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  1. BulldogXTRM
    A lot of Fun in a little box
    Written by BulldogXTRM
    Published Oct 5, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Outstanding musicality, rich harmonics, flat response from 20Hz-20kHz
    Cons - None
    Fun_Marketing.png 03_P1410494.jpg Fun_Back.png

    Outstanding Headphone Amp

    A Review On: Burson Fun
    Review by Mike Brunner (Lead Guitarist for Rivul)
    Review Topics:
    About Me
    About the product/expectations
    Build/Design
    Sound
    Value
    Provided for review by manufacturer
    Normal Retail Price: $299
    Pros: Outstanding musicality, rich harmonics, flat response from 20Hz-20kHz
    Cons: None!

    About Me
    To get started, let me tell you a little about myself.
    I’m a gigging musician (lead guitar/backup vocals), an audio forensic analyst, a novice sound engineer, and an avid music lover with a wide taste in music. Being an audio forensic analyst is a plus I find when reviewing audio products simple because I know what bad audio sounds like and usually know how to correct it. My experience allows me to be familiar with the limitations of my own ears and the equipment I’m using.
    For the consumers, my perspective for all my IEM reviews will be based on these things. I won’t sugar coat things or make things sound better than they are. I’m just like you and I want good value for the money I pay for any product.

    To the manufacturers, I’ll always give you an option to respond to any concerns such as quality that I have during my review. I’ll contact you directly and will do so before my review is published. I want to provide an honest and tangible review for your prospective customers without being unfair to you as a manufacturer.
    I’ll always be fair and my review will be based on my perspective and my experience.
    Now on to the important stuff.

    About the product/expectations
    I was provided a review sample for my unbiased review. Having tried the Burson Play, and really enjoying it, I was expecting the Burson Fun to be on par.

    Build/Design
    The Burson Fun design is very professional looking. The metal enclosure and sturdy input/output jacks feel like they will last for years. I have no complaints about the build quality at all. The only thing that I would say is that for my setup, I would like to have seen perhaps a digital input. Having reviewed the Burson Play though which is the same price, I really felt that the Burson Fun missed the mark slightly. I didn't quite understand why Burson would offer the amp only section of the Burson Play, without the USB DAC.

    I suppose each product has it's fit, especially if you already have a top notch desktop DAC and are just looking for a top notch desktop headphone amp.

    Sound
    The good stuff! This is what all of us audio geeks/audiophiles want to hear about. So when I first started this I decided to give myself a baseline using my pro audio gear. I first listened to my desktop DAW interface (Sapphire 2i4) and Midas M32. Both are designed to give pristine audio with no coloration at all. My monitors of choice this time were my 64Audio A18t, Fiio FH5, InEarz Euphoria. The 64Audio pairing is for technical listening with musicality, the Fiio FH5 for everyday use, whereas the InEarz is for ease of listening.

    After setting up the baseline through listening to each interface for about an hour the break down was the Burson Fun is a very clean Amp. There was little to no noticeable difference to my ears. After listening to the Burson Fun the transition back to my pro audio sources were nearly transparent. There was a just a slight musical warmth from the Burson Fun that I detected and I found myself missing after a short play back on my normal desktop gear.

    Across the entire audio spectrum the Burson Fen seemed very flat. I actually hooked both the headphone out and the RCA outputs to my DAW to analyze the frequency response. In the lowest frequencies, the Burson Play showed a slight dip below 20Hz, and a slight dip above 20KHz. This simply put, in the audio range, the Burson Play showed a perfectly flat frequency response. Whatever you put in you get out. Near perfection for $299? Wow! Long term usage of the Burson Fun, left me wanting to return to this setup for that just slight warmth/musicality for my listening.

    Value
    Each of us wants value for our money. The value of the Burson products that I've tried are well above their price point and the Burson Fun is no exception. This is an outstanding value for a professional quality desktop headphone amp. Great job Burson!
  2. KimChee
    Burson Audio 5VI Supreme Sound Opamp
    Written by KimChee
    Published Sep 28, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Great sounding op amp at a reasonable cost that enhances the listening experience.
    Cons - None, that I can see, it does consume a bit more power, and distorts at extremely loud listening volumes.
    Burson Audio Supreme Sound Opamp V5i

    Before writing this review I would like to thank Carlos of Burson Audio for sending me the Burson 5vi to test and review. He has has kindly offered me a free trial of the Burson V5i op-amp in return for my honest feedback.

    The V5i can be used to substitute for many op-amps of different models. A nice
    bonus provided by Burson Audio, an Australian company, is the lifetime warranty for the V5i.

    About Me:

    I am a musician and artist who became interested in the High Fi audio scene about 10 years ago. I own and play several instruments and am interested in mixing. I tend to favor heavy metal, death metal, and hard rock, but I also listen to Jazz, Bluegrass, Trance, BlueGrass, and Folk music.

    I own a few TOTL CIEMS one of them being the JH Roxanne. I own a few TOTL DAPs like the Astell & Kern AK380 Copper +Copper amp and Lotoo Paw Gold Diana Edition as well as more budget friendly items such as the
    Zishan Z1, Walnut Stack, KZ ZS7, and CCA C16.

    I have done some op-amp rolling in the past with cmoy type amps, and
    believe op-amps make a change in sound. My main experience
    is with the Lehman black cube, Objective 2 amp, Little Dot I-IV,
    and the Matrix M Stage Amps.

    Testing equipment:

    DAP: Zishan Z1, Walnut V2S/Walnut F1 (Walnut Stack
    IEMs: KZ ZS7, CCA C16, JH Roxanne CIEM
    OP-amps: Burr-Brown OPA227, Signetics NE5532, (Zishan Z1 stock),NE5532 (Walnut
    V2S stock)

    Packaging:

    The op-amps come in a fully protected, sealed and professional looking box. The op-amps are extremely well
    built like little tanks.


    IMG_8896.jpg

    IMG_8899.jpg




    Installation:

    Fortunately, the Zishan Z1 and Walnut 2VS installation is straight forward, plug and play, as I'd have to dig up my old Weller soldering gun, and my desoldering iron.

    IMG_8897.jpg

    IMG_8898.jpg

    Burn In:

    I am a firm believer in burn in, I burned both op amps in for 100 hours each.
    I noticed the first big change after approximately 50 hours of burn in with a
    further refinement after 100 hours.


    Sound Impressions:

    Of course, any review of this kind is subjective as a reviewer's taste in
    music varies. Thus, it is very subjective.

    Highs:

    One thing I dislike about the Z1 is that the highs lack detail, there is a
    grain to the sound. There is a lack of clarity and extension. With the Burson
    the grain is gone. The highs gain clarity, sparkle, and increased extension.
    There is much more micro detail. They gain air and refinement.

    Mids:

    Both male and female voices sound more natural and realistic. There is an
    increase in detail. The midrange details sound less congested, has a more
    natural timbre, and a warmer tonality.

    Bass:

    The bass has more impact, the bass is much more detailed and has more texture. It is more defined and tighter with much greater detail.

    Soundstage:

    The stage gains width and depth, and there is an increase in clarity, layering,
    and dynamics. The sound is more musical, but with greater detail and a better sense of space.

    Positives:

    Clarity, transparency, speed, and instrument separation
    are the main sonic characters of the Op-Amp. There is no coloration of sound.

    Negatives:

    The op amp provided a couple hours less battery life due to increased
    power consumption. The op amp distorts are very loud volumes more quickly
    than the stock op amps.

