I think your question is both very interesting and relevant. What the CLAS and other similar products bring to the table in the form of overall increased SQ can certainly be debated, but unfortunately seldom is. After all, who wants to confess not being able to hear differences in a place like this? For me personally I would be very, very surprised - and would become quite happy too I may add – if I were able to pass a blind test between the CLAS and a simple LOD. For example, I had a very hard time getting along with my FitEar ToGo 334 until I found the perfect ear tips for it, which for me was revolutionary (link to my story here). So, my personal experience thus far is that investing a couple of dollars in the right ear tips may very well be a significantly more rewarding experience than spending several hundred or even thousands of dollars on a separate DAC, AMP, combo, DAP or whatnot.
I think shotgunshane’s advice is indeed a very good one. I.e. “take it out if the chain” once you’ve gotten very used to it. That should definitely answer your question. Also, I do believe how well we hear is very much a matter of training. It may well be that right now the CLAS makes no difference to you what so ever, and that a year later it may well make quite a bit of a difference to you. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean to say you will consider it an improvement of overall SQ, but just that, a difference.
Best of luck and please keep us posted of your findings. Thanks!
To be honest I know people here exaggerate too much most of what I read is gives you an impression that you must buy now and you are missing a lot. To include CLAS or not does make a difference but NOT day and night.
For me, with CLAS I hear sparkling trebles, bass is same, mid is same. But CLAS reproduces trebles really nicely. Again NOT day and night dufferent just better.
Question is if it worth $600 ? If you can afford ya you should.