Firestone Audio Fubar II MkII review

Smart and well-made, Firestone Audio's weirdly named Fubar II MkII is a USB only DAC with a great, weighty sound Tested at £170

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

There's much to like about this weighty sounding USB DAC


  • +

    Weighty sound

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    good bass

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    likeable performer


  • -

    Can be beaten by the best in detailing and some dynamics

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Why Firestone Audio decided to brand a range of DACs ‘Fubar’ is beyond us.

The assertion that this is part of the ‘Cute series’ seems a bit of a stretch, too, although we have to admit that we have seen uglier DACs, and the Fubar II does seem very well made.

This is another USB-only model, with a Burr-Brown converter that will handle 16-bit 44.1/48kHz music.

Unlike some others, the Firestone doesn’t draw power via USB, instead using an external power supply – but we can’t see that being a big deal for many.

What’s far more important is its sound, and a blast of Flobots’ Fight With Tools proves the Fubar II has the essentials nailed.

It’s weighty and chunky with lovely bass depth, but also excellent balance and an affecting way with grand dynamics.

It paints with broad strokes, though, and that means its leading edges are a little soft and that it can be beaten by the very best for detail and low-level dynamics. But it’s still a very likeable little performer.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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