Gorgeous headphone amp isn’t just ear candy

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Lust List Oppo Amp
The Oppo headphone amplifier is almost as beautiful as the iPhone you're going to connect it to.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: Oppo HA-2 portable headphone amplifier and DAC

What kind of audiophile nerd do you have to be to shell out 300 clams to “improve” your iPhone audio? Well, that’s what it is going to cost you to convert your digital audio into analog goodness with style.

You can find cheaper options than the Oppo HA-2 portable headphone amplifier, but few as elegant and sleek.

Why a headphone amplifier, you ask? Your iPhone, MacBook and iPad come with built-in amps. This is how your current headphones get their noise — amplification. But because of the size of these devices, and the multitude of things they do, their built-in amplifiers were designed with compromises.

If sound quality is something you’re not interested in compromising on, you can bypass this built-in amplification and route your music through an external headphone amplifier, like the Oppo HA-2.

And if portability is key to your audio consumption, it doesn’t get much more compact than the Oppo HA-2. This beautifully designed USB digital audio converter is nothing short of lust-worthy. It’s got solid-feeling controls and is finished with genuine leather. You can even use the amp’s built-in battery pack to juice up your mobile device.

Just connect your iPhone, iPad, iPod or, dare I say it, your Android device to the Oppo‘s audio in and your high-end headphones, and let the sonic nirvana commence.

All the additional cables can put a slight damper on the whole sleekness factor, but after the initial get-acquainted period I found myself focusing on the music.

After all, that is the point.

.com/dp/B00UW0BP48/?tag=cult087-20" title="Buy from Amazon" class="norewrite" rel="nofollow">Amazon, Oppo

Cult of Mac’s Best List is a roundup of products for those who can’t control their fingers, can’t control their brains. Read more Best List mini reviews.