PROFESSIONAL FIDELITY

Phonitor xe

Our nonplusultra headphone amplifier.

The Phonitor xe is the nonplusultra standalone headphone amplifier without any compromises. Phonitor Matrix, remote volume control, retro-look VU meter, the optional premium DA converter and the all-superior VOLTAiR technology make the Phonitor xe one of the best headphone amplifiers of our time.

Great Sound –
for all headphones

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

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.

Twice as nice

The Phonitor xe provides headphone outputs on the front and on the rear. On the front, you switch between F (front) and R (rear). This way, your favorite headphones remain firmly connected on the rear – without visible cabling on the front.

“With the Phonitor xe, SPL delivers the ultimate device for all headphone enthusiasts, who value neutrality, preciseness and control, combined with great musicality.”

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 xe learns to communicate with it with the simple push of a button.

Play Video

Learning made easy

Using Phonitor x as an example, this video explains how you can use any infrared remote control to remotely control the volume.

“The fineness and transparency with which the music is depicted is just awesome – what a richness of detail!”

Source of joy

Up to six (6 !) stereo sources can be connected to the Phonitor xe:
XLR, RCA and via the optional DAC768v2 also USB, COAX, OPTICAL and AES.

Phonitor xe accepts almost all audio connections. Balanced via XLR or unbalanced via RCA connectors.

With the optional DAC768v2, four additional digital sources are added. From USB to professional AES format, no wishes remain unfulfilled.

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 xe are necessary.

SPL Phonitor XE Review

Play Video

DAC768v2 – the SPL reference DAC in the newest revision!

The highly acclaimed AKM AK4493 SEQ VELVETSOUNDTM premium DAC chip is used as the converter chip in the digital/analog converter within the latest version of the SPL DAC “DAC768v2”, which thanks to its architecture reproduces the finest sound details. It impresses with even lower distortion characteristics and a wider dynamic range than its predecessor.

It converts PCM audio with a resolution of 32 bits and a sampling rate of up to 768 kHz, which is equivalent to 16 times CD resolution. Direct Stream Digital is also supported up to a resolution of DSD4 or DSD256. The DAC768v2 features the newest version of the Spartan FPGA – Spartan 7.
In contrast to the smaller SPL DAC “DAC768xs”, it not only offers an AES/EBU digital input, but also the new, optimized SPL SLP120 with VOLTAiR technology.

The highly acclaimed AKM AK4493 SEQ VELVETSOUNDTM premium DAC chip is used as the converter chip in the digital/analog converter within the latest version of the SPL DAC “DAC768v2”, which thanks to its architecture reproduces the finest sound details. It impresses with even lower distortion characteristics and a wider dynamic range than its predecessor.

It converts PCM audio with a resolution of 32 bits and a sampling rate of up to 768 kHz, which is equivalent to 16 times CD resolution. Direct Stream Digital is also supported up to a resolution of DSD4 or DSD256. The DAC768v2 features the newest version of the Spartan FPGA – Spartan 7.
In contrast to the smaller SPL DAC “DAC768xs”, it not only offers an AES/EBU digital input, but also the new, optimized SPL SLP120 with VOLTAiR technology.

The SLP120 (Super Low-Pass)

The analog output of the DAC chip must be filtered by a low pass filter. In contrast to all other DACs in the world, the low pass filters here are built using VOLTAiR technology, which provides a plus in dynamics and headroom and sound. The filter specially optimized for the new SPL DAC768v2 is called SLP120 (Super Low-Pass).

The optional DAC768v2 for the Phonitor xe is equipped with the SLP120 – an analog “Super Low-Pass” filter with VOLTAiR technology.

The analog output of the DAC chip must be filtered by a low pass filter. In contrast to all other DACs in the world, the low pass filters here are built using VOLTAiR technology, which provides a plus in dynamics and headroom and sound. The filter specially optimized for the new SPL DAC768v2 is called SLP120 (Super Low-Pass).

The optional DAC768v2 for the Phonitor xe is equipped with the SLP120 – an analog “Super Low-Pass” filter with VOLTAiR technology.

DAC768v2 – what's new:

1. AK 4493 SEQ

The DAC768v2 is equipped with the latest generation of the premium DAC chip – the AK 4493 SEQ – from  Asahi Kasei (previously AK 4490).

The AK 4493 SEQ not only supports the playback of PCM signals at up to 768 kHz and DSD signals up to  DSD512 – this 32-bit stereo DAC with “VELVETSOUND™ technology” impresses with even  lower distortion characteristics and a wider dynamic range than its predecessor.

 

2. Spartan 7

The DAC768v2 features the newest version of the Spartan FPGA – Spartan 7 (previously Spartan 6).

