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How To Setup Your Matrix Audio Element I

Matrix Audio Element I Headphone Amplifier and Streamer



ABOUT THE MATRIX AUDIO ELEMENT I

The Matrix Audio Element I is the entry level streamer for Matrix Audio’s Element Series amplifiers and streamers. The Element Series has three other streamers, the Element P, Element M, and Element X. Matrix Audio’s Element I, M, and X all have headphone amplifiers built in. The Element P is a streamer + speaker Amplifier. The Element I is a cost-effective streamer that provides you with several options on how to listen to music. Use the Element I and Matrix Audio remote app to stream Tidal or Qobuz. Listen to your uploaded audio from an external hard drive with headphones or push your music to Airplay or Roon. Hear how the Element I will leave a lasting impression and become a mainstay for your audio system for years to come.

Matrix Audio's Element I combines the audio circuits of the Element P and Element M streamers. Matrix Audio's intention behind this was to provide a quality streamer and headphone amp under a $1000 price point. It's outfitted with the same ES9028 Pro DAC chip as the more expensive streamers in the Element series line. The ES9028 PRO is designed for audiophiles who demand high quality performance at an economical price point. The Element I also uses a XMOS XU208 USB controller. The controller allows for input resolutions of up to 24 bit/384 kHz. These two parts of the Element I provide more resolution than an average consumer's digital music library resolution.

The Element streamers product line can be controlled manually for simple functions like volume adjustments and powering it. However, Matrix Audio designed the remote app to provide its customers with a portable and mobile way to control their devices. Download the Matrix Audio remote app from the Apple or Google Play store and connect your player in the app with the video instructions provided in the setup and configuration portion of this guide.

The headphone amp on the Element I is the most discreet of the Element series streamers. Equipped with 1300 megawatts of power, the Element I is able to drive an array of hi-res audio headphones and IEMs. Whether your headphones have high resistance or your IEMs are highly sensitive, the Element I will be up to the task.

The streamer is powered by an external 20W AC adapter power supply. While the Element I doesn't have an external linear power supply, you're always able to upgrade according to what your system requires. Regardless, the powering unit was never compromised during our testing of the streamer and the circuit units of it use independent multi-channel low ripple low dropout (LDO.) This is what makes the Element I perform so well and sound so good.

At Moon Audio, we're thrilled to offer Matrix Audio’s entire Element Series streamer line. The Element I provides our customers with a quality streamer for a quality price. It's a great streamer for those who are beginning their journey into the world of audiophilia because of its price, design, and functionality. We hope you enjoy how the Element I gives you more bang for the buck than you can imagine.


SPECIFICATIONS

  • Digital-to-Analog Converter: Dual-Core DAC – ES9028 PRO
  • USB Chip: XMOS XU208: PCM 16-24bit 384kHz, DSD 5.6MHz (DoP), DSD 11.2MHz (Native)
  • Clock: SiTime Low Phase Noise Clock
  • Digital Input: Optical (x1), Coaxial (x1), IIS LVDS (x1), USB (x1)
  • Line Out: RCA (x1), XLR (x1)
  • Headphone Out: ¼” TRS (6.35mm)
  • Output Level: 1320mW @33ohm; 248mW @ 300ohm; 124mW @ 600ohm
  • Network: LAN: 10BASE-T / 100BASE-TX, WLAN: 2.4GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standard
  • Sampling Rate Support: PCM up to 384kHz, DSD up to 11.2MHz; MA Player: PCM 384kHz / DSD 256; Roon: PCM 384kHz / DSD 128; DLNA: PCM 384kHz / DSD 256
  • Volume Control Mode: Digital Volume
  • USB Storage: USB Host (x2)
  • Supported Formats: MP3, WMA, WAV, AIF, AIFC, AIFF, AAC, FLAC, OGG, APE, ALAC, M4A, DSF, DFF. MA Player, AirPlay/DLNA, Roon Ready, Full MQA Support, IR Remote.
  • Power Supply: 20W AC Adapter
  • Dimensions: 9.5” x 8.7” x 2.2” (240 x 220 x 55mm)
  • Weight: 3.3lbs (1.5kg)

SETUP AND CONFIGURATION

If setting up your device for a wireless connection, place your Element I in an open area of your home or in a location where the device will not receive interference from alternative wireless sources. For the most stable connection, we recommend setting up your Element I via a wired connection (LAN).

