Like a Doctor Who regeneration, Schiit Audio’s Fulla 2 is, in more ways than not, nothing like its predecessor. The outgoing model is a dongle DAC (in the spirit of AudioQuest’s DragonFly) but its replacement is a bigger, badder desktop solution complete with ALPS volume pot.
The internal AKM 4490 DAC, fed by the first of two micro-USB ports and capable of parsing up to 24bit/96kHz PCM, is also fully bypassable; a front-panelled 3.5mm socket is our hook-up for analogue sources.
The second micro-USB port is for powering the Fulla 2 from a mobile phone wall-wart. With switch-mode power supply circuitry inside the device, Schiit reckon a linear PSU would be a waste of cash.
On outputs, we net a shade over half a Watt into 16 Ohm headphones and a smidge over one third into 32 Ohms. Got 300 Ohm cans? 40mW is all you’ll see. This is not the headphone amplifier HiFiMAN HE-6 owners are looking for.
The Fulla 2 can also feed a pair of active loudspeakers from its 3.5mm variable output and/or be run as a DAC from the adjacent 3.5mm socket; this line-level output bypasses the internal amplifier entirely.
Price? US$99. Yes, really.
That’s the news but what’s the story?
For this audiophile commentator, it’s all in the Fulla 2’s volume pot. Here we find ergonomics that feel more satisfying than the tip-tap of laptop keys – just ask any owner of a Devialet Expert, Aurender Flow or ALO Island. Getting hands-on when cranking the volume is a more physically complete experience for any music lover.
For the newcomer, it’s a taste of high end audio minus the wallet pain. A DAC, a headphone amplifier and a pre-amplifier for the price of three or four new vinyl records. What’s not to like?
Like every single other Schiit Audio product that has preceded it, the Fulla 2 is sharply priced but feels a long way from cheap.
Further information: Schiit Audio