My Pono Player sounds great in balanced mode as well... both on my HD650 and HD800S's.
However, the pace and impact of the bass, seems weaker than when I run them with my Onkyo Granbeat DP-CMX1 DAPhone... also: the interface is better, ability to stream (Tidal HiFi, etc.) on WiFi & LTE, Bluetooth pairing with my smartphone for music control, etc., etc., make it a better device for me.
If you're around the Centurion area, pop by for our next headphone meet, and bring your HD800 along.. experience it for yourself.
Also, compared to my NOS11 & Pink Faun main system, the sound (instrument separation, texture & depth of bass, smoothness of MIDs, clarity of HFs, as well as overall detail and engagement) falls behind... and that distance increases when I put my Little Dot MK6+ head.amp into the mix, as it replaces the 'coldness' the solid-state amplification provides with the 'colour'/tone and warmth of the tube NOS 5691 RCA Red Base pre-amp tubes. -- the reason is clear why I spent so much money on this 'other' equipment.