Fiio Q5 vs Oppo HA-2SE Amp DAC Comparison Review

Buy Oppo HA-2SE vs FiiO Q5 DAC Amp Combo

A Major HiFi Youtube viewer recently commented on one of our videos. “What”, they asked, “is the difference between the FiiO Q5 and the Oppo HA-2SE?” A valid question, indeed. Both of these DAC/amp combos are in a similar price range (the Q5 is $349 and the HA-2SE is $299). Additionally, they are both small, portable, and even have a similar look. Today, I’ll try to answer that question. This is the FiiO Q5 vs Oppo HA-2SE Amp DAC comparison review.

Fiio Q5 vs Oppo HA-2SE Amp DAC Comparison Review

In the Box

FiiO Q5 Oppo HA-2SE
FiiO Q5 amp/DAC  Oppo HA-2SE amp/DAC
lightning to micro USB cable power supply unit (rapid charging charger)
micro USB cable USB A to micro USB (data and rapid charging cable)
3.5 mm cable USB A to lightning data cable
optical adaptor micro USB to micro USB cable
coaxial adapter  3.5 mm cable
long straps x2  silicone rubber band x2
short straps x2  documentation
screwdriver
non-slip mat
carrying pouch
documentation

Specifications

FiiO Q5 Oppo HA-2SE
Inputs 3.5 mm (shared line, opt, coax), micro USB, Bluetooth 3.5 mm, USB A, micro USB
Outputs 3.5 mm unbalanced, 2.5 mm balanced 3.5 mm headphone and line out
Recommended Headphone Impedance 16 ohms-150 ohms (unbalanced), 16 ohms-300 ohms (balanced) 16 ohms-300 ohms
Battery Life 25 hours (aux), 10 hours (USB, opt, coax, BT) 13 hours (aux), 7 hours (digital)
Charge Time 3.5 hours 1.5 hours
Bluetooth Support 4.2, aptX, AAC, SBC n/a
Sample Rate PCM, 384 kHz/32 bit; DSD 256 PCM, 384 kHz/32 bit; DSD 256
DAC Chip(s) AK4490EN x2 ES Sabre ^32 Reference ES9028-QZM
Bass Boost yes yes
Gain Switch low/high low/high

Design

Look

Both the FiiO Q5 and the Oppo HA-2SE are housed in aluminum. As a result, they both not only have classy minimalistic designs, but also resist electromagnetic interference. The HA-2SE is wrapped in leather and coincidentally, the Q5 has a leather patch on the back. As a result, both have a sense of elegance and expensiveness. However, the HA-2SE wears it better in my opinion because the leather wraps all the way around it.

Buy FiiO Q5 vs Oppo HA-2SE DAC Amp Combo

Portability

Due to their compactness, the FiiO Q5 and the Oppo HA-2SE are very portable. The HA-2SE has a longer, thinner design, whereas the Q5 has a shorter, and slightly thicker design (think iPhone 5 vs iPhone 7). Overall, the Q5 wins for me portability-wise because not only is it super easy to stuff in my pocket, it can also connect to my listening device (be it a phone or player) via Bluetooth or aptX. This wireless connection makes using my phone for other purposes and listening to music hassle free! Such a special and rare feature!

Technology

The digital to analog converters in both the FiiO Q5 and the Oppo HA-2SE support the same sample rates (DSD 256 and PCM 384 kHz/ 32 bit). They both have different DAC chips, so I’m very curious to listen and see how they affect the sound. Additionally, both DAC/amps boast a super clean signal path and signal to noise ratio. The Q5 has a versatile list of inputs and outputs, including a shared line, optical, and coaxial input alongside micro USB and Bluetooth inputs. It also features a balanced 2.5 mm output in addition to its 3.5 mm output. Lastly, both DAC/amps feature a bass boost and a low gain/high gain switch for further adaptability.

Oppo HA-2SE and FiiO Q5 Best DAC and Amp

Sound

Power

I was pleasantly surprised by both DAC/amps which provided enough power to a pair of HD 650s without pause. I expected the Q5 might fail here because, according to its spects, the unbalanced 3.5 mm output should only work well for impedances up to 150 ohms but it handled the 300 ohm HD 650s like a champ. The HA-2SE handled the HD 650s very well too and were able to bump them even louder than the Q5. Additionally, I tried both with the 8 ohm Final Audio Sonorous VI. Again, both exceeded my expectations and supplied good power to the cans without any distortion or issue.

Musicality

Both DAC/amp combos sounded great! The Oppo HA-2SE felt tight in the low end, super warm in the midrange, and clean and pretty in the high frequencies. It also provided a sense of soundstage I didn’t quite get from the Q5. On the other hand, the FiiO Q5 felt more neutral. It wasn’t as thick sounding, but felt a little more glued in the middle. However, I was more impressed with the HA-2SE which really provided nice separation and energy, especially in the low-mids. Guitars, organs, bass guitars and even kick drums seemed to have a little added space.

Overview

Overall, the FiiO Q5 and the Oppo HA-2SE are wonderful options for those looking for a high quality DAC/amp under $500. I’d characterize each by saying the Q5 is more versatile and portable, whereas the HA-2SE has a more musical sound.

Both the FiiO Q5 and the Oppo HA-2SE are available for the best price here:

FiiO Q5 at Audio 46

FiiO Q5 on Amazon

Oppo HA-2SE at Audio 46

FiiO Q5 vs Oppo HA-2SE Best DAC Amp Combo