Matrix Announces Mini-i Pro 3 Streamer Featuring MQA
The audio company is a world-class leader in providing reference-class devices. Many consider Matrix audio a pioneer for bringing the ESS ES9038 pro SABRE chip to its limits.
The Matrix element X was way ahead of its time as a Roon compatible DAC and streamer. The new Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 is a high-quality music playback and streaming solution.
With more and more audiophiles choosing network streaming as a method of consuming digital audio, the DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) and streamer can make or break their set-up.
Solid Two-Color Aluminum Design
This fourth iteration of the mini-i series from Matrix audio has the same classic design and superb build from the previous generation. The new Mini-i Pro 3 uses a two-color aluminum shell in silent black and space gray along with a 3.3-inch LCD screen and a brand new user interface.
ESS SABRE DAC Chip
The Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 uses the ES9038Q2M SABRE DAC chip widely recognized as the gold standard in audio digital-to-analog converter (DAC) technology.
By bypassing the low quality, DACs found in many PCs; Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 turns any network-connected PC into a high-end audiophile source by converting digital audio to analog through the ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip.
The ES9038Q2M DAC chip inside the Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 uses a high-precision femtosecond Crystek CCHD-950 clock for asynchronous USB audio transfer. In contrast, the femtosecond clock dramatically reduces jitter for better digital signal integrity and higher precision.
Hi-Res PCM and DSD audio data are supported at sampling rates up to 768kHz, alongside 22.4MHz for DSD (Native), thereby enabling the highest quality sound possible.
Stream Your Music From Anywhere
Adding a streaming functionality into the new Mini-i Pro 3 is how Matrix audio separates itself from the competition. Matrix added streaming functionality into the Mini-i series enables smooth playback from a vast selection of music sources.
With Roon Ready playback, you can stream bit-perfect music through the Mini-i Pro 3 over a LAN, or push music to from an iPhone, iPad, or any MAC computer on the network using AirPlay.
Dual-Band WiFi (5GHz + 2.4GHz)
For the network connection, Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 offers both wired Ethernet and built-in dual bank WiFi support. The wired ethernet connection is available through the RJ45 connector.
In contrast to the previous model, the new Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 uses an internal, hidden antenna for dual-band WiFi support. Hence, ensuring a fast and stable, wireless audio transmission without affecting the look of the device.
The Bluetooth receiver of the Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 supports modern codecs such as SBC, AAC, apt-X, apt-X HD, and apt-X lower latency to allow for compatibility with a wide range of devices. At the same time, the Mini-i Pro supports LDAC, thereby enabling Hi-Res wireless music playback, reaching up to 96kHz / 24bit.
Full Hardware MQA Decoder
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is an award-winning British technology that delivers the original master recording’s sound over a small, easy to stream file.
Hardware MQA decoding allows users to reap the full benefits of what this technology has to offer. Users can decode MQA files from their local NAS, home networks, and the various internet streaming audio services that offer MQA streaming.
Digital & Analog Inputs/Analog Outputs
The Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 is a complete solution offering a wide range of inputs/outputs, including Gigabit Ethernet, RCA, XLR, and more digital inputs, including USB-C, and I2S.
The USB input interface is a USB-C port on the back of the Matrix Mini-i Pro 3. The I2S input port uses an HDMI connection to transmit the audio signal separate from the audio clock. Note: the I2S follows the LVDS pinout.
The RCA and XLR analog inputs can connect to analog equipment and vinyl turntables. The S/PDIF and coaxial inputs are an easily accessible connection to smart TVs, computers, CD players, and modern gaming consoles. The numerous features show the Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 to be a unique, all-in-one solution for analog and digital enthusiasts alike.
Front LCD Color Display
In addition to the features mentioned above, the Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 also includes a 24-bit color front LCD that indicates active inputs, streaming protocols, device configuration, filter curves, and the IIS interface definitions.
The front display gives users full access and control to the features of the Mini-i Pro 3, including but not limited to, full-color GUI, changing inputs, WiFi connections, changing digital filters, and of course volume adjustment.
Matrix audio uses the intuitive GUI to integrate hardware and software for improved user experience. The UI is simple and easy to use.
Powerful Balanced Headphone Amplifier
The Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 caters to today’s modern audiophile by including a mighty and redesigned amplification circuit that promises an ultra-low THD+N of 0.00028%. Matrix audio wanted to hit a home run with this one, as they increased the single-ended power output by 50%, and by more than 370% for the balanced connection.
In addition to the 6.35mm connection, Matrix audio added a 4.4mm balanced connector to make the Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 compatible with a wide range of headphones and IEMs. For fans of wireless headphones, Matrix Mini-i 3 Pro also makes the task of connecting wireless headphones a simple one.
Headphone enthusiasts will be happy to know that the new amplifier in Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 can deliver up to 1900mW@33Ω of balanced power and 1270mW@33Ω for single-ended devices, thus efficiently meeting the of the most demanding of users. At the same time, the Mini-i 3 pro is capable of driving high-impedance and planar magnetic headphones.
The Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 is a Roon Ready high-performance audio streamer that allows you to use streaming services on smartphones, tablets, and computers to explore new music. The Mini-i Pro 3 can act as Roon endpoint and decode bit-perfect audio transmitted over Roon.
Constant Improvements & Upgrades
Matrix audio will add new features and release new firmware updates that improve the user experience. Connecting to a network and upgrading to the latest firmware should be an easy task.