Home > Home Theater > There’s no whiskey in this flask, just…

There’s no whiskey in this flask, just hi-res portable audio awesomeness from Oppo

Oppo is best known for crafting Blu-ray players of uncompromising quality, but the company has always been about more than that. Recently, Oppo has shown a skilled hand at creating other components that please the audiophile crowd like the brilliant Oppo PM-1 planar magnetic headphones, and the burly HA-1 headphone amp. Now, Oppo has gone mobile, offering a beautiful way to dress up your smartphone or PC audio with the HA-2 portable headphone amp and DAC.

Related: No cords, no noise: we finally found Bluetooth buds we love

Mobile phones and PCs alike often have notoriously bad digital audio converter (DAC) hardware, so Oppo has designed the new HA-2 as a companion piece to remedy your audio woes on the go. To that end, the unit is sleek and slim, with a smoothly stitched leather case and sparkling aluminum edging that could easily have onlookers mistaking it for a gangster’s whiskey flask.

Beneath the HA-2’s chic exterior rest a bevy of high end components, including a class AB hybrid headphone amp, and the revered ESS Sabre32 ES9018 stereo DAC chip, designed to offer an extremely low noise floor and minimal distortion. The unit is able to support audio resolutions far beyond what you’re likely to encounter, including 32bit/384kHz high resolution audio, and DSD high res files at up to 12MHz.

The unit works with virtually any device via dual USB inputs, including one for Android devices Macs and PCs, and a dedicated input tailored specifically for Apple’s iOS flavor for iPhone iPod, and iPad. In addition, there’s a 3.5mm input for incompatible devices, though that won’t leverage that sparkling Sabre DAC. The device’s internal battery can also be charged in around 30 minutes, and then be leveraged to charge your device in a pinch.

Other features for the HA-2 include dual gain modes, one with a large 300 mW/16-Ohm output for heavy gauge headphones, and one for sensitive in-ears, as well as an analog bass boost circuit to satiate the bass-hungry crowd.

Oppo’s new HA-2 headphone amp and DAC is available now at a price of $300, a significant investment no doubt. But for those who have laid out big bucks for an elite pair of headphones, a quality device at the source can help you wring out every last dollar of audio performance from those pricey cans. We’ll likely be getting our hands on an HA-2 soon, so stay tuned for our impressions.