Known for its loudspeakers, including the versatile dARTS line of powered, DSP-enabled models, Phase Technology has quietly innovated in consumer audio for decades.
Stepping outside of its traditional category, the company launched its P3-35 amplifier. Described as a three-channel mini amplifier, Phase Tech says the amp produces 35 watts into each of its channels or 50 watts into two channels if configured as such. The amp includes optical and analog inputs, as well as Bluetooth to stream content wirelessly from smart devices.
Other options include Dolby Digital processing, RS-232, IR learning, a three-band EQ and a line-level subwoofer output. Measuring just 8 x 4 x 1.125 inches, the P3-35 also has dog-ear mounting options to easily tuck behind a TV or furniture.
I used the P3-35 as a two- and three-channel amplifier with Atlantic Technology’s 3.1 HSB pedestal soundbar, and as a three-channel amp with Phase Tech’s Teatro TSB3.0 soundbar. Either way, setup was easy. Running Monster 16/2 cables from the amp’s Phoenix connector to both soundbars took a matter of minutes.
I used the small screwdriver that tightened the connector’s screws to flip the side-mounted dip switch for two/three channels (it was easier than using my fingers because the switch is small), and engaged the subwoofer output, the EQ, and the selection of the analog or optical input. I set the EQ to flat and selected the digital input.
From the get-go, I loved the combination of the amp and the Atlantic Tech speaker. It sounded big, full and authoritative accompanying my TV. Adjusting the EQ, I added some top end just to help higher frequencies cut through a bit more. Movies and TV broadcasts, including music channels such as AXS TV and MTV Live, delivered fantastic sounding results.
Switching to the Teatro TSB3.0 and PC SUB WL-10 wireless powered subwoofer I experienced more excellent results, with the added flexibility of a wireless sub. With this combination I ran speaker wires from the amp to the TSB 3.0’s Phoenix connectors. Next I ran the sub out to the input of its wireless transmitter and paired that to the sub. Once I made some adjustments to the sub’s output level to balance it with the rest of the system, I was off and running.
I also swapped TVs in this setup. Updating to a Vizio 4K model, I was able to use the TV’s audio out (digital or analog) to the amp for improved functionality. Later I programmed the audio from my Dish 4K Joey box into the remote to further simplify the system, with pleasing results.
In my living room I found the amp to produce more than satisfying levels of clean, robust audio. Also, I liked the ability to hide the P3-35 and streamline the system’s appearance, which is something I think customers will find appealing considering they are likely choosing a soundbar for aesthetic values too.
The amp does run warm. My placement left the amp in a well-ventilated location and it was warm to the touch. Stuffing the P3-35 behind a TV that’s very tight to a wall may not be ideal. With that said, as long as the unit is getting some air, its mounting position shouldn’t be an issue.
Working in tandem with the Phase Tech soundbar and sub, I thought dialog was warm and articulate, and its dynamics were even greater with the extra power and bigger woofer size of the sub.
My time with the P3-35 was overwhelmingly positive. With its size, installation options, competitive price point and overall sound quality, how could anyone not like this product? I think Phase Tech engineered the product to elicit this exact response. Moreover its inclusion of three channels with the sub out and Bluetooth provides the functionality that I believe will appeal to younger consumers, widening the prospective customer pool.