In a word, YES! But I’ll come back to that.
I also have a balanced DAC (RME ADI-2 DAC) so the XLR inputs on the 353X were mighty appealing to me. I haven’t had much of a chance to compare the two DACs but I will say in the short period of time I tried. I couldn’t get DSD to work on the STAX DAC. I used the RME into the line input on the D50 and WOW. Just WOW.
Onto the 700s, the earspeakers (still can’t keep a straight face when I say that) and the driver have only been in my possession for about 24 hours so far (3-4 hours of listening), so take this as absolute first impressions. They are incredible! I have never experienced head-fi like this before. One of the first tracks I listened to was Comfortably Numb and I had a physical response; heart rate increase, goosebumps, chills, you name it. Another quality that has blown me away is the imaging. I was listening to an orchestral piece and I could hear clear separation between the instruments and there physical positioning relative to one another. Like I said, I’ve never experienced anything like it with head-fi before.
Once I’ve got a few more hours of listening under my belt I’ll update the thread with more impressions.