Matrix Audio Element X Music Streamer

$2,999.00
In stock

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 player

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

element X element P element M element I
D/A chip ES9038 PRO+ ES9311 ES9028 PRO ES9028 PRO ES9028 PRO
USB chip XMOS XU216 XMOS XU208
PCM 16-24Bit 768kHz
DSD 11.2MHz (DoP)
DSD 22.4MHz (Native)
PCM 16-24Bit 384kHz
DSD 5.6MHz (DoP)
DSD 11.2MHz (Native)
Clock Crystek CCHD-950 Crystek CCHD-950 SiTime Low Phase Noise Clock SiTime Low Phase Noise Clock
Ultra Low Phase Noise Ultra Low Phase Noise
Femtosecond Clock Femtosecond Clock
Digital Input Optical ×2 ×2 ×1 ×1
Coaxial ×2 ×2 ×1 ×1
IIS LVDS ×1 ×1 ×1 ×1
USB ×1 ×1 ×1 ×1
Line Out RCA ×1 NO ×1 ×1
XLR ×1 NO ×1 ×1
Speaker Output NO [email protected]Ω NO NO
Headphone Output XLR4 and Dual XLR3 YES NO NO NO
TRS 6.35mm YES NO YES YES
Network LAN 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
WLAN 2.4GHz/5GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standard 2.4GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n standard
Volume Control Mode Hyper-Control MUSES 72320 Digital Volume Digital Volume
Relays Array+Digital Volume Resistor Divider Control Mode
USB Storage Device TF Card Slot×1
USB HOST×2
USB HOST×2
ARM Quad-core Dual-core
MA PLAYER Format Supported MP3, WMA, WAV, AIF, AIFC, AIFF, AAC, FLAC, OGG, APE, ALAC, M4A, DSF, DFF
PCM Sampling rate Up to 768kHz Up to 384kHz
DSD Sampling rate Up to 22.4MHz Up to 11.2MHz
AirPlay/DLNA YES
Roon Ready YES
MQA Support Decoder+Renderer Not Support
IR Remote YES
Power Supply Noratel Linear Power 40W Noratel Linear Power 25W Linear Power 30W External AC Adapter 20W
Dimensions 340×281×60mm 340×281×60mm 275×281×60mm 240×220×55mm
Net Weight 4.2kg 4.7Kg 3.7kg 1.5kg
MSRP 2999 USD 2499 USD 1799 USD 990 USD
element X element P element M
D/A chip ES9038 PRO ES9028 PRO ES9028 PRO
Clock Crystek CCHD-950
Ultra Low Phase Noise
Femtosecond Clock
Crystek CCHD-950
Ultra Low Phase Noise
Femtosecond Clock
SiTime Low Phase Noise Clock
Digital Input
Optical ×2 ×2 ×1
Coaxial ×2 ×2 ×1
IIS LVDS ×1 ×1 ×1
USB ×1 ×1 ×1
Line Out RCA, XLR Speaker RCA, XLR
Headphone Output
XLR4 and Dual XLR3 YES NO NO
TRS 6.35mm YES NO YES
NetworkLAN, WLAN
Volume Control Mode Hyper-Control
Relays Array+Digital Volume
MUSES 72320
Resistor Divider Control Mode
Digital Volume
USB Storage DeviceTF Card Slot×1 USB HOST×2
MA PLAYERYES
AirPlay/DLNAYES
Roon ReadyYES
MA REMOTEYES
IR RemoteYES
Dimensions 13.4" x 11.1" x 2.4" (340×281×60mm) 13.4" x 11.1" x 2.4" (340×281×60mm) 10.8" x 11.1" x 2.4" (275×281×60mm)
Net Weight 9.26 lb (4.2kg) 10.36 lb (4.7kg) 8.16 lb (3.7kg)
Price $2,999 USD $2,499 USD $1,799 USD

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.


