Calyx Kong USB DAC/Headamp - Reviews
Pros: great design, nice price, soundstage, open sound
Cons: only USB input, cd quality 16 bit/44kHz in and out, can run out of juice with power hungry headphones and some classical music
Just had the Calyx Kong USB DAC/headamplifier home for two weeks, and I liked what I heard.

Calyx Audio is a Korean brand, that for the time being make 3 different DAC´s, where the Kong i the smallest and cheapest model. So Kong is not King . The little Calyx Kong is cut out of a block of aluminium, so feels nice and heavy, weight 167 g. Cost around 135 euro. The connection is through USB and it gives you CD quality (16-bit/44kHz) in and out.

The Kong have a nice open, fresh and pleasant sound. In some areas it beats much more expensive equipment, like the Musical Fidelity X-Can V8p DAC/ headamp, with a little bigger sound stage. I think you get a lot for your money and the design is great, but it is clear that there are some limitations. If you use full size headphones that needs a lot of power or love to hear classical music, I would not go for Calyx Kong. It can´t handle a concert hall with the same control as bigger headamps and will run out of juice with some music. But that said, in my opinion Calyx Audio have succeeded very well with this DAC / Headamp design. What it does, it does good.

So if your are looking for a cool 2 in 1 solution, at home or at your desk at work, put Calyx Kong on your list, it could be a little green frog turning young prince.

thanks for the review, I was considering the coffee unit a little while ago.
The big brother "Coffee" should have 24-bit/96kHz, connection to Ipad through camera port, is bigger than kong, more control over medeiplayer and I think more powerfull. Cost around 100 $ more than Calyx Kong. I read a first impression on Calyx Coffee in here somewhere, that was positive. But the marked has exploded with small DAC´s and amps this year, so a lot to chose from. Kong is from 2009, so old in a sense, but I still think you get a nice cool combo, if you know what you are buying. Looking forward to hear and smell the Coffee myself in the next month.