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Oppo HA-2 SE

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by blacklwf, Oct 3, 2016.
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  1. BLacklWf
    Just ordered the new Oppo HA-2 SE from Oppo.com. I will report back here after some break-in period.


    Not that I find whathifi a super reliable source for reviews, but at least SE got a promising review there.


    I also read from the original HA-2 forum that a user preferred the original compared to SE. I don't have the original, so I won't be able to add any value there, but I hope there will be more users who heard the both to provide us with comparisons between two.
  2. cannyladdie

    Just received mine the day before yesterday.
    Currently breaking in. Sounded really rough out of the box. Within several hours already sounding much much better.
  3. cannyladdie
    The USB to lightning tethering cable is not connecting right. The signal from my iPhone 6SPlus keeps cutting out. I tried my standard-issue iPhone USB/Lightning cable and it works fine with that.
  4. BLacklWf
    I received mine yesterday, so far I did not have a connection issue with my Ipad.  But, I did notice some weird behavior.  The last night when I connected first to ipad, the volume control in Ipad had an effect - meaning when i move volume up and down from ipad, it was affecting the volumn up and down with HA-2 SE - independently from HA-2 SE's volumn control...  which made me suspect if I was really getting all digital sound from ipad.
    But, today, when I connected again for 2nd time - the volume control on ipad does not work at all - meaning it does nothing - not even volume change graphic comes up - which is what I wanted to see.  Anyway - how could the behavior change like this in one night?  I have no idea.
    Anyway, so far the sound is good, but I will burn in at least 40-50 h ours before commenting on the sounds.
    Alistair Wint likes this.
  5. TimeLord

    The HA-2/SE behavior is that the volume control on the iDevice will have an impact on the overall volume. Oppo is mapping the iDevice's setting to the HA-2/SE so that the user can fine tune the volume.

    Read the second paragraph of the "Amp" section of this link.
  6. cannyladdie
    Hi BlackIWf,
    Are you using the short length USB/Lightning tethering cable? How is yours working? Mine keeps cutting out.
    I'm reserving any judgement on sonics until it breaks in properly. I do notice that the sound improves after warming up. Has that been your experience?
  7. BLacklWf

    Today ipad volume control has an effect again. This thing is not reliable.
  8. BLacklWf

    Im using my other lighting cable, and so far i haven't had cutting off yet.

    I like sounds so far but there are not too many high quality music files i have. Im mostly listening tidal hifi saved offline on my ipad, which I think sounds as good many redbook cd players in the transporting job to dac. However even on hifi mode on tidal there are so many crap quality music files that some actually better to listen directly on ipad. For example, i love John Legends, but his album on tidal hifi is so crappyily recorded or converted that using HA-2SE only make it sounds worse.
  9. TimeLord

    Are you sure it's not the iPad that's causing the issue? I've used the HA-2 and the HA-2 SE with at least three different iDevices and have never seen this behavior.

    To rule out the iPad being the issue, do you have another iDevice to try it with? If not, is there an Apple Store you can take the Oppo to and test it there?

    If all that fails, you can return it to Oppo and get a properly working one. I'm interested to hear what you find out. Good luck.
  10. BLacklWf

    I have two ipads and two iphones at home. I will try them at different times to see.
  11. BLacklWf
    I have tested HA-2 SE with 2 ipads and 2 iphones on the connectivity issue.  
    First, the volume control.  On ipads - there were 2 separate occurrences of volume control not working on two separate ipads.  I think I connected maybe around 20 times with these two ipads, and twice there were issues for me.  On iphones, I connected about 7 times so far, and I didn't have the volume control issue yet. At the moment, I have no way to tell whether this is Apple problem or Oppo problem.
    Stock Lightening Cable Connectivity - I confirmed that I had similar a problem with cannyladdie above that the connection was cut using the supplied lightening cable by Oppo.  I used this cable only 2 listening sessions so far and noticed that connection was being interrupted time to time for me.  I did not have the same issue with my other lightening cable from Apple so far.
    My unit has about 45 hours of use now, so i will try to post the my sound impression in next a few of days.
  12. BLacklWf
    I have an interesting mini review coming up today.  I always had assumed 'wired' sounds better than 'wireless (or bluetooth)'.  However, I have read rather good reviews of B&W P7 Wireless that some people said it sounds better wireless.  Basically wireless connection uses the headphones' tiny DAC and amplifier of its own and that's why some people said it was better wireless compared using whatever the inferior DAC and amplifier their phones had.  I don't think P7 wireless DAC/amplifier will come any where near the performance of HA-2 SE alongside the bluetooth is compressed already.  Nonetheless, I will run a min test when I receive P7 wireless today and post here.
  13. BLacklWf
    Wow, this is a surprise!  Please don't get me wrong.  HA-2 SE is better in every aspect compared to the internal DAC and amplification of B&W P7 Wireless.  But, the difference is much smaller than I have ever anticipated.  HA-2 SE is has much blacker background, more extensions on the both ends, more engaging, more texture, which is just as I did expected to be.  However, the gap is much smaller than I had ever thought possible.  I was using Tidal Offline Files downloaded at HiFi, which is about equivalent to the redbook cds.  And, I loved what I heard.  I never heard such a great bluetooth headphone before.  I had tried Senn Momentum Wireless where the wireless had pretty sizable gap in sound quality vs wired in my opinion.  But, with P7 wireless, there is a difference - of course wired being better when used with HA-2 SE, but the difference is much smaller.  At work - where I used to carry HA-2 SE, I don't think I would need it anymore since I don't do a focused listening at work anyway.  P7 in wireless mode is more than adapt for casual/background listening. Just so that people don't set too high of expectation, HA-2 SE is better in every corner.  And, there is some pop in bluetooth connection.  So, it's not perfect by any mean.  However, I can definitely see with upcoming aptX HD bluetooth, the gap between wired vs wireless will be even more narrower than before.
    I think I will leave HA-2 SE at home for late night deep listening sessions from now.  Now this sounds like a P7 mini review which doesn't belong here.  My next post will be focused in the sound quality of HA-2 SE.
  14. gavinfabl
    I have the original HA-2 and am burning in my HA-2 SE. I reviewed the original on my blog, under reviews, audio. I intend to review the new version and do some A to B versus the original.

    I like what I'm hearing so far with the HA-2 SE. Sound wonderful with my Sennheiser HD598 and also my Oppo PM-3.
  15. TimeLord

    I compared the original to the SE and posted about it here.
    I think the amp section has been improved, but the DAC section of the original is superior.
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