If you are setting up and WLAN connection, please install the antenna on the back of the Ethernet console in an upright position. If setting up a LAN connection, place an Ethernet cable into the jack located in the rear, right-hand corner of the Element console. Connect the Element I to your ISP device.

Note: It is always best to use a wired connection over a wireless connection with network streamers to ensure that your device’s performance stays as stable as possible and functions optimally.

Reference the following video on how to set up your Element I to either a wired or wireless network:

Regardless of the connection configuration, download the Matrix Audio Remote application to control your Element I.

Once the Matrix Audio Remote is downloaded, plug in your Element I into the power supply, power on, and wait for it to be recognized by the Matrix Audio Remote application. There are three ways to connect and configure your device in the MA remote application: WLAN, Automatic, and Manual.

Select WLAN configuration, if you want to connect your Element I streamer to a wireless network Text


Select the Automatic connection, if your Element I has been connected to a LAN and you wish to add and search for devices automatically

Select the Manual connection, if your device is already connected and you’d like to manually enter the device’s IP address and add it

Your basic steps in setting up the Element I for the first time:

  1. Power on. The LED indicator will turn on following the connection to the power supply. By default, the device enters Standby mode when connected to power. Pressing the Standby button on the unit body or the remote control will power on the Element I, as signified by the LED indicator turning to a highlighted white color.
  2. Select the input source. Repeat pressing the menu button (three horizontal lines) and select the input channel selection menu. Then rotate the knob to select between auto, coaxial 1, coaxial 2, optical 1, optical 2, IIS, LVDS, USB audio, or network. Press the knob to confirm the selection. If you are unsure what input to select, choose “auto” and the device will automatically scan all digital input channels. The first connected input channel will be locked immediately. The Element I will continue to scan other channels until the current signal is lost. When there are several input channels being connected, the Element I will always choose the signal it detects first after scanning in the following order: COAX 1 > COAX 2 > OPT1 > OPT2 > IIS LVDS > USB > Network. When using network related music sources such as AirPlay, DLNA, Roon, or MA Player, please select Network as the input channel.
  3. Select the output channel. Repeat pressing the menu button (three horizontal lines) and select the output channel selection menu. You can select output channel between balanced headphone output, single-ended headphone, and line output. Push the button to confirm your selection.
  4. Volume adjustment. The volume can be adjusted by the knob or the [speaker]- and [speaker]+ key on the remote control, and the screen will show the current volume level when adjusting. Line output and headphone output have different volume control level, as well as the line level output can be configured as a fixed level output.

COMPARISONS

ELEMENT X

ELEMENT P

ELEMENT M

ELEMENT I

COST

$3,419.00 USD

$2,869.00 USD

$2,049.00 USD

$1,149.00 USD

DAC

Quad-Core DAC: ES9038 PRO+ & ES9311

Quad-Core DAC: ES9028 PRO

Quad-Core DAC: ES9028 PRO

Dual-Core DAC: ES9028 PRO

USB CHIP

XMOS XU216: PCM 16-24Bit 768kHz; DSD 11.2MHz (DoP); DSD 22.4MHz (Native)

XMOS XU216: PCM 16-24Bit 768kHz; DSD 11.2MHz (DoP); DSD 22.4MHz (Native)

XMOS XU216: PCM 16-24Bit 768kHz; DSD 11.2MHz (DoP); DSD 22.4MHz (Native)

XMOS XU208: PCM 16-24Bit 384kHz; DSD 5.6MHz (DoP); DSD 11.2MHz (Native)

