PROFESSIONAL FIDELITY

Phonitor x

Headphone Amplifier and Preamplifier

The Phonitor x is both an outstanding headphone amplifier and an excellent preamplifier that can be used to directly drive power amplifiers or active speakers. With the optional DA converter, it not only plays from analog sources, but also directly from digital sources. The Phonitor Matrix allows speaker-like listening via headphones. 

Thanks to VOLTAiR technology, it offers all this in the highest possible sound quality.

Great sound – for all headphones

The Phonitor x offers connections for a standard headphone with a stereo jack plug and for balanced-driven headphones using a 4-pol XLR jack.

Thanks to the enormous output power, all headphones are driven effortlessly.
Thus, it plays out the advantages of the SPL VOLTAiR technology and rewards the listener with an honest, detailed and at the same time vivid sound experience.

Headphones or Speaker

The OUTPUT switch turns the headphone amplifier into a preamplifier – simply switch from headphones to speakers.

In the center position (mute), no signal reaches the outputs. The VU meters light up red.

To the power amplifiers

or to the active loudspeakers you can use the balanced via XLR sockets – for long cable runs, and unbalanced via RCA sockets. The source signal is always present at both speaker outputs.

The standby mode of devices with 12V trigger input can be switched on and off via AMP CTL. This allows, for example, the SPL Performer s800, Performer m1000 or Performer s1200 power amplifiers to be ideally integrated into the set-up.

“With the new DAC768xs module, the Phonitor x really shows its phenomenal qualities as a headphone amplifier and preamp, even with digital sources connected.”

Dr. Martin Mertens
EAR IN

Milled from solid

The massive 45mm volume control knob milled from aluminum is a haptic highlight. Its mass together with the motorized Alps RK27 “Big Blue” potentiometer enhances the “spoon in the honey” feeling even further.

The red marker LED ensures good visibility of the volume parameter even in darkened environments.

Remote Control

The volume control can be remotely controlled with any infrared remote control.

The Phonitor x learns to communicate with it with the simple push of a button.

Play Video

Learning made easy

This video explains how you can use any infrared remote control to remotely control the volume.

“The Phonitor x is one of the most extraordinary headphone amplifiers on the market ... with a meticulous level of detail and unrestrained musical playfulness. Period.”

Holger Biermann
Low Beats

Source of joy

Up to five stereo sources can be connected to the Phonitor x:
XLR, RCA, and via the optional DAC768xs, USB, COAX, and OPTICAL.

The Phonitor x accepts a variety of different audio connections.
Balanced via XLR or unbalanced via RCA jacks.

With the optional DAC768xs, three additional digital sources can be added. PCM audio is received in S/P-DIF format both coaxially (RCA) and optically (Toslink F06).
Both PCM audio and DSD audio can be converted via USB.

The DAC automatically picks up the sampling rate and resolution of the digital playback source. No matter if a streamer, computer or CD player is connected. No further settings on the Phonitor x are necessary.

The DAC768xs

The converter chip in the optional digital-to-analog converter is the highly acclaimed AKM AK4490 Velvet Sound™ premium DAC chip, which thanks to its architecture reproduces the finest sound details.

It converts PCM audio at 32-bit resolution and a sampling rate of up to 768 kHz, which is 16 times the resolution of a CD. Direct Stream Digital is also supported up to a resolution of DSD4 or DSD256.

Unlike the DAC768, which is built into the Director Mk2 for example or available as an option for the Phonitor xe, the DAC768xs does not offer an AES/EBU digital input. The SPL DLP120 with VOLTAiR technology was also not included in the DAC768xs. Nevertheless, it offers a great performance that is unparalleled in this league.

The converter chip in the optional digital-to-analog converter is the highly acclaimed AKM AK4490 Velvet Sound™ premium DAC chip, which thanks to its architecture reproduces the finest sound details.

It converts PCM audio at 32-bit resolution and a sampling rate of up to 768kHz, which is 16 times the resolution of a CD. Direct Stream Digital is also supported up to a resolution of DSD4 or DSD256.

Unlike the DAC768, which is built into the Director Mk2 for example or available as an option for the Phonitor xe, the DAC768xs does not offer an AES/EBU digital input. The SPL DLP120 with VOLTAiR technology was also not included in the DAC768xs. Nevertheless, it offers a great performance that is unparalleled in this league.

“I am sufficiently enamored with the Phonitor x that I have decided to buy one; which is the highest recommendation I can give any component.”

Ian Dunmore
Headphones.com

Good ol' times

Two mechanical VU meters visualize the input levels for the left and right audio channel.

Finding the middle

is not always easy. By our very nature, hearing can be leaning more to the left or more to the right. This is especially obvious when listening with headphones.

