SPL Phonitor xe DAC/Headphone Amp Review

September 14, 2021 § Leave a comment

https://www.hifinews.com/content/spl-phonitor-xe-dacheadphone-amp


With more intimate recordings, such the Oyster Duo’s Stolen Pearls [Channel Classics CCS 43121; DXD], the ‘zoom’ effect of this control was more comical than satisfying. More useful here was a little increase of crossfeed, dependent on the ‘phones used, to create a more speaker-like impression of an ‘out of the head’ sonic image.

More likely to be set and then left are the two DIP switches built into the underside of the chassis which are marked 1 and 2. Switch 1 increases the gain of the headphone amp, while switch 2 increases the gain (sensitivity) of the analogue line input. I’d suggest these are best left in their ‘off’ position unless you have a line source with a truly feeble output. Moreover, the Phonitor xe has a prodigious output capability, particularly with high impedance headphones, in no small part due to its proprietary VOLTAiR op-amps that operate at a very high voltage.

With this extra headroom on tap, those DIP switch boosters really won’t be needed. I found the Phonitor xe more than capable of driving cleanly well beyond the pain level even with these switches ‘off’.

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