New OPPO DAC/Headphone AMP looks impressive

Just got an email from OPPO that their new HA-1 headphone amp is now shipping.

Looks almost too good to be true for $1200.

Does PCM 384K, DSD 128
Preamp, headphone amp
Pure analog section
Sabre32 ESS 9018 DAC
Blu-tooth, USB etc interface
Remote control and remote control app
Fully balanced design

You knew it would be good from OPPO but wow!
I called Oppo about this. The tech said that the HA-1 is much better on hard to drive headphones. Also, the HA-1 has digital and analog inputs, rca and XLR....the 105 only has digital inputs.
The fully balanced design should add substantially to the SQ as I would image simpler signal paths. Not sure if the 105 does the highest DSD and PCM rates either.

But it's true, there's probably too much feature overlap not to muddy the waters. If the only real distinction is analog and balanced inputs and more juice for certain headphones, this would have a very narrow audience.

I seriously doubt this is true and expect some major sound benefits over the 105 once the reviews hit. Ok maybe hoping more than
It does look impressive on paper particularly for such low price. I wonder how it compares to the Benchmark DAC-1 or DAC-2. Has anyone actually listened to the Oppo?

You can't compare a Chord Hugo to anything Oppo makes

1: The Chord uses a proprietary Fully Programmable Gate Array running an advanced Watts time array filtering program that took over 10 years to design, program and refine


The Oppos uses an off the Shelf very good Sabre chip.

An FPGA design means that the main processing power, decoding and filtering abilities are fully up-gradable vs the Oppo which is not.

Chord is made in the UK out of billet alluminium

the Oppos is made in China.

The Chord is also portable and provides hours of battery powered fun to drive headphones when on the go

the Oppo is not portable.

So you really do get what you pay for, hence the Oppo is a cheaper product than the Chord.

Lastely the Oppos sounds very good, the Chord is an entirely different league of performance, as the level of the dac is commensurate with technology and performance of Chords big dacs which are $8,500.00 the Oppo is just another good sounding Sabre machine.

Lastly when the Oppo player this was based on was cocmpared to the similarly price Cambridge Audio universal player most reviewers thought the Cambridge was better sounding

Lets face facts Oppo makes nice, high value, well performing products for the dollar I have yet to see an Oppo product that really compares to any of the major players, products.

If you value price over performance get an Oppo if you want long term value and state of the art performance although for more money buy a Chord hugo, which is what I did.
Good points. I'm just looking for a quality DAC for the stereo rig. Doesn't have to be portable. But I do want whatever will sound best overall. The feature that the gate arrays can be reprogrammed/updated is appealing.

You have to wonder to what extent that will happen since Chords (like everyone else's) first order of business is selling new model Chords. But if the Hugo out of the gate is clearly better that's all you need to know.

Looking forward to the day these gate arrayed DACs will have multiple configurations like DSP modes where they can be optimized to diffent system characteristics. More revealing, neutral, warm forgiving etc.