New X-Sabre 3 with ethernet and WiFi

The new X-Sabre 3 looks like a nice little unit.
With ethernet and WiFi, and Roon Ready.


I have the X-Sabre Pro MQA. great device, I sell it, and I buy a Sabre 3. Thanks for the info.


It has the same Sabre ES9038PRO chip that my Cocktail Audio X45PRO has, and I love that. This is much smaller, and has the i2s capability. If this had been available back when I bought the Cocktail, I would have bought this, and saved $2000. Sighhhhh! Oh, well.

I had the xsabre Pro mqa and i2s on it was awesome! This new unit is extremely tempting.

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Looking forward to get this one by the end of the year. I love my mini-i Pro 3 and pretty sure I’m going to love the X-Sabre 3 as well :wink:

I use the X-Saber Pro MQA, I want to sell it and I will buy the X-Saber III

My Matrix Audio X-SABRE 3 shipped today. Should arrive next Wednesday. I will post some photos and impressions as soon it’s up and running.


im waiting :slight_smile:

Hi guys, today got delivery of the New Matrix Audio X-SABRE 3 DAC/Streamer.

First let me tell you that I’m a big fan of Matrix Audio products. They are to me the Oppo of streamers. Their products show a level of quality and attention to detail that excels over other companies, including some that charge almost 3 times for products with even less performance. I got a Matrix Audio mini-i Pro 3 at the beginning of the year and I have been using it every single day for about 6 hours every day without a single glitch. I use Roon as my streaming platform with local library stored in a Synology DS1019+ NAS, Qobuz and TIDAL services and everything works like a charm. I also have an ARCAM ST60 and Bluesound NODE. All 4 streamers are Roon Ready and all of them work perfectly fine in my Roon ecosystem.

You can follow my full review at ASR. Here is the link:

Here some photos:

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Very nice Enrico :+1:

Thank you. I also use Matrix X-Saber PRO MQA. I will exchange it for the X-Saber 3 when I sell the MQA. In your spare time, give some pictures of the display in different modes.



I am currently looking for a seperate DAC that I can use instead of the internal DAC of my Hegel H390. Many others around here suggest a Lumin T2 in conjunction with the Hegel H390, but that is a lot of money for me. The X-Sabre 3 looks awesome and the specs are amazing as well. Do you guys think that the X-Sabre 3 would still be an update in comparison to the internal DAC of the Hegel H390?

Also I would be interested in a comparison between the Element X and the X-Sabre 3. My local Hifi-Dealer can provide an Element X for testing but not the new X-Sabre 3. However, I am not really interested in the headphone amplifier of the Element X, so my main concern would be the performance of the DACs of these two products. Are those comparable or does the X-Sabre 3 perform even better in this regard?

Thank you for any suggestions! :+1:

Hi Sebastian,

I just received my X-Sabre 3 yesterday and have it feeding a Benchmark AHB2 and then Kef R5s in a medium room. I was initially confused about the MA Remote app being part of the operation, but Enrico above helped me on the Matrix forum; the MA Remote app doesn’t work with the X-Sabre 3.

The X-Sabre 3 has exceptional THD+N (<0.0001% @ 1k/<0.00025% 20-20k) as specified by the manufacturer who has been reliable in terms of the quality and measurements of their products in the past. With the most recent firmware, Roon works perfectly for me (Qobuz and streaming radio mostly) and I’ve experimented with FLACs, DSD, and MQAs, though Enrico’s observations and bugs are worth noting. Hegel has had mixed measurements in terms of DAC SINAD performance (see Audio Science Review, for example) but have more recently claimed better results.

It’s hard to give a definitive answer to your question but hope you find the above data points useful.


Like Mark mentioned, initially the X-SABRE 3 had so many bugs that I thought my unit was broken so I sent it back and asked for a replacement. During the long 3 weeks for the replacement to arrive, Matrix Audio was able to release a new firmware that fixed the 7 bugs I have had reported to MA. Yesterday I got my replacement unit and after updating the firmware I can confirm that all the bugs previously reported are gone for good. The only bug still present is related to TIDAL Connect and Matrix Audio is already working on a fix directly with TIDAL. As far as SQ, all I can say is that the X-SABRE 3 is by far one of the best Streamers/DACs currently on the market and it would be very hard to find something like it even below $10K. The only other streamer/DAC that could come close to this level of performance and features is the Lumin X1 ($14000).

Thank you @ExUnoPlura and @Enrico_Castagnetti for your insights. Even though I was looking for a Roon Ready streamer with DAC, I ended up buying a Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE, which I was able to compare to the Element X.
While the sound of the Element X was really impressive at first, I noticed myself constantly changing volume because it became slightly annoying after a few minutes of listening. Also, the preamp module in the Element X doesn’t fit well to my Hegel H390, as the range for volume changes is super small. Within 10 steps the volume level changed from being way too low to way too loud. With the Spring 3 KTE and the additional preamp module, I don’t have these issues. The sound is just fantastic and I can listen to it all day long.
Nevertheless, I must admit that both DACs would have been a significant upgrade in comparison to the internal Hegel DAC. I have a feeling that the USB implementation of Hegel is just bad compared to the Spring. With the Element X, the wireless connection provided the required isolation between the core and the DAC.

To conclude: the combination of Matrix Audio and Hegel is not my cup of tea - at least with regard to the Element X and the H390. However, for all H390 owners, there is big potential in improving the sound quality by upgrading the internal DAC of the Hegel H390!

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New firmware for the X-SABRE 3 adds MA Remote app support.

Thanks for the head up, Enrico!

Just took delivery of and installed the X-SABRE 3. Nucleus+, LAN, DAC, ifi iCan Pro ids Signature headphone amp, various headphones. Fantastic, I must say. If you get it, make sure to do the firmware update right away or Roon won’t find it on the LAN and other things won’t be right. I have found no flaws as of now, unless amazing sound is a flaw.

Since this post I have had minor issues with the unit, particularly LAN dropouts when going into standby, only recoverable by powering off and on. Firmware version v1.0.4 Build003 is out and fixes the issue. This release appears rock solid to me and the unit is working great.

A heads up about the newest firmware: In addition to providing MA Remote, the volume ranges in Roon change from -129dB to 0dB to use a 0 to 100 scale. This likely impacts almost no one, but I was using Roon Command Line control to automate via Siri capabilities and, wow, almost blew my ears…