Phonitor mini 120V Rail Headphone Monitoring Amplifier
When SPL brought out the first Phonitor — the first ever headphone amp with 120 Volt technology — back in 2008, the professional audio world seemed to have been eagerly awaiting it. The success of this unique headphone preamp was overwhelming. In hindsight, we also had to wonder how none of us had come to the idea of combining basic monitoring options, speaker simulation capabilities and a headphone preamp. Ever since we call this new species a “Headphone Monitoring Amp“ which inspired the product name itself: Phonitor.
SPL have further achieved new progress regarding the 120 Volt circuit technology, so the technical specifications have been improved in almost all areas, setting new standards. Other improvements concern, particularly, the use of virtually any type of headphone with any impedance. The Phonitor mini is completely indiscriminating with low-impedance headphones starting at 10 Ohm and balanced headphones with load impedances starting at 40 Ohms.
The outstanding technical and sonic characteristics were translated into a more compact and less-expensive format to create the Phonitor mini. Its ease-of-use, small and sturdy housing and affordable price, make the Phonitor mini the perfect headphone amp for home studios, hi-fi enthusiasts and mobile recording and mixing.
The Phonitor mini is our high-end/low-size version of a premium headphone amplifier. And it obviously features the Phonitor Matrix too, to recreate speaker-like working conditions, plus the developments of the second generation of our 120 Volt amplifier technology.
Home users can now get — for an unheard-of value for money — a headphone amplifier to enjoy an authentic sound reproduction with headphones. Headphones usually provide a 180-degree stereo image (the Super Stereo effect), and that‘s exactly where the problem is rooted. Generally speaking, music is mixed so that all instruments are reproduced correctly in their position when the loudspeakers form a stereo triangle.
Thus, headphone reproduction is not the same as it was intended during recording. The side component becomes too important during playback, and effects like delay and reverb are reproduced in an exaggerated way. The position of instruments and vocals in the stereo image is pushed further apart. All in all, the sound is not authentic anymore. With our Phonitor Matrix, music playback with headphones becomes a real delight thanks to an authentic perception of the stereo width, a more precise localization of the sound sources and a correct balance between effects and other elements.
Studio engineers will find in the Phonitor mini a high-quality headphones amplifier. On the one side, there is the traditional, analytical work with headphones as with a magnifying glass, which can be done always bearing in mind the lack of room influence. Working with a magnifying glass has its advantages when it comes to discovering noises, clicks and crackles, assessing edits, or spotting problems of single tracks. On the other side, the Phonitor Matrix makes it possible to correctly determine the position of sound sources in the mix. Spatial information and effects are also more easily appraised, since the impression of the stereo width created is not the 180-degree one usually heard with headphones, but rather that of music being played back through monitoring speakers in the control room.
120 Volt Technology
The foundations of this high-end-development is our 120 Volt reference technology: specially developed and manufactured op-amps that run on an operating voltage of 120 volts, which corresponds to approximately twice that of most modern analog audio semiconductor technologies. Thanks to 120 Volt circuitry and processing SPL reach outstanding performance levels, especially in terms of dynamic range and headroom. As such, the technical specifications exceed all known analog and digital standards.
- Headphone amplification for two sources
- Headphone amplifier for all headphone systems and impedances
- Loudspeaker-like reproduction with headphones
- Monitoring alternative in studios and mobile units
- Mobile reproduction of usual monitoring conditions
- Headphone monitoring live or during recording
Unbalanced connections, e. g. to and from RCA or TS Jack
You can establish unbalanced connections easily and without adaptors – for example from CD-Players with RCA outputs or to (HiFi) power amplifiers with RCA inputs. In any case SPL recommend to use readily configured cables from XLR to the respective RCA or TS/TRS connector to dispense with adaptors. Ask your dealer for configured cables. It is important to pay attention to the correct polarity of the three XLR wires. With the XLR pin configuration diagram in our manuals any audio expert can ensure to select or configure appropriate cables.