Disclaimer: Burson sent me Play, Fun, and Bang to review at Headfonia.com as well as document as well as I can hear. Fun is a powerful headphone amp. It starts at 299$ USD. You can find out all about it here: Fun - 2W PC Class A Headphone Amp / Pre Amp.
With a single proviso, Burson’s Play is awesome. With none, Fun is god-like. So god-like is it that it’s got nowhere to go but the top of my 2018 best-of list. Wow. RMAA suggests that its best op-amp set is Vivid, but I most like Classic. I reckon we’ll all have a different take.
Like Play and Bang, Fun both fits into a PC case and sucks electricity direct from a PC power supply. It’s a great way to keep desktop clutter low. If you’re stuck with an iMac Pro, Fun connects to your favourite mains power strip or wall outlet via a hefty adapter.
Its amp section is more powerful than Play’s, and far more powerful than any amp-only desktop audio gear I’ve had in my office, ever. Added to its sheer voltage, it pops off amazing current ratios at any volume level. This keeps loaded signal quality high even buffered through an ADC at +24dBu. Sure, at those volumes, there’s a bit of IMD and signal sheer, but it’s so minimal that I didn't trust RMAA’s results. Typically I put a device through square waves and RMAA’s suit three times for a single load. Fun’s exquisite output caused me not only to give a squint-eyed double-take at the results, but to double take the results. Gosh, RMAA gives its unloaded output 0,0028% THD at +18dBu, which literally hundreds of times lower than some high-end DAPs and DACs I’ve tested. Not once does IMD or THD tip above 0,05%- under load, at +18dBu (a level at which typically all I hear is sheer and sizzle).
After reading every other test result, a maximum stereo crosstalk of -91,6dB seems so-so, but even at +18dBu and driving Earsonic’s SM2 at damaging volumes, drop off was less than 12%. Insane. On a personal note, I tend to prefer stereo crosstalk below 85dB. It’s the enveloping, closer feel of instruments below 85dB that really gets me into the music. That, and a bit of high-frequency channel bleed. Fun’s got me covered.
Stereo signal aside, I’ve never tested an amp that tests so well overall, and never tested any device that keeps signal so damn clean under high-volume load.
In case you’re wondering, amp noise/hiss is audible but low. Campfire Audio’s Atlas renders it, but minimally. That noise sits between an iPhone 4s and an SE, and therefore similar in quantity to the noise level you’ll find spitting from a Sony ZX300.
NextDrive’s Spectra X so impressed me that it’s my new DAC for testing outboard audio. Note: the first pair of result sets are taken at headphone-destroying +18dBu levels, and the final set at +6dBv, which corresponds with a powerful DAP.
NL - no load
SM2 - Earsonics SM2
ES7 - Audio Technica ES7
DT880 - Beyerdynamic DT880/600
24-bit single ended @+18dBu - all targets
24-bit single ended @+18dBu - NL summary
24-bit single ended @+6dBu - all targets
Burson bested themselves. Fun is freaking awesome.