- Jan 7, 2021
Just when I'm looking for an all in one box (streamer, DAC, headphone amp) and set on Element I, the 2 series is almost out. How come only the element I is discontinued from the previous generation?
Is it just me who thinks the 2 series Elements is a slight regression spec-wise on the headphone amp? Not that the difference is audible in most situations. But just surprising to see the latest generation of an audio gear takes a bit of a step back in some of the objective performance from a company which is known for engineering high quality products objectively.
Speaking of the I series the latest generation is an improvement design-wise and as far as UI goes it looks much better. In the end, the Element I, I think would be a better choice for me as it can do basically anything I can think of for my use case, the assurance that it will not have any issue with a variety of headphones/iem and then there is a price difference.
I contacted my local retailer that carries MA products and they will check if they can get an Element I for me. Otherwise, the I2 will have to wait until it is measured and review here before I consider it. Unfortunately, there is not much of an option out there for an all-in-one streamer like the MA audio offers that ticks many boxes objectively/quality-wise.
If you are looking for a more powerful headphone amp then the best choice for you from Matrix Audio would be the mini-i Pro 3. However, the mini-i Pro 3 has limited streaming capabilities as it works basically with Roon or Airplay or as a DAC. The i2 has all the streaming capabilities you can think of, including DLNA, Tidal and Spotify Connect, Airplay, Roon Ready and Qobuz. It has less power in the headphone section but it should be enough to drive very demanding headphones. The mini-i Pro 3 that I had, used to drive my DCA AEON 2 Noires without any effort at ear bleeding levels. The mini-i Pro 3 has about 25% more power @ 33Ohms compared to the i2. At 300Ohms and 600Ohms both have the same output.