CLOCK

Crystek CCHD-950 Ultra Low Phase Noise Femtosecond Clock

Crystek CCHD-950 Ultra Low Phase Noise Femtosecond Clock

SiTime Low Phase Noise Clock

SiTime Low Phase Noise Clock

DIGITAL INPUT

Optical (x2); Coaxial (x2); IIS LVDS (x1); USB (x1)

Optical (x2); Coaxial (x2); IIS LVDS (x1); USB (x1)

Optical (x1); Coaxial (x1); IIS LVDS (x1); USB (x1)

Optical (x1); Coaxial (x1); IIS LVDS (x1); USB (x1)

LINE OUT

RCA (x1); XLR (x1)

N/A

RCA (x1); XLR (x1)

RCA (x1); XLR (x1)

HEADPHONE OUT

4-pin XLR; Dual 3-pin XLR; 1/4" TRS (6.25mm)

(Speaker Out): x2 ([email protected])

1/4" TRS (6.25mm)

1/4" TRS (6.25mm)

OUTPUT LEVEL

1/4-in: 1150mW @33ohm, 308mW @300ohm, 152mW @600ohm; XLR: 1700mW @33ohm, 1180mW @300ohm, 650mW @600ohm

N/A

1320mW @33ohm; 248mW @300ohm, 124mW @600ohm

1320mW @33ohm; 248mW @300ohm, 124mW @600ohmText

NETWORK

LAN: 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX; WLAN: 2.4GHz/5GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standard

LAN: 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX; WLAN: 2.4GHz/5GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standard

LAN: 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX; WLAN: 2.4GHz/5GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standard

LAN: 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX; WLAN: 2.4GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n standard

SAMPLING RATE SUPPORT

PCM up to 768kHz; DSD up to 22.4MHz. MA Player: PCM 768kHz/DSD512; Roon: PCM 768kHz/DSD256*; DLNA: PCM 768kHz/DSD512

PCM up to 768kHz; DSD up to 22.4MHz. MA Player: PCM 768kHz/DSD512; Roon: PCM 768kHz/DSD256*; DLNA: PCM 768kHz/DSD512

PCM up to 768kHz; DSD up to 22.4MHz. MA Player: PCM 768kHz/DSD512; Roon: PCM 768kHz/DSD256*; DLNA: PCM 768kHz/DSD512

PCM up to 384kHz; DSD up to 11.2MHz. MA Player: PCM 384kHz/DSD256; Roon: PCM 384kHz/DSD128; DLNA: PCM 384kHz/DSD256

VOLUME CONTROL MODE

Hyper-Control Relays Array, Digital Volume

MUSES 72320 Resistor Divider

Digital Volume

Digital Volume

USB STORAGE

TF Card Slot (x1), USB Host (x2)

TF Card Slot (x1), USB Host (x2)

TF Card Slot (x1), USB Host (x2)

USB Host (x2)

SUPPORTED FORMATS

MP3, WMA, WAV, AIF, AIFC, AIFF, AAC, FLAC, OGG, APE, ALAC, M4A, DSF, DFF; MA Player, AirPlay/DLNA, Roon Ready, Full MQA Support, IR Remote

MP3, WMA, WAV, AIF, AIFC, AIFF, AAC, FLAC, OGG, APE, ALAC, M4A, DSF, DFF; MA Player, AirPlay/DLNA, Roon Ready, Full MQA Support, IR Remote

MP3, WMA, WAV, AIF, AIFC, AIFF, AAC, FLAC, OGG, APE, ALAC, M4A, DSF, DFF; MA Player, AirPlay/DLNA, Roon Ready, Full MQA Support, IR Remote

MP3, WMA, WAV, AIF, AIFC, AIFF, AAC, FLAC, OGG, APE, ALAC, M4A, DSF, DFF; MA Player, AirPlay/DLNA, Roon Ready, IR Remote

