Unfortunate direction for HeadRoom, though it's been trending in this direction for several years now. I was one of the early 'micro stack' adapters going back 6 1/2 years ago.
I always thought HeadRoom were making some of the more interesting/ innovating products in audio relative to headphones and portable/ desktop audio, and it's strange that their own products didn't flourish more, at least enough to be profitable and allow for continued growth and development.
One of the issues I encountered early on with my micro stack was the dearth of portable dap's with digital outputs, where just prior to that time, early 2007, portable cd players were regularly equipped thusly, along with maybe a few other options, but then almost no digital players came with that option. There were some iRiver products, but then they were discontinued. The suggested use for the 'micro stack' was to connect them to a laptop, but for me, this wasn't how I was going to listen to music on the go. It seemed to take forever for ipods to be able to send a digital signal out, and it seems like a missed opportunity for HeadRoom, as I don't recall seeing the option to pair their products with ipods. Finally now, portable daps are coming equipped with digital outputs again, but some of them like the AK120, likely doesn't need outboard processing because it does such a good job on it's own.
The good news is that HeadRoom is still in business and hopefully will continue to be for a long time. Who knows, maybe they will get back to more r&d and produce more great sounding, well made gear.