nice to hear, then it is actually very capable as it has both options - balanced and unbalanced.
what do you mean by old-fashioned sound? more analog sounding (highs roll-off), compared to newer DAPs? I have the hm801 and like the fact that it sounds more "analog" (less bright) than other players, that's why I was also thinking about buying the hm601/2 for a more portable option with similar sound tuning to the hm801
I don't really know how to describe it.
But the sensation is somewhat analog to listening the beatles' songs after you've listened to modern pop songs.
Maybe this is related to the use of Sigmatel STMP3770 but I'm not certain...