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Matrix Mini I DAC/Amp
Matrix Mini I DAC/Amp
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So I have only been using the Matrix Mini I for a couple of days now but so far the Mini I is everything I could ask for in a DAC/Amp. The main reason for buying this was due to needing a balanced output to my JBL LSR305 and LSR310s. The amount of noise I was getting due to interference in the cables was enormous and was bottle-necking my setup. Once I connected my speakers to the Mini I balanced outputs all interference noise was immediately eliminated. I was able to hear my speakers with the unbalanced cable interference from across the room (not exaggerating) but now with the matrix mini I cant hear a single bit of noise even with my ear less than a foot away. So problem solved.
Though I also needed an amp and I was not too interested in having separate devices. So how is the Matrix Mini I as an all-in-one? Fantastic! I never would have imagined for this little device to really take my music to an entirely different level. I honestly would think upgrading from this would be rather useless unless you needed more features. Speaking of features the Mini I had a few that i loved. If you ever wanted to use a separate amp you can set the Mini I to be used as only a DAC. So anyone that has multiple amps laying around could still use them with the Mini I. The unbalanced and balanced connections (RCA and XLR) output together so you could also use multiple speakers as long as they are self powered speakers. You can also have the 1/4 headphone output be used along with the rear line outputs (which is a default setting) but I have mine set to be used separately. So when I connect my headphones to the Mini I my speakers are muted automatically which makes the most sense since obviously if I'm going to be listening to music on my headphones I will not be using my speakers.
Headphone output is something I cannot speak much on since I do not have any hard to run cans. Though everything I did connect to it sounded much better on the Mini I than any other interface I could use.
The drivers were easy to install and I read on the manual that the Mini I works natively on Mac so it is just plug and play. I am currently using the Mini I with windows 10. This drop does not come with the Matrix RM-1 remote but you can order one online and also the Apple MC377 remote works with the Mini I as well. So if you have an apple remote laying around you can go into your settings and change it to be used with the Apple remote instead of the Matrix remote (which only takes a second).
The build quality of the Mini I is outrageously fantastic. The Mini i feels extremely solid with almost no plastic to be found and looks very simplistic and elegant altogether. The volume knob turns in small steps instead of a continuous smooth motion. I prefer this knob a lot more than others I've tried since it gives a nice tactile feedback with the steps letting you know if you went up or down once without having to look at the screen. The screen itself it set to a brightness that isn't too dim with it also having decent resolution making it easy to read. The Mini I can warm up a bit but so far mine has not gotten to a temperature that is worrisome .
Overall I think the Matrix Mini I is Fantastic product. Its a DAC/Amp that executes its job perfectly while looking the part as well.
Did you test the Apple remote? When I asked them they said you had to use the "Asia" version and I am 99% sure there isn't an Asia" version. In head-fi I think a few people said the Apple remote wasn't working..
Nope I just read it but mine does have the option for it in the menu. So I'm pretty sure it's just a matter of what remote you have. When I went to configure something for my options for outputs it also had 2 different remote options instead of just one for the original matrix controller. So I'm pretty sure it would work. It just doesn't work out of the box if you never configure it though so I'm guessing some people didn't know and said the apple remote doesn't work with it. Though if it is an actual issue due to some thing else then I have no idea. I might buy one soon and test it out but until then I have no real answer.
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