Matrix Audio Element X - HiRes Streamer DAC
Discontinued: Replaced by element X2 w.e.f. May 2022
The Matrix Audio element X is a Roon Ready Streamer DAC that delivers HiRes Audio in all it's glory to your audio system. With AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Tidal, Qobuz the internal ESS Sabre DAC makes audiophile streaming a reality. A high quality fully balanced headphone amplifier is built in, and a class leading remote control is included. Balanced Outputs and Preamplifier functionality are the cherry on this cake. The flagship model of the element series, element X combines years of development and tuning experience with the industry-leading ESS ES9038PRO DAC chip to push the hardware to its full potential.
Our brand-new element series has a simplified visual design removing unnecessary elements. It features simple visual lines with a precision CNC anodizing aluminum case.
Start From The Core
We spent more than a year incorporating a quad-core ARM processor (Freescale i.MX6) into Matrix products. Then we developed a high-quality audio system based on Linux. The element series is our first product that transforms into a full-featured audio source with built-in music playback for streaming media over your network or files from a local disk.
The element series runs a powerful audio playback system that supports all the popular formats. Simply connect a USB drive or configure a NAS storage device to browse your music library and enjoy up to 768kHz PCM and 22.4MHz DSD.
MA Remote App
We have developed an iOS/Android app for the element series so users can browse and play their music from any smart device connected to the same local area network (LAN).
AirPlay & DLNA
Listening to network streamed media has become a normal part of life today. The element series also enables you to play music from your smartphone or other mobile devices via AirPlay & DLNA for convenient wireless streaming.
MQA Decoding and Rendering
MQA is a high-resolution audio coding technique that enables high sampling rates from smaller file sizes. The element series features full MQA integration for high resolution unfolding of all MQA encoded streaming media. This improves both the quality and enjoyment of available music both now and in the future.
The element X is the series flagship model using the industry leading ESS ES9038PRO D/A converter along with the professional grade ultra-low noise LDO ES9311 and the Crystek CCHD-950 femtosecond clock. By combining our years of development and tuning experience with ESS best chip to date we have achieved the full potential of this hardware.
Brand New USB Interface
With the rapid development and release of high-quality music formats, the processing requirements are also higher than ever before. The element X is equipped with the brand-new XU216 XMOS processor which can easily handle decoding and unfolding of the highest bit rate MQA format.
We wanted to eliminate the weaknesses of traditional analog potentiometer based volume controls and digital based volume controls. So we designed a hybrid digital volume control for the element X which uses an array of relays along with the built in DAC chips internal digital volume unit. This enabled us to combine the audio quality advantages of an analog volume control along with the precision of a digital volume control.
When using active speakers, there is no need to add a pre-amplifier since the element X has a built-in very high-quality analog pre-amplifier section that is configurable with up to +10 dB of analog gain.
Full Balanced Headphone Amplifier
The element X is also a dual-mode headphone amplifier based on the LME49600 and consisting of four independent amplifier units. In balanced mode it can drive a pair of balanced headphones or in single-ended mode, it can drive two single-ended pairs of headphones each having its own independent stereo amplifier.
High Performance Power Supply System
Our linear power supply is the foundation of our excellent sound quality. We use a customized Noratel toroidal transformer along with Nichicon audio grade capacitors. The element X also has multiple levels of isolation LDO, with a well-designed four-layer PCB to help reproduce the original sound as accurately as possible by removing interference of the separate internal systems.
Different materials have their own resonant frequency. The element X is designed as double-shell structure. The inner shell uses stamp galvanized steel with multi-strip reinforcing ribs to ensure excellent strength and the external shell is made of 4mm aluminum. The combination of the two metals eliminates the fixed resonant frequency of each material and greatly reduces the negative impact that case resonance can have on the sound quality.