The coffee-colored Coffee DAC from Calyx Audio is one highly caffeinated piece of gear. This overachiever crams lots of capability into its compact chassis. It's not just a top quality USB DAC, but it is also a miniature line level preamp with volume control and RCA analog outputs that allow direct connection to a power amp or receiver. Coffee also has a mini-plug headphone jack that mutes the RCA outputs when you connect a pair of headphones. And it doesn't limit you to earbuds or tiny 'phones. Coffee can easily drive larger headphones, like Sennheiser or Grado models. Coffee uses an ESS Technology ES9023 premier stereo DAC chipset that's 24-bit, 96 kHz capable for excellent sound quality. It offers input and sampling rates of 24-bits and 8 kHz, 16 kHz, 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, and 96 kHz. In addition to its up and down volume control buttons, Coffee also offers Play/Pause, Forward, and Backward buttons. It's the first USB DAC to have such functions, and these allow you to use Coffee to navigate the musical playlist on your Windows or Mac computer. And speaking of PCs, Coffee is plug-and-play all the way with Windows and Mac OS. There are no additional drivers to load and no complicated set-up. Since 1999, Digital & Analog Co. (as known as D&A) has been providing class-D I.C.s to various audio OEM companies. In 2008, D&A started to make its own high-end audio products with excellent measured performance. Calyx is one of the results of this ambitious enterprise. Calyx components have been tested subjectively as well as objectively under a wide range circumstances. Bai Ju Yi, a great Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty, expressed the art of listening as "a poem that has passion as its root, words as its buds, sound as its flower and meanings as its fruits." With that thought in mind, D&A chose the name 'Calyx' for its products.