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Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro 3 Review (Streamer & DAC)

enricoclaudio

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Just emailed Matrix Audio customer support and also posted it in Roon Community forum so more customers complain about these issues.
 

MatrixAudio

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The new firmware C713B8 for Mini-i Pro 3 no longer support auto brightness & auto standby settings in menu. I asked official support for the change, they insisted it's not a bug without further explanation. I feel so disappointed. @MatrixAudio

BTW: another side effect of this version is, if you stay in the setting menu (rear button) without operations for quite a long time, the UI won't go back to playback interface automatically. It makes me feel inconvenient, though it's not that annoying compared to auto brightness & auto standby issue.
I'm experiencing the same issue. The auto brightness option no longer works - the display now stays bright when I select this option. Very disappointing that @MatrixAudio ignored you on this.
Hi both.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
It seemed a new bug in the C7 firmware. The dev team have aknowlaged this issue. We will fix it by next update.
Thanks for your patience.
 

Veri

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Yes I have. The SU-9 also has the ES9038 chip and therefore the same filters. I think the headphone part makes the difference.
Yeah.. filters don't change sound considerably. I'm confused when I read the opposite but they really don't. At most you lose some of the upper high frequencies.
 

tarnopol

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Long-time lurker, but this is my first post here, so Hi all!

I recently received my Mini-i Pro 3, and while I like the sound very much, I have a problem with Roon Live Radio. No matter if the DAC is connected via wifi or ethernet, the stream will always break off after 5-10 sec , with the Roon app telling me something to the effect that the stream address has changed or is temporarily not available. This also happens with the DAC directly connected to the router via ethernet.

The DAC came with the latest firmware already installed (C713B8), which is currently rolling out.

The odd thing is, Roon albums or playlists from Tidal or my local storage are playing just fine, even with a less than great wifi signal.

Could you Mini-i 3 Pro owners please test for me if Roon live radio is working for you? Much appreciated!
 

JoetheLion

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Could you Mini-i 3 Pro owners please test for me if Roon live radio is working for you? Much appreciated!
Tried it, some local radio stations and Radio Paradise, no problems. By the way: unlike e.g. Bluesound devices, Radio Paradise title and artist are not shown on display.
 

tarnopol

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Tried it, some local radio stations and Radio Paradise, no problems. By the way: unlike e.g. Bluesound devices, Radio Paradise title and artist are not shown on display.

Thank you for testing. Strangely, everything is working fine with other Roon endpoints (Chromecast Audio, iPad, etc.). I'm really at a loss right now where I should start looking to solve this.
 

enricoclaudio

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Tried it too. Radio Paradise working just fine and others non local radio stations too.
 

tarnopol

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Tried it too. Radio Paradise working just fine and others non local radio stations too.

Thank you, so the DAC apparently is not the culprit here. Matrix Audio Support also tested this today for me and said everything was working for them and the problem should be something on my end / my network. So I guess I need to keep guessing...
 

enricoclaudio

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Thank you, so the DAC apparently is not the culprit here. Matrix Audio Support also tested this today for me and said everything was working for them and the problem should be something on my end / my network. So I guess I need to keep guessing...

Did you update your Roon Core to Build 790? If yes, try restarting the Roon Core. If not, then install Build 790.
 

tarnopol

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Did you update your Roon Core to Build 790? If yes, try restarting the Roon Core. If not, then install Build 790.

Yes, everything is up to date and all the other end points in my house are working. Really strange. I can send my radio stream to the Matrix via Airplay, so it's not the end of the world, but I'd rather have Roon performing at 100%.
 

biglebowski

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But missing Spotify Connect, which has a vastly bigger audience than Roon. Matrix has been promising Spotify Connect for a year or so now but has gone quiet on the topic now.

I also think it's too bad Spotify Connect is missing on this unit.
What about connecting a Pi running Volumio which features Spotify Connect to one of the digital inputs of the Matrix ?

I am wondering if I could get the Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 to display the track information on the screen if I do this connecting the Pi to the USB or I2S input of the Matrix device ? @MatrixAudio any idea ? :)
 
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enricoclaudio

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I also think it's too bad Spotify Connect is missing on this unit.
What about connecting a Pi running Volumio which features Spotify Connect to one of the digital inputs of the Matrix ?

I am wondering if I could get the Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 to display the track information on the screen if I do this connecting the Pi to the USB or I2S input of the Matrix device ? @MatrixAudio any idea ? :)

It won't. You get full MQA and HR files playing up to 768KHz but it does not show tack info, not album artwork.
 