POWER SUPPLY

Noratel Linear 40W

Noratel Linear 25W

Linear 30W

20W AC Adapter

DIMENSIONS

13.4" x 11.1" x 2.4" (340x281×60mm)

13.4" x 11.1" x 2.4" (340x281×60mm)

10.9" x 11.1" x 2.4" (275x281×60mm)

9.5" x 8.7" x 2.2" (240x220×55mm)

WEIGHT

9.3 lb (4.2kg)

10.4 lb (4.7Kg)

8.1 lb (3.7kg)

3.3 lb (1.5kg)


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I add my device in the Matrix Audio Remote App?

Here’s how you can add your device manually in the Matrix Audio Remote app:

Here’s how you can add your device wirelessly in the Matrix Audio Remote app:

Here’s how you can add your device automatically in the Matrix Audio Remote app:

What headphone connections are on the Element I?

The headphone jack for the Element measures at 3.5 MM and will require either an adapter of the same size or a headphone cord configured with a 3.5 mm headphone plugin.

Is the Element I Roon Compatible?

Yes, all the Matrix Audio Element series products are Roon Ready Compatible.

Does the Element I have a remote control?

The Element I is equipped to be used by either a physical remote or a digital remote via a phone app called Matrix Audio remote. Both the physical remote and Matrix Audio remote app for the Element I allows the user to power the device on and off, select the input and output, adjust volume, and select what PCM filter they would like to use.

Does the Element I have a standby mode?

Yes. The Element I will enter sleep or standby mode after the selected digital audio channel has no input signal and no operation for more than 5 minutes. To completely turn off the Element I, press and hold the power button on the right-hand side of your machine and wait for the display to fade to black.

What are the PCM filters available on the Element I?

The Matrix Audio Element I streamer is equipped with 7 different PCM filter options:

  1. Mod1:_fast roll-off, minimum
  2. Mod2:_slow roll-off, minimum
  3. Mod3:_fast roll-off, linear
  4. Mod4:_slow roll-off, linear
  5. Mod5:_brickwall
  6. Mod6:_hybrid
  7. Mod7:_apodizing


What do these filters do? These filters are known as dithering curves and they shape the digital signal of your audio. The Mod 2 and 4 filters smooth out audio, while Mods 1 and 3 are more analytical. These filters bring out the nuances contained in music genres like Americana, Bluegrass, Jazz, and Acoustic music. The other 3 filters all do something different. The brick wall filter (Mod 5) has a sharp roll-off, The apodizing (Mod 7) has a smooth roll-off and the hybrid (Mod 6) filter has a little bit of both Mod 5 & Mod 7 in its filter.

PCM Filter Dithering Curve Chart

What cloud and internet radio services are available to access directly through the Element I?

The Element I supports cloud and internet radio services to include the following: Apple Airplay and streaming platforms, Tidal & Qobuz

What cloud and internet radio services aren’t available to access via the Element I?

The Element I does not support or serve as a direct access point for streaming platforms like Spotify or Pandora Radio. However, to use said platforms and others follow the instructions below:

  • Connect your Element I via tablet, iPhone, and desktop or personal computer.
  • Enable Apple AirPlay and select the Matrix Audio streamer that appears and have your streamer configured to USB audio or network as input.
  • Begin streaming from the appropriate app's desktop page or mobile app.

How do I contact Matrix Audio if I’m having a mechanical/technical problem with the Element I?

If you’re having difficulties with your Element I, submit a product support ticket online at the following link.

Does the Matrix Audio Element I allow for external hard drive storage?

Yes, the Element I allows for external USB hard drives or USB thumb drives to be streamed through it.

Please Note: Your music files on an external drive are local to the hard drive. Removing the hard drive will result in the files being removed from your library playback on the Matrix Audio remote App

Do I need to install the antennas on the Element I?

