SPL Headphone Amp Keeps Stage Out Front

SPL's Phonitor X headphone amp includes a crossfeed mode designed to keep the soundstage in front of you, rather than in your head.

The crossfeed dial is at top left in the photo. Adjacent controls adjust the circuit for level and degree.

In addition to those cool wiggling meters, the Phonitor X has both balanced and unbalanced inputs and outputs. It can handle headphones with impedances of greater than 10 ohms.

The Phonitor X ($2799) is a stereo preamp as well as a headphone amp. It is one of several new products in SPL's Pro-Fi series, which also includes the Phonitor e headphone amp (yes, that's a lowercase e, no preamp here, $1799) and Director DAC-preamp ($3999).

SPL has been around for about 30 years and has both pro and consumer distribution. The products are manufactured in Germany and started shipping last fall.