thanks for sharing your thoughts on this - you are clearly following the same forum threads as I am!
I even joined AoS just to ask Josie to elaborate on her review a little. I was a bit confused because she seemed to rate The Boss so highly, even more than Kali/Piano, but then seemed to suggest IQaudio still preferred for some music styles...It made me think that perhaps there really is little to separate these DACs in terms of objective quality, more that it boils down to individual preferences.
I agree with you that I would be very surprised if Kali + slave isn't 'the best' option, but that the price point of the Boss plus its convenience (for cases etc) makes it an attractive prospect!
Burn in is a funny thing. It may be that it is still too early for these reviewers to commit to a final conclusion!?
EDIT: Or because of a mistake in the design! Oops )