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

pdf
(Size: 1.3 MB)
Matrix Audio configuration guide for DSD audio
pdf
(Size: 165.8 KB)
ESS Technology ES9038PRO SABRE DAC chip detailed features and specifications
pdf
(Size: 207.2 KB)
ESS Technology ES9311 Regulator Product Brief with detailed features and specifications
pdf
(Size: 360.1 KB)
Texas Instruments LME49600 Audio Buffer Specifications
pdf
(Size: 2.5 MB)
User Manual for the Matrix Audio element X combination music streaming device

Digital Input

COAXIAL & OPTICAL
PCM 16-24Bit /44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz
DSD 2.8MHz (DoP)
IIS LVDS
PCM 16-32Bit /44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz, 384kHz, 705.6kHz, 768kHz
DSD 2.8MHz, 5.6MHz, 11.2MHz (DoP)
DSD 2.8MHz, 5.6 MHz, 11.2 MHz, 22.4MHz, 45MHz (Native)
USB Audio
PCM 16-24Bit /44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz, 384kHz, 705.6kHz, 768kHz
DSD 2.8MHz, 5.6MHz, 11.2MHz (DoP)
DSD 2.8MHz, 5.6MHz, 11.2MHz, 22.4MHz (Native)

Line Output

XLR
SNR: > -131dB
THD+N: <0.00012%@1k, <0.00025%@20Hz-20kHz
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz ±0.05 [email protected]
Crosstalk : >-145dB
Output Level: [email protected] ,[email protected]+10dB
RCA
SNR: > -124dB
THD+N: <0.00012%@1k, <0.00025%@20Hz-20kHz
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz ±0.05 [email protected]
Channel Crosstalk : >-137db
Output Level: [email protected] , [email protected]+10dB

Headphone Output

XLR4 and Dual XLR3
SNR: >-117dB
THD+N: <0.00055%@20Hz-20kHz 1VRMS
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz ±0.05 [email protected]
Output Impedance: <1.5Ω
Output Power: [email protected]Ω, [email protected]Ω, [email protected]Ω, 1%THD
Gain: [email protected] Gain, [email protected] Gain
TRS 6.35mm
SNR: >-112dB
THD+N: <0.00055%@20Hz-20kHz 1VRMS
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz ±0.1 [email protected]
Output Impedance: <1.5Ω
Output Power: [email protected]Ω, [email protected]Ω, [email protected]Ω, 1%THD

General Features

Network
LAN: 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
WLAN: 2.4GHz/5GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standard
Supported Formats
MP3 , WMA , WAV , AIF, AIFC, AIFF, AAC, FLAC, OGG, APE, ALAC, M4A, DSF, DFF
PCM Sampling rate
PCM 16/24/32Bit 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz, 384kHz, 705.6kHz, 768kHz
DSD Sampling rate
DSD 2.8MHz, 5.6MHz, 11.2MHz, 22.4MHz
USB Storage Device
element X can use the devices which conform to the USB mass storage standard and supports FAT, FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS file formats, but is not guaranteed to be compatible with all storage devices or memory cards.
Power Voltage
230V position is fit for AC220V-240V 50/60Hz 115V position is fit for AC100V-120V 50/60Hz
Stand-by Power Consumption
<1W
Sleep Power Consumption
<4W
Max Power Consumption
<25W
Dimension
340×281×60mm (L×W×H, including protruding parts)
Weight
4.2kg
Accessories
RM3 remote control
Power cable
USB cable
WiFi antenna (x2)

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Browse 2 questions Browse 2 questions and 2 answers
Will this device connect wirelessly in a home using the Comcast router /modem? Thanks
Philip V on Oct 29, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Yes it has rabbit ears to connect wirelessly to home network. It will be seen as an endpoint for Roon or other similar services.
Does Jriver UPNP work with the Element X?
Ricky K Staff on Oct 8, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Yes. We have not played around this setup, as we use ROON here at the office, but the Element X should have no problem connecting via network to JRiver UPNP. Thank you.

Matrix Audio element X Music Streamer Unboxing

Matrix element X Features and Review

How to Add Streaming Services in the MA Remote App

Wi-Fi configuration introduction for MATRIX element series products

Operation intro of Music Lib in MA Remote

Manage storage devices on element streamer via MA Remote

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