When I’m not spending my time feverishly paying attention to the world of Chinese smartphone (or, you know, living) one of my passions is high end audio. Sure, it’s an endless spiral of incremental improvements and expense, but it’s my spiral of incremental improvements and expense, y’know? Unsurprisingly then, I pay attention when those two hobbies collide, as they have with Oppo’s new HA-2 portable headphone amplifier and DAC. First, I should probably note that this is hardly Oppo’s first rodeo when it comes to audio gear, with the downright superb PM-1 over-ear headphones already making serious waves amongst those audiophiles bonkers minted enough to blow over £1000 on a pair of headphones. They’ve also got another headphone amp and DAC in the form of the HA-1, a sizable box meant for your desk rather than the interior pocket of your coat. Spot a gap in the market? Of course you do. Enter stage left, the beautiful HA-2. Designed to repair the awful job your phone does at presenting audio, the HA-2 is an aluminium and leather bound beast with a bevy of hi-fi nerd features loaded up inside. The heavy lifting on the digital-to-analog end comes in the form of a ESS Sabre32 ES9018 stereo DAC chip, which offers a very low noise floor and limits distortion to nigh on imperceptible levels. The chip can support audio resolutions all the way up to 32bit/384kHz and even DSD files up to 12MHz, should you successfully manage to locate and transfer them over to your media player of choice. Elsewhere, the HA-2 includes a dual gain mode, one for meaty over ear headphones (like their PM-1’s, for example) with a 300 mW/16-Ohm output and one for in-ear headphones. There’s also an ‘analog bass boost circuit’, which sounds like it’ll drive neutral sound fans mad, but we’ll trust Oppo‘s judgement on this one. Connections can be made to the amplifier via Apple lightning connector, Micro-USB or through a 3.5mm headphone jack, though with the latter you won’t get the benefit of that DAC. The HA-2 also comes with an internal battery, which charges in 30 minutes and should last for a few days of usage. That battery can also be used to charge your phone, in a pinch. The HA-2 is out now and appears to be priced around £260 in the UK. Whilst you’re counting your pennies though, have a look at some pictures, it’ll help ease the pain.