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: