Very clear, and powerful.
I recently replaced my SMSL SH-8 with this Gem, and I am not regretting it. I kept the SU-8 Dac to pair it with this 789, and it is excellent! The SH-8 was not bad by any means, in fact it was very enjoyable to listen to, especially on the SBD setting. I just needed more power for my 6XX's, and that is exactly what I got, plus a new level of clarity that I have not heard before. I even ordered the new Amazon HD service to expand my High Res library. They only get up to 24-96khz. No DSD or anything, but very sufficient for me. The balanced out to me controls the bass a little better, but the SE is great also. I use middle gain for balanced, and high gain for SE. There is not much difference. My HD598's also sound amazing on this amp. My friend from work is going to bring his HD800's, and Mr Speakers closed back's this weekend, and we will see what they sound like. I have a feeling that they will shine as well.
Would recommend to a friend.