That’s why Phonitor x has the uniquely finely resolved laterality control. With it, the center can be found perfectly.

With the mode switch you can choose between stereo or mono playback. To the right, the laterality control is switched on.

“In a word: awesome.”
“The Phonitor x always delivered a spotless, honest and tremendously dynamic sound.”

Freda Ressel
Professional Audio & Mobile Fidelity

The Revolution: Phonitor-Matrix

The Phonitor Matrix is the revolution in the headphone amplifier.

Thanks to the Phonitor Matrix, music can be experienced on headphones as if it was played on speakers. The tiring super stereo effect is a thing of the past.

Enjoy their music without listening fatigue and exactly the way it should be heard. 

Music is normally produced and mixed for playback on stereo speakers.

Listening on headphones is different from listening on loudspeakers. The biggest difference is the lack of crossing signals of the sound signal from the left speaker to the right ear and from the right speaker to the left ear. These crossing signals are missing in conventional headphone listening, because there are no signals crossing from one side of the headphones to the other.


This results in an unnaturally wide stereo image and the various sound sources of the audio signal are not localized as the sound engineer intended them to. This effect is often referred to as “super stereo effect”. During conventional listening on headphones, our brain can balance the false representation of the playback to a certain extent – but this is very exhausting.

The SPL Phonitor Matrix can correct this false stereo image with an analog circuitry. The Phonitor Matrix therefore not only ensures a correct representation of the stereo image, but also a relaxed listening experience.

The two main parameters of the Phonitor Matrix are Crossfeed and Angle:

Crossfeed determines the crossing signals of the channels, the so-called interaural level difference.
Angle determines the opening angle of the stereo image, the so-called interaural time difference.

Crossfeed

Level and frequency adjustment of the right (red) and left (green) audio channel at maximum crossfeed.

Angle

Settings for the speaker placement angle to determine the interaural time difference.

Center of Attention

To make the listening experience even more perfect, the level of the center of the stereo image needs to be attenuated when the Phonitor Matrix is active. This ensures that not only the position of all sound sources is correct but also their volume. 


In the Professional Fidelity Phonitor devices this value is set to a fixed attenuation of -1 dB, which is the best choice for getting an authentic representation of the sound stage.

Play Video
Everything you need to know about the Phonitor Matrix
Play Video
Everything you need to hear about the Phonitor Matrix

"This device is a technological tour de force.”

“As a headphone amplifier, the SPL Phonitor x is the best I have ever heard.”

Jon Thompson
Home Cinema Choice

Sounds good

With all devices of the Professional Fidelity series we develop not only according to plan, but also by ear. Many important components are installed on the circuit boards using Through-hole technology. This way we can ensure that we can use the best sounding components.

The VOLTAiR Technology

The 120V technology is our reference technology. The 120V technology is unique in the world. It operates at a DC voltage of 120 volts. This is four times that of IC-based semiconductor op-amps. In our Professional Fidelity series, we refer to this unsurpassed technology as VOLTAiR technology.

The highest possible audio quality requires the highest possible audio operating voltage.

The 120V technology works with +/-60 V. To be able to handle such a high voltage, we have developed special proprietary operational amplifiers that can operate with a DC voltage of +/-60 V: the SPL 120V SUPRA operational amplifiers. 

This high voltage would destroy conventional components and operational amplifiers.

By the way, the “120V” in the name of the technology has nothing to do with the local mains voltage from the mains power socket. This is about the operating voltage inside the device with which the audio signals are processed.
The mains voltage from the mains power socket is transformed to the required secondary voltage in the device’s internal linear power supply with toroidal transformer. Rectifiers convert this AC voltage into DC voltage required in the audio device.

VOLTAiR is a composition of the terms Volt and Air. Volt is the unit for electrical voltage and Air stands for the unlimited space the music can breathe in.

VOLTAiR symbolizes the perceived limitless dynamics resulting from high audio voltage.

What exactly is that?

And what does it do?

Good questions need good answers.

And that’s what the 120V technology (VOLTAiR) video gives you.

Play Video

Comparison

Most audio devices work with an internal operating voltage of +/-15 volts and can thus process a maximum input level of +21.5 dBu. If a DAC, for example, has an output level of +22 dBu at 0 dBFS, level peaks of the music material would already cause overloads in the input stage of the device. 

All components in the audio device often operate at their limits. The result is an unsteady sound that causes stress and faster ear fatigue.

SPL devices with VOLTAiR technology can handle input levels of +32.5 dBu thanks to the higher internal operating voltage of +/- 60 volts – thus offering 12 dB more headroom. All components consequently operate continuously in the optimum operating range. The result is a very pleasant, natural and relaxed sound experience. So you can enjoy your music in every detail.

