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OPPO HA-2 Portable Headphone Amplifier/DAC Discussion Thread

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  1. candysound
    Hi, I am looking for a DAC/amp for my iPhone and the HA-2 is at the top of my small list of choices but was wondering if I could answer phone calls while using it. thanks
  2. knaai
    Unfortunately you can't...
  3. DrunkSaru
    What phones will you generally be using? and what led you to HA-2? Have you had a chance to listen with the HA-2 yet?
  4. candysound
    I'm running an iPhone 6s atm and i was planning to upgrade to 8 soon and thought of two options, an amp/DAC, in this case, the ha-2 with iems or i get the audeze isine and wish I like em enough to keep, but the ha-2 or amp/DAC seems a more reasonable way to go since I can use which items I want.

    about hearing the ha-2, no I did not but read a lot of praise on its Dac(sabre) so I was willing to try it and if I don't like it, i just take a small hit and hopefully sell it.
  5. DrunkSaru
    Like everything else in the Hifi world, sound is very subjective. I personally enjoy the sabre dac but that's just me with the genre of music i listen to. Many say it makes certain songs sound too bright at times. I can see how that can be the case. I would highly recommend listening to it with the isine when you get them. In fact, buy the isine first. They aren't hard to drive at all. The iphone's generally have an okay dac/amp so you should be fine. Meanwhile, try to get a listen to the HA-2 from someone who might be local to you. The darn thing still costs $300 so it's a hefty investment, especially for those who don't have a lot of money to burn. If you listen to more electronic/synthesized music or like stuff with heavy bass, my recommendation is the Dragonfly Red. It's cheaper than the HA-2, even after buying the lightening to USB adapter. I personally feel the mojo sounded the best with the isine but again, sound is subjective. Also, my ears aren't good enough to distinguish the differences with all the different Dac's out there. I've heard several products with the Sabre Dac inside but the amp is all tuned differently so the sound you hear will still be different so I can't really hate on the Sabre DAC. For example, the HA-2 and Dragonfly Red (Or black) both have Sabre DAC's, though slightly different chips, sound pretty different to me. Many of my friends prefer the Dragonfly over my HA-2. Of course the HA-2 has it's own volume knob (I Love knobs), hi/lo gain, bass gain, and it's own battery but many people on this thread have also complained about it not working well with the iphones (if you read back on the thread). I'm an android user and haven't had any issues. Sorry I tend to rant a lot. So back to the point. Highly recommend listening to the amp first before purchasing.

    On a side note, what DAC/AMP/device do you use currently if you have one?
    zilch0md likes this.
  6. adrift02
    Similar to what DrunkSaru said, a lot of this is subjective. I will say the HA-2SE seems to fall somewhere in the neutral/bright spectrum (closer to neutral) to my ears, which is probably the AMP more than the DAC. That can pair well with some IEMs, but could be less satisfying when paired with IEMs that are already sibilant/bright, especially when the iPhone generally does a decent job by itself. For example, I have some Polk speakers that I pair with an old H&K amp because it's on the warm side and offsets their brightness. Another thing to keep in mind is the iOS pairing still isn't perfect. They fixed the dropouts, but there are still leftover "stutters" when those dropouts would occur (albeit they're very minor). Hope that helps -- try it first if you can.
  7. CrocodileDundee
    I bought my HA-2SE a couple months ago and I use it with my Monolith M1060 and it sounds awesome, some musics they sound too bright, but for that the HA-2SE has the magic bottom (Bass boost) to increase the low end and it balances really well without making it sound too artificial.

    I still have the problems with the dropouts majorly when the phone is receiving/sending notifications, definitely IOS/lightning issue as I have similar problems with my Apple Car Play.
  8. candysound
    Did not know the ha-2 has issues with iPhones, though it was designed mainly for iOS users in mind, anyway thanks for the heads up cos I do like a slightly warmer sound myself, especially on the go.
    I will go for the isine with cypher cable and hope they will be comfy enough.

