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Would be interested if Oppo hadn’t made the mistake of incorporating Thunderbolt, which is dying a miserable death due to non-adoption by the general public. Out of dozens of techies and audiophiles I know, not a one uses Thunderbolt.

Except it doesn’t use Thunderbolt. It’s a USB DAC. It includes a MicroUSB to USB cable for Android devices, and a Lightning to USB cable for iOS devices. There isn’t a Thunderbolt port, or included cable, on the unit.


I clearly misread something. Again, from the top. . .


I’ve seen said elsewhere that it is not practical to use whilst listenting on the move. Comment was made regarding cables. Do you feel this is the case?

Stephen Hornbrook

Personally, I do not often walk around with headphones on. Primarily I am at my desk at home or the office when listening. For me and my iphone 6 plus, which is already a burden to carry, having the HA-2 in my pocket as well would be too much. I don’t keep a nice headphone amp at work, so the portability of the HA-2 is great, allows me to carry it back and forth each day.

I have also written about the HA-2 for another site and made the observation that if you are a pocket user, you won’t get the HA-2 and your source safely into your pocket without stressing the plugs/jacks on the units and cables.

If you have a purse, good on ya. Or, as Stephen mentioned, using it at a desk is about as comfortably and safetly portable as you can get with one of these front-and-rear-connected devices.

BTW: Good work, Stephen.


Stephen, What a well-written article this was! Really enjoyed reading it and bookmarked it too. I thought the way you explained the ups & downs of using the HA-2 (and also NOT using it) were perfectly worded and very clear. Now I have a great reference to use when explaining this stuff to people, at least regarding why one SHOULD use a portable amp/DAC instead of listening straight from their smartphone. I have just purchased the Celsius Sound Companion One amp/DAC, and I truly LOVE it! Have you had a chance to use it? Several reviews have said it trumps… Read more »

Stephen Hornbrook

Thanks very much. I haven’t tried the Celsius, but it does look good on paper. I can see about getting a review sample in.

I had to power cycle or input cycle the HA-2 only a few times and I haven’t noticed it happening for awhile, so perhaps it was a Windows/driver issue that an update fixed somewhere along the way.


No problem. YW! Yeah you should write an article on the Celsus (sorry, I mistyped it as Celsius earlier) Sound Companion One. I would be most interested to read about it. I’ve seen at least one review say the HA-2 was at least better than Sony’s NWZ-ZX1, which costs almost double the price too (like the CO). So it does seem like a strong contender. Oh ok, that’s awesome! Did you do the update on it or was that something they did for the final release version of the HA-2? Sounded like a drag, so I’m glad they took care… Read more »


Hey Stephen,

I ended up switching to the Oppo HA-2 for various reasons, and I just posted a review on Head-Fi about it as well. I welcome you to check it out……… and feel free to comment here or there as well!


Marcia Penna

Any comparison to the Apogee Groove?


Hi everybody, did someone finally test the Oppo-HA2 vs Celsus Sound Companion One ? Rockstar2005 of Stephen ? Or someone else ?
I am still hesitating between these two devices….