 

3. The newest generation of the SPL low-pass filter “SLP120”

The DAC768v2 comes with a completely new tuned low-pass filter, which perfectly matches the sonic  strengths of the new converter chip. It ofers an even better representation of the stereo image as well as a  three-dimensionality we never experienced from any other DAC before.

The new DAC revision can be recognized by the “DAC768v2” label on the serial number sticker.

The design of the DAC768v2 is unfortunately not compatible with devices that were built with DAC768.

In addition to the original DAC chip (previously AK4490, now AK4493), other components in the digital environment that are no longer available, such as the previously used version of the Spartan-6 FPGA (now Spartan-7), had to be updated. As the technical characteristics of these components are different from those of their predecessors, further technical adjustments had to be made to the device in order to achieve the best possible sonic performance of which SPL is known for. The analog low-pass filter with 120V technology is also different in the devices with DAC768v2.

It is therefore not possible to simply replace the DAC768 module with the DAC768v2 module.

“How does the device sound?
Let’s erase all doubts right away:
it sounds fantastic!”

Good ol' times

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

With the VU switch you can optimize the display for different signal levels.

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 xe 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. This switch also activates the laterality control.

“On to the meat of the review though,
how does the Phonitor xe itself actually sound?
To be honest, it’s spectacular.”

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 your 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

“One way or another, the purchaser of a Phonitor xe receives a reliable high-end solution, which not only drives every kind of headphone on the market without any effort, but also convinces through useful and rare extras like the, in my opinion, still unrivaled crossfeed circuit.”

SPL Phonitor XE Review

Play Video

Sounds good!

With all devices of the Professional Fidelity series we develop not only according to plan, but also by ear. All 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.

The 120V technology achieves exceptional technical specifications and sonic benefits. Technically, in terms of dynamic range, signal-to-noise ratio and headroom. Sonically, in terms of richness of detail and an absolutely relaxed listening experience. 

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.

Slimmer is smarter

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

Videos

Play Video
SPL Phonitor xe – Is it worth the price?
Play Video
Phonitor xe @ iam hear – Der beste SPL Kopfhörerverstärker
Play Video
This Headphone Amplifier Blow My Mind - SPL Phonitor XE Review
Play Video
Interview about VOLTAiR Technology and SPL at High End 2022
Play Video
SPL Phonitor XE + Audeze LCD-3 pairing
Play Video
If the price is right! SPL Phonitor XE headphone amp review
Play Video
SPL Phonitor xe - Kopfhörerverstärker mit variabler Lautsprecher-Performance - vorgestellt

Reviews

AudioReview
addicted to audio
AudioReputation
Innerfidelity
The Headphoneer
Litemagazin
Hifistatement
fairaudio

Manuals

Replacing fuses and voltage selection

The replacement of fuses and the switching of mains voltages must only be performed by qualified technicians. Fuses must only be replaced with fuses of the same type and specifications.

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

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 22H2
(32/64 bit)

Previous Version

Windows 10 up to 21H2, 11 up to 22H2
(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)

Specifications

Analog inputs: XLR (balanced) and RCA

Input gain (max)
32.5 dBu
Input impedance (RCA)
20
Input impedance (XLR)
20
Common mode rejection ratio (XLR)
82 dB

Digital Inputs: DAC768 (optional)

AES/EBU (XLR), PCM sample rates
44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz
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
15 dBu

Balanced Headphones Output: 4-pol XLR (balanced)

Pin wiring
1 = L (+), 2 = L (-), 3 = R (+), 4 = R (-)
Source impedance
0.36 Ω
Damping factor (40 Ω)
180
Frequency range (0 dBu)
10 Hz – 100 kHz
Crosstalk (1 kHz, 0 dBu)
-90 dBu
THD + N (1 kHz, 0 dBu)
0.00082 %
Noise (A-weighted)
-98 dBu
Output power (1 kHz @ 1 % THD, 250 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

Pin wiring
Tip = Left, Ring = Right, Sleeve = GND
Source impedance
0.18 Ω
Damping factor (40 Ω)
180
Frequency range (0 dBu)
10 Hz – 100 kHz
Crosstalk (1 kHz, 0 dBu)
-90 dB
THD + N (1 kHz, 0 dBu)
0.00082 %
Noise (A-weighted)
-103 dBu
Output power (1 kHz @ 1 % THD, 250 Ω)
2 x 5 W
Output power (1 kHz @ 1 % THD, 32 Ω)
2 x 2.7 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

Mains Power Supply

Mains voltage (selectable, see fuse chamber)
230 V AC / 50; 115 V AC / 60 Hz
Fuse for 230 V
T 0.5 A
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
4.9 kg
10.8 lbs
Shipping weight (incl. packaging)
5.6 kg
12.35 lbs

Reference: 0 dBu = 0.775V. All specifications are subject to change without notice.

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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.

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.

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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