These diagrams clearly show the superiority of the VOLTAiR technology in comparison to other circuits with lower, common operating voltages.

VOLTAiR is that good

In the lab, we pitted Phonitor xe against the best audio measurement system and found that Audio Precision could not measure VOLTAiR technology.

Play Video

Home is where the heart is

That’s why we manufacture all devices in our own production facility in Niederkrüchten on the Lower Rhine, Germany.

Play Video
This video guides you step by step through Phonitor x.

Videos

Phonitor X Preamplifier and Headphone Amplifier Review
A&M Group official – TV

Reviews

c|net
Headphones.com
Part-Time Audiophile
Bonedo
LowBeats
fairaudio
Ear In
Haute Fidélité
Hifimaailma

Other Professional Fidelity Series Headphone Amplifiers

Phonitor xe
Phonitor xe
Headphone Amplifier
Phonitor se
Phonitor se
Headphone Amplifier

Other Professional Fidelity Series Products

Director Mk2
Director Mk2
Preamplifier with DA converter
Elector
Elector
Analog Preamplifier
Phonos
Phonos
RIAA Phono Preamplifier
Performer s1200
Performer s1200
Stereo Power Amplifier
Performer m1000
Performer m1000
Mono Power Amplifier
Performer s800
Performer s800
Stereo Power Amplifier
Crossover
Crossover
Active analog 2-way crossover

Other Studio Series Headphone Amplifiers

Phonitor 2
Phonitor 2
Headphone Monitoring Amplifier
Phonitor One d
Phonitor One d
Headphone Monitoring Amplifier
Phonitor One
Phonitor One
Headphone Amplifier
HPm
HPm
Headphone Amplifier 500

Manuals

Play Video
Replacement of defective fuses for 115V
Play Video
Replacement of defective fuses for 230V
Play Video
Changing the mains voltage from 115V to 230V
Play Video
Changing the mains voltage from 230V to 115V

Specifications

Analog inputs & outputs: XLR (balanced) and RCA

Maximum input & output gain
32.5 dBu
Input impedance (RCA)
20
Input impedance (XLR)
20
Output impedance
75 Ω
Common mode rejection (XLR)
82 dB
Frequency range (-3dB)
4 Hz – 300 kHz
THD + N (10 Hz – 22 kHz, 0 dBu)
0.00085 %
Noise (A-weighted)
-103.8 dBu
Crosstalk (1 kHz)
-106 dB
Dynamic range
136.3 dB

Digital Inputs: DAC768xs (optional)

Coaxial SPDIF (RCA), PCM sample rates
44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz
Optical SPDIF (Toslink F06), PCM sample rates
44.1/48/88.2/96/with Glass fibre <1m: 176.4/192 kHz
USB (B), PCM sample rates
44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192/352.8/384/705.6/768 kHz
USB (B), DSD over PCM (DoP), sample rates
2.8 (DSD64), 5.6 (DSD128), 11.2 (DSD256) MHz
0 dBFS calibrated to
8 dBu

Balanced Headphones Output: 4-pol XLR

Pin wiring
1 = L (+), 2 = L (-), 3 = R (+), 4 = R (-)
Source impedance
0,36 Ω
Damping factor (40 ohms)
180
Frequency range (-3dB)
10 Hz – 300 kHz
Crosstalk (1 kHz)
-90 dB
THD + N (0 dBu, 10 Hz – 22 kHz)
0.00091 %
Noise (A-weighted)
-98 dBu
Output power (1 kHz, 1% THD, 600 Ω)
2 x 8 W
Output power (1 kHz, 1% THD, 300 Ω)
2 x 3.5 W
Output power (1 kHz, 1% THD, 32 Ω)
2 x 0.7 W
Dynamic range
130.5 dB

Standard Headphones Output: 6.35 mm (1/4") TRS Jack

Wiring
Tip = Left, Ring = Right, Sleeve = GND
Source impedance
0.18 Ω
Damping factor (40 ohms)
180
Frequency range (-3dB)
10 Hz – 300 kHz
Crosstalk (1 kHz)
-90 dB
THD + N (0 dBu, 10 Hz – 22 kHz)
0.00091 %
Noise (A-weighted)
-103 dBu
Output power (1 kHz, 1% THD, 600 Ω)
2 x 2.7 W
Output power (1 kHz, 1% THD, 300 Ω)
2 x 5 W
Output power (1 kHz, 1% THD, 32 Ω)
2 x 1 W
Dynamic range
135.5 dB

Internal Linear Power Supply with Shielded Toroidal Transformer

Operating voltage for analog audio
+/- 60 V
Operating voltage for relays and LEDs
+12 V
Operating voltage for optional DAC768xs
+5 V, +3.3 V

