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Matrix Audio Element X Music Streamer - Open Box

Open-Box items are Final Sale
Was: $2,999.00
Now: $2,799.00
In Stock
Returns are not accepted on Open Box items.

Save $200 on Open Box unit. Mint Condition, Like New, Includes Full Warranty

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.

Visual Design

Matrix Audio's brand-new element series has a simplified visual design, removing unnecessary elements. It features simple visual lines with a precision CNC anodizing aluminum case.

Matrix Audio element X music streamer

Start From The Core

More than a year went into incorporating a quad-core ARM processor (Freescale i.MX6) into Matrix products. They then developed a high-quality audio system based on Linux. The element series is their 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.

MA Remote

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.

Matrix Audio Remote App screenshots

MA Remote App

We have developed an 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). We will continue to improve our app with updates and also develop a similar app for iOS users in the near future.

dlna and Airplay supported

AirPlay & DLNA

Listening to network streaming 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.

with MQA decoding and rendering

MQA Decoding and Rendering

MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording. The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download. The element series include MQA technology, which enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording. Visit How it works for more information.

ES9038PRO/ES9311/Femtosecond Clock

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.

Hyper-Control

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.

circuit boards

Pre-amplifier

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.

capacitors and circuits

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 from the separate internal systems.

Double-shell Structure

Different materials have their own resonant frequency. The element X is designed as a 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.

element Series Comparison

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element X
$2,999 USD
Quad-core DAC:
ES9038 PRO+
ES9311
USB chip
XMOS XU216:
PCM 16-24Bit 768kHz
DSD 11.2MHz (DoP)
DSD 22.4MHz (Native)
Clock
Crystek CCHD-950
Ultra Low Phase Noise
Femtosecond Clock
Digital Input:
Optical (x2)
Coaxial (x2)
IIS LVDS (x1)
USB (x1)
Line Out:
RCA (x1)
XLR (x1)
Headphone Out:
4-pin XLR
Dual 3-pin XLR
1/4" TRS (6.35mm)
Network
LAN: 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
WLAN: 2.4GHz/5GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standard
Sampling Rate Support:
PCM up to 768kHz
DSD up to 22.4MHz
MA Player: PCM 768kHz/ DSD 512
Roon: PCM 768kHz/ DSD 256 *
DLNA: PCM 768kHz/ DSD 512
Volume Control Mode
Hyper-Control
Relays Array
Digital Volume
USB Storage
TF Card Slot (x1)
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
Noratel Linear 40W
13.4" x 11.1" x 2.4" (340x281×60mm)
9.3 lb (4.2kg)
element P
$2,499 USD
Quad-core DAC:
ES9028 PRO
 
USB chip
XMOS XU216
PCM 16-24Bit 768kHz
DSD 11.2MHz (DoP)
DSD 22.4MHz (Native)
Clock
Crystek CCHD-950
Ultra Low Phase Noise
Femtosecond Clock
Digital Input:
Optical (x2)
Coaxial (x2)
IIS LVDS (x1)
USBx1
Line Out:
n/a
 
Speaker Out:
x2 ([email protected]Ω)
 
 
Network
LAN: 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
WLAN: 2.4GHz/5GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standard
Sampling Rate Support:
PCM up to 768kHz
DSD up to 22.4MHz
MA Player: PCM 768kHz/ DSD 512
Roon: PCM 768kHz/ DSD 256 *
DLNA: PCM 768kHz/ DSD 512
Volume Control Mode
MUSES 72320
Resistor Divider
 
USB Storage
TF Card Slot (x1)
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
Noratel Linear 25W
13.4" x 11.1" x 2.4" (340x281×60mm)
10.4 lb (4.7Kg)
element M
$1,799 USD
Quad-core DAC:
ES9028 PRO
 
USB chip
XMOS XU216
PCM 16-24Bit 768kHz
DSD 11.2MHz (DoP)
DSD 22.4MHz (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:
1/4" TRS (6.35mm)
 
 
Network
LAN: 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
WLAN: 2.4GHz/5GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standard
Sampling Rate Support:
PCM up to 768kHz
DSD up to 22.4MHz
MA Player: PCM 768kHz/ DSD 512
Roon: PCM 768kHz/ DSD 256 *
DLNA: PCM 768kHz/ DSD 512
Volume Control Mode
Digital Volume
 
 
USB Storage
TF Card Slot (x1)
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
Linear 30W
10.9" x 11.1" x 2.4" (275x281×60mm)
8.1 lb (3.7kg)
element I
$990 USD
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:
1/4" TRS (6.35mm)
 
 
Network
LAN: 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
WLAN: 2.4GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n standard
Sampling Rate Support:
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
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
n/a
IR Remote
Power Supply
20W AC Adapter
9.5" x 8.7" x 2.2" (240x220×55mm)
3.3 lb (1.5kg)

*Sampling Rate of PCM 768kHz/ DSD 256 with Roon requires the latest A10301 firmware update. Earlier firmware versions support PCM 384kHz/ DSD 128.

