The online platform HEADPHONECHECK is composed by a team of “audio freaks, musicians, journalists and technicians with different audio expertise.” After already reviewing our Phonitor One, they have now decided to have a closer look at the SPL Phonitor se – could the headphone amp convince the editors? You can find the complete review online – here we provide a short summary.
“It has a first-class finish and is housed in an elegant, flat metal case with an internal power supply. At the time of purchase, you can choose between three decorative colours for the brushed front of the device: Black, silver or red. You can also choose between a version with and without an integrated D/A converter.”
“The Phonitor se also uses SPL’s own Voltair technology. In order to achieve a better signal-to-noise ratio and increased dynamics, SPL uses specially developed operational amplifiers with a supply voltage of ±60 volts. Conventional components/operational amplifiers only work with ±15 volts operating voltage (for the transformed DC voltage), which is used for signal amplification. The overload reserve also increases, so that the amplifier hardly ever has to operate at its limit, relative to the reference level.”
“The Phonitor se impressed us with its straightforward operation. Selection of the sound source is self-explanatory. In addition to volume control and source selection, the manufacturer’s own Phonitor matrix is also used, which can be activated here in two gradations.”
“The Phonitor Matrix offers two sound variants in which the typical super-stereo effects are toned down. In fact, the spatiality as well as the spectral tuning is changed. Two coherent variants are offered, which can be of great help especially in sound evaluations. In fact, the circuit reduces the localisation in the head, which is quite remarkable.”
“With the Phonitor se, SPL undoubtedly offers a high-quality and convincing-sounding headphone amplifier that is aimed at audiophile music consumers. Superior workmanship and technology as well as a coherent and finely drawn sound image with the best dynamics and sufficient power reserves should satisfy almost all requirements for music enjoyment with conventional, high-quality headphones, which ultimately justifies the price. In the version with integrated converter, the Phonitor se also turns out to be a convincing interface for output with modern streaming media and Hi-Res files from a computer.”