Hifi News

Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT & Optical Box E Phono: Phono Amps With Digital Bits 

The E-Line of electronics from Box Design by Pro-Ject Audio Systems was introduced to provide price points to those on on a budget. The new Phono Box E BT and Optical Box E Phono joins the range while adding digital output options

First up is the Phono Box E BT. Designed to offer wireless transmission from any hi-fi turntable with a moving magnet cartridge.

Using the same phono pre-amplification circuitry as the Phono Box E, the Phono Box E BT functions just like an ordinary phono stage with RIAA equalisation, RCA inputs and a Line level output (3.5mm stereo jack). It also takes the audio signal it receives and streams it over a wireless Bluetooth signal. With a range of 10m.

The housing – available in black or white – is shielded with a metal interior. There’s also an additional 3.5mm stereo jack Line input, for transmitting other analogue devices, as well as your turntable. Price is £89 from late-November 2017.

Also look out for the Optical Box E Phono, inspired by the Essential III Digital turntable. It gives you a phono stage that can integrate a turntable into a hi-fi system via optical transmission.

The Optical Box E Phono is similar in basic technology to the Phono Box E BT above, including gold-plated RCA inputs and a Line level 3.5mm jack output. However, the addition of a 24bit/96kHz optical output allows for integration into a digital audio system.

The Optical Box E Phono plays through the analogue and digital outputs simultaneously and the inclusion of an additional Line level input allows this box to act as an input extender for any hi-fi system. Available in black or white it is also shielded with a metal interior. Price is the same as the Phono Box E BT, £89. Also from late November 2017. Both span 120 x 32 x 100mm and weigh 250g.

To watch a short video on the new products, click on the video below.

For more information, call 01235 511 166 or click henleyaudio.co.uk

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  • Reply
    27th January 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Hi, I so hope you can help! My boyfriend is pretty new to vinyl, I got him a crossley cruiser (very much his choice!) a couple of years ago because he wasn’t sure how much he’d use it and he wanted something he’d be able to connect to his Bose sound link. We’re very much ready to upgrade, but at the moment I only have about £500 for a turntable and basically all we’d need to get up and running with a better set up. He wants something he can continue to use with his bose sound link, or similar because we plan to upgrade that in a few months too. I have less than no idea what I’m doing, but I have ruled out pretty much any turntable with bluetooth connectivity because our main concern is sound quality. Your reviews have been my favourite of any I’ve read and have done the most to point me in the right direction, I really love the Rega planar 2 based on your review but I don’t know what I’d connect it to in terms of amps speakers etc – I am absolutely clueless with it all! Any advice or suggestions would be so appreciated, I’m trying to get him a better set up for his 40th birthday in March but I’m at a completely dead end!

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      27th January 2018 at 10:14 pm

      Is the Bose a wireless speaker Katie?
      OK, well look, if you want to focus on sound quality then a Rega Planar 1 (inc the arm and cartridge) is brilliant at £248. This amplifier from Cambridge is good at £200: https://shop.cambridgeaudio.com/uk/product/topaz-am10?_ga=2.243982213.1231146302.1512732807-525930975.1506716579. That will bring your budget to £448. Can I stretch a tad? How about the Roth speakers: https://theaudiophileman.com/roth-oli-ra1-speakers-roth-titans/
      Amazon has them for £89. That gives you a solid foundation in terms of sound quality. How does the Bose fit into your boyfriend’s life? What does he use it for and how does he connect it? As a footnote, I must add, the quality of sound from both the Crosley and Bose is relatively poor and both offer very poor value for money. I realise that he must have a soft spot for both and maybe he has been swayed by the fancy Ads, etc, but if you can steer him away from these brands, you’d be doing him a big favour.

  • Reply
    31st January 2018 at 8:10 am

    The crossley is awful, but he does have a real soft spot for bose, it is wireless and I can’t imagine convincing him to move to something else. I did think maybe we’d be better just keeping the two separate, bose for use with phones and we did settle on the planar 1, but I was thinking of setting that up properly rather than going with this gadget and continuing to use wireless speakers. He thinks this is the answer but I can’t find any reviews on it at all which worries me. You’ve given me a good nudge in the right direction so thank you!

  • Reply
    2nd February 2018 at 10:12 am

    Ok I have a new question! I went with your recommendations, Rega Planar 1 and cambridge topaz AM10 are being delivered today. I saved well over £100 by finding both as new/refurbished with warranty so my speaker budget has gone up. I’ve read quite a few of your posts but still can’t decide what makes sense for us. I’d say the speaker budget is more in the range of £150-£300. But we have conflicting interests as usual, as he wants them to look nice…. We don’t have a huge amount of space so the speakers are going to be in an alcove so relatively near to a wall. The more I look at stands, floorstanding, where to place them etc the more I’m getting lost, any help or advice would be much appreciated, you’ve already been a huge help.

  • Reply
    3rd February 2018 at 3:29 pm

    We’ve set the amp and turntable up and are testing with an old (and ridiculously big) pair of technics speaker my other halfs dad had while we wait for speakers to come. Even just using the only speakers we had access to the sound quality is a whole new level compared to the wireless speaker/crossley. Thanks again for all your help, your recommendations were completely spot on.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      3rd February 2018 at 3:53 pm

      Wahoo! Glad it’s working out for you Katie. Happy listening 🙂

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