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OPPO HA-2SE: The Ultimate Headphone Amplifier?

Imagine this, you are in the gym going through an extremely tuff workout. The only thing that will make it easier is music, but the sound that comes straight from headphones isn’t enough. That’s where the OPPO HA-2SE comes in. In this review, we are going to breakdown what the OPPO HA-2SE is. We will explain more about its top of the range technology and chipset that will allow you to boost your audio, enhance your quality, listen to clearer and adventure anywhere. Talk about exactly what it can do, and why it should be the next purchase you make when looking for an amazing headphone amplifier that can be taken on any adventure.

OPPO HA-2SE Review

The OPPO HA-2SE is the second instalment of OPPO’s HA range. This device is a high-resolution USB DAC that is compatible with Apple, Android, PC, and Macs. It comes with an ESS Sabre DAC chip and is also a mobile power bank for your device.

Purchasing this device will not only boost your sound levels to extremes you never thought possible. Completely changing the audio game for when it is time to be in the gym, out for a walk, or even just lying in bed. It will also double as a charging station for devices that are carried all day every day. This means that not only does this device boost your audio to levels never heard because of its amazing headphone amplifier, but the OPPO HA-2SE will also serve as a practical, functional, good looking and an all-round great piece of tech that can be taken on any adventure. No matter the terrain or the weather.

Key Features:

  • Hybrid Class AB Amplifier
  • ESS Sabre DAC Chip
  • Clean Signal Path
  • Bass Boost
  • Compatible with Apple, Android, PC, and Mac
  • Fast Charging
  • Great Build Quality
  • Mobile Power Bank
  • Two Gain Settings

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Hybrid Class AB Amplifier

The power amplification circuit for headphones on the OPPO HA-2SE is Class AB. It is built with integrated circuits (ICs) and also has small, discrete transistors. The small transistors use hand-picked and matched parts. The output transistor is then biased to operate in the most linear range for the crucial small signal. They will deliver full potential when power is required.

When you mix Class A and Class B, it achieves a mixture of being more efficient than just a Class A but has lower distortion than Class B. This is due to the biased transistors.

ESS Sabre DAC Chip

When it comes to digital audio playback, the DAC is one of the most important components. The ES9028-Q2M DAC chip found inside the OPPO HA-2SE is the newest mobile DAC developed by ESS Technology. With the 32-bit Hypersteam DAC design and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, the Sabre32 DAC can provide performance for mobile applications that are unheard of.

 

 

Clean Signal Path

In the OPPO HA-2SE, there is no digital signal processor. The volume in the HA-2SE is controlled by using a combination of the DAC Chip’s internal digital volume control. As well as an analogue potentiometer. Which is just a fancy word for the volume knob. While avoiding the process of the re-digitizing of the audio signal for volume adjustment or bass boost. It allows the HA-2SE to provide a clean signal path for the audio to come through.

Bass Boost

For those who enjoy a bigger kick in their audio. The option to have your sounds bass boosted is always a plus. The OPPO HA-2SE offers a great boost function. With the boost off, the HA-2SE provides a very flat frequency. With the booster on, the HA-2SE adds force and punch to the sub-bass withing making the audio sound like it is being overrun, taking care of those all-important mid and high-frequency levels.

Often other products that provide a function like this will lose the quality of sound due to it being overpowering and even tho you will get a better thump from your audio, you will lose the rest of the sound making it sound crowded and ruin the overall experience.

Compatible With Apple, Android, PC and Mac

When it comes to apple, the HA-2SE passes Apple’s MFi certification and is therefore compatible with the latest iPod, iPad and iPhone. This allows the device to be used as the digital audio output accessory for these devices. By converting the audio to analogue by using the high-performance Sabre32 DAC Chip, music from your favourite device can now sound exactly how it is supposed to.

In Regard to Android, the HA-2SE’s Micro USB port allows it to work with Android devices that support USB OTG (On-The-Go). A unique USB OTG cable will be supplied with the OPPO HA-2SE to make connecting to your Android device seamless. When paired with the USB OTG cable and a supporting Android Device, the HA-2SE can then support the phones stock music apps, tones and even notification. As well as that it can also play high-resolution music playback apps using the HA-2SE as its external DAC to play music files.

