I had the opportunity to try this neat little device from Creative Labs, courtesy of a sample unit from TechX. At USD 25 a unit, I must say it is quite a different experience listening to my Audeze EL8 from my iMac.
First impression with my Audeze EL8... clarity and bass seems to be enhanced in a good way. Playing tracks by Zainal Abidin/SM Salim, the traditional Malay musical instrument sounded very lively and energized. Gives it a good blend of old and modern music through my cans. The bass response sounded more extensive than plugging my cans directly to the iMac headphone jack. This reminds me of the time I was reviewing the Stoner Acoustic Naked UD100, UD110 and UD120 USB DAC. Very comparable experience but this Play 3 is packaged in a more attractive enclosure.
1. Easy to set up on Mac. Plug and play literally
2. No volume control though
3. Effective quick upgrade for basic CAS
4. You can also download a software for PC or Mac here for further tweaking and controlling the sound character.
Contact TechX for more info.