The antennas that come packaged with the Element I are Wi-Fi antennas. If you are setting up a LAN connection with your Element I, the antennas won't be necessary for the operation of the device. Otherwise, you will need to install the antennas for wireless functionality. If you are setting up a WLAN connection and intend to use Airplay and other streaming apps and devices the antennas are necessary since they assist your Element I in sending and receiving strong signals and achieving optimal playback through your device.


HOW-TO QUESTIONS ANSWERED

How to adjust and interpret the volume control of the Element I

The volume for the Element I can be adjusted three ways, by the Matrix Audio remote app, the physical remote, or the dial on the right-hand side of the Element I. When you adjust the volume of your machine, the volume of the Element I increases and decreases by .5 dB.


**Please note: For every twenty-decibel increase or decrease on your machine, there is a small, almost inaudible click.

How to connect Tidal and Qobuz in the Matrix Audio Remote App

To connect Tidal and/or Quboz on your MA Remote App, tap the streaming icon at the bottom of the app, select the appropriate streaming service you wish to connect to, input your username and password in the respective spaces and tap Add in the right-hand corner of the app on your smartphone.

How to change the PCM filter on the Element I

Change the PCM filter on the Element I with either the Physical remote, MA Remote app, and the turn dial on the machine.

Physical Remote: To change the PCM filter via your physical remote, press the filter button on the bottom of your left. Watch the display on the Element to see the PCM filter options change. There are 7 to choose from. Once selected, press the turn dial and the display will return to regular function.

MA Remote app: To change the PCM filter with your MA remote app, tap the remote icon in the upper corner of the app’s welcome screen. Go to the bottom of your remote and tap FILTER to select 1 of the 7 PCM filters and the streamer will display the filter you selected

Turn Dial: To change the PCM filter on your Element I with the turn dial, press the button with the three lines next to it 3 times, turn the dial to the left to select 1 of the 7 filters when finished press the turn dial to return to the display screen.

How to add SMB Sharing Folders on the Element I

To add SMB sharing folders on the Element I, open your MA remote app, tap the library icon, and tap files on the right-hand side of the screen. Tap the “Add SMB Sharing Folders” option in the middle of the screen. The page will ask for the path of the folder via IP address, a username, and a password if applicable. When finished, tap the add button to complete the addition.

How to set cover/image settings in the Matrix Audio remote

To set cover/images in MA Remote, tap the settings icon in the bottom right right-hand corner of the app. Tap the cover settings option in the menu that appears. 3 choices will appear to select from:

  1. Clear album cover image cache - This will display the album cover after the default image has been cleared.
  2. Clear artist image cache - The artist image will display the default image after its cleared
  3. Reacquire album art and arctic images - The app will re-cache the images in the background

How to change the appearance of the Matrix Audio remote App Interface

The Matrix Audio remote app has two appearance modes: light, and dark. The appearance is comparable to that of Twitter’s light and dark modes. To change the appearance of your app tap the settings icon on the lower right-hand side of the app, scroll down to Appearance theme tap again and select from either light or dark mode.

How to push music through AirPlay or Roon on the Element I

For instructions on how to push music through AirPlay or Roon, watch the video below:

NOTE: Here are the written instructions below:

To push music through your Element I with Airplay or Roon:

  • First, select the network connection on your Element I using the turn dial
  • Open your iPhone, swipe up and press the Airplay icon in the right-hand corner of your iPhone.
  • Select your Element I device that appears in the drop-down menu
  • Select your favorite music app to stream with and your music will begin playing

How to update/check for updates for the Element I

Update or check for one on your MA remote app by following these steps:

  1. Tap the settings icon (A bolt) on the bottom right-hand side of your app
  2. Scroll down until you see the “Check for update” option - on the right side of said option, the app will tell you whether or not your app is up to date.
  3. If update is required: Tap the option to do so and follow prompts to complete update

How to find and download The Matrix General Drivers, DSD configuration guide, and Matrix Audio Remote app?

Find and download Matrix General Drivers, the DSD configuration guide, and their MA Remote download instructions at the following link.


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