Matrix Audio Element X or Mini-i 3

I’m thinking about another small Roon endpoint, which will used only with headphones.
From the specs and tests the Element X seems to be much better, but the Mini is the cheaper and newer device.
Had anyone compared the two devices?

I have both. The price differential sums it up. Both are worth it to me.

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I don’t have an element X but I do have the Element M and mini pro 3.

Element M feeds my main Hifi rig.

I use the Pro 3 in my home (non work / private) office. Used just with headphones at the moment and will add a pair of powered monitors in due course.

I think both matrix products are great build, sound and feature wise. Their customer support is also very good.

I do have a caveat though. For headphone use only I believe there’s better options that are also available at a fraction of the cost. The element M has no balanced headphone out and the pro 3 has a very high z value based on spec sheet. This is a mute point for driving planar cans but may affect dynamic cans.

For use to drive cans only, i would personally be looking at a pi based endpoint feeding a dedicated head amp (with onboard dac or dac hat on the pi).

There are a bunch of great chi-fi head amp / dac available for limited outlay these days.

All depends what you need the gear to do beyond headphones.

For the price of the Element X you could pick up a pi4, balanced head amp, great pair of cans and a decent aftermarket cable.

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So I’ve changed my mind and ordered a more mobile unit: Astell&Kern SP2000 (I’m already owing already some AKs and love them), which I can use directly as Roon endpoint and also as DAC for a RPi.

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Very nice.
What’s the battery life like on the AK players?

For the small SR25 it’s about 21h, for the bigger one SP2000 only about 8h, but you can let play while loading.

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Cheers, good to know.