Fast Charging

The OPPO HA-2SE includes a patented VOOC rapid charging technology. Which is built by OPPO. Using the fast charger that is supplied, the internal battery can be safely charged up to 70% capacity in as quick as 30 minutes. Meaning you won’t need to miss your amazing sound for too long. To fully charge the battery, it will only take around 90 minutes from 0% to 100% and allows just a quick charge before you leave the house to give the HA-2SE hours of playtime.

Having this ability is great for anyone who is always out and about. This device will not only be able to keep your audio sounding amazing but also charge your device when the playtime has started to eat away at the phones battery life.

Great Build Quality

Housed in an aluminium body that is then wrapped in genuine leather. The HA-2SE is not only amazing inside, but amazing outside. With the amazing quality not only giving you a sense of style but making you feel secure that if the device drops, that it will still be in perfect working order.

Mobile Power Bank

With the HA-2SE being a great addition for anyone who is looking for a portable headphone amplifier. It also doubles are a power bank for your devices. OPPO had said that two of their main focuses when it came to the HA-2SE where Utility and Convenience that they have achieved offering a device that provides two functions as good as products that are designed only to do one. Now you can ditch large, bulky and heavy power banks and just take this all-in-one portable headphone amplifier and power bank.

Two Gain Settings

On the OPPO HA-2SE, you are offered two gain level settings. Which allow you to achieve optimal headphone matching. With the High Gain mode, it is specifically tailored and enhanced to be able to drive large power-hungry headphones that often use a lot of juice. Delivering up to 300 mW of power into 16-Ohm headphones, which is fantastic.

When it comes to the low gain setting. That mode is more intended for smaller headphones, even like a more subtly pair of In-Ear earphones that you’d take to the gym with you.

Having these two settings is amazing as it allows for you to have the option to change up your headphones. If one day you are feeling more interested in over-the-ear power-driven headphones then you can amplify them to your heart’s content. However, if you decide that you are still looking for amazing sound, just a more subtly in-ear design, then there is no stopping you.

 

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Cons

Now, although the OPPO HA-2SE is a great product. Not every product is perfect, and there are a few gripes with the HA-2SE in particular.

Price Point

Although this headphone amplifier does pack a tonne of great features and includes some of the top of the line chips and technology. Looking at the market place, its competitors are coming in up to £100 cheaper than the OPPO HA-2SE.

Taking that into consideration, paying for features is something that most have become accustomed to. That shouldn’t be an issue for anyone who can respect the features inside the HA-2SE.

Connectivity

The HA-2SE rants and raves about how the connectivity to Apple products is specially designed to suit every Apple Product, such as the iPhone. Allowing it to be used as the standard digital audio output. However, when it comes to other products like Android Phones or PC’s. Only certain features will work when connected through the likes of a Micro USB or a 3.5mm headphone jack. If the device that you are streaming music from does not support OTG (On-The-Go). The HA-2SE will limit these features, for example, if the two devices are connected through a 3.5mm headphone jack, it will only engage the amplifier, but the DAC will not be activated without OTG support. The HA-2SE is worth the large price tag, but only if you can be sure that the full list of features can be used with your device.

Even though there are some cons. It shouldn’t sway the opinions of the OPPO HA-2SE. Compared to its competitors in the market, the headphone amplifier really does offer some market-leading technology. Boosting your audio to levels you never thought where possible. Of course, this is only if the hefty price tag is affordable.

Conclusion

When it comes to audio, some people aren’t too bothered as long as they can hear it. Some people, the real sound enthusiasts, really care about getting the best from their devices. The OPPO HA-2SE is an excellent device for anyone who loves audio and wants it to sound as good as possible. For those who are interested in style, functionality and design, having a rugged device that can bare the harshest terrains, while still making sure that they have the best possible sound.

The OPPO HA-2SE comes with some of the top-of-the-line chips and features. Giving a superior feel to any other device on the market, and out preforming anything at its price-point. With its two gain setting, it will also help adapt to whatever mood the user is in. Whether going for a more power-driven feature-packed pair of over-ear headphones to really fuel your workout. Even instead going for the more subtle design of small in-ear earphones that are taken as a companion on a walk. Whatever you decide the OPPO HA-2SE will have an option for suitable for anyone.

Doing this the OPPO HA-2SE also provides the user with a built-in charging station allowing for the adventures to be taken even further. With fast charging abilities for the HA-2SE, it provides hours of playtime of a quick charge before you head out.

The OPPO HA-2SE is a perfect solution for any digital audio output needs.

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