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HA INFO U2 Plus USB DAC / Headphone Amp Review...perhaps the best cheap USB DAC headphone amp?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

IMGP0255.JPG

 

 

The HA INFO U2 PLUS USB DAC and Headphone Amp:

 

The specs are impressive especially for the price £45 ($70):

 

TENOR TE7022L USB reciever chip
TPA6120A2 Headphone amp chip
AD1852 DAC
Nichicon Muse caps

Alps volume control.

 

The first thing I did on receiving the DAC was to change the op amp from the OPA2604 (not one of the best)  to OPA2107. I would encourage anyone who buys the DAC to change the op amp as soon as possible. I will try different op amps later and post the results.

 

I've been listening to this for past few hours after 20 hours of burn in and I think this is a great little unit. There's enough power to comfortably drive my HD600 to a very loud level. The sound is detailed, resolved and controlled.I can easily hear into to a complex mix but still be able to simply enjoy the music. It's a little distant and cold sounding but I think this will gradually disappear with further burning in .

 

Has anyone else had experience with this USB DAC? 

 

 

After 40 hours burn in:

 

The sound is opening up further and becoming fuller and slightly warmer.Volume tracking has also improved. This is turning out to be quite a remarkable unit. I will post further impressions during the burn in process.

 

 

After 90 hours burn in:

 

This is really an excellent USB DAC...the sound has matured now and has become slightly mellower and smoother.It's fairly neutral, perhaps a little warm, with plenty of detail with very good imaging and sound staging.It's such a well balanced sound...the ample bass is pretty tight, midband is open and without any significant colouration,treble is smooth and well extended. The only criticism I can make is that sometimes I wish it had a bit more dynamic range and had a slightly 'bigger' presentation but this is only in comparison to a more expensive separate headphone amp and DAC, and to be honest it it does so much right and for such a reasonable price that to make any criticism seems unfair. In fact it does some things better (like instrument separation) better than a few pricier DAC/headphone amp combinations that I have known.

 

I can confidently say that it is much better than the Aune Mini USB DAC and significantly better than than Audinst HUD-mx1 I use to own .The latter, although having a good DAC, didn't have the headphone driving capability (even at high gain) I was hoping for and simply sounded too 'small' and bass light.The Aune was good at imaging but lacked resolution and detail (through the USB input).The build quality of the Aune is superior to the HA INFO, which does have a good build, (apart from the awful volume knob, which I've replaced, see photo), it's just that Aune decided to something special in that regard.

 

Anyway, best value audio purchase I have ever made (I've been an audiophile for 16 years) and ranks in my top 6 regardless of price (purely on sound quality).

Highly recommended!

 

Op amps:

 

I've tried various op amps. Here are my results:

 

OPA2107... good bass, tight and powerful but treble blunted

LME49720HA...smooth and neutral but a bit dull.Bass could be tighter.

OPA2111AM...lucid,valve like sound but a bit too warm and cuddly for me.

OPA2134...this more humble op amp is best for the HA INFO (for me anyway), very neutral, powerful sound with excellent detailing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

.


 


Edited by Mr Vicarious - 6/14/13 at 8:48am
post #2 of 41

It sounds so good < I just got the modified version of it from my friend

It can drive HD800 and HE5 easily ,sounds even better than my HM801 unbelieveable

 

 

I would say the best value ever for me is this combination

Creative aurvana mod with cardas cable and a little mod in side (total cost = 133 $ ) + modded HA U2 Dac amp (cost total  around 150 usd. I'm not quite sure cuz he just build in a small amp inside ).

 

I will listen to it with my JH16 tomorrow06102011444.jpg


Edited by coolcat - 10/5/11 at 11:48am
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 

Can you tell me what mods exactly your friend did to the unit? I would be really interested to know.

post #4 of 41

I will ask him,but I don't know if he will answer (even though we're friend :( ),he likes to keep it secret.

I think he can tell me about the opamp and how he built his amp in Generall,if I get some information from him ,I will tell you

post #5 of 41

hello mate am thinking of buying the ha info u2 , is it in your opinion a good buy and where did you optain your op amps. thanks

post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 

Yes, as I said in my review, I definitely recommend the HA INFO. The op amps can purchased from eBay.If you buy it, give it at least 80 hours burn in to reach it's full potential.


Edited by Mr Vicarious - 10/12/11 at 4:23pm
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Vicarious View Post

Can you tell me what mods exactly your friend did to the unit? I would be really interested to know.


 

Hi, About the answers for your Questions.(Sorry for my poor English )

..... First of all I've done hardly modded to every thing I own for the best performance of itself can do. ( I means the chips, the circuits and the topology)

 

1) Find out the weak point and Decrease it.

....The power supply ...>>> To change some parts with the power full ,Faster and make sure the current can smoothly  flow.

....The signal parts  ....>>> To upgrade, replace with the more good sounding parts

2) As my modded concept above  ,,, thinking about  "How to upgrade  the overall performance and setting the GOAL  (ex. 10X worth of it price) "

.... Do it follow my dreams and enjoy to got the result.Copy of DSCF4663.JPG

 

Note: My next step modify.

Using the external power supply  0-28V 1.2A Linear Regulator (and review the amplification gain of the amp. stage) for more power full  and enjoy to drive the HE6

 


Edited by wat12 - 10/19/11 at 2:30am
post #8 of 41
I just pulled the plug on this sucker, what can I expect, i've never owned a DAC/AMP before. (Except fiio e3, which was awesome) I'm using a pair of old, bassy russian orthos - TDS5M.
post #9 of 41

Interested in buy one of these but I'm not 100% confident in the dimensions I'm seeing listed on various site (145mm(L) x 31mm(H) x 75mm (W) - Just looks a lot smaller than that so wondering if anyone would be kind enough to confirm these for (unfortunately size is an issue for me).

Thanks.

post #10 of 41

Anyone know how one of these compares to a FiiO E10?

post #11 of 41

Is it better than MM 02 US ?

post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcat View Post

 

I will listen to it with my JH16 tomorrow


 

How did it sound with your JH16?

 

post #13 of 41

I agree it's the best budget USB DAC headphone amp but forget the OPA you mention biggrin.gif and put a serious OPA like the Audio-GD OPA-EARTH and you get a true killer amp!

Ok you have to sacrifice some aesthetical but it worth the effort...The sound of stock HA INFO U2 PLUS is quite decent but with the Audio-GD OPA the difference is spectaculareek.gif

With stock and OPA2134 the cymbal sound like 192kbps mp3, with the Audio-GD it sound like 900kbps FLAC. The modified HA INFO U2 PLUS is even better than my previous setup:Fubar II USB DAC and Little Dot MK4 SEbeyersmile.png

 

HA INFO.JPGHA INFO2.JPG

post #14 of 41
Thread Starter 

Much better.


Edited by Mr Vicarious - 7/22/12 at 6:39am
post #15 of 41
Thread Starter 

That's one serious looking op-amp! How much was it and is it readily available?

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