    Summary:

    The Burson 5vi is a worthy upgrade to budget and mid level DAPs, the increase
    in bass performance and clarity is worth the price of admission alone. I was
    also pleasantly surprised by the increase in the high end, and just the overall
    dynamics and separation of the sound. The 5vi excels in all sound areas over
    stock and is a very nice upgrade.
  3. ngoshawk
    Burson Fun-Act One
    Written by ngoshawk
    Published Mar 24, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - POWER!
    Ability to fit in your PC.
    Gamers take note...this is good.
    Easily stackable.
    Cons - Plain black box?
    "Too affordable for some."
    none really.
    Burson Fun-Act One: Basic-$299usd. 5-year warranty. 4.25 stars, if I could. 4.5 with the Vivid.


    *Burson had previously sent me the Play on tour. They contacted me to see if I was interested in the Fun, followed by the Bang. I said, “well of COURSE!!” I will provide an open honest review, to the best of my abilities, without reservation. Both parties involved would have it no other way. Period.


    *Parts labeled with an asterisk (*) below are additions added using the V6 single Vivid OpAmp. I graciously thank Burson for sending the units for comparative purposes. As a side note, those are the OpAmps of choice for me in the Burson Play as well.


    Burson website: https://www.bursonaudio.com/products/fun/



    *Burson OpAmp link: https://www.bursonaudio.com/products/supreme-sound-opamp-v6/



    Specs:



    Measurement

    Input impedance: 38 KOhms
    Frequency response: ± 1 dB 0 – 35Khz
    THD: <0.03%
    Output impedance (Head Amp): 6 Ohm
    Output impedance (PreOut): 25 Ohm


    Package Content

    Burson Fun Unit
    2.5mm hex key
    RCA Cable
    6.5mm to 3.5mm Socket Adaptor
    Power Supply: 100-240V AC (12V 6A)



    General

    Inputs: RCA (2V RMS line level), Mic Input
    Weight: app. 2Kg
    Outputs: RCA Pre-Amp / Headphone Jack / Mic out
    Dimensions: 210mm x 145mm x 45mm



    Impedance (Headphone Jack)/Power/Signal to Noise Ratio/Separation:

    8Ohm/1.2W/91db/99%
    16 Ohm/1.9W/92db/99%
    32 Ohm/2.1W/95db/99% 100 Ohm/1W/94db/99% 150 Ohm/0.66W/96db/99% 300 Ohm/0.33W/94db/99.5%



    Gear used/compared:

    Mr. Speakers Ether-C Flow
    Campfire Audio Cascade
    Clear Tune Monitors DaVinci X
    Campfire Audio Atlas
    Hidizs MS4

    *Additions:

    Sendy Aiva
    HiFiMan Ananda



    Thebit Opus #2
    Shanling M5
    Shanling M3s
    Aune M1s
    MacBook Pro-Tidal Premium & Pine Player

    Songs used:

    Coldplay-All I Can think About Is You
    Coldplay-A Message
    Coldplay-White Shadows
    Dona Onete-Sonos de Adolescente
    Los Lonely Boys- Heaven (en Espanol)
    twenty one pilots-Trees
    twenty one pilots-Car Radio
    twenty one pilots-Heathens
    Damian Marley-Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
    Damian Marley-So A Child May Follow
    Damian Marley-The Struggle Discontinues
    Ziggy Marley-Lighthouse
    Ziggy Marely-See Dem Fake Leaders
    Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
    Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado

    twenty one pilots-Trench
    *Tedeschi Trucks Band…oh my goodness…


    Unboxing:

    Coming in the same sized matte black box as the Play (I certainly do not mind utilizing the same packaging to save costs and space…), you are met with an outline of the Fun (via sticker), complete with front, back image and which option you have. A few specs are listed as well. Since none of the boxes regarding version were highlighted in red, I assume this is the basic, which retails for $299. None the matter, as I can OpAmp roll using those from the Play.

    Opening from the front, you are met with two long rectangular boxes bordering the outside, which open as the lid, from the front. Directly in the middle, beneath ¼” soft foam and cradled in a ¾”-1” rigid foam frame lies the Fun. Just the same as the other Burson models of this line. Underneath is the same soft foam, so the Fun is completely protected. In one long box is the power unit. In the other is the power cord as well as connecting 2 single RCA cables as well as Allen key, warranty card 3.5mm-6.3mm adaptor. That’s it. Basic indeed, but I do not mind. It is the listening, which counts.

    [​IMG]

    Fit-n-Finish:

    Again, following the same format as the other critters in the foray, you get a black rectangular box. Four Allen screws on the front, the same volume knob (in the same place), a 3.5mm input jack to the left. Left of that is the microphone jack, while left of that you have a dedicated 6.3mm jack. A small blue LED is at the most port position, denoting that the unit is on. Unlike the Play, there is not analog readout for volume, only the turn of the knob, with a smaller yet white dot denoting position.

    The back has L/R RCA in and out (pre-amp out) connections as well as the power connection, on/off toggle, microphone jack (for mic pass through when mounted in a PC) and computer cable hook up. Yet again you can use this in your desktop tower, providing a killer amp upgrade. At 2 watts Class A, I would hope so…

    Simple straightforward and to the point. This isn’t meant to be a boutique piece no; the merits are in the sound. With discreet circuitry (a Fun read in and of itself, haha) there is no crossover distortion or feedback. Not noticeable on the outside, much like the look; but it is what’s inside that counts.

    OpAmp rolling is quick and easy with the included Allen Key. I listened to the included Basic OpAmp’s as well as the Vivid’s from my Burson Play. I prefer the warmer signature of the Vivid to the Classic, but the Basic (NE5543 X 2) sounded near-neutral and just fine. YMMV. As a desktop amp, the ease of changing the OpAmps cannot be underestimated. Throw in the Bang, and you can essentially get a good set of combinations with which to play.

    *Dedicated OpAmp sound:


    To add to what is listed below, after Burson sent me the V6 (single) Vivid pair for installation, I dedicated several hours using the same songs listed above (and same sources/gear) with the addition of a couple newcomers to my corral; the Sendy Aiva and the tour HiFiMan Ananda. My initial usage of the Vivid OpAmps in the Burson Play allowed me a direct comparison between the Classic (more neutral) and the Vivid (warmer signature). In the Fun though, Burson included the Basic, to give me an impression of their “bottom-line” component. Using the V6 Vivid (again, single not double) added $140 to the cost, on par with Basic Playmate and Play with V5 OpAmp options. A fair comparison in my opinion. Following this, Burson will send me the Bang to use in conjunction with the Fun for a complete comparison of the line-up as well as giving a good representation of the whole line.


    Installation is as easy as messaging @Wiljen to ensure all went well…it did…after sending a couple of DOH! Messages, he graciously did not make “fun” of my doltishness…it is straightforward and easy to change OpAmps in under five minutes. A huge option when used as a stand-alone.


    So…what happened? Using Tidal Premium through my MBP and first the Ananda, I was met with visions of a small venue concert I attended with my Brother-in-law listening to the Tedeschi Trucks Band. I distinctly remember ordering Guinness a pint at a time, rotating with the local Boulevard Pale Ale in glasses. By concerts start time, we were the only ones allowed to use glasses, as the others were relegated to the ubiquitous Red Solo cups. Our waitress took very good care of us that night adding to the enjoyment of top-class music and passion deserving of Susan Tedeschi. A magical night topped by a hug to the waitress and a tip she wholly deserved. I mention this, for playing Tedeschi Trucks through the Fun/Vivid brought back those good memories. Small venue, excellent company, excellent beer, and incredible music. And if that is what our music can do for us, then it has served its purpose. And served it well.


    Richer, fuller and mellower would be apt descriptors for what the Vivid brings to the table. And I do so love that sound. Detail remains excellent in this iteration. Sound stage is good. Slightly on the intimate side, but oh so nice. Susan’s voice rings like from the concert. Sitting at our bar table, right in front, with Tedeschi giving us props throughout the show. And we returned the favors with glass raised.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The Vivid provides not more power, no; but that richness, almost velvet-like sound, which can make an analytical song ooze with sensuousness. This can make a sterile song come to life, and dance across the page, not unlike the verbiage espoused here. I must openly admit that the Fun by itself is good, but with the Vivid, the sound comes more in line with my tastes. I openly admit to liking the Sendy Aiva (even after hearing more expensive units, which mellowed my view a bit) and here the combination brings the sound I very much appreciate from the Aiva. Just a really good combination.


