Oppo HA-1 Headphone Amp Preview

May 11 2014, 5:34pm CDT | by

Oppo’s HA-1 headphone amp comes hot on the heels (not surprisingly) of their first headphone, the PM-1.

Oppo built their name (in the US) on the backs of some pretty excellent high-end Blu-ray players, many of which had some serious audiophile hardware inside. So a headphone amp isn’t too much of a stretch.

Here’s a preview of the goods, and the goods look good.

Before we get going, if you’re curious about the value of high-end headphones, or have questions about headphones in general, first check out Are Expensive Headphones Worth It? and What Are The Best Headphones?

You might be wondering… headphone amp? A speaker of any kind, be it a headphone or a traditional speaker, needs an amplifier to supply power to movie their drivers. In some cases, like the lovely Polk Hampdens desktop speakers, the amp is internal. Most bookshelf speakers and headphones, however, need an external amp. Your Apple iPod, iPhone, or Google Android phone, will have a small headphone amp built in. For most headphones, this is plenty. For more serious hardware, however, it isn’t.

For serious audiophile headphones, you need something a bit beefier. Not only do many headphones (specially planar magnetic headphones like the Oppo and Audeze models) require more power to get any decent volume, a headphone amp will control the drivers of the headphone better, given a more dynamic and natural sound, at any volume.

The hardware inside the HA-1 are some of the beefiest I’ve seen in a headphone amp. It looks like a barely scaled down loudspeaker amp. From a big toroidal power supply, to its fully Class A operation, it has specs like an audiophile monoblock. Oppo rates the maximum output at 0.6 watts into 600 Ohms, and 3.5 watts into 32 Ohms (into a standard 6.5mm connector).

Many headphones, including the HA-1, also include a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). This takes the digital signal, from a computer, say, and converts it into an analog form an amplifier can send to speakers. Here, the specs look good on the Oppo as well: A Sabre ESS 9018, which is the same DAC used in Oppo’s high-end Blu-ray players. Connecting via an asynchronous USB connection, the specs for the DAC stage read like a decent USB DAC.

And to top it off, it’s got Bluetooth and an app to control it all.

Conclusion(ish)

Well, not “conclusion” as we haven’t heard it yet, but the specs look very interesting. Also, knowing how much Oppo nailed the sound of their first headphone, that bodes well for how this will perform. Looking forward to checking it out.

HA-1: $1,199
OppoDigital.com/>

Follow me on Twitter and G+! You can also subscribe to my Forbes blog and check out my latest novel.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Apple Black Friday Deals are on Sale in MacMall Black Friday 2014 Sale
 
 
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
Over 20 Black Friday 2014 sales are already launched. Get the deals early to get your head free for the hard to get Black Friday deals to be released on Thanksgiving Day.
 
 
Target Black Friday Pre Sale launched Online
Target Black Friday Pre Sale launched Online
The Target Black Friday 2014 pre sale is live online offering $100 Gift Cards with iPad Air and iPad mini 3 purchases and many more deals.
 
 
The Best Black Friday 2014 iPad Deals
The Best Black Friday 2014 iPad Deals
The Amazon Black Friday 2014 Sale has been released. The Amazon Black Friday 2014 begins earlier than ever before. In past years the Amazon Black Friday deals week started on Sunday.Besides Amazon, Walmart has kicked...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Daily coffee may cut Alzheimer's risk by 20 percent
London, Nov 27 (IANS) Researchers have found that drinking up to five cups of coffee per day may help curb Alzheimer's risk by 20 percent. Caffeine in coffee helps prevent the formation of amyloid plaques and...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kindle Black Friday 2014 Deals Live Now
As expected Amazon will have a huge Black Friday sale on the Amazon Kindle eBook reader and the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets. The Kindle Black Friday 2014 Deals are live now. Amazon will offer the Kindle Fire HD 6 for $79...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Mandzukic's hat-trick fires Atletico Madrid to pre-quarters
Madrid, Nov 27 (IANS) Atletico Madrid secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, thanks to a 4-0 win at home against Olympiacos at the Vicente Calderon Stadium here. Atletico kicked off the game...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Atletico Mineiro clinch their first Copa do Brasil title
Belo Horizonte, Nov 27 (IANS) Atletico Mineiro clinched their first Copa do Brasil title by defeating local rivals Cruziero 3-0 on aggregate in the two-legged final. Brazil international striker Diego Tardelli struck...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Australian batsman Phillip Hughes is dead
Sydney, Nov 27 (IANS) Australian batsman Phillip Hughes who was struck on the head by a cricket ball died in hospital, Cricket Australia (CA) said Thursday. The 25-year-old Hughes, who represented the national team in...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ex-minister claims proof of IS presence in Pakistan
Islamabad, Nov 27 (IANS) Former interior minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Rehman Malik claimed he has evidence about the presence of the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Pakistan. "Prime Minister...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
AS Monaco stun Leverkusen 1-0 in Champions League
Berlin, Nov 27 (IANS) AS Monaco needed just one shot on target to beat Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 in an UEFA Champions League Group C match. Despite the second loss in Group C Leverkusen qualified for the last 16, thanks to...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
11 killed in coal mine explosion in China
Beijing, Nov 27 (IANS) At least 11 people were killed in a coal mine explosion in China's Guizhou province Thursday, media reported. The accident happened in Songlin coal mine in Songhe town of Pan county. At the time...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
James Cameron: New Avatar films will shock
James Cameron says the new 'Avatar' films will be ''bitchin'.'' The three sequels to the 2009 blockbuster are currently in pre-production as the screenwriter puts the finishing touches to the scripts, but has hinted...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
SAARC leaders gather at Nepal resort for retreat
Kathmandu, Nov 27 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew in an Indian Air Force chopper to the Dhulikhel resort to join other South Asian leaders at the retreat there Thursday, the concluding day of the two-...
Read more on Politics Balla