    As for DAC, I have a Marantz DAC 1 ATM bought for a bargain and running a smsl Sanskrit on the desk for (PS4-Mac).
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  9. DrunkSaru
    AHHhhhh! Dude, you have a fanstastic DAC/Amp. - referring to the Marantz HD-DAC1. I used to have that and I loved it! It looked so nice on my wood desk. Unfortunately, I sold it to get the less visually appealing Jotunheim last year because at the time I had some harder to drive headphones plus I kinda wanted to try the balanced thing too. I almost want to say that the DAC chip in the SK6 is inferior/older than the one in the Marantz too but as stated prior, I probably wont be able to tell the difference.

    Anyway, the Marantz will sound much warmer than the HA-2 so the HA-2 will sound very bright. Note that I have the original HA-2 and not the HA-2SE and I have not heard the SE yet so I don't know how much of a sound difference there is between the two. When the SE first came out, many preferred the sound of the SE over the original during their initial listen but no one ever talked about how it was different and eventually I just stopped reading up. So when you get your iSine and you listen through the Marantz and you feel like you can use a bit more brightness to your music, then consider the HA-2. Other recommendation, don't get rid of your Marantz. I kinda regret getting rid of mine but then again I got it for a super cheap price. Someone bought it thinking it was a home theater amp that was super small only to realize it was not so it was returned and I ended up getting it for $450, later selling it for $500 (with lost remote). If I can swoop one up again for $400, It will be bought in a heartbeat. Lastly, a bit off topic, my friend has the iSine20 and we paired it up with his WooAudio WA8 over the weekend and it sounded so f'in nice. Not saying you should go spend $2000, but if you ever get the chance, I would recommend having a listen. :) Cheers
    candysound likes this.
  10. Cuenca John
    Since I upgraded my iPad to 10.3.3, I have had no dropouts. Or any problems using the VOX app, which I use for FLAC files.
    Before the 10.3.3, I could not turn off the iPad, while playing music via VOX. The VOX player would shut down.
    As for the HA-2 being bright...I'd say it has more to do with which headphone you're using, more than the music.
    I pair the HA-2 with Oppo PM-3...perfect match, not bright at all. I always have the bass boost on.
  11. adrift02
    Just so I'm clear -- I don't consider the HA-2SE bright. It's very close to neutral. If I had to swing it one way or another, I'd put it on the bright end of neutral though. I'd say it's a non-issue unless you have headphones that are right on the edge of too bright or sibilant or something, and then should consider a warmer amp. Other than the iOS headaches I love the SQ of this thing.
  12. DrunkSaru
    I agree with headphones idea. I also agree that the amp is pretty neutral. I also agree that the PM3 paired with HA2 is brilliant. But the PM3 paired with some other amps I wasn't overly excited about. Example: Wooaudio WA3 just sounded way too dark for me with the PM3 even though it opened up the soundstage a lot.

    One of the things I noticed over the few years I owned the HA-2. Easy to drive headphones/IEM's usually are fine and retain the sound signature they are supposed to have but the harder they become to drive, the brighter they sound at higher volumes. and by brighter, I'm talking maybe 3-4 db higher than normal so for some, I don't think it makes a difference. I first noticed it with my old Fostex t50rp MK2 unmodded. Then my HD650, HD800, HE500. Also, this I'm not positive on since I don't have anything to really measure but the planars seemed to increase in brightness just a tad bit more than regular dynamic drivers. Anyway, that said, I still stand by my original recommendation which is buy the phones first and then select an amp that you feel pairs well with it.

    **on a side note, i never use the bass boost on mine. I quite enjoy the way things sound with out it**
  13. Cuenca John
    When I am in Germany, later this month, going to test drive Beyerdynamic DT1990, with the HA-2.
    Maybe I'll buy the DT1990 or maybe not...to be determined. When on planes, trains most certainly be using the Oppo PM-3, being they're closed back.
    The 1990 are open back. Should be an interesting comparison between the PM-3 and DT1990.
  14. adrift02
    For what it's worth (I have no idea how different the DT1990 sounds), the HA-2SE sounds great with the DT770 (80ohm). It does a great job powering them and pairs well being that the DT770 is slightly bass-heavy.
  15. Cuenca John
    It might be that I'll prefer the HA-2 bass boost off with the Beyerdynamic as opposed to it being on with the PM-3.
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