Texas Instruments LME49600 High Current Headphone Buffer

The LME49600 is a high performance, low distortion high fidelity 250mA audio buffer. The LME49600 is designed for a wide range of applications. It can be used inside the feedback loop of op amps.

The LME49600 offers a pin-selectable bandwidth: a low current, 110MHz bandwidth mode that consumes 7.3mA and a wide 180MHz bandwidth mode that consumes 13.2mA. In both modes the LME49600 has a nominal 2000V/μs slew rate. Bandwidth is easily adjusted by either leaving the BW pin unconnected or connecting a resistor between the BW pin and the VEE pin.

The LME49600 is fully protected through internal current limit and thermal shutdown.

The ES9038PRO SABRE DAC

Bringing Music to Life

The ES9038PRO SABRE DAC is the flagship of the ESS PRO series. It sets a new benchmark for audio excellence with the industry’s highest dynamic range (DNR), up to 140dB, in a 32-bit, 8-channel DAC. The ES9038PRO was designed for premium home theater equipment including Blu-ray players, preamplifiers, all-in-one A/V receivers, and more. For serious audiophiles, it provides the most immersive listening experience — bringing music to life.

The ES9038PRO SABRE DAC also features ESS’ patented 32-bit HyperStreamDAC technology with-122dB total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N). The HyperStream architecture is responsible for both the outstanding sound quality of the ES9038 and the extremely low THD+N. A typical competitive, 32-Bit 8-Channel DAC using a delta-sigma architecture features-107dB THD+N (0.0004%), which when subjected to listening tests does not equal the clarity and sound stage of the ES9038PRO.

The ES9311 Low-Noise, Low Dropout Regulator

Simplifying Audio System Design

The ES9311 is the industry’s first low-noise, low-dropout regulator designed specifically for high-performance audio systems. It is optimized for high-resolution audio (HRA) thanks to its revolutionary dual regulator architecture. This innovative architecture contains series-voltage and shunt-voltage elements, eliminating the need for output decoupling capacitors – an industry first in audio system design. The ES9311 provides the extremely low-noise outputs that are necessary for driving the reference inputs of audio converters and offers significant value-add for audio system designers.

The ES9311 regulator replaces three active devices and several passive components typically used in audio system designs, shortening design cycles for faster time-to-market. This best-in-class dual, low-dropout regulator consists of a low-noise bandgap voltage reference, two high-performance low-noise low-dropout buffers, protection circuitry against over-current and over-temperature fault conditions, plus control logic and signaling. The regulated outputs use remote sensing to maintain voltage accuracy at the load under varying load currents, and the output voltage can be trimmed, if required, to be exactly +3.3V.


Press and Reviews

Hi Fi Advice Review
Hi-Fi Advice

by Christiaan Punter
Apr. 2019

Audio Science Review
Audio Science Review

by Amir M.
Jun. 2019

Sound News Review
Sound News

by Sandu Vitalie
Jun. 2019

Sound News Review
Sound News

by Sandu Vitalie
Jun. 2019

Specs

Technical Features

Inputs
2 RCA Inputs, Front Panel Input
Full Model Features
Additional XLR Input, XLR And RCA Outputs
Gain Settings
+10, +20, +30 dB
Volume And Balance Control
64 Step, 1dB Per Step Attenuator
AC Power Capability
120V/240V 50Hz / 60 Hz
Bandwidth
2Hz - 350 KHz -3dB
Resistors
Precision 0.1% Tolerance Thin Film
Peak Output Capability
355mA Peak, 14V
Dimensions
Width 12.5" Height 4.0" Depth 12.5"
Voltage Regulation
SS78XX / SS79XX Discrete Regulators
Output Impedance
< 0.1 Ohm
Headphone Impedance
16 - 300 Ohm
Display
Touch Screen Control with Customizable Colors
Connector Coating
Gold Plated
RMS Noise
1.6 uV at 0 db Gain 20 Hz - 20KHz Unweighted
Power Supply Capacitance
9400uF Per Rail
Warranty
lifetime limited warranty

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