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Mike Piskor 2015

The HA-1 by Oppo

The End…or is it?

Nothing on the market has a price to features and performance ratio like this. The HA-1 is in a class all by itself. Housing the 2nd best audio clarity in the price tier, Oppo has achieved something few others have and I seriously doubt anyone is going to offer another DAC/amp in this price tier that offers this level of clarity as well as 1up Oppo with even more features. Oppo shot for the moon and ended up on Mars, but the amp isn’t without faults, although it still outscored nearly every other sub $1500 DAC and amp I’ve ever used.

The unit gets too hot sometimes if you are going to put a vent on it make the vent larger as I really don’t feel the small vent to do much for heat dissipation on this level. I also feel the amplifier should not have circumvented the purity in the 9018 with whatever other components are inside. Maybe it was a pricing and cost effective thing, I can’t really be sure but I think the HA-1 would have benefited more from either being a completely raw and pure amp and DAC with components that mesh with the 9018 DAC, or just use a more musical and yummy core DAC chip instead. I feel like Oppo didn’t choose wisely, as that old knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade said.

However, despite not choosing wisely with that DAC choice, it still turned out for the best. I’m not complaining though, the experience is still pretty great no matter what I toss at it. True, there are summit level products are only a few steps beyond the mid-tier titans, yet cost a lot more but when a little extra clarity brings a lot more bliss and enjoyment, I have no problem paying the extra costs. Oppo just nuked the audiophile community and shook things up quite a bit by setting a new headphone standard for the $1000 tier or so and just repeated that success with the HA-1 in the amplifier world. Crazy! Yes, Oppo I am calling you all crazy. but it is a great kind of crazy that I want to see more of. With bold, beautiful, innovative and highly stylized designs with very good audio quality, Oppo is the new bully on the block and is earning respect from everyone else through trial by fire and ice. Can’t wait to see what else these guys have in store for us.

A big thank you to Jason at Oppo USA for his incredible support. You are amazing and have gone above and beyond for me, you have my utmost respect and Oppo’s support in general has been nothing short of amazing. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to review these products for you, I’ve had a blast and enjoyed every second. The joy you have brought me cannot be justified in words. That bliss factor is why I am in this business. Very rare for me to come across a product that really caters to everything I ask of it and the HA-1 has certainly earned a gold star for being the best overall value I’ve yet come across.

Links

http://www.oppodigital.com/headphone-amplifier-ha-1/

Price $1199.00

List of features the HA-1 offers:

https://www.oppodigital.com/headphone-amplifier-ha-1/headphone-amplifier-HA-1-Features.aspx

-Maximum Power Output per channel: Via Balanced XLR Output:
Into 600 Ohm – 2400mW
Into 32 Ohm – 3000mW

-Maximum Power Output per channel: RCA Output:
Into 600Ohm – 600mW
Into 32Ohm – 3500mW

-12v Input/Output Trigger
-Volume Safety Feature that automatically dials down the gain when switching from High to Low Gain
–RCA Pre Output and Input
-Torodial PSU
-32bit/DSD capabilities
-1/4 output / Balanced 4pin out
-Digital front panel with changeable visualizations
-Menu selector on front panel
-iPod/portable player compatible
-Excellent build quality.
-3 pin dual XLR balanced Pre Out and input
-AES/EBU
-Bluetooth
-Coax Input
-Optical Input

Summed up, I am not sure if any other DAC and/or amplifier offers this much for this price.

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