Top positive review
12 March 2017
I've used this on both a Mac and a Windows PC in addition to an iPhone and it really performs admirably. It's more a soundcard than a headphone amp.
From the front of the device there are two headphone ports that can drive music at the same time. The headphone ports provide a slightly higher output from the back and are also designed to work with the gain switch, which switches between low gain and high gain. The low gain is what most people would use (16-20ohm), high gain is for high-impedence headphones (120-600ohm) or, if you're practically deaf, it'll add more volume to standard headphones. This has the ability to put out a tremendous volume so don't go nuts!
The volume knob when used in Windows/Mac will control the operating system's volume, rather than its own separate volume. It also operates as a button when connected to the iPhone, which acts in the same way as a button on headphones (play/pause, etc).
Going round to the side the power button I think could've done with shorter presses. When it's off, holding it for about 2s turns it on, rather than it coming on straight away. Pressing it twice will turn off charging via USB and the LED will blink. I think it would've made more sense for the LED to change colour as the blink is distracting so I tend to leave the charging option enabled. Pressing the power button for 2s while on activates its Bluetooth then, once connected via Bluetooth, it'll physically say "device connected" and the LED will change to blue. Pressing the power button for about 4s when the device is on turns it off. I think these could've been simply press for on, press for off and hold for Bluetooth (or separate BT switch/button). Next to the power button is the SBX button, which turns the audio enhancements on/off, which is set via software. The settings are held in the device, rather than per machine, which is quite handy.
Round the back of the device is a line/optical in for a 3.5mm input, line/optical out for a 3.5mm output, both of which work with the optical long prong shape, rather than square, a standard USB connector, which you plug your iPhone cable (etc) into, which links directly to an iPhone (great news for 7 users!) then a micro USB, which charges the device and allows it to work as a sound card for Mac/Windows systems (I havne't tested with Linux).
The sound quality is excellent. My normal setup is with a Corsair SP2500 2.1 system, the volume of which I dare not test anywhere near max but the sound is nice, clear and clean. I use ARS-technica ATH-A500X headphones when at home and V-Moda ZN for when I'm out. The audio sounds really clean and really clear.
When I'm using the built-in mic I like to use the stand that comes with it. The stand has a mic stand thread on it, which I don't personally use but the mics do present a really decent sound quality. It's not quite to the level of a dedicated mic like a Yeti but it sounds better than a gaming headset so that also works really well.
Really impressed with this overall and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a headphone amp, cross-compatible soundcard and/or solution for an iPhone 7.