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Matrix Audio mini-i Pro + 2015 Review – A Balanced DAC with Headphone AMP

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Matrix Audio has been in the audio industry for many years and has been garnering positive feedback regarding their DAC and Headphone amplifiers. If you are familiar with the company, I’m sure you know what I mean. However, for those who are unfamiliar with the company yet, this is a good time to know about their products specially if you love music and you simply want to enjoy your music with utmost detail and quality. Today, we are going to review the new Matrix Audio mini-i Pro + 2015 edition, powered by ESS Technology’s ES9016 Sabre DAC paired with a new XMOS chip supporting 32bit/384KHz PCM signal playback and DSD64/128/256 digital signal playback. It features a digital volume control, a nice OLED display, various input and output connectivity options and many more. Find out more about Matrix Audio’s mini-i Pro + 2015 in our review below.

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Matrix Audio mini-i Pro + 2015

Matrix Audio mini-i Pro + 2015 Review

Before we proceed, I’d like to thank Matrix Audio for providing the unit in exchange for my honest opinion and for the purpose of this review.

Let’s talk about the features of the Matrix Audio mini-i Pro + 2015 first. The company didn’t change the external design of the mini-I Pro 2015 compared to the 2014 model. In fact, it looks exactly the same with the older model, and you wouldn’t notice the difference at all. Most of the changes in the new mini-I Pro 2015 were done internally, and I find it more of an updated version rather than the 2014’s successor. However, I think Matrix Audio could have at least clearly labeled the new 2015 edition to avoid confusion.

In the new Mini-i Pro + 2015 model, Matrix Audio upgraded the XMOS chip inside and now supports up to 32bit/384KHz PCM and up to DSD 256 digital playback. Unlike the non pro version, the mini-i Pro features a high performance 32-bit, 8-channel ESS ES9016 Sabre32 Ultra DAC equipped with Time Domain Jitter Eliminator and ESS patented 32-bit Hyperstream architecture that can handle up to 32-bit PCM data via I2S input, as well as DSD and SPDIF data.

The Mini-I Pro + 2015 also features Texas Instruments’ ultra-low distortion audio op-amp LME49720 paired with a high fidelity TPA6120 headphone amplifier, making sure that the device can drive even the most demanding headphones on the market. It also features a precision digital volume control with OLED display, and a number of input connectors like Optical, AES/EBU, and Coaxial that supports up to 24/bit 192KHz of digital playback. As for output ports, both the balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA output can be connected at the same time. However, depending on your “Working Mode” the RCA line or the headphone out may automatically mute or shut down.

I’ll talk about more of its features as we take a closer look on the mini-i Pro + 2015 on the next page. Meanwhile, you can check out its full specifications below.

Matrix Audio mini-i Pro 2015 Specifications

D/A ChipESS Technology ES9016 Sabre Ultra 32-bit D/A Chip8 mono to 2 stereo configuration, four D/A converters per channel
Digital InputCoaxial16-24Bit /44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz
Optical16-24Bit /44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz
AES/EBU16-24Bit /44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz
USBPCM 16-32Bit /44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz, 384kHz
DoP - DSD DSD64/DSD128
ASIO Native - DSD64/DSD128/DSD256
Note- Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1 systems need to install the driver supplied
- Mac OS X 10.6.4 and above version have native support and do not require a driver
- Can be used with the most of Android devices via the OTG cable
- Can be used with iOS devices via the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter
Analog OutputRCA Output Level2Vrms at 0dBFS
XLR Output Level4Vrms at 0dBFS(XLR:1=GND,2=HOT,3=COLD)
Frequency Response20Hz-20kHz(+0.01dB/-0.03dB)
SNR>-115dB unweighted >-117dB A-weighted
THD+N< 0.0006% at 1kHz A-Weighted
Cross Talk-125dB at 1kHz
Headphone Output Impedance12ohms
Headphone Output Power780mw at 33ohms/140mw at 300ohms/80mw at 600ohms at THD+N=0.01%
PowerPower Voltage230V position is fit for AC 220V-240V 50/60Hz
115V position is fit for AC 100V-120V 50/60Hz
Power Consumption< 15W
FuseAC250V/1A 5x20mm
OthersDimension168mm × 200mm × 46mm L×W×H (Including the protruding part)
Weight1.3kg

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