Phonitor xe @ The Headphoneer

The Headphoneer has made an extensive comparison test with our Phonitor xe and other headphone amplifiers. But that’s not all: various headphones were also used to really put the device through its paces. You want to know what came out of this field report? We highly recommend to check it out! We compiled a short summary for you:

“SPL has upped their game in recent years with a selection of no less than four versions of the Phonitor. They basically share the same standard headphone amplifier section, but vary in terms of connectivity options, functionality and output power.”

“The SPL Phonitor xe houses the same powerful balanced headphone amplifier as the Phonitor x and Phonitor e. It has several unusual features like a unique crossfeed-angle matrix and both rear and front headphone outputs. The Phonitor xe is available with an optional high-end DAC. This piece of equipment is made with both the professional and the headphone aficionado in mind.”

Design and Functionality:

“It has a gorgeous front panel that surely appeals to the audio geeks among us with lovely VU-meters and great-looking knobs and switches.”

“When it comes to the Phonitor Matrix, there are plenty of adjustment possibilities. You can adjust the amount of crossfeed in 6 steps and the simulated angle in 4 steps.”

“I did, however, find myself enjoying the Phonitor Matrix and could easily be accustomed to using it on a regular basis.”

Phonitor xe compared to other DAC/Amps:

“The Phonitor has better dynamics and more headroom; it also feels a bit warmer and fuller in the midrange.”

“The Phonitor drives the HD700 [headphones] beautifully. Spacious and dynamic, with a nice hint of warmth.“


“The SPL Phonitor xe is a superb headphone amplifier. It is powerful enough to drive the most demanding headphones with authority. It is also silent enough to be used with very sensitive headphones. The unbalanced output is quite capable and has a pleasing sound with a sense of warmth and fullness.”

“It is, however, in balanced mode, that the Phonitor truly awakens. It sounds powerful and dynamic, clear and transparent – in a very natural and organic sounding way. Simultaneously it has a smooth, sometimes velvet-like tone. It is an amplifier that is impossible to dislike.”

With its multiple inputs, outputs and controls, and especially the excellent sounding crossfeed-matrix, it is a very unique headphone amplifier. The optional DAC768 is excellent and leaves me with no desire for upgrades.”

“When running the Phonitor xe in balanced mode, the amplifier (which is the same as in the Phonitor e and the x) is truly exceptional. As an all in one solution for headphone listening, the Phonitor xe is the best I have tested.”

Find the complete review online at