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Schiit Fulla 2 – a $99 pooper scooper

  • 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.

    Photo: Lee Shelly

    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.

    Photo: Lee Shelly

    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 ExpertAurender 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

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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