I am looking for some advices regarding MA Element M. It would be cool if there are any users of it. I am considering using it as streamer + DAC + headphone AMP.
I want to use it to stream music from my Roon Core based on NUC via Wi-Fi. My mobile phone is not compatible with their app. I can install it only on my DAP - iBasso DX160. Is Wi-Fi connection setup one time operation? Will Element M remember all settings?
Are there going to be any limitations due to not having their mobile app? I am not going to use DAP as a remote. One time for Wi-Fi setup is ok but I do not want to use it frequently this way.
How do I connect Element M to Roon? Should I use network as input? I would like to use it’s optical in with my desktop PC in as well. Will all settings be preserved when switching between Roon and optical in?
Element M uses one gain stage and offers over 1W of power for low impedance headphones. Isn’t volume control too limited in effective range when used with hi sensitivity headphones? Or is it fully digital control and knob rotates without limits?
Any potential issues that I should be aware of? Currently I have a spare HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro with Ropieee. I am considering RME ADI-2 DAC connected to it as an alternative to MA Element M. Which one would you pick?
My NUC uses wired connection and is based on Ubuntu Server. It works as Roon Core, music storage and Wi-Fi router with DHCP server. This way I have Roon-dedicated Wi-Fi that endpoints connect to. I frequently attend to auditions in audio shops and audio meetups. The less gear + cables to carry, the better for me. This way I do not need a separate router and ethernet cables for those events. Of course NUC has no Internet access during meetups but it streams music to endpoint with no issues via it’s own Wi-Fi. At home my NUC uses wired connection to download updates.
Going back to main topic - I want to replace my network player, DAC and AMP with one device and I am gathering info regarding MA.
I don’t own any of the Matrix Audio Element line-up, but I have been doing a fair bit of research on the X myself as a potential purchase. To that end, it will remember the Wi-Fi configuration once programmed. But you will need their app to apply any firmware updates they release. So it’s not quite a “use it once and forget it” thing. But firmware updates won’t be that frequent (though there have been updates since the X at least was originally released. This is one reason people like Matrix Audio – they actually support and improve their products after they have shipped.)
As to using it with Roon, it runs Roon Bridge so should just show up as an available device to enable in Roon once connected to the same network as your Roon Core. I don’t know if the Element series remembers settings on a per-input basis or not, unfortunately. But assuming all inputs are fed at reference level (generally true), I wouldn’t think there would be much need to change settings by input. That’s usually an output thing – e.g., different volume levels for the headphone vs. pre-outs. I don’t know if it does separate volume settings by output, either, though.