    Switching to the Cascade, the bass is superb. Almost toning down the overwhelming-ness, the package brings to light how good the Cascade can sound with a good amp. Yes, Tidal Premium and the MBP are not the best; but I still enjoy them both. Again, rich bass and sound emanate from the Cascade, moving me back yet again to the concert. A more mid-centric sound than the Aiva, the Cascade gives you a better feel for the sound package, as you most definitely feel centered about 10 people (the venue was small, and save for our raised table area was standing) back from stage, moving perfectly in time with the music and crowd. You glance around and all look, feel, envelope Tedeschi’s sensuous voice and guitar licks. They catch you looking and raise their Red Solo cup of adult beverage and you share the moment. Any How, epitomizes this sound wonderfully. I fully recommend a Tedeschi Trucks concert. You will not be disappointed with their musical variety and genre-crossing sound. A hip blues sound, with Grateful Dead thrown in along with the musicianship of Dave Matthews and Lyle Lovett. Yes, they have their own sound, but melding the above give you the idea.


    And the Fun/Vivid represent that sound oh so well. I finish with Laugh About It, a spiritual song about not forgoing your chance. A fitting way to end the second part of this review. For you see, Burson took a chance with an amp line-up, which can span the spectrum of making your gaming set-up top notch, while pulling double duty as a very good affordable desktop amp. One, which will stay in my rotation for comparative purposes for a good long time. This is good stuff.



    [​IMG]

    A word about sources:

    As @Wiljen mentioned in his review, you are more dependent upon the DAC you use for the sound as the Fun itself. Therefore (to me) if you scale up too much, you really are not adding anything (and could detract in fact) from the sound signature presented. In other words, it simply is not worth it for me to hook up my Questyle QP2R to the Fun, other than to add power. And I would be losing some quality in the making.

    This certainly is not a snub or shot at Burson, no. It is simply that hooking a $300 headphone amp to a $1300 DAP can be done, but do not expect anything above the sound of the DAP except volume. The Fun is quite adequate at providing that power as well. While the original source signature can show itself through the Fun, you realize what the limits are.

    Through the Aune M1s, the additional power is welcomed, and can show the warmth of the M1s quite nicely. I would say that this is a good match, as it can provide the added power, with a bit more oomph down low. Especially when I ran the Atlas through it. Or the Cascade for that matter. Quite nice.

    Tidal Premium through my MacBook Pro and the Fun (using headphone jack into split RCA cables), the sound in the Ether-C Flow is definitive and additive. The Fun does indeed provide the necessary power to drive the Flow to voluminous levels of hurt. Want more warmth? Throw in the Vivid OpAmps, sit back and enjoy. I do love the Ether-C Flow, but always welcome a bit more sub-bass. Coldplay’s Up & Up shows well in this set up. Coldplay has a tendency to be a shouty-kind of sound on many songs and this is one of them. But I sift through that to the added power. Giving that extra rumble down low (yes Tidal Premium does that) the Fun drives the Flow well.

    Switching to the Cascade through the same set up, that bass is back in full force. The Cascade is known as the bass-cannon of headphones in some circles, and it does not disappoint here. Sounding better than straight out of the MBP (one would hope so anyway), that “better” comes straight from the extra amplification of the Fun. So, one could argue that the source sound is the same, but only amplified. That would be correct, but it still sounds a bit better. Not more definitive like the Flow, which is a harder to drive critter, but just more of it. So, I cannot say definitively if the sound is “better,” but only more of it. A harder to drive headphone such as the Ether will benefit more than the Cascade, which is straightforward to drive since it is marketed as a portable.

    With Motherboard pouring through from Daft Punk (one of my favorite test tracks) on the same set up, the Cascade reminds me of what I love about it. There is just that presence there, which comes through loud and clear. The Fun is not the detail monster of other amps, and it isn’t meant to be. That job is up to the Bang or the Play. No, the Fun provides the engine with which to drive your music. And in that regard, it does a very good job.

    Follow that up with Song For America from a favorite of mine, Kansas, and you have a pretty good idea of what the Fun can bring to the table. Power, and what I will call “girth” give it very good presence. Details while slightly above average come through with good placement. You do not mistake what sound is where. As such Sound stage is decently wide and tall. A good boxy set up pervades the feeling of a larger hall. Nicely done.


    OpAmp:

    As stated above, I preferred the Vivid OpAmp for its warmth, but kept the Basic in most of the time to show what the most economical unit could do. Providing what I would say is on par with other amps at this price range, the Fun has a bit more power than many at this price, providing up to 2 full watts for most easily driven headphones and IEM’s. More than adequate in my book, and good for gaming situations as well, like the Play. What it does not provide is a better DAC. Whatever you have in your source is it. But my thought here is those that would use this in either a desktop headphone amp set up or inside a PC tower for gaming will most likely have a better DAC (either from a DAP) or a better soundcard for gaming purposes.

    The Fun makes no pretense in providing better sound, only in providing MORE sound. Burson leaves that up to the source, whether it is the Bang or as other reviews here have provided their own DAC’s. And in the end, who doesn’t want more power?

    [​IMG]



    Finale:

    This may be a shorter than average review of late, but that is by design. For once I have the Bang inhouse, I will be able to pair the two and get a better sense of their place. I have the Schitt Modi2 Uber and Magni2 for cheaper comparative purposes, and my iFi stack moving up, so that will be a good mix.

    Don’t take this as a slight of the Fun. No, indeed not. For the Fun is a powerful desktop amp, which fits nicely into my set up. Not the most versatile of options, but easy to hook up with pretty much whatever you would like. Easily hooking a DAP to the front slot, or your laptop/PC/DAP from the RCS cables in back; it simply works. And sometimes that is the best compliment you can earn. This is the true benefit of the Fun. It is affordable, "optionable," PC-able, and small of size with excellent power.

    [​IMG]

    *Vivid V6 OpAmp finale: So…after too long of a time, I can add to what is stated above. The Burson Fun is indeed a quality amp and for its intended purposes, does very, very well. Then when you add in the ability to roll OpAmps, you have added to its versatility. When I changed to the Vivid OpAmp, I felt this better represented what Burson was trying to achieve with this line of their amps. Good to excellent for computers, raised to excellent to very, VERY good with the Vivid.


    In fact when comparing to my iFi Pro iDSD or the tour HiFiMan Jade II system I have on hand, to me using the Vivid had more of an impact on my MacBook Pro (the closest I could come to the mostly intended desktop tower PC for which this was designed) sound than the others. While the iFi and HiFiMan systems sounded grand, it was most definitely overkill. A MacBook Pro was not the intended target of those higher priced amps. And here is where the true beauty of the Burson lies. Want clearer, cleaner sound? Roll with the Classic. Want a richer, fuller sound? Roll with the Vivid. Want a very good basic upgrade to your PC’s set up for gaming? The Classic will work just fine.


    [​IMG]


    The desire to tune and fine tune items has been around as long as humans (and animals). We have this innate desire to tinker. Make things better, improve upon, come up with new inventions. One need look no further than the vaunted Shelby Cobra for the true definition of that human desire. And here is where I think Burson has carved out a niche for itself. That ability to allow the user to change as their taste fits. That ability to change the sound quickly, and with minimal effort. And for that, I have a newfound appreciation and respect for what Burson is doing.


    [​IMG]

    I thank Burson for this opportunity, and when the Bang gets to my humble hamlet of a town, there will be an act two. So, we will simply call this act one.

    [​IMG]
  4. upsguys88
    Burson FUN for Everyone!
    Written by upsguys88
    Published Feb 9, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Simple set-up and ease of use
    Powerful
    Versatile (Heaphones + Speakers)
    Affordable
    Sleak form factor
    Cons - Upgraded Op-Amps are extra $
    This amp is so simple and so fun! I am a person who really enjoys equipment (amps and dacs) that are easy to use, simple to set up and just work! In my humble opinion, there are too many amps on the market that offer an immense amount of inputs and outputs, that for people like me who only use them to listen to great headphones, and great music, done honestly need. I really like the simplicity of this amp because it is easy to use, easy to set up and comes with a ton of power for any headphone or desktop speaker!

    Burson is a company located in Melbourne, Australia, the city my brother's wife is from. Its full of beauty, very much like this little amp. I appreciate that the amp is compact, powerful and looks great. I'm going to review this amp from the perspective of a person who likes to get home, plug in my headphones, USB into my MacBook and listen to music straight away [Aussie phrase :)]. The Burson Fun allows me to do with no issues.

    The Power:
    I will let you read the specs on their website, but for power, it has enough power for any and every headphone imaginable. I used this amp in conjunction with my LH Labs Geek Pulse X Infinity by bypassing its built-in amp so it could just be sent the clean dac sound to be amplified by the Fun. The power is perfect for an at-home set-up for headphones, and speakers alike!

    The Sound:
    Its sound is clean, clean clean. There seems to be no extra warmth added to the sound from this amp, just powerful, dynamic sound to my Audioquest Nighthawks, Sennheiser 6XX and Audeze iSine20. The Fun amp is the type of amp I was looking to pair with my Geek Pulse X Infinity's DAC which is a sublime combination! If you are looking for an amp that won't add color to the sound, just clean, clear amplification, this is a wonderful buy for the base price of $299!

    Conclusion:
    This is a perfect addition to any system that needs more power, better amplification, and a sound that is accurate to the way your favorite music should be! I am excited to tinker with the addition of the various other op-amps Burson offers to see how the sound is enhanced with these better quality components.
  5. Peddler
    Excellent headphone amp - looks good too
    Written by Peddler
    Published Jan 26, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Very strong output. Looks Great. Nice smooth volume control. Wonderful sound quality. Can be used as a pre-amp. Fits inside PC case if required. Very low noise floor.
    Cons - Expensive. No remote control (nitpicking).
    I have been an avid headphone user for many years now. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve got to the point where I would always prefer to listen to music through headphones than loudspeakers. In all fairness, perhaps one of the main reasons for this is because I don’t live alone and my family really don’t share my taste in music. Also, I do like to listen to my music fairly loud - far louder than I would through speakers.

    Throughout the years I have had an incredible number of headphones and playback devices including various portable Minidisc, portable CD players and MP3 players galore but the key thing is that they were portable. Although I did have a full sized and rather excellent analogue based hifi system, it's been many years since that was my primary listening system.

    20190119_092929.jpg

    I feel it's only fair to point out that I don't talky consider myself as a headphone snob - I have found myself enjoying some really inexpensive bluetooth headphones costing less than 20 quid. One final piece of information about me is that I now listen to music mostly using my LG V20 phone and a combination of different headphones - many of which are bluetooth.

    20190119_092948.jpg


    I know, I know. The Flat-Earth brigade are wringing their hands right about now at the mention of using bluetooth headphones but to be honest I feel that they are now good enough for more than simple casual portable listening. Don't get me wrong though. I still do very much appreciate excellent sound quality. Whilst I can honestly say that I will probably never spend thousands of pounds on high end gear (perhaps more because of financial circumstances rather than a complete lack of desire). When I’m sat down at home, listening to music intently, portability and wireless features will always take a back seat to sound quality.

    20190119_092724.jpg

    Burson very kindly sent me their Fun headphone amplifier to review. Although I have used headphone amplifiers and external DAC’s before, they have always been portable units - with the limitations that all portable units have. The Fun is the first desktop-based amplifier I have used and wow - what a difference.


    I won’t go into too much detail about the externals of the unit. Basically this amplifier can act as both a headphone amplifier and pre-amp thanks to its outputs on the back of the unit. This makes it an ideal match for active loudspeakers or systems with power amps. The unit is powered by a fairly small external power supply but is also designed to be inserted into a desktop computer system and can be powered from the PC itself. The Fun supports pass through for microphone input so gamers shouldn’t have any problems.


    Needless to say the unit is pretty solid and very well made. When powered up, the only real giveaway that the unit is powered on is a small blue LED on the front - you certainly wouldn’t tell the unit was on by just listening through your headphones as there’s no noise floor on the Fun it’s completely and utterly silent - when when using fairly sensitive IEM’s.

    20190119_092850.jpg

    To test the unit I tried a number of different headphones including:-

    Sennheiser HD598SR
    Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10 IEM’s
    Sony WH1000Xm2’s in active wired mode
    1More Triple Driver IEM’s

    Needless to say the Fun powered all of them to extremely high levels without running out of steam or even a hint of distortion. Even when listening at low volume levels, the sense of power and scale definitely still comes across - far more so than directly from the LG V20 phone (which has a far more powerful headphone out than what you would find on most mobile phones). Whilst this degree of power is pretty much overkill when using IEM’s, it’s still more than welcome and gives the music a real sense of powerful dynamics and impact. The lack of electronic noise floor really helps when using IEM’s with the amp.

    Many purists feel that all an amplifier should be is a ‘wire with gain’. They should neither add nor subtract quality from the original signal - simply make it louder. In all fairness, the Fun does offer a degree of colouration to the sound in my opinion - but we are talking about such subtleties that it could simply be a side effect of having all that additional power at your disposal - in no way does it spoil the character of the music. The amp is called Fun for a reason - it’s not pretentious, it hasn’t been made by magic pixies nor has it been breathed on by God. It’s simply a very well designed and made headphone amp/pre-amp which looks good and sounds great.

    In conclusion I personally feel that the Fun is an excellent headphone amplifier and has definitely brought all my wired headphones to a whole new level of musicality.

    Using the Vivid Op-Amps

    I feel its important to put my cards on the table up-front with this review. The following points should give you a clearer idea of my thoughts and opinions regarding headphones:-

    1. Much of my listening is done using headphones designed for portability.

    2. I like wireless - much of my listening is done with wireless headphones and iems. Whilst I'm always looking for the best possible sound quality, I'm perfectly OK with the limitations of Bluetooth over wired.

    3. My usual sources are my mobile phone and Google Play Music via my excellent Chromecast Audio. I don't tend to listen to many 'high-res' files.

    The reason why I wanted to make those points was to illustrate that I don't really consider myself an audiophile - rather someone who likes good sound quality at an affordable price. In addition to my portable kit I do have a loudspeaker-based system which comprises of the following:-

    Burson Audio Fun headphone amplifier
    Burson Audio Swing DAC/Pre-Amp
    Burson Audio Bang power amp.
    Google Chrome cast Audio (connected to the Swing optically).

    For non-portable headphone listening, I use the excellent Sennheiser HD598SR full-sized headphones. I consider these headphones to be a nice balance between relaxed listening (thanks to their extremely comfortable design) and capable of excellent analytical listening thanks to their extremely flat sound profile. I also use the Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10 IEM's for serious analytical listening sessions (although admittedly I don't do this very often these days).

    Swapping out the original Op-Amps for the Vivid's was a fairly simple process. I'm certainly not comfortable 'fiddling' around with the insides of my devices - I effectively have zero working knowledge of electronics. I basically just took my time, gently levered off the original chips using a flat bladed small screwdriver and inserted the Vivid's - making sure to get them in straight and not bending any of the legs. Although these are not quite 'zero insertion force' they're pretty easy to seat them onto the board with gentle downward pressure. The whole process really took less time than it did to get the lid off the amp.

    Sound Quality

    This is what it's all about. As I mentioned earlier I tend to listen mostly to streamed content but even with the use of compressed audio the differences are really quite remarkable. Whilst I was perfectly happy with the sound quality of the stock Fun headphone amp, the Vivid's have definitely taken the amp to the next level.

    The first thing I noticed was the increased details in the high-end. Whilst I'm very sensitive to overly 'bright' sounding systems, the Vivid's offered this additional detail without making the sound harsh. Cymbals have a more 'metallic' sheen to them, percussion is more 'percussive' and the overall sound character became 'faster' and more exciting.

    Another characteristic to come through after the swap out was imagery. Whilst headphones will always come second place to loudspeakers when it comes to stereo imagery in my opinion, the sense of depth, width and height to the soundstage was noticeably improved. The differences are certainly more than just minor adjustments to eq - the differences are more like the differences between a 128k and a 320k MP3 track. The sense of ambience - albeit artificial on many non-classical recordings is quite profound and certainly most welcome.

    The overall sound character could be described as effortless - you can listen to your music at any volume you're comfortable with, clearly hear every detail in your recordings - be able to follow any instrument in the mix without having to concentrate - everything is presented to you without any apparent limitations. You can relax with the music and still maintain focus on what you like without having to make a conscious effort. Whilst this effect was present with the original Burson Play configuration, the addition of these op-amps makes a significant difference.

    I've often thought about trying out a tube amp and experimenting with 'tube rolling' but I also lack the patience that is often needed to nurture and tweak these types of amps - years ago I would happily spend hours fiddling around with my hifi system in order to get the slightest improvement in sound quality - I really can't be bothered to do things like this now - I'm more comfortable in accepting limitations. The combination of Fun and Vivid's really feels like there's no real limitations - the overall system really feels like it's working at its very best. This is such an easy upgrade - no soldering, no worries thanks to Burson's excellent protection against incorrect insertion - easy peasy lemon squeezy.

    In conclusion, those who have appropriate equipment would definitely do well to investigate Burson's excellent upgrade option. Whilst this isn't necessarily cheap, it's certainly has a profound effect on the sound quality and is therefore highly recommended.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. wje
      Thanks for the review. You indicated that the volume knob was "smooth". Does this mean that Burson has moved away from the stepped attenuator on this model? I wasn't a fan of their volume knobs on previous products - though, that's just personal impression and others may not agree.
      wje, Jan 30, 2019
    3. raoultrifan
      It's an analogue ALPS Blue inside, totally low noise headamp for IEMs actually, you could give it a try.
      raoultrifan, Jan 30, 2019
      wje likes this.
    4. raoultrifan
      wje, Burson had stepped attenuator inside older headamp, but inside their latest DACs (PLAY, PLAYMATE, SWING) the volume is controlled from inside the DAC chip, like most of 2018-2019 DACs actually (32-bit volume control).
      raoultrifan, Jan 30, 2019
      wje likes this.
  6. h2rulz
    Burson's got game.. er Fun
    Written by h2rulz
    Published Dec 13, 2018
    4.5/5,
    DISCLAIMER
    Burson sent me the Fun for review weeks ago (I apologize for the late review). That said, as always, I'll try my best to provide an honest feedback.


    ABOUT ME

    I’ve been in this hobby for about 3 years and still feel like I’ve just started with so much to learn and explore. No, I'm not the type that can pick out every little detail, nor am I able to discern between 320kbs, 256kbs, etc. However, I am pretty sensitive to EQ and have developed a preferred sound signature over the years. I tend to gravitate toward audio gear that provides clean sub bass extension (little to no mid bass bump), relatively forward mids, and highs that are on the smoother side. I also appreciate a large soundstage with great imaging capabilities. I do prefer depth (out of your head) over width when it comes to soundstage.

    IMG_5311.JPG
    IMG_5312.JPG

    SETUP
    iMac (Tidal HIFI) > USB > Schiit Eitr > digital coax w. BNC adapter > Neutrik impedance converter > AES/EBU2 > SFD1 > coax > Burson Fun > various headphones

    *Mainly used the HD800 (SDR) to get a better idea of the relative differences between amps
    *The focus of my review is how the FUN sounds relative to other amps as I find that most useful.
    *FYI, the FUN worked well with most of my headphones (HD800 SDR, LCD3, HD650), and powered them all with ease.

    IMG_5313.JPG IMG_5314.JPG

    HOW DOES IT SOUND?
    IMO the Fun is Burson's jab/comeback at the increasing number of quality sub $500 gear. With Schiit gaining significant grounds and Massdrop churning out one great collaboration after another, it has never been better for budget headphone lovers to get a good taste at what hifi really sounds like. Add the Fun to the bunch with a bit of added flavor ("Fun") and you basically got the gist of what this amp is all about.

    /Stock Opamp (Single x2)/
    At first, coming from the Master 9, EC BW2 and ZDS as my main amps, I was expecting noticeable grain and a lack of transparency/detail. Well, it was noticeable, but to a much lesser degree than expected. I was also immediately struck with the weight behind the notes. The name of the Fun had me expecting some V shape sound signature with hollowed out mids. Yes, the bass and treble emphasis was there but the mids and vocals also have good heft behind them. The slight emphasis in the mid bass does give the FUN a warmish sound. The soundstage isn't particularly wide nor deep. But it does present a believable sound stage, nothing too closed in or walled. No problems here. The FUN does present a more intimate soundstage, giving you the feeling of being closer to the source of the sound. As for power, there's plenty to spare. I had no problem with any of my headphones nor should you!

    Occasionally the Fun did get hot in the treble on certain tracks and the bass at times did ever so slightly bloom relative to my preference. But, if Burson was after a Fun sounding quality affordable amp, they certainly succeeded.

    /V6 Vivid/
    With the stock opamp, it wasn't too hard to point out the relative deficiencies of the FUN compared to the higher priced/tier amps. That does change a bit with the Vivid opamps. The Vivid adds extra air and clarity to the FUN. With improvements in those areas the FUN's imaging does improve. You do have to pay an extra $70-100 for the Vivids, but personally I find it makes the FUN that much more convincing among the array of quality low to mid range budget amps despite the additional cost. I'd highly recommend going for the Vivid or perhaps the Classics if you're set on getting the FUN.

    /Amp Comparisons/
    Vs LCX
    Both are technically capable in terms of detail and transparency (happy times for sub $500 gear!). The LCX does have that tubish sense of sound in terms of soundstage depth despite being a SS amp. Also, the LXC is the more neutral between the two. Both are similarly priced (the SDAC of the LCX makes up for the extra $79). If you want a more FUN sounding amp that doesn't lack in relative transparency and detail the FUN is for you. If you want an all in one hassle free option and want to get a hint of the Cavalli sound the LCX is for you.
    *With the Vivid, the difference in soundstage lessens in terms of size. Both still have their own way of presenting music but sheer size becomes nearly identical.

    Vs ZDT Jr.
    The ZDT excels in transparency, but lacks heft in the lower end. However, I do prefer the relative bloom free bass of the ZDT. The FUN does sound more engaging for tracks calling for more bass. However, the ZDT is overall more netural while being ever so slightly tubish sounding (there's more treble emphasis with the FUN). Between the two, its really comes down to personal preferences. Both are capable (details, mids) amps that are fairly similarly priced ($300 vs $400). Also, both do have the potential extra cost of tube or opamp rolling.
    Perhaps the biggest downside of the ZDT is it's accessibility and issue with hum on many of the units (supposedly Massdrop is in the works for a fix).
    *Even with the Vivid, the soundstage is still larger and convincing (sounding real) with the ZDT. FYI, the FUN is no slouch.

