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OPPO HA-2 Portable Headphone Amplifier/DAC Discussion Thread

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  1. zilch0md
    I hope you're not disappointed in this answer, but it's impossible to evaluate the Sony NWZ-A17 DAC without listening to its amp at the same time. There is no available line out from the DAC section, so the only way to hear the DAC is through the amp, either into efficient IEMs, as intended, or by double-amping, with the headphone out driving an external amp (yuck). I tried that briefly, but I didn't care for what I heard. I may have had such low expectations due to double-amping that I didn't give it a chance.

    Sony isn't famous for making DAC chips. That's kind of an underhanded comment, when you consider how good the NWZ-A17 DAC+amp can sound with efficient transducers, but in the end, I firmly believe Oppo's use of an ESS Sabre DAC delivers "better" audio (but don't forget that I have no way to judge the Sony DAC without its weak amp section.)

    My Sony PCM-M10 recorder/player actually has a Line Out for its DAC. It's an older product, but it sounds bright and just a wee bit grainy relative to other DACs I've tried with my portable amps. Its headphone out isn't as good as that of the much smaller NWZ-A17, even though it's got a little more power. The Sony PCM-M10 most definitely sounds best with the Line Out driving a potent amp. This was my "travel rig" for several months:


    I think you're going to be in a state of euphoria for at least a few weeks, listening to your microSD library on that rig.

    Last edited: May 12, 2017
  2. Timster
    Definitely an issue on iPad too. Running iPad Mini 3, 10.3.? and drop outs galore. Less if I run hi-gain on the HA-2. Was using an non certified cable so will have to try an original cable next
  3. jegnyc
    Does your iPad have cellular capability?
  4. Timster
    Sure does. And confirmed running iOS 10.3.1
  5. jegnyc
    OK we have two reports about iPads: a WiFi only unit that is not having problems and a unit with cellular capability that does have problems. Hardly an adequate sampling, but perhaps suggestive.
  6. Timster
    So I have sat the iPad on the kitchen bench this morning, hooked a little amped speaker into the line out of the HA2 and started playing. So far Dire Straits' Making Movies has played through without stopping.. Cellular is on, but nothing is moving and nothing else is happening on the iPad. I had a lot pf problems on Thursday when I was moving on a train, with intermittent cell coverage.

    On Monday I am travelling to Manila and will have the gear with me on the plane. I will have Airplane mode on, and will see what happens and report back on Tuesday hopefully.
  7. jegnyc
    Your descriptions suggest to me that you may be suffering from the second issue described by Halo9 in post 4386, not the third, which is apparently specific to 10.3.x and is shared by a number of DACs.

    Gosh, this is confusing.
  8. Timster
    Maybe so, but I have been using this setup for more than 12 months on the same train trip, and only recently has this started. Due to work travel though I can't say when I upgraded(?) to 10.3 or whether the current issue started at that point. It is definitely a different issue from the slow down and distorted sound that can somehting happen, seemingly when cell coverage changes.

    Edit - Just looked at the "second issue" and it is definitely not that. It is number 3 on that list for sure.
    Maybe it only happens on cell enable when its on the move?

    I'll test over the next few days
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
    jegnyc likes this.
  9. jegnyc
    In that case, it definitely sounds 10.3 related. Thanks.
  10. claud W
    Thanks Mike for your insights and great pics. SE and PM-3 arriving next Friday.
    zilch0md likes this.
  11. ReaperZzZ
    @DrunkSaru have you found a better solution to this yet by chance ?

    I now have a Samsung S8+ and this is BEYOND NUTS ! Surely theres a way we can fix this ?

    "USB charging connected device" can die in a fire :frowning2:
  12. Timster
    OK, so I tested this yesterday on a flight with my HA2, Ipad Mini and Bose QC20s. HA2 set to low gain.
    1. Playing music only using "Equaliser" app that is my usual player, screen off, airplane mode on..... played ok for a at least an hour.... I dozed a little but it was still playing when I woke up.
    2. Opened the ipad cover, and the music stopped through the headphones but was still playing in the app. turned the HA2 off and on, and pressed play and away we go again.
    3. Tried again, and this time the music kept playing while it opened, so I turned off airplane mode (its OK there was WiFi on the flight) and the music stopped after a minute or two.
    4. Tried playing some videos that were downloaded into the Netlfix app. Had a few cutout of sound in 15 mins.

    Seems to me with this limited test, and my experience last week on a train and on the weekend, that the issue affects the connection to the HA2 if the ipad (or phone?) is doing some intensive work such as playing a video, trying to connect to networks etc. If it's doing nothing else, with the screen off, it seems to be OK.

    This did not happen on earlier iOS versions

  13. jegnyc
  14. SeraphicWings
    Yes, for my HA-2SE, while the problem still persists, the 10.3.2 updates make it happen much less often now
  15. Timster
    Done! Going to download 10.3.2 ASAP but am now in Manila with work for the four weeks and can't really test it on the move. I'll see what I can come up with
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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