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New Sony PHA-2A portable DAC

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by woodlands, Sep 1, 2016.
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  1. Bepli
    Never heard the Onkyo but the Sony is like a perfect DAC/Amp for portable use with anything and to my ears it sound great
  2. Wiz33
    If you already have the DP-X1, don't know how useful the Sony will be for you as you would still need a player for portable use and it'll be quite bulky to carry both, not to mention that you'll need some form of adapter or new cables for the 4.4mm balanced output vs the 2.5mm that you're using now. However, if you do not currently have a DAC/AMP for your PC, it does work very well using the Sony MediaGo software set to ASIO for direct digital output to the PHA-2A.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  3. Wyd4
    Just ordered one of these.
    Looking forward to hearing it with my z7 and isine20 :D
  4. Dim666
    I have both but I think that WM1A is sufficient for IEM's like my Campfire audio Vega. With Z7, this PHA 2-A makes the sound better for this headphone really.
  5. Wiz33
    Just received the package and to my surprise, it is the MUC-M12SB1 which is a steal at that price. It is a Korean market package as seen below:

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  6. adalberto vela
    Has anybody compared this to the PHA-3..? Would love to hear some comparisons..
  7. Witcher
    Yes, when I was looking for an alternative to my mojo, I did look at all 3 PHA models, from 1A, 2A, and 3.

    I found that the 1A and 2A have similar characteristics, and the 3 is a different animal. To my ears, I couldn't but help think that the 3 was still superior by far. I was testing all 3 with my own Z5, and the shop's Z7 and Z1R then. The 1A and 2A had beautiful broad midranges, but didn't have the high end treble extension I was looking for, nor did they have the sub bass extension I wanted. The 3, on the other hand, had both extremes, but has a leaner midrange which isn't as pronounced as the other 2. The 3 also had a wider soundstage on the Z5 as compared to the other 2.

    I would say... the PHA 1A and 2A are more suited for Jazz and vocals, while the PHA3 is more suited for rock, metal, and instrumentals.

    All 3 were tested using Sony's own demo WM1A as a source. In the end I left the shop with the PHA3, which I felt suited the Z1R and the Z5 better. I don't own the Z7 myself, so I'm not able to comment much on that.

    So here's the final set: [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
    purk likes this.
  8. adalberto vela
    Yeah, that's what I figured...I love to look of the PHA-2A and the 4.4mm balance option, but probably going to go with the PHA-3, as I'll also be using it with Z1R... I sampled the PHA-3 at a local best buy and absolutely loved the sound, and this was with the Z...An amazon review mentioned the PHA-2A was better, but I didn't buy into it much, as he provided no details really..I do realize every ear is different, but still..Thanks for the feedback
  9. Wiz33
    Or just hold off and wait. Now that we got the 1A and 2A and Sony seems to be set on the 4.4mm for the future (the forthcoming ZX300 will also use 4.4mm). I'm pretty sure that a 3A is not too far off in the future. That said, I did borrow a 3 from a friend before I bought the 2A and I felt that it colors the sound (bass and highs) (I know every DAC does, but it seems to have gone a bit overboard on the 3). I found the 2A much more neutral (not flat by not to the 3's extreme) when compared to my pink noise EQ'ed KEFs I used at home.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  10. adalberto vela
    Yeah, I thought about that but figured a used PHA-3 for around $500 would do for now..I had a friend describe the PHA-3 as being beefier than the PHA-2A...?
  11. Wiz33
    Guess it also depends on if you plan on going balanced and have or about to invested in a good set of balanced cable. I wasn't about to spend a couple hundred bucks on a set of 2.5mm cable that Sony is phasing out and no one else is using and I was looking at new not used. They do sound different but I would suggest that Witcher should try 2A balanced before saying the 3 have a wider soundstage as the 2A have a larger soundstage running balanced than the 3 running SE. The bass on the 3 is heavier but not any lower and if there was more extension in the high, it's happening outside my hearing range (I'm over 50). Also, the mid on the Z5 is already recessed and would feel more so on the 3. I don't want that. The only reason I just invested in the 4.4 Kimber balance is that most have agree that the recessed mid was brought a bit more forward using the Kimber.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  12. hangman2123
    The kimber is definitely worth it.
  13. adalberto vela
    What about Soundstage on the PHA-3 via Balanced..?
  14. Wiz33
    Only had the stock Z5 balance cable and the sound stage is no bigger than the 2A balanced.
  15. Witcher
    Considering I JUST bought the PHA3, I'm dreading an inevitable upcoming release of the 3A. lol.
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