Review: Burson Fun – overwhelming the senses

In this article we look a the Burson Fun from Burson Audio.


Disclaimer: Burson directly sent Play, Bang, and Fun for the purposes of this review. I paid nothing for any single unit, and the upgraded op-amps came along with them. Fun is a powerful dual-mono Class-A amp that will blow your socks off for 299$ USD. You can find out all about it here: Burson Fun Headphone amp / pre-amp.

Burson’s staples: cost-effective mid to high end amps, active cables, their beautiful Timekeeper power amp series, DIY-inspired component sets, and of course their peck of discrete and proprietary high-end op-amp sets, some of which Headfonia have had the good fortune to test, are well known. The theoretical and practical differences between the amp circuits in Fun and Play, however, are not. At first I was confused. Sure, Fun boasts a powerful, resolving, and nearly flawlessly-testing headphone out. But, with some provisos, so does Play. Sure, it, like many Burson designs, allows willy-nilly swapping of op-amps. But so does Play. Sure, it has a built-in pre-amp. But so does Play. Finally, its starting price is spot on. But, you guessed it, so is Play’s.

Because Fun relies on upstream components to source analogue signals – and currently, Burson don’t sell a standalone DAC – from a marketing and perhaps customer standpoint, it has less to recommend it vis-a-vis Play at its price point. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s an amp. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Play is a DAC andan amp- sorta. Being morean amp than Play is, Fun’s got a proper line RCA input to add to its microphone and TRS stereo inputs. Both it and Play bear powerful class-A circuits. And, just like Play, Fun packs into a PC and can be powered by its power supply. (What a good idea that is.) And, both start at 299$ USD. If you were in the market for a good source and amp, Play is the obvious choice. In a single box, it does more than Fun.

You might be asking if I’m about to say ‘but’. Well, am I? Yes, I am.

But. Let’s dig right in.

The basics begin on the next page:

4/5 - (8 votes)

Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.


  • Reply November 29, 2018


    Thanks for a nice reading. Only one small correction: you can normally close the top of both the Fun and the Play with the V6 op-amps. In order to close the top, you have to remove DIP8 Sockets attached to the bottom of the V6 op-amps. Cheers.

  • Reply December 14, 2018


    Nice review as always, Lieven.
    Do you think I can use it in UK (220ishV)?
    Also, do you think it will perform well with hd800(s)?

    • Reply December 16, 2018

      ohm image

      Hey Wills,

      To my knowledge, Lieven hasn’t used this amp. Nathan reviewed it. Anyway, it has more than enough power and drive potential for any frequency for the HD800. More than enough. As I said, it is the most powerful amp I’ve ever used.

  • Reply December 22, 2018

    andrew doan

    Nice headphone amp and pre-amp from Burson Audio as other products from the land of down and under. “Fun is both more powerful and better on a software test bench than Play.”, indeed.

    Crocodile sings in my audio room. Pre-amp is clean and it sounds wonderful through my Adam Audio A7X .

    Thank you, Burson Audio.

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