Mains Power Supply

Mains voltage (selectable, see fuse chamber)
230 V AC / 50; 115 V AC / 60 Hz
Fuse for 230 V
T 500 mA
Fuse for 115 V
T 1 A
Power consumption
max. 40 VA
Stand-by power consumption
< 0,3 W

Dimensions & Weight

W x H x D (width x height incl. feet x depth)
278 x 100 x 300 mm
11 x 4 x 11.81 inch
Unit weight
4.4 kg
9.7 lbs
Shipping weight (incl. packaging)
5.65 kg
12.46 lbs

Reference: 0 dBu = 0,775V. All specifications are subject to change without notice.

Slimmer is smarter

The Drivers

Mac OS & iOS

No driver installation required for Mac or iOS devices (class compliant).

iOS devices must be connected using the Apple camera adapter.

Windows

To operate with a higher than the standard sample rate this driver installation is required.

 

Windows 10 up to 21H2, 11 up to 21H2
(32/64 bit)

Previous Version

Windows 11 up to 21H2
(32/64 bit)

Legacy Driver
(last version with Windows 7/8/8.1 support)

Windows 7/8/8.1 and Windows 10 up to (2009/20H2)
(32/64 bit)

Driver for DAC192 (Art.-No. 1670)

Mac OS & iOS

No driver installation required for Mac or iOS devices (class compliant).

iOS devices must be connected using the Apple camera adapter.

Windows

SPL DAC driver for audio playback with sample rates higher than 48kHz.

Windows 7/8/10

Professional Fidelity Brochure

Calculation of VAT (value added tax)

All prices are displayed by default including the VAT of your country.

If your country cannot be determined via geolocation and you are not logged in as a user with the billing address of your country, the prices are displayed including the VAT of Germany (19%).

What does it actually mean …

In Stock!

The product is in stock in our warehouse in Niederkrüchten, Germany, and will be shipped the same or next working day.

We process the orders after receipt of the order and update the stock in the online shop regularly. If the product is no longer available at short notice due to high order volume, you naturally have the right to withdraw from the purchase (see Right of Withdrawal).

In any case, you will receive an e-mail with details of the delivery and the estimated delivery time.

Available soon!

The product is not in stock in our warehouse in Niederkrüchten, Germany. Usually it will be available again within 5 working days.

Due to the current pandemic and the associated worldwide shortage of components, delivery times may be significantly delayed in some cases.

In any case, you will receive an e-mail with the details of the delivery and the estimated delivery time.

Of course you have the right to withdraw from your purchase (see Right of Withdrawal).

Currently unavailable.

This product is currently sold out and unavailable.

Was bedeutet eigentlich …

Auf Lager!

Das Produkt ist in unserem Lager Niederkrüchten vorrätig und wird noch am selben oder nächsten Werktag versendet.

Wir arbeiten die Bestellungen nach Bestelleingang ab und aktualisieren den Bestand im Online-Shop regelmäßig. Falls das Produkt wegen hohem Bestellaufkommens kurzfristig nicht mehr verfügbar ist, hast du selbstverständlich das Recht, vom Kauf zurückzutreten (siehe Widerrufbelehrung).

In jeden Fall erhältst du eine E-Mail mit den Einzelheiten der Lieferung und der voraussichtlichen Lieferzeit.

Bald verfügbar!

Das Produkt ist in unserem Lager Niederkrüchten nicht vorrätig. Gewöhnlich ist es innerhalb von 5 Werktagen wieder verfügbar.

Aufgrund der aktuellen Pandemie und der damit verbundenen weltweiten Bauteileverknappung kann sich die Lieferzeit z.T. stark verzögern.

Auf jeden Fall erhältst du eine E-Mail mit den Einzelheiten der Lieferung und der voraussichtlichen Lieferzeit.

Selbstverständlich hast du das Recht, vom Kauf zurückzutreten (siehe Widerrufbelehrung).

Zur Zeit nicht verfügbar.

Dieses Produkt ist derzeit ausverkauft und nicht verfügbar.

Product Condition

A-Stock

Brand-new product from the current product portfolio.

B-Stock

Demo, exhibit or return item.
In original packaging, incl. manuals and full warranty.
Only slight to no signs of use.

C-Stock

Demo, exhibit or return item.
In original packaging, incl. manuals and legal warranty.
In some cases clear signs of use, which are documented in photos.

NOS

"New Old Stock"
After discontinuation of a product still available new products with full warranty.

Events

Due to Covid19 there are no events scheduled at this time.

Events

Aufgrund von Covid19 sind derzeit keine Events geplant.

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