    Vs Master 9
    Ok, from here the price difference becomes quite big. That said I'll compare the two to give a relative idea on how the FUN sounds/spars against amps in this tier. Both are unabashedly powerful and is also where the similarity ends. The Master 9 has a noticeably wider soundstage. The sound is more laid back and neutral with the Master 9. Also the Master 9 is more organic sounding. I hate to use that term, but "organic,” “effortless” and "warm" are terms I would associate with the Master 9 relative to the FUN. The FUN is clearly the more exciting in your face type of amp. As for detail and transparency, you do have to struggle a bit to find the Master 9 eventually stumble out on top even with the Vivid.

    Vs BW2
    The BW2 is also a somewhat colored amp. Both quite have some meat behind the mids and to a lesser degree the bass. However, the clear difference is in the highs. The highs are shy of neutral with the BW2 leaning towards smoother treble. In contrast the FUN does better with hi-hats, cymbals etc. There's a better sense of "clash" and a natural decay with the FUN. However, overall I side with the BW2 (less so with the Vivid) for its somewhat holographic soundstage (surprising deep for a SS amp) and detail. Despite the overall warmness and relatively shelved highs the BW2 just edges out in detail as well. With the Vivid opamp in the FUN the gap does narrow. The price difference now makes the FUN a lot more attractive.
    *Like the ZDT the BW2 is far less accessible than the FUN.

    Vs ZDS
    Yes, this isn't a fair match up. The ZDS excels in detail, imaging, soundstage size. But is it worth x8 the Fun? That'll depend on your priorities and willingness to spend the extra money to achieve "better" sound. If on a budget, you wouldn't miss out too much with the FUN. Perhaps you do miss out on a few scuffs in the background, coughs in the audience, better sense of space/air, and noticeably better imaging capabilities. Ok, maybe that's more than just a few, but I hope you get the idea.


    SUMMARY
    With so many great low to mid range budget options out there, the introduction of the FUN certainly doesn't make it any easier to choose one. But if you don't mind a bit of flavor/FUN, while still being technically capable, the Burson Fun should be up there in your list of must try amps.

    4.5 stars with stock opamps and 5 stars with the V6 Vivids
  7. Asahi Templar
    Burson Fun v Arcam Rhead
    Written by Asahi Templar
    Published Oct 18, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Amazing sound, Great bass control, Large amount of power, Rollable OP AMPs, Microphone Passthrough
    Cons - Annoying hum for first 2 mins or so of use, No balanced input or output
    Here is my (too) long review of the Burson Fun with comparisons to the Arcam Rhead amp.


    First off the build quality is excellent, it uses the same black aluminum case as the Burson Play which looks really nice and helps disappate the heat generated by the amp. The alps pot has a nice amount of resistance to it which makes it easy to get the volume you want and feels like it will last for a long time.

    I dont notice any huge channel imbalance except at very low volumes, to me it sounds pretty much balanced by 5 o clock on the dial, which is great because this thing has a huge amount of power on tap and will get loud real fast. Even the included RCA cables are very high quality, much nicer than the monoprice esque cables you usually get when you buy an amp.


    It feels like a product that will last a very long time and if there are any issues it comes with a 5 year warranty as long as you register it on their website.


    So on to features, the first obvious one is the enormous amount of power this thing has. It is able to do 2.1 watts into 32 ohms which is a bit insane. I dont know if there is any headphone on the market that would need more power than this other than electrostats and the ridiculous Hifiman cans. It is very much designed with Planar Magnetic headphones in mind and is going to more than capable of driving all but the most insensitive of them. It has some kind of attenuation function which drops the power a bit when something lower than 32 ohms is connected but it would still explode the drivers of IEMs and the like, so I would use a LOT of caution using them with the Fun. It operates in Class A all the time with this level of voltage too.


    With my Sennheiser HD 6xx I had to use the Topping D50 to drop the output by -10DB to get a reasonable volume at the 9 o clock point of the dial (which I do just to ensure there is no imbalance) and it was still loud. With my Fostex T60RP, I cut the attenuation down to -6DB to get to roughly the same volume.


    One of the most unique features of the Fun is that it has a microphone passthrough which lets you plug in your mod mic directly into your amp, then run another mic cable to your PC or sound card. This is a really nice feature and something I wish more amps would do. It really helps cut down the wires running around you.


    Okay so now onto sound, I got the Vivid V6 version of the Fun so all my impressions are based on that. I compared it to the Arcam Rhead I was using before (also a terrific amp) using my HD 6xx(650). I volume matched them with my sound level meter using a 500hz tone, and then switched back and forth by plugging and unplugging them.


    I found the Arcam R head made the 650 sound quite bassy and warm, decay on the bass was a bit slow which made it sound pretty bloomy. The deep bass popped more than usually though which was very nice as the 650 is usually lacking there. The upper mids and treble were there but sounded a bit dull but I think this is just the 650 with worn in pads really. The sound staging was pretty narrow and didnt have a great deal of depth to it. Everything sounded pretty close to your ear, it could go out decently wide with a song that had a wide image built into it but rarely did so. It gave the 650 a very romantic intimate kind of sound which I think is what most people who get the 650 want. I would say the Arcam Rhead is a great match for it, it emphasized its strengths well.


    Switching over to the Fun, I found that the bass decay became noticeably quicker and it sounded a lot less bloomy which made everything sound a little clearer. The upper mid and highs were more present and energetic, but still not harsh in anyway. Female vocals in particular improved, getting some more energy than before. The depth of the sound stage improved quite a bit with things seeming a lot more spread out and going out wider more frequently. The 650 became a more open ,energetic headphone. It was an interesting contrast to the Rhead, as while the Rhead emphasized its strengths, the Fun improved upon its weaknesses.


    I liked both these amps for the 650 for different reasons and I would have a hard time choosing between them if that were my main headphones and I wanted to focus on them. I think the Fun matches my preferences for exciting dynamics better, so I decided to keep it and sell the Rhead.


    The other exciting feature of the Burson Fun is the ability to roll op amps. It has 2 single channel slots which can accept just about any op amps on the market. I would have liked to test this more, but I dont have any other single op amps at the moment, so I am not sure how much difference the Vivid op amps actually make to the overall sound.


    While I am not sure how much impact the Vivid V6 has on the Fun, I also tested the Burson Play which had 5 Vivid OP amps as opposed to the 2 in the Fun. I also had the basic version of the Plays OP AMPs so I could compare those to the Vivid ones.


    With the Play I found that the Vivid OP amps had an effect somewhat akin to the Creative Labs Crystalizer DSP effect that they include in all their soundcards. It basically applies a smiley face EQ to try to make lower DR music sound more exciting. I was not a huge fan of the Crystalizer, but the Vivid op amps seem like a much better version of that idea. They seem to make music sound more dynamic especially low DR music (Dr 8 or lower) is where I noticed the most difference. With the vivid OP amps installed the low DR songs no longer sounded like a wall of sound and I could easily pick out each element. Its quite a subntle effect compared to the Creative version which is a very good thing IMO.


    Unfortunately in some cases if you were using 5 of the Vivid Op amps in the Play I also found they could make music sound unnatural. The separation of different elements became so strong that it all sounded kind of disconnected and I didnt really like the effect.


    Thankfully the Burson Fun does not have that unnatural quality, likely owning to it only using 2 Single Channel OP amps. It just seems a nice subtle enhancement, but not sure if that is just the Fun itself being a better amp or the fewer op amps doing it.

    i do have one serious complaint with the fun and that is some noise at start up. When I first power up the fun after its been cold for awhile there is a loud low humming sound after it unmutes. This hum stays there for a min or two after powering it on and then goes away after its warmed up. It never comes back after going away, untill I power it off for awhile again.

