Rega Fono Mini A2D Mk2 review

A low-key restyle coupled to the same excellent performance Tested at £110 / $195 / AU$249

Phono stage: Rega Fono Mini A2D Mk2
(Image: © What Hi-Fi?)

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The Rega Fono Mini A2D Mk2 remains our budget phono stage of choice


  • +

    Musical integrity

  • +

    Strong dynamics and rhythmic drive

  • +

    USB output for recording


  • -

    Improved appearance is neater but still nothing to shout about

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Rega’s Fono Mini A2D phono stage was never a looker, and this Mk2 version doesn’t change that much. Sure, its appearance is a little cleaner and the new glossy front panel fits in with the aesthetic of the brand’s current range better, but we doubt whether the new appearance will be the reason for any dramatic increase in sales.

But really, we don’t think that matters. The important part of this phono stage, the audio circuitry, remains unchanged, and while in most cases that would be a complaint, here we’re not unhappy that Rega has left well alone. You see, the Rega Fono Mini A2D has always been something of a star performer at this level and this Mk2 version continues to impress.

Build & design

Phono stage: Rega Fono Mini A2D Mk2

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Physically, this remains a small unassuming box. It barely takes up any more shelf space than a typical coaster. The technical side is as expected with a 47kOhm/100pF input loading, which are the standard values needed for moving magnet cartridges. Those with a higher quality moving coil cartridge should be looking much further up the food chain than this Rega to something like Musical Fidelity’s MX-VYNL.

Rega Fono Mini A2D Mk2 tech specs

Phono stage: Rega Fono Mini A2D Mk2

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Moving magnet? Yes 

Moving coil? No

Cartridge loading adjustment? No

Remote control? No

Dimensions (hwd) 30 x 102 x 105mm

Weight 300g

Apart from the stereo RCAs that cover the input and output connections, you will find a grounding screw; we wish Rega had used a thumb screw for ease of use rather than one that requires a screwdriver. It would make connecting a turntable (other than one with a Rega arm) easier. On the Fono Mini’s front panel you will find the reason for the A2D in this product’s name: the USB (Type B) output with an accompanying level control. 

The digital output of the USB connection means that you can connect this Rega phono stage to your computer and turn the music signal from your records into a digital file. It is faff (and time-consuming) to digitise vinyl, but this phono stage makes it an easy thing to do provided you have the patience. The output level of records can be all over the place, so the level control fitted to the Fono Mini A2D allows the user to optimise volume levels to maximise the signal-to-noise ratio, though take care not to go high enough to induce overload distortion. As a starting point, something like Audacity recording software works well, and we have no problems recording numerous tracks from vinyl to our MacBook Pro. The quality of the recordings mirrors that of the Rega, and that’s a positive thing.


Phono stage: Rega Fono Mini A2D Mk2

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

The Fono Mini A2D Mk2 would be ideal to add record player compatibility to KEF’s LSX II speaker system or as a proper step up on the disappointing phono stages built into otherwise excellent stereo systems such as the Elac Debut Connex DCB41 or Triangle AIO Twin. Moving up a level to proper separates hi-fi, listening to the Fono Mini A2D connected to a Rega Planar 2 or Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo turntable feeding likes of Cambridge Audio’s CXA61 amplifier and the Bowers & Wilkins 607 S3 standmounters would be a treat.

This is a frill-free performer in the sense that it concentrates on getting the basics right. It is a budget product and as such there are compromises in its sound, but Rega’s engineers have been careful in their choices. Listening to Beethoven’s 6th Symphony we find that the Fono Mini A2D Mk2 is good at delivering dynamic contrasts. It has a lively presentation, one that communicates the energy in the music well. Detail levels are good for the money, but the impressive thing is the musically cohesive way in which the Rega organises the information; it makes sense to us, and keeps us listening in a way that’s rare at this level.

Tonally, things are nicely balanced. We use both a Sumiko Rainier MM and Vertere’s Sabre MM cartridges during our testing and the Fono Mini A2D sounds balanced with both. It isn’t the sweetest of sounds or the most spacious but there is enough refinement to avoid things sounding wearing and plenty of insight to keep our interest. Mary J Blige’s No More Drama shows that the Fono Mini A2D maintains Rega’s tradition of surefooted rhythmic drive and punch, as well as shining a light on the phono stage’s ability to render vocal and instrumental textures well. Blige’s voice comes through with power and passion on the title track and we’re pleased with the amount of dynamic nuance and finesse this phono stage displays in general. Lows are punchy and articulate without dominating, and the overall composure when the music gets demanding is admirable.


Phono stage: Rega Fono Mini A2D Mk2

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Sonically, this new version of the Fono Mini A2D is no step forward over its predecessor. Rega doesn’t claim to have made any changes to the audio circuitry so that conclusion shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. This new one looks just a little smarter and still sells for a competitive price. Its ability to convert the signal from vinyl into digital is handy, but for us it is the quality of the sound that continues to impress. Quite simply, we haven’t come across a better-sounding alternative at this entry level. 


  • Sound 5
  • Build 4
  • Features 5


Read our review of the Cambridge Audio Alva Duo MC/MM

Also consider the step-up Rega Fono MM Mk5

Best phono preamps: budget to high-end phono stages

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