Orpheus

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I also think it's too bad Spotify Connect is missing on this unit.
What about connecting a Pi running Volumio which features Spotify Connect to one of the digital inputs of the Matrix ?

I am wondering if I could get the Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 to display the track information on the screen if I do this connecting the Pi to the USB or I2S input of the Matrix device ? @MatrixAudio any idea ? :)

Just curious, if you want Spotify Connect so much, why don't you use Airplay? The Mini-i Pro 3 will show all the track information and album art in this way.

If you are not using Apple products, you can search for HiFy app on the Google Playstore, allowing Android users to stream Spotify (Premium) to the Mini-i Pro 3 via Airplay. So basically, your Mini-i Pro 3 will show up under the "Devices Available" in the Spotify app.

I've tested this app and it shows all the track information and album art too.
 

SergioRZ

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Airplay works perfectly with Spotify - iPhone - Matrix :)

The only time I miss having Spotify Connect is when I play Spotify from my Windows Laptop (sometimes I have to) and it uses Bluetooth instead to connect to the Matrix, which is not ideal for best sound quality.

Is there any way to connect Laptop - Matrix using Airplay, any app for that?
 

Orpheus

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Airplay works perfectly with Spotify - iPhone - Matrix :)

The only time I miss having Spotify Connect is when I play Spotify from my Windows Laptop (sometimes I have to) and it uses Bluetooth instead to connect to the Matrix, which is not ideal for best sound quality.

Is there any way to connect Laptop - Matrix using Airplay, any app for that?

Not tested, but AirParrot 3 should work. If you tried, let us know the result.
 

biglebowski

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Just curious, if you want Spotify Connect so much, why don't you use Airplay?

I am an iPhone user (since less than a year though, after my Essential Phone died). And yes indeed this would be the way to stream Spotify while having all the info on the screen.

Maybe I have not investigate AirPlay 2 enough but I think Spotify Connect is quite different since you don’t stream from your phone to the preamp. The phone (or the PC, or any other device running Spotify with your login) is only acting as a remote asking the streamer/preamp to stream on its own directly from Spotify servers. Which means the phone is not involved in the playback. You can even turn it off , you save battery, can play other media on the phone without interaction with the Spotify playback, etc.

I need to experience Airplay more, check how much it will drain the phone battery and global behavior between the Apple devices at home. I will do this as a test on the system I use for the moment which is compatible with both streaming options. Try to stop using Spotify connect and run Airplay instead for a while.

It may be the solution for my needs :) Definitely an option to consider thank you for reminding this !
 
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MaadScience

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You can Airplay Spotify from iPhone to Matrix, and for example still watch youtube videos on the phone simultaneously. However, you are right about the phone needing to be on and connected to wifi, etc. Another solution would be to Airplay from a computer, which you can then control with your phone through Spotify Connect, and turn the phone off/disconnect it from wifi if you're not using it.

I switched to Roon in order to have bit-perfect playback of Flac files, etc. for which the Mini-i 3 is a perfect solution. I used Spotify through Airplay for years, and to my ears Airplay does a fine job transmitting Spotify's 320kbps (does anyone know otherwise?) I used a cheap Apple TV into my DAC. In my opinion the Matrix is overkill if you're only using Spotify/Airplay, since you're not taking advantage of the hardware's hi-res capability.

I am an iPhone user (since less than a year though, after my Essential Phone died). And yes indeed this would be the way to stream Spotify while having all the info on the screen.

Maybe I have not investigate AirPlay 2 enough but I think Spotify Connect is quite different since you don’t stream from your phone to the preamp. The phone (or the PC, or any other device running Spotify with your login) is only acting as a remote asking the streamer/preamp to stream on its own directly from Spotify servers. Which means the phone is not involved in the playback. You can even turn it off , you save battery, can play other media on the phone without interaction with the Spotify playback, etc.

I need to experience Airplay more, check how much it will drain the phone battery and global behavior between the Apple devices at home. I will do this as a test on the system I use for the moment which is compatible with both streaming options. Try to stop using Spotify connect and run Airplay instead for a while.

It may be the solution for my needs :) Definitely an option to consider thank you for reminding this !
 

SergioRZ

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I think Airplay can stream full resolution, it's not like Bluetooth... Airplay should allow for high-res streaming, from whatever source is playing (obviously not Spotify), is this not correct? I'd like to know because I was presuming this to be the case with Airplay.
 
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