Matrix Audio Element S In the House

Just received the new Matrix Audio Element S streamer drop shipped from China.

Size is similar to the Element I2 minus the volume dial and headphone jacks.

One surprise - they apparently are not including a remote (cheap move)? Also it does not yet work with Roon so I had to test it with Tidal Connect.

How does it sound? I2S into R2R Pontus II DAC, Woo Audio WA22 balanced tube headphone amp XLR in, and Meze Elite with balanced cable:

Compared to Lumin U1 Mini with linear power supply upgrade using USB it sounds clearer, a little more depth, punchier....but mainly clearer like the Lumin has just a slight veil on it or is just slightly rolled off.

Compared to PI 2 Design Mercury 2 with linear power supply - it sounds exactly the same thru I2S connection. So why buy the more expensive Element? Nicer package all in one versus black box with external power supply.

Compared to anything else I have without the I2S connection - there is no comparison. Lots of gear up for sale soon.

Will report more later after it runs for a few days.


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Thanks for the reply.

I am completely sold on using I2S connections from streamer to DACs. The sound is noticeably better than any other connection type.

And by the way if you find a streamer / DAC combo that you like then you have the same thing. Internal communication between components on the main board is by I2S protocol. But often those all in ones are not to the same quality with the internal DAC or internal streamer as buying high quality separates.

Hello Calieng,
I just purchased the Element s for the same reason you did. i have a Venus 2 and want to use the I2s output of the Element. Was it an easy process getting the Element to connect with the Venus? Can you please let me know what you did to use the correct pin out design.



I bought the Element S for the purpose of using it with i2s specifically through Roon.  It's been 5 months since its release and Matrix Audio is struggling to get the Element S Roon Ready certified.  

MA has been awful in communicating updates about the issues keeping the Element S from being certified.  In mid-August, MA said they were working with Roon to work out "one small bug".  Since then MA has not responded to multiple requests for updates. Obviously, the problem involves more than one small bug; otherwise MA is very inept.

It's a real shame how MA has chosen to deal with the situation. Frankly, I suspect there are multiple issues with the Element S and I have doubts it will be as Roon Ready by Roon any time soon.  MA has lost my trust and my business.  There are plenty of alternative streamer options in this price range, and I will look elsewhere.

I purchased one thru Apos and returned it last week.

Setting up i2s to the Denafrips was easy enough. Tidal Connect was buggier than my budget streamer, but seemed good enough. Except the most recent firmware upgrade made the opening few seconds of every tidal track completely garbled thru Tidal Connect. When back to budget streamer, couldn't repro. Didn't happen 100% of the time, but often enough I decided to return it.

I had some concerns it wasn't a product Matrix was fully committed to, but I really wanted that i2s, sadly the streaming bug scared me off.

I didn't realize Apos had 20% restocking + shipping fees when returning within 30 days (ouch, but still no regrets returning it)


I had this same problem after the recent firmware update. Was able to fix the problem by changing from a WLAN to a LAN connection.

The Element S now works perfectly and sounds great!

Matrix Audio service and communication is terrible.

There is a Denafrips tutorial on YouTube for changing the pin-out configuration of the I2S input. I think it's 0-0-0-0.

Matrix Audio settings offer a few choices and I used setting "A" .

And as I said in my earlier message, the recent Matrix firmware update caused some streaming stuttering if using a WLAN connection. I changed to a LAN connection and this corrects the problem.

So for now, WLAN isn't really working. Maybe they'll fix it eventually with a firmware update.     Matrix and Apos both have pretty crappy service.