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Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 – Wireless streaming for every record player

The Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 is the right solution for integrating any record player into an audio system via Bluetooth. The phono preamplifier uses aptX HD to guarantee the best possible quality.

The Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 offers users of a record player the possibility to connect it “wirelessly” to any audio system. It is not only a phono preamplifier, but is also equipped with an integrated A/D converter and a Bluetooth module.

This makes it possible to transmit audio signals from a record player simply via Bluetooth, whereby Pro-Ject Audio Systems promises to have done everything in its power to ensure that this is done with a correspondingly high quality.

Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 – Bluetooth for signal transmission

Even if some sworn vinyl lovers may turn up their noses at the mere fact that “digital components” are brought into play in an analogue chain, or consider the question of whether signals from a record player can be transmitted via Bluetooth to be blasphemy, the fact is that the record owes its triumphal march to the fact that many music lovers have discovered this medium for themselves and want it to be as simple as possible to use and integrate into their living environment. The pure “analog teaching” is not the focus here, but rather simply the fun of the thing…

Foto © Pro-Ject Audio Systems | Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5
Foto © Pro-Ject Audio Systems | Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5

For example, record players with integrated phono preamplifier, A/D converter and Bluetooth module are very popular with newcomers, although it is clear that many of these models are not the first choice when it comes to quality.

This is because there are now countless companies that mostly offer some cheap OEM solutions produced in the Far East under their own flag, and which have massive deficits in the components relevant to the sound – chassis, drive, tonearm and turntable.

Pro-Ject Audio Systems now wants to offer an alternative with the Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5.

High-quality entry-level drive as a basis

Thus, when choosing a turntable, users should not have to pay attention to features such as an integrated phono preamplifier with Bluetooth, but can actually choose a solid solution from an established manufacturer, and then upgrade this with those features that are essential to them in terms of convenience and flexibility, i.e. an external phono preamplifier that enables signal transmission via Bluetooth, among other things.

Foto © Pro-Ject Audio Systems | Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5
Foto © Pro-Ject Audio Systems | Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5

Pro-Ject VT-E BT Turntable as initial spark

According to Pro-Ject Audio Systems, it was primarily the success of the Pro-Ject VT-E BT turntable that led to the development of the Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5. The turntable in question is a system designed for entry-level users, which on the one hand is designed as a solid turntable for the best possible quality in its price segment, but also relies on an integrated phono preamplifier including Bluetooth.

The Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 delivers this functionality for any record player.

Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 – phono preamplifier, A/D converter and Bluetooth

The Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 is designed as part of the Pro-Ject Box Design E Series and presents itself as a compact tool with a high-quality plastic housing optionally in black or white.

Here, first and foremost, of course, a phono input is available, designed as a pair of RCA jacks with associated screw terminal for grounding. The Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 is designed solely for drives equipped with MM cartridge systems, this should be mentioned here. Here it is to guarantee a precise RIAA equalization.

The signals are converted via the integrated A/D converter and can then be transmitted via Bluetooth to any suitably equipped audio system, but also to Bluetooth headphones.

A Bluetooth 5.0 module is used so that this is done with the corresponding quality, which primarily relies on aptX for “CD quality” and even aptX HD and thus a signal transmission with up to 24 bits and 48 kHz.

However, a line out is also available as an alternative, whereby this is implemented as a 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack. The Line Out and Bluetooth can be used simultaneously.

It is also interesting that the Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 has a Line In, which is also designed as a 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack. This also allows other sources to be connected and connected via Bluetooth to a wide variety of audio systems.

The Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 measures just 120 x 32 x 100 mm, weighs just 280 g, and is powered by an external 18V 500 mA DC power supply.

Pro-Ject BT Box E HD

Finally, as a small preview, it should be mentioned that Pro-Ject Audio Systems will probably launch a “counterpart” to the Pro-Ject Photo Box E BT5 in the first quarter of 2022. This solution also comes from the Pro-Ject Box Design E Series and will be called Pro-Ject BT Box E HD.

The Pro-Ject BT Box E HD is a Bluetooth receiver that uses Bluetooth 5.0 and can be connected to any audio system. For this, this solution will have an analog output in the form of a pair of RCA jacks and an optical S/PDIF interface – TOS-Link – for digital signals.

The Pro-Ject BT Box E HD is supposed to “remember” up to eight devices, according to the manufacturer, who, by the way, also relies on aptX for “CD quality” in addition to the lossy SBC.

Pro Ject Phono Box E BT5 04Pro Ject Phono Box E BT5 03
Foto © Pro-Ject Audio Systems | Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5

Prices and availability

The Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 is available immediately from specialist dealers. As already described, you can choose between a version in black or white. The recommended retail price is stated at € 149.

Getting to the point

Being able to connect a record player “wirelessly” to any audio system is an essential criterion for many consumers. Unfortunately, for this very reason, many opt for drives that are not convincing in terms of other essential criteria. So that you can rely on a fine drive from an established manufacturer and still not have to do without the flexibility of a signal transmission via Bluetooth, the Pro-Ject Phono Box E BT5 from Pro-Ject Audio Systems is available, which does exactly this task for any record player.

PRODUCTPRO-JECT PHONO BOX E BT5
Price€ 149,-
BrandPRO-JECT AUDIO
ManufacturerPro-Ject Audio Systems
Distribution AustriaAudio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH
Distribution GermanyAudio Trade Hi-Fi Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH
Distribution SwitzerlandMarlex GmbH – Audiophile Produkte
More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG

Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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