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These are unique and pretty awesome. Most reviewers call it the “Macguyver” or words to the effect; I bought it for my daughter and ended up keeping it!
The software does add something to its’ value (the mixer certainly), and this is the trick for every situation.
some special stuff is being able to be a remote mixing station into ipads/iphones etc (yes android too), and having paid for the apple codec, can save a whole convert process and keeps sound pristine.
For me? It was powering some B&W headphones that were too low impeadance to avoid bass bloat from my Xonar sound card; with this E5 I enjoy them fully, for the first time ever... saving them from being sold off. (I sold off my bluetooth Sony MDR1a as the E5 makes any headphones bluetooth capable.)
This is definately the best one box solution out there- and I am a purist. There might be a tonne of musical boxes, in chain (source-pre-power) than would out gun this unit, but at greater cost, less portable, and no where near the tricks,... and their benefit would be lost if not for critical listening- which I put to you, my reader, should not be the main/sole purpose for this player. This is a lifestyle tool. One that will continually prove its’ worth over and over again.
note; to not charge an android phone you may need to use a different cable (that isn’t provided). With newer firmware Creative came up with a method to avoid using the E5 as a recharge box for android devices.
I use bluetooth mode, sometimes even when listening intently... I find this unit even with all enhancements defeated, makes music ‘very musical’. It vastly improves our car audio sound, and has also proven the cleanest way to get apple files into the home hifi...
and today my daughter discovered the voice changer....(!)