Introduction & Specification Details and Close-up
If you are looking to spice up your gaming audio experience and want a little bit more kick through your headphones, you may have just come to the right place.
Introducing the Schiit Fulla 3, and while the naming scheme of both the product and the company may be amusing to you - the Fulla 3 is by no means a product to laugh at. The Fulla 3 is a powerful, simple, easy-to-use digital audio converter (DAC) that comes it a very reasonable cost of just $99. Buyers will get a range of customization options, as well as a noticeable boost to their in-game audio.
The Fulla 3 has been paired up against the Sennheiser GSX 300 for testing purposes, and throughout this review, we are going to see if it's worth you spending a little bit extra on a new DAC. The GSX 300 comes in at a price of $79 and features software, while the Fulla 3 doesn't. We are going to see if differences such as these are going to be deciding factor when trying to get as much bang for your buck as possible. Before we get into all of the differences, both positive and negative, let's jump into a close up of the Fulla 3.
First off, we have a front-on image of the Fulla 3, and we can see it features eight punch holes, a very large volume wheel, and has a black coating.
Next, we have an image of all the ports on the Fulla 3, and from left, to right, we have a variable output, line-in, USB power, and USB power/data.
Moving on, we have the front of the Fulla 3, and we can see from left to right the microphone input and the headphone input.
Next, we have an image on the underside of the Fulla 3, and we can see that it features three rubber feet.
The Fulla 3 is a tiny compact device that measures in at just 9 cm in length. As for its other dimensions, it's 6.2cm wide and 2.5cm tall.
Lastly, we have an image of the provided micro-USB, which was the only one that was included in the box.
Jak's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero X570 (Wi-Fi) (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X @ 4.4GHz (buy from Amazon)
- GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER XC GAMING (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: be quiet! Silent Wings 3
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3200MHz (buy from Amazon)
- SSD: GALAX HOF Pro SSD PCI-E M.2 2TB
- Power Supply: Corsair CX Series 750 Watt (buy from Amazon)
- Case: be quiet! Silent Base 600 (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Design & Software
After having the Fulla 3 for a little over a month now, I can say that the product's biggest downsides are in its design. Before I get into what those downsides are, let's talk about everything that is positive design-wise about the Fulla 3.
I love when a product feels compact, looks minimalistic, and has a hefty weight to it - the Fulla 3 is all of those things combined in one. When holding the Fulla 3 in your hand, you can feel that the build quality of the unit is very high, and I believe that this is caused by most of the materials being metal.
Moving on to the front of the Fulla 3, we find the very large volume knob. I really appreciate a large volume wheel on a DAC, as it really compliments how easy the product is to use. While the volume wheel on the Fulla 3 does look very good and is easy to use, it does have a noticeable downside - there is a small amount of roughness when you are increasing and decreasing volume. This isn't that much of a downside, but it is noticeable, so I thought it would be worth mentioning.
Additionally, when looking at the Fulla 3 front on, you can notice that the "Fulla" branding on the front isn't centered - this becomes especially noticeable when you are looking at the letter "A" and center dots. This specific issue may not be an issue with a lot of people, but if you are like me, aesthetically, I consider it a massive downside towards the whole units look.
Other than those issues mentioned above, I find that the Fulla 3's design is very well thought out. Overall, while the product is cheap in terms of DAC's, it still manages to keep a premium feel, which is something I absolutely love about it. Incredible work here, Schiit!
On a side note - when you plug the Fulla 3 into your PC, this is the devices listing:
I found this absolutely hilarious.
The Fulla 3 doesn't come with any software and is a plug-and-play device. This could be considered a downside in my audiophiles eyes, but consider the average gamer that is looking at getting into boosting their audio experience but doesn't want to get into the software side of things. The Fulla 3 is designed for those gamers - the gamers that just want to plug in their DAC and immediately begin using it with no prior knowledge necessary.
Performance & Microphone
I tested the Fulla 3 for upwards of fifteen hours, running it through its paces on music, gaming, and microphone tests. Games wise, I tested it on Apex Legends and Doom Eternal. For music, I played a variety of FLAC tracks that ranged from metal to hip-hop music. For the microphone test, I decided to pair the Sennheiser GSP 300 with the Fulla 3, one of my go-to headsets for a microphone test.
As for in-game audio, immediately I noticed that the Fulla 3 comes with a serious punch to the volume levels. My normal gaming volume, which is maxed on the headset, sits at 20ish when GSP 300's are plugged into my PC motherboard, but when they are plugged into the Fulla 3, I have to reduce the audio level to around 10. When increasing the volume to above 20 with the Fulla 3, I noticed there was no distortion or crackling at the higher frequencies - this was particularly surprising.
The amp in the Fulla 3 sounds and feels like it's worth more than the $99 price tag, and I found this was especially the case in Doom Eternal. Doom Eternal is one of my favorite games of all time, the combination of over-the-top violence with an incredible soundtrack (I prefer Doom 2016's soundtrack) makes for a lovely testing ground for gaming audio equipment. I found while using the Fulla 3 to play my Doom Eternal audio that the higher frequency sounds were noticeably pungent; examples include; cocking of shotguns, headshot sounds, and chainsaws.
The overall experience with the Fulla 3 was incredible, and I honestly cannot take any performance points away from the device. The experience was flawless.
Music and movie listening with the Fulla 3 is very pleasurable, or at least I enjoyed my time with the AIAIAI headphones. These headphones require a bit more power when compared to the Sennheiser GSP 300 to get their full effect, and the Fulla 3 did this with ease. I listened to a variety of tracks that ranged from movie soundtracks like Man of Steel by Hanz Zimmer, to acoustic beauties from John Butler Trio, and to feel that base, some hip-hop from Drake and Eminem.
All of the tracks I put on sounded awesome and didn't disappoint at all -no complaints from me.
The Fulla 3 is a small, compact device that does everything it intends to do. It's also extremely minimalistic, easy to use, and is plug-and-play. While some people would think no software is a downside, I imagine that could be a positive for many potential buyers.
There are few design flaws with the Fulla 3, such as the branding on the front of the device not being centered correctly. Additionally, I feel like Schiit could have included a splitter cable and a spare USB power cable.
I think the Fulla 3 is aimed at gamers who are looking to break into the gaming audio market, and for the price, I feel like the Fulla 3 is one of, if not the best option you could choose.
Compared to the GSX 300, the Fulla 3 does everything the GSX 300 does but better, with the exception of no software available on the Fulla 3. So, is it worth getting the Fulla 3 over the GSX 300? Well, that depends. If you are after a DAC that has software, I would say you are better off going with the GSX 300. But, if you are willing to spend a little bit more money, I think you will get more bang for your buck with the Fulla 3.
All in all, I think Schiit has created an awesome DAC/amp combo at a fitting price point. The overall design and build quality of the Fulla 3 is superb, as well as the positive punch to sound quality and volume. If I were looking at buying an entry-level DAC for my setup and didn't want to mess around with any software, I would be looking directly at the Fulla 3. Fantastic work here Schiit, I cannot wait to see what you are going to come up with in future iterations of this product.
The Bottom Line
Schiit has released a fantastic entry-level DAC/Amp combo for an incredible price. I recommend any gamer that wants a boost to their gaming audio experience to definitely consider the Fulla 3.