I also plan to use it paired with my iPhone SE from time to time as well. I like that the device is versatile hence why I am getting it. Anyone have experience with it? What are some other DAC/AMP combos out there that you guys would recommend? It doesn't have to be paired with an iPhone. I can have a stationary DAC/AMP combo as well that would sit on my office desk. Thanks in advance.
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I have one and use it with Oppo PM1 headphones. I only buy the best for the $$$
I'm very happy with my ami musik DDH-1. In my current setup, it's connected (via line-out) to a Little Dot I+, but you actually don't need another headphone amp. The DDH-1 sounds very detailed and powerful, is extremely versatile, and it's quite expensive :(

I use an iBasso DX80 and a DX90 player as sources (coax).
FWIW I have found the HA-2 a good improvement when listening on the move through my Sure SE535 or even the Atomic Floyd SuperDarts Titanium with my iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. However, I still go back to my old Meridian Explorer when listening from my MacBook Pro away from home.

If you are looking for something for the desktop then the Audiolab M-DAC or the Benchmark DAC2 drive my HD800's without breaking sweat and blow most of the competition out of the water. If budget is tight then the Benchmark DAC1 USB sometimes comes up on eBay for a good price and still sounds mighty fine.
Since you mentioned that the primary use of the DAC/amp would be your office Macbook Pro, perhaps going with a desktop model for that purpose would give you a more fulfilling listening experience. As other folks have noted, the integrated DAC/amp in the iPhones are among the best so maybe upgrade your IEMs for on the go, if necessary.

For my stationary setup, I use the SMSL SD793 which I'm very happy with. I have a V10 by LG (which has a very good DAC/amp as well) and found that a good pair of IEMs is all I need on the go. I have a few but the pair I've been using the most lately is the Macaw GT100S IEMs. The tuning nozzles are a nice touch too.
You're right. It is versatile. I've had my HA2 for a while now and use it with headphones and my MacBook Pro when on the road. I have a Benchmark at home. The HA2 comes into its own when you need more power to drive your headphones. With my ATH M50 the difference with my iPhone 6Plus is not that great, however use a more demanding set of headphones and the difference is clear. HA2 design can be a little clumsy with cables at both ends, but a good piece of kit. Use it with my EL8s and my Denon 5000s.
Z Reviews says a lot of things I don't necessarily agree with... not saying he's wrong on the Oppo as it is a good portable rig. He's just rather quick to declare things "the best" when he has minimal exposure to the other items in the same niche. As far as other DAC/AMP combos the XDuo XD-5 ( drop is open) the Peachtree Shift, audioquest dragonfly (I have 1.2 for the office), Geekout V2 and Schiit Fulla all have solid reputations and specs. Do you need 192kHz/24 bit support?
Do you prefer it have it's own battery or are you mostly using at the office with minimal portable time?
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I will be returning the OPPO HA-2 and opt for a non-portable DAC/AMP, such as the ODAC/AMP combo from JDSLabs. As of now I'm listening to James Blake - Radio Silence and it just comes alive on my Schiit Stack (Modi/Magnus 2). It's literally night and day. I'm no audiophile but the soundstage is much more immersive and all encompassing on the Schiit stack. I'm aware that I'm comparing a portable DAC to a non portable one, but since the OPPO gives barely any noticeable improvement compared to the iPhone SE integrated DAC I will opt for a stationary DAC/AMP. Maybe I would notice a difference on higher end headphones. Would I be able to tell the difference on a Fostex TH-X00 for instance? I currently have those on order now.
droideggs
If the headphones are more power hungry then yes, you will certainly notice a difference because you will be able to get it up to a good listening level easily. I have not listened to the Fostex th-x00 so I can't really say for sure, but I will say that the schitt stack is a surprisingly good amp/dac combo. I'm actually selling my bottlehead crack and speedball because I am perfectly content driving my hd600s with a magni 2.

I'm assuming by magnus 2 you meant magni 2? Is there a reason you are considering the ODAC/Amp when you already have the magni 2? I can't say one is really better than the other.

As far as portable audio goes, I ended up just buying a nice pair of IEMs that I can drive straight out of my phone or laptop and I am perfectly content doing that.
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