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OPPO Digital has announced an exciting update to its award-winning HA-2 portable headphone amplifier and DAC. While the new HA-2SE looks practically the same as its elder sibling (featuring an aluminum shell with beveled edges and a stitched leather surround), its guts are vastly improved.

The HA-2SE is a slender (2.7-inches wide x 5.375-in high x 0.5-in deep) multifunctional DAC and headphone amplifier that enhances music playback from a variety of sources including mobile phones (iPhone and Android), music players, and home computers. When paired with a phone, the HA-2SE uses a USB input to bypass the phone’s less than stellar DAC converter, giving it direct access to the digital audio signal. Digital-to-audio conversion is then handled internally by ESS Technology’s new flagship Sabre-32 DAC (ES9028-Q2M) that’s laced with ESS’s patented 32-bit Hyperstream DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator; audio output is through a standard 3.5mm jack. This means your ears are treated to an audio performance with significantly less noise and distortion.

The HA-2SE’s USB connection can also bypass sound cards on PC and Mac computers, supporting Hi-Res audio playback with PCM up to 384 kHz 32-bit and DSD up to 12 MHz.




As a bonus, the HA-2SE functions as an external battery charger when connected via USB to mobile devices. Its internal battery uses a patented VOOC rapid charge technology to re-charge itself to 70-percent capacity in roughly 30 minutes (providing hours of operation time). In addition, owners of the new iPhone 7 will appreciate the HA-2SE’s ability to serve as a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter (eliminating the need to ditch older headphones).

The HA-2SE features a Class AB amp that gives owners access to two gain settings. A “High Gain” mode can drive power hungry headphones (up to 30 mW into 16 Ohm), while a “Low Gain” mode handles more sensitive earbud style earphones. Those users looking for a bit more low-end will love the HA-2SE’s “Bass Boost” feature that alters the amp’s normally flat frequency response to one that delivers more impactful sub-sonics.

The HA-2SE would be a great mate to the stellar OPPO PM-2 Planar Magnetic Headphone HTS is currently featuring in a special Giveaway promotion. Click here for more information!

The new HA-2SE, priced at $299, is available for purchase now at oppodigital.com.

Specifications

General
Dimensions: (W x H x D) 2.7 x 5.375 x 0.5 inches, 68 x 137 x 12 mm
Weight: 6.2 oz, 175 grams
Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 200 kHz
Audio-in Level: 1 Vrms
Line-out Level: 1 Vrms
Recommended Headphone Impedance: 16 Ohm - 300 Ohm
Maximum Headphone Output Power (Per Channel): 300 mW into 16 Ohm; 220 mW into 32 Ohm; 30 mW into 300 Ohm
Headphone Amplifier Output Impedance: 0.5 Ohm
Output Jacks: 3.5 mm stereo headphone; 3.5 mm stereo line-out
Analog Input Ports: 3.5 mm stereo audio-in
Digital Input Ports: USB A for iPod / iPhone / iPad; USB micro-B for smartphones with USB OTG feature and computers.
DAC Chip: ESS Sabre32 Reference ES9028-Q2M
Input Format: Stereo PCM, Stereo DSD (DoP v1.1 or native)
PCM Sampling Frequencies: 44.1 kHz - 384 kHz, 16 / 24 / 32-bit
DSD Sampling Frequencies: 2.8224 MHz (DSD64), 5.6448 MHz (DSD128), 11.2896 MHz (DSD256, native mode only)
Profile: USB 2.0, USB Audio 2.0

Included Accessories
Power Supply Unit (Rapid Charging Charger)
USB A - USB micro-B data and rapid charging cable
USB A - Lightning data cable (for Apple devices)
USB micro-B to micro-B data cable (for Android and other smartphones)
3.5 mm - 3.5 mm stereo audio cable
Silicone rubber band (2 pieces)
User guide and warranty documents

Battery
Built-in Battery type: 3000 mAh lithium polymer rechargeable battery
Battery Operation Time: Approx. 13 hours for analog source via Audio-in; approx. 7 hours for digital sources via USB
Charging Time: Approx. 1 hour 30 minutes



Image Credits: OPPO Digital
 

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Is there really a market for this? I find that I really do not care about sound when I'm out and about walking or working out. I did go out of my way to get want I believe was a good phone for audio when I got my cell phone (HTC One M8). I tried a portable headphone amp a few times but it really did just sound the same, just could play louder with my 600 Ohm headphones (That I really do not use with my phone anyway). I do like the DAC upgrade in the OPPO but again Phones are now coming with better and better DAC. A good DAC will be my #1 must have in a new phone.

For PC use, I think I would opt for a larger, more powerful, cheaper unit. (OPPO make one!)

I will say that if this was my cup of tea and I was going to spend $300, I would pick this product as OPPO is one of those companies that make great products.
 

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Is there really a market for this? I find that I really do not care about sound when I'm out and about walking or working out. I did go out of my way to get want I believe was a good phone for audio when I got my cell phone (HTC One M8). I tried a portable headphone amp a few times but it really did just sound the same, just could play louder with my 600 Ohm headphones (That I really do not use with my phone anyway). I do like the DAC upgrade in the OPPO but again Phones are now coming with better and better DAC. A good DAC will be my #1 must have in a new phone.

For PC use, I think I would opt for a larger, more powerful, cheaper unit. (OPPO make one!)

I will say that if this was my cup of tea and I was going to spend $300, I would pick this product as OPPO is one of those companies that make great products.
The market must be healthy enough to Version 2 of the product hit the streets, but I've not heard sales/unit numbers to confirm how popular it is. Like anything, this obviously is a device that necessitates a demo to decide if it's for you or not. I would hazard to guess that folks simply concerned with convenience wouldn't bother adding extra bulk to their phone for daily use. But, those who value sound quality might find it worth the addition! Its versatility is certainly intriguing, especially its ability to charge phones and act as a DAC for computers.
 

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There is absolutely a market for this. There is a huge portable headphone crowd out there. This is probably not the type of device you will use while you are walking out and about. People commuting via trains, buses, even to some extent planes, can benefit from this. While it's pretty small, it does add unwanted bulk to your pocket. It is not just for phones, as you mentioned, it can also be used with your laptops. Those who are serious about high-quality sound on-the-go definitely want a portable DAP like this one.
 
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Honestly, the extra thickness added by this (when paired with a phone) is all that much. Definitely something to consider
 

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I'm the fence about getting the HA-2se. I would be connecting it to a iPad Mini4. I got some Kef M500 headphones, how do you think they would pair with the OPPO?
 
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