In 2017 Exposure Electronics launched the ‘XM’ series of hifi components, now, the XM3 phonostage, XM5 integrated amp, XM7 preamp and XM9 mono power amps are joined by the new XM HP headphone amplifier.

Exposure aim for “‘Real world’ hifi at ‘real world’ prices” and say that the XM series very much ticks that box, offering an alternative for music lovers who want audio performance but aren’t necessarily in the market for a hifi system that risks emptying their bank account and filling their home.

While some draw a clear line between ‘music lovers’ and ‘audiophiles’, Exposure’s chief designer Tony Brady is not so quick to categorise. “Passion is passion,” he says. “Take the current resurgence of vinyl in a digital age. I’m all for both. In fact I’m convinced that both formats are here to stay and that both have further growth and development ahead of them, fuelling a desire for the best of both worlds. People want soul-stirring sound quality and convenience and flexibility and value for money. For a designer that’s an interesting challenge.”

The XM series is the first of Exposure’s ranges to pack a full quota of features into a narrow, half-width design. Kicking off the series were the XM3 phonostage alongside the XM5 integrated amplifier with its incorporated phono stage and DAC. These were soon followed by the XM7 preamplifier and the XM9 mono power amps, the latter described by Brady as “the highest performance amplifier we could fit into a compact chassis”.

The new XM HP headphone amp is a variation of the XM7 preamplifier but specifically honed for the headphone listener. Like the XM5 integrated amp and XM7 preamp, it includes a built-in moving magnet phono stage and DAC. The phono stage sports two line level inputs and the DAC, five digital inputs.

The XM HP features a linear power supply with a 60VA custom-made toroidal power transformer. High quality resistors and capacitors are used in the signal path. It also features enhanced headphone circuitry in which an all-discrete audio output stage delivers high drive capability for low impedance headphones. Its two pairs of 6.35mm jacks and of XLR sockets allow two sets of headphones to be used at once, and there’s also a separate pre-amp output.

Pre-amplifier output (input sensitivity / impedance):

Phono input (moving magnet): 2.5mV @ 1kHz / 47kΩ

Aux 2 & Aux 3 inputs: 350mV @ 1kHz / >14kΩ

Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.5dB

Signal to noise ratio ref 1.3V RMS output @ 1kHz: >92dB

Channel separation @ 20kHz: >60dB

Digital inputs:

SPDIF inputs BNC coax & optical: up to 24-bit / 192kHz

USB input: PCM up to 24-bit / 192kHz, DSD x64

Headphone output:

Output impedance: <5Ω

Maximum level into 33Ω @ 1kHz & 0.01% THD: 7V RMS (1.5W)

Total harmonic distortion @ 2V output, 1kHz: <0.003% (120mW)

Maximum level into 330Ω @ 1kHz & 0.01% THD: 7.5V RMS (170mW)

Total harmonic distortion @ 2V output, 1kHz: <0.003% (12mW)

General specifications:

Power consumption : <15W

Dimensions (inc. knob): 218mm (w) x 89mm (H) x 363mm (D)

Weight (unpacked): 4kg

Pricing & availability:

The Exposure XM HP headphone amplifier is available now with a black or titanium finish and 3 year warranty. Price £1,299 (incl. VAT).





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