After reviewing the Oppo HA-2SE I got a number of reader requests to review the very portable AudioQuest DragonFly DAC/headphone amps. AudioQuest is systematically conquering the USB and phone DAC market with the neatly packaged and marketed DragonFly Black ($99) and Red ($199) models — for the headphone-jack-impaired iPhone 7 owner (or any iPhone/Android owner for that matter) these are enticing options for getting better sound and avoiding the sketchy (from sound quality POV) Bluetooth approach. Are these wonderfully streamlined products worth it? The simplicity is appealing, without a doubt, and the lack of bulk should make these a slam dunk. Continue reading
The FiiO Q1 — can this miniature flask-shaped DAC amplifier match the $299 Oppo HA-2SE as a listening system for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus? I am not joking when I say “flask” — as a daily commuter, I felt conspicuous taking the Q1 out on the subway, self-consciously figuring people expected me to open it and take a swig of my Mad Dog 20/20, when in fact I normally drink my MD from my healthy BPA-free “water” bottle.
Anyway, the little FiiO Q1’s “cap” is actually its Continue reading
Oppo’s thoughtful new HA-2SE DAC/headphone amplifier brings lush and percussive sound to your iPhone 7 (or 6 / 6s). Their earlier HA-2 was great and the new version is even better. I recently spent time auditioning and using the $299 HA-2SE and was impressed by its intelligent design and packaging, and its bulletproof operation. I thought the sound was a valuable improvement over what is available directly from an iPhone, either the Lightning-to-headphone adaptor in the case of the iPhone 7 (see the first of this series), or via Bluetooth.