The Oppo HA-2 SE, like the Audioquest Dragonfly Red, has attracted overwhelmingly good reviews.
It looks like a mobile phone with a stitched leather cover, which is a curious, but aesthetically interesting touch. The rest, I assume, is aluminium. The body is long, narrow and thin, which means that when the DAC is bound together with some other device, the cable connecting them gets bent round to an extreme degree, which might affect its durability.
At the top are the on/off-cum-volume control knob, the audio in/out port, and the headphone port. The side has the battery meter, bass boost and gain buttons, and the bottom has a switch for different modes, and large and small USB ports.
I tried the HA-2 with Janitsch’s Trio Sonatas (Epoca Barocca, CPO), which is an MP3 album. The quality of the sound was noticeably better than I’d ever heard it before. When I tried Bologna 1666 (Kammerorchester Basel, dhm), which is a 24-bit album, again, the quality of the music was outstanding. I’d aver that the device is potentially superior to the Dragonfly Red.
Like the E17K, the HA2-SE can be attached to just about anything. I mostly have it connected to the 571G via a USB cable, but it can be joined to the iPod Touch through the lightning cable or to the FiiO X5 Mk. II via a double-ended 3.5mm jack cable.
One issue, which is a minor detraction, is the delay in processing music after a pause, but it’s not enough to detract from the general excellence of the device.
It works a treat with the X5 and the HD599s, and is more flexible than the Dragonfly ever was.
Overall, this may be another indulgence, but it was undoubtedly well worth the money.