    While this is not a deal breaker it is very annoying. I asked Burson about it and they told me that its power supply raises the voltage frequency from 50hz to over 190Khz. Since we can hear up to 20Khz, you could hear some power source noises during that time. This is the characteristic of our Max Current PS.

    Rather you actually hear it or not probably depends on your power setup and grounding situation I would assume.


    Overall I think the Fun is a wonderful AMP and for me endgame for the foreseeable future. I will probably play around with op amps a bit (very interested in the Muses 03!) but I see myself keeping this for a long time. Only thing out there that tempts me are the THX amps, dont think much else will beat this. Now if onlyBurson would make a matching DAC to go with it......
  8. ostewart
    Pure Fun! (Bang + Fun review)
    Written by ostewart
    Published May 19, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Fun sound, plenty of power
    Firstly, I would like to thank Burson for sending me these samples for review, they have both been used for at least 100hrs before this review was written.

    *disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings.

    Gear Used: Topping D50 / JDS Labs OL DAC / JDS Labs EL DAC > Fun > Play > HE-500 / German Maestro GMP 400 / Mission Bookshelf speakers / HD820 / Clear

    [​IMG]

    Tech Specs:
    https://www.bursonaudio.com/products/fun/

    https://www.bursonaudio.com/products/bang/

    Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
    The Bang and Fun both come in a simple black box with the product name and picture on the outside, it is very simplistic but for these products you really don’t need anything fancy. When you open up the boxes you will find the products held tightly in place by foam cut outs, all the accessories are in a separate compartment. All of it is very secure for shipping and protects the products well, along with being sleek and understated.

    Both units have the same build quality, a full aluminium outer casing that is sturdy and flawlessly finished. All the inputs and outputs are sturdy and everything stacks very neatly if you want it to. The volume control on the Fun is super smooth, both units have the power switch on the back but that is only a minor inconvenience for some, and I have never found rear mounted power switches to be an issue. What I can say here really is that Burson know how to make a solid product that is built to last.

    Accessory wise with the Fun you get a set of RCA cables, a jack adaptor, the power supply and a 2.5mm hex key to open it up for op-amp rolling. With the Bang you only get the power supply and 2.5mm hex key, but then again I can’t think of anything else that would be needed to get it up and running. Overall a good set of accessories with each unit, and everything you need to get set up.

    Features:
    So the Fun is a headphone amp / pre-amp and it also has a mic jack pass through for those gamers out there. This is a pure analogue amp that has some very impressive output power for its size and price, it’ll drive most headphones out there with ease, and the gain is fairly high so it is still more suited for full-size headphones, but it does work fine with IEM’s too. It has one set of RCA inputs, and one set of outputs that are controlled by the volume control on the front. There is a 6.3mm headphone output on the front, and a 3.5mm mic input that passes through to a 3.5mm output on the back. The mic jacks are a pass through and not affected by the amp’s internals. On the back you have the power input from either the external power supply or a 4-pin molex from a PC power supply in case you want to mount the Fun in a PC case.

    The Bang is a small desktop power amplifier for passive speakers; it outputs 40w @4Ohms, 29w @8Ohms and 15.2w @16Ohms. It is also very quiet and can be used to drive hard to drive headphones with the correct banana-XLR adaptor. It is a power amp so you need a pre-amp to control the volume; there is merely a LED on the front panel to show it’s on. On the back you have the power input, a set of RCA inputs and the speaker outputs (accept bare wire, banana plugs and spades).

    [​IMG]

    Sound:
    The Fun is a pure Class-A headphone amp, and a powerful one at that. It comes in a small form factor but don’t let that fool you. First off, we have the stock version with the NE5543 op-amps and the Fun is a nice neutral leaning amp with plenty of detail and punch. It has so much power on tap I’ve never found myself going over 10 O’clock on the volume pot. The NE5543 is a perfectly good op-amp in the Fun, but there is still room for improvement. For starters the NE5543 may sound a little sterile to some, it lacks a little dynamism and the treble is not the most natural sounding in timbre.

    Pop in the V6 Vivid op-amps and it becomes just that, more vivid. The sound is more dynamic and punchier, with kicks hitting harder but never losing control. The midrange is not affected much apart from having better layering, separation and air. The treble gains some finesse and sounds more realistic than the NE5543. The Vivid plays well with many headphones, I personally found it to work wonders with the new Sennheiser HD820 over more reference style amps. The V6 vivid is just a lot of fun to listen to.

    The V6 Classic on the other hand is a little more reserved in its presentation, preferring to be a subtler and laid-back sounding op-amp. The sound is slightly less exciting and up-front but what is does have is a more balanced and even sound that is smooth and enjoyable without losing out on detail retrieval. The midrange on the V6 Vivid is not as intimate as it is on the Classic, the Classic is the one to go for if you want an expansive sound with an even balance.

    The V6 Vivid is energetic and fun, the V6 Classic is more reserved and balanced.

    Now on to the Bang, the sound changes between the op-amps in the Bang are less noticeable but are still there to some extent. The changes are the same as the in the Fun, with the Vivid being more fun and exciting, the V6 Classic being more even and balanced. If you are using the Fun or Play as the pre-amp you can mix and match between the units to get the right balance.

    The Bang with the NE5532 is a little on the brighter sound, and does not pair very well if you have brighter leaning speakers. Saying that it will work well with warmer speakers and still has a lot of power for its size. The good thing about the Bang is that you know the specs are not inflated, they are real life power ratings.

    Again, the Bang does not change as much with different op-amps but there are still subtle changes, the V6 vivid playing better with slightly more neutral speakers, bringing out a little bit of life out of them. The V6 Classic will give you a more faithful and truer to the source sound.

    What surprised me about the Bang is the moment you plug it in and get it playing you will notice how much more open, spacious and detailed it is compared to similar priced integrated amps. It really is the only amp you need for a nice little bookshelf / PC setup, and it will also handle a lot of bigger speakers if you are wanting a compact amp. It does not shy away from a challenge.

    The Bang is a powerful yet compact power amplifier that would be at home in both a PC based system as well as a HiFi system. If you partner it with the Play you have a remote from which you can adjust the volume, with the Fun you only have the volume pot. The Bang does not shy away from a challenge and it will do justice to many easier to driver speakers out there, it sounds a lot better than the cheaper integrated amps around the same price, the only downside is you will need a pre-amp to match the amount of inputs you need.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion: Well I can easily recommend both products, as I can the Play. You can have them as a system or separates, but they all do what they set out to do with excellence. Have a Bang and a Play and you have an all in one DAC/HP amp/power amp that will drive most headphones and a large number of speakers with ease all in a compact stack or mounted in a PC case. The Fun comes in when you want to use a separate DAC and want a slightly better headphone amp than that of the Play. Burson have launched a superb series of desktop components that all sound great and work flawlessly, with the ability to tune the sound easily with op-amps along with mount them in a PC case. Keep up the good work Burson!

    Sound Perfection Rating:
    Fun 8.5/10 (Solid and powerful, V6 op-amps are highly recommended)

    Bang 8.5/10 (superb power amp, V6 op-amps are again highly recommended)
      raoultrifan likes this.
  9. mikaelmark
    Review of Burson Fun
    Written by mikaelmark
    Published Apr 22, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Price, Size and Costumer care
    Cons - Not really the highest degree of sound for the Basic-version
    SAM_0265.JPG NE5543.jpg CD192.jpg First of all, I want to say thank´s to Charles at Burson Audio, as he gave me the opportunity to do this listening test with their headphone amp; Fun!

