Originally Posted by Wolfy701
It seems that Oppo 105D Universal Player has everything that HA-1 has and more -- same XLR's, a powerful headamp, ESS9018 DAC, pre-outs, etc. Yes the HA-1 has a volume knob and a cool GUI with meters. And they both cost about the same. Therefore, it seems the 105D is a better value.
As a pre-amp and dac I would pretty much agree, but the headphone capabilities of the HA-1 is a cut above the 105D.
The HA-1 has balanced output for the headphones that sounds better than the single ended output,
as well as some other features like direct connect of portable devices (phones, iPod, ect...), high/low gain, Bluetooth...
Also, if you are using the volume control of the player, there is dynamic compression to deal with if you do not keep the volume
in the upper range. That is not an issue with the HA-1. The HA-1 also has ANALOG audio inputs where the 105D does not.
All of those things may or may not be a deal breaker for anyone, but if they are aren't, the 105D is still a great value and
of course you get a lot more features that the HA-1 doesn't have with disc playback, mass storage device playback, and surround sound.
The headphone amp in the 105D is actually really good, comparable to the single ended connection on the HA-1, but again the balanced output of the HA-1 is better.
One thing I have wondered, is if it's possible to buy or make a cable to try to use the rear balanced output of the 105/105D
to plug directly into a pair of headphones like the Oppo PM-1 or PM-2. I wonder then how it would compare to the balanced output of the HA-1.