Pro-Ject Phono Box S review

Plenty of bass weight and control, but we’d like a little more engagement Tested at £120

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Plenty of bass weight and control, but we’d like a little more engagement


  • +

    Solid build

  • +

    MM and MC operation, plus further adjustment

  • +

    Deep, controlled bass


  • -

    Dipswitches are a little fiddly

  • -

    Timing isn’t quite right

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Small but perfectly formed, the Pro-Ject Phono Box S is solid and relatively heavy, sporting a power button on the front and a set of inputs and a set of outputs on the back.

There’s a subsonic filter switch too, and if you want to get your hands dirty, then you’ll find switches on the bottom for selecting MM or MC operation and making adjustments to the gain and impedance.

Pro-Ject Phono Box S review: performance

Functioning as an MM phono stage, the sound isn’t too dissimilar to the styling: no nonsense and with plenty of weight. The muscular bass is powerful yet controlled – and better integrated than the Musical Fidelity V-LPS II we've also tested (also £120).

Radiohead’s In Rainbows is a tough test in places and despite good insight and a room-filling sound, the Pro-Ject doesn’t sound quite as dynamic or agile as the Graham Slee Gramp Amp 2 (£160), and lacks the precision of Cambridge Audio's 651P (£120).

Pro-Ject Phono Box S review: verdict

It does better than most budget boxes in MC mode, however. There’s weight and detail here, but we just need a little more excitement.

See all our phono stage Best Buys

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test