    My first impression when unwrapping the box, is that the amp are quite well packed in the original retail black box, with some white foam and also a thick rubber foam surrounding it. At the side of it, there are two boxes; one containing the power adapter and the other contains a 2,5 mm Hex-key to be used when opening the lid of the amp, a power cable for the power adapter, a small gold plated resistor or capacitor for surface mounting (that I have not yet know the purpose for) and an short RCA-cable from Pailicc of a much better grade than usually includes with most other equipment, especially the connector´s! Most other manufacturer´s tend to include those familiar and very thin "licorice laces", that either get´s placed among all other scrap cabel´s in a box on the shelf of being throwed away immediately! Those Pailicc´s can be used withoud any bad conscience.

    This amp are also equipped with a new developed power stage, using no transformer for maximum power and minimal noise.

    There are three available options of the Fun; the Basic model that I´m gonna test are the cheapest, implementing a pair of NE5543 Opamp´s. The other options is get with Burson´s quite new and well regarded V6 Vivid or V6 Classic discrete Opamp´s.

    What I first realized, was the lack of grounding as the amp´s power adapter are ungrounded. Also, there amp has no 100 Ohm resistor between the enclosure and the signal path´s ground (that many other amp´s have to avoid any EMI/EMR to reach the signal and bring noise to the sound). But they are not alone with this solution, as many manufacturer´s do the same, and honestly, I´m not sure how much this grounding filter solutions will do for the sound.

    I did a A/B comparison test against my own assembled DIY headphone amp, that are using V6 Vivid dual, a Dale 24 stepped volume attenuator and Mundorf/Russian Teflon´s (as it´s built by me, it´s not easy to tell a retail price for it, but similar models will cost about four times the Fun Basic). For the source, I used a Cambridge CD192 CD-player that has two analog RCA-out, with upsamling module and modded with THS4032 OpAmp´s (had a retail price new about $1400) and listened to both my Sennheiser HD595 and HD800. After I calibrated the volume to a similar level for the amp´s, I used my DIY A/B-testing unit to switch between them, as the unit that gonna compare, should not be connected to the Fun´s pre-out, otherwise the sound will be limited by the Fun (or vice versa, if connecting the Fun to the other amp). Each amp must be directly connected to the source, and the A/B-tester will to this without the need to connecting and disconnecting each time.

    The first thing I noticed when listening to the Fun, whas that I must admit there were many similarities between the two amp´s, but what I rather quickly distinguished, was the rolled off treble for the Fun, as there were much more open sound from my DIY-amp, the sound from the Fun was much more veiled. The bass was quite good, and the mid also mostly nice, but no up the grade the DIY-amp, that had a more open and well defined sound.

    Of course, it´s not really fair to compare the Fun against an amp with Burson´s own V6; their latest generation of discrete Opamp´s, altough both amp´s consists of part´s at a really high grade! But having in mind this Fun are the Basic version, with a pair of NE5543 Opamp´s, I must nevertheless admit the sound are quite good compairing to the rival´s, for the price and size of the amp!

    Update:

    A few days ago, I also did a comparison for JRC NE5534, Burson V6 Vivid and also did a quick comparison to the Classic and a SparkoS SS3602 installed in my Burson Fun headphone amp, every A/B-test were done with the DIY stereo switch for instantly swapping between the simultaneously powered amps and compairing with my own DIY assembled LBC amp with a V6 Vivid and Sparko discrete voltage regulators SS7815 and SS1117-15, that will replace the original LM317 and LM337. Those discrete voltage regs will give the amp a steady and clean power voltage with very low noise and a black background.

    Before the test, every OpAmp were burned in with pink/white noise and sinus waves for several hours. The test were again made with my Sennheiser HD 800 connected with the DIY A/B-switch to both amps simultaneously powered and listening to some CD´s, for example Ani DiFranco and Laura Pausini from 2006 - playing in my Arcam CD192 CD-player. Here are my conclusion:


    As I already stated, the standard NE5534 are dull sounding some treble roll off and not as clear and open as all the other OpAmps. It´s not bad, but more in the same range as the OPA2134.

    The difference between Burson V6 Vivid and Classic were the smallest between all tested and not as big as many people stated, that the Vivid should be more open with a bigger sound stage and the Classic should be warmer and closer. But their sound are in a totally other league, definitely a wider sound stage and more details. One thing also worth to be noticed, are the included gold plated DIP8-adapter, that can be leaved fitted at those dicretes and soldered to the PCB if you decide, as they are of very high grade while SparkoS adapter socket should only be used as PIN protection and are recommended to be removed before installing due to their low quality.

    The SS3602 had more treble than the all the other.

    And when I compaired both amps with V6 Vivid for both, the DIY amp had a more open sound with a wider sound stage. But have in mind that I have paid a bit more for the DIY amp in component cost than the Burson Fun, that will cost $399 with V6´s. One more thing I noticed, was the extreme power/gain for the Fun, as the volume knob were at bearly 9´clock, while the DIY were at almost 12´clock, when calibrated equally with noise. So, the Fun amp is definitely a winner for it´s retail price, and combined with the V6 it´s remarkable good!

    Beside for the Fun amp, I´ve used the V6 Vivid in a AK4490 DAC, also with amazingly good result!

    My DIY amp were connected to the CD-player with a Van Damme Twin Interconnect, while I choosed the original bundle Pailiccs for the Fun. I also tried the Fun with a thick high grade silver plated OFC Interconnect, without any noticeable improvements. Therefore, I will praise the bundle Pailiccs quite high, altough I soldered the cables screen to the connectors for best connection. Have in mind that most other equipments bundle cables are of a very low quality that should be avoided to use for HiFi!

    My verdict are that the Burson Fun have a very affordable price, compared to most other amps (for example; the Grado RA1 have a price, while having a very simple schematic, base on the Pimeta that can be done as a coffe break DIY-project), and will give a sound that will satisfy most people, and beat most of it´s competitors - especially if you choose a discrete OpAmp, regardless model - but have in mind that the V6 costs about 10$ less than SparkoS!

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  10. Michaelp
    THE BURSON FUN REVIEW
    Written by Michaelp
    Published Mar 11, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Small foot print
    Great build quality
    Versatility
    Black backgroung
    Cons - Power switch on back
    DISCLAIMER: Burson sent the fun to me for a honest review. I'm by no means a expert reviewer this is just my opinion of this amp. All done with my ears and moddest gear.

    SETUP: PC(spotify premium)>usb>Audio-gd NFB 28.38 fixed out>Fun input>HD-600 and Hifiman HE-400i

    PACKAGING: The Burson Fun comes will packaged. In the box you will find the Fun encased in tight fitting foam. You will also find two boxes on each side of the fun. One contains power brick the other a nice set of RCA's,fuse,adaptor and allen wrench.

    BUILD: I thought the Fun was well constructed with it's all aluminum chassis. The four rubber feet on each corner let's it sit nice and firm on your desk. I really liked the feel of the volume knob with it's Alp's pot. It is very smooth with precise adjustments.

    SPEC'S: The Fun is a dual mono class A amp. Powered by four sets of max current power supply developed by Burson. Rest of spec's can be found on their web site.

    SOUND: This little amp packs a punch. It has all the power you would ever need for most headphones. It sound is very clean and dead quite. I thought it was very detailed with great dynamic's. I heard no signs of distortion at higher volumes.
    The Fun I received had the stock op amps which sounded very good to my ears. Can only imagine what rolling in the Classic or Vivid op amps would bring to the table. I can see why Burson named this amp the Fun very fitting.

    LOW END: With my headphones the low end is very fast and detailed with great weight and impact.

    MID'S: The mid's to me were smooth vocals sounded very natural with good mid bass punch.


    HIGHS: The highs were very very clean and detailed. Never had any fatiguing when listening to this amp for hours.

    CONCLUSION: For the asking price of the Fun with its power and dynamic sound it's a no brainer for me. It was super easy to set up and get started listening to music. The ability to charge op amps to alter the sound and be mounted in a computer case if that's for you. Over all I thinks this is a great little amp sounds great.


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