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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Personal Audio Preview!
Oppo Upgrades HA-2 to HA-2SE:
iPhone Perks Embody Version II

New Tweaks for Oppo's Best Seller DAC/HP Amp

by John Gatski
  Oppo Digital has taken my favorite portable headphone amp/DAC, a winner of the 2015 EAN Personal Audio Product of The Year Award and upgraded it at no extra charge.
  Aesthetically, the $299 HA-2SE looks the same as the original HA-2 — genuine leather casing with contrast stitching and beveled aluminum edges. But inside, the DAC chip has been upgraded to the ES9028Q2M, the top-of-the-line from ESS Technology’s SABRE32 Reference series for portable designs. The headphone amplifier is further optimized for very sensitive in-ear monitors, with a claimed lower noise floor and higher signal-to-noise ratio over the original HA-2.
  OPPO HA-2SE is engineered to enhance music playback from mobile phones and portable music players. Featuring hybrid Class AB amplification and a USB DAC, the HA-2SE offers high-performance, digital-to-analog conversion for Apple’s iPhone/iPod products, a wide range of Android devices, PC and Mac computers. Equipped with a 3000mAh internal battery and OPPO’s patented safe rapid charging technology, the HA-2SE can charge mobile devices on-the-go and can itself be charged in 30 minutes.

Key Features
•ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC — ES9028Q2M DAC chip delivers high-resolution performance with extremely low noise and distortion.
•High-Resolution Audio — The HA-2SE supports PCM audio up to 384 kHz / 32-bit, DSD audio up to 12 MHz (DSD256 or DSD4x). No camera connection kit required for high-resolution playback from iOS devices.•
•Ideal Companion for iPhone 7 – The HA-2SE provides improved sound quality over the adapter that comes with the iPhone 7, and its ability to charge the phone while you listen to music resolves the issues arising from the removal of the 3.5 mm headphone jack.
•Multiple Devices Support – The HA-2SE supports multiple device types for digital-to-analog conversion via USB: iPod / iPhone / iPad, smartphones with USB OTG feature, PC and Mac computers.
•Mobile Power Bank with Rapid Charging – The HA-2SE functions as an external battery pack to charge mobile devices. Its internal battery can be quickly charged in about 30 minutes with the patented rapid charger.

Inside the HA-2SE

  EAN raved about the original HA-2 when it came out two years ago, noting how high-end its HP output was in terms of deep soundstage and intricate detail when listening ti hi-res music. In fact, I recommended it to numerous audiophiles who were considering combo/DAC players that cost more than 3X the price of the Oppo. To improve on the original is an incredible feat.
  According to Oppo: "The HA-2SE is a very mobile-centric, portable headphone amplifier and DAC that pairs exceptionally well with iOS and Android devices. It works especially well with Apple’s newly released iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. As  a “Made for iPhone” certified device and coming with a Lightning cable included, the HA-2SE can charge the iPhone and play music at the same time."

When used with quality iPhone audio apps, the HA-2SE supports bit-perfect playback of high-resolution music, exceeding the 48 kHz sample rate limitation of using the phone’s built-in headphone output or headphone adapter.

  "Its high-end DAC and high output amplifier can provide a significant improvement in sound quality and drive a wider variety of headphones than the Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter that comes with the new iPhone," an Oppo spokesman explained. "When used with quality audio apps, the HA-2SE supports bit-perfect playback of high resolution music, exceeding the 48 kHz sample rate limitation of using the phone’s built-in headphone output or headphone adapter."
   In addition to the USB DAC inputs, the HA-2SE provides a 3.5 mm, line-in jack for portable music players that do not have a USB-compatible digital output. The same jack doubles as line-out when the HA-2SE is used as a DAC. The headphone amplifier has two gain level settings and a Bass Boost function.
   The HA-2SE will be available for audition and demo at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver during the weekend of October 7 – 9. Click Oppo HA-2SE for more info.

  John Gatski has been evaluating consumer, audiophile, home cinema and professional audio gear since 1988. In 1995, he created Pro Audio Review, and he has written for Audio, Laserviews, Enjoy The Music, The Audiophile Voice, High Performance Review, Radio World and TV Technology. Everything Audio Network is based in Kensington, Md. Articles on this site are the copyright of the ©Everything Audio Network. Any unauthorized use, via print or Internet, without written permission is prohibited. John Gatski can be reached via

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