SPL Phonitor X DAC/AMP - Official Thread



At least with the RME ADI-2 DAC and Chord DAVE that are typically hooked up to my Phonitor, I tend not to use the Phonitor with IEMs. Both of those DACs have direct outputs (very direct in the case of the DAVE … it’s literally the same connection as goes to the RCA and XLR ports) and the Phonitor doesn’t seem to add anything there for IEMs.

For full-size headphones it’s a different matter.

That’s not to say I think the Phonitor sounds any “less good” with IEMs than either the RME or Chord sources, but it isn’t adding anything there for me either … at least with those two sources, and I’m generally a proponent of not having things in any given listening chain that aren’t necessary (i.e. audible discernible as being “better”).


I’m pretty much officially buying one of these in black now. My fondness for the Phonitor XE has only grown since first getting a demo unit in for review. I have to send this one back at some point here, but I’m just deciding on which variant I’m picking up.

Right now, it’s between the XE, X, and 2. I really don’t have any need for the preamp outputs. That said, the 2 is available for almost the same price as the XE because it’s a bit older. It also requires a dual 3 pin to 4 pin XLR adapter to used a balanced headphone cable (but you can flip a DIP switch to use the Matrix etc on the rear outs for this functionality). So, I suppose it’s more like another $50+ to make a nice adapter there.


I’m really enjoying the XE, especially since it makes it super easy to a/b with the rear headphone out and front back toggle switch on the front.


Why does it also have headphone outputs in the back?


So you can run multiple sets of headphones at once for both types of connection.

Not at all uncommon, especially with gear that is either a) studio focused or b) rides the line between pro/audiophile use. Though it is more common to have the additional sockets on the front with pro gear.


How many can you use at once?


For the XE, only one output will be active at a time. You manually select between front or rear via a front-panel switch. Then if the 1/4" TRS connection is plugged in it disables the balanced output on the same panel.

So you can have two balanced headphones connected. Two single-ended. Or one of each.


It is rather fun playing with this feature! This week has been a wash for quality listening time, but I did get in some A/B fun with the Audeze LCD-X and Focal Clear earlier in the week.

Also @Torq explained it way better than I would have… I’m just a dumb big animal :wink: that likes “Shinies” lol

I get called Sasquatch a lot by friends and family…a big out of focus monster lol


So… how far could you take it? Those are easy-to-drive headphones. What if I plugged in K1000 and HE-6 (I know those are extreme examples), but is it possible to damage the amp by using multiple headphones?


There’d be no problem with that, as only one of them would actually be being driven at a time anyway. So, no, it wouldn’t damage anything.


I took the plunge and bought the PX. Shout out to @taronlissimore for the great deal and for having it shipped immediately with FedEx overnight with no extra charges…you guys set the bar real high to a point where I can’t see myself buying gear from anybody else.

Back to the PX, boy this thing is indeed a wire with gain, it feels like there’s no amp at all, just the music. This amp was bought for my brother but I liked it so much that I kept it and will be getting another one for him. I sold the THX and don’t miss it at all. Thanks for the review and for the recommendation @Torq