Phonitor xe @ fairaudio

At fairaudio you’ll find a review about our new headphone amplifier SPL Phonitor xe:

“Typical for SPL, the DAC, namely the voltage converter and Lowpass-Filter, is built in a 120V-Voltair-Technology design.”

“However, the most important innovation of the Phonitor xe has nothing to do with watts or decibels, but with kilohertz and bits. The xe model is the first Phonitor which was equipped with the new DAC768. In the heart of this converter, the dual-channel 32 bits premium DAC AK4490 by AKM is implemented. Its core architecture referred to as “Velvet Sound” guarantees, according to the manufacturers, the greatest possible dynamic range at lowest distortions. As the name implies, the new converter provides an audio resolution of 32 bits and PCM sample rates up to 768kHz.”

“Well: Whoever wants to stand for himself, needs to be able to play alone. So let us listen how the Phonitor xe is doing with its new converter.”

“However, first I need to take a minute because my jaw dropped in amazement within the first listening-round due to the amazing power, control and sovereignty of this powerful studio tool. When it comes to wattage, the more, the better seems to be the way to go. Anyway, I never experienced my power-hungry Hifiman HE100 this tight, dynamic, grippy and linear.”

“Yes. The SPL Phonitor xe is like a fortress: This DAC amp perfectly handles anything that has something to do with power or control.”

“Especially live recordings thus receive a directness, which I have never before experienced with another converter amplifier combination.”

“The DAC768 provides the Phonitor amplifier with a significantly less distorted, clearer signal with little or no noise…”

“Tonaly, the SPL Phonitor xe sticks to the strict neutrality of its predecessor. No up or down swings within the complete width of the frequency can be found. If something is emphasized here, then through the connected headphone itself – which is then all the more highlighted by the SPL Phonitor xe. I can only highly recommend the Phonitor xe as a reference device to compare headphones.”

“This last bit of emotionality … is mainly provided by the phenomenal bass of the Phonitor xe.”

“The bass of the Phonitor doesn’t go too deep, but it presents itself very balanced between ‘voluminous’ and ‘controlled’, which means that it equally has volume, texture and grip. It is sovereign in timing, but never sounds mechanically strict, always keeping its groovy coolness.”

“Just like with the focused frequency spectrum, when it comes to spatial reproduction the SPL device guides the listener to concentrate on the essentials of the music.”


“With the thoroughly convincing DAC768, SPL equipped the successful Phonitor series with the converter it deserves. With the full-featured converter amplifier combination the SPL Phonitor xe sounds as clear as a bell, dynamic and resolved, no matter which headphones are connected. Just like you would expect it from a pro audio device. Its punchy bass sound, three-dimensional sound stage and its wittingly down-to-earth sound, qualify the xe as a device for musical pleasure. The listener can decide whether he or she wants to enjoy or analyze the music – the Phonitor xe equally allows both.”

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

Read the complete review (in German) on fairaudio.