Matrix Element X2 vs. X2 Pure: Feature Comparison

Feature Creature or Streamlined Performance?

In the world of DACs and streamers, Matrix Audio has earned its place as a top-tier manufacturer. Two of their standout offerings, the Matrix element X2 and the Matrix element X2 Pure, each bring unique features and benefits to the table. In this comparison, we'll dive into the similarities and differences between these two models, helping you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Design & Build

Both the Matrix element X2 and the Matrix element X2 Pure share a sleek, modern aesthetic that blends seamlessly into any high-end audio setup. Their CNC machined aluminum chassis ensure durability and excellent heat dissipation. The large OLED displays on the front panels provide an intuitive interface for controlling settings and monitoring audio parameters.

Matrix Element X2 Streamer

DAC & Audio Performance

The Matrix element X2 and the Matrix element X2 Pure share the same high-quality DAC (digital-to-analog converter) chip: the ESS ES9038PRO. This chip is known for its exceptional performance, offering ultra-low distortion and an impressive dynamic range. Furthermore, both models are equipped with a femtosecond clock system that reduces jitter and enhances audio clarity.


The element X2 boasts a slightly higher SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) of 131dB compared to the X2 Pure's 130dB. The X2's THD+N (total harmonic distortion plus noise) is -120dB, while the X2 Pure has a THD+N of -118dB. These subtle differences indicate that the element X2 offers marginally better audio performance.

Streamer & Connectivity

Both the element X2 and the X2 Pure come equipped with an internal streamer, allowing users to enjoy high-quality music streaming from services like Tidal, Qobuz, and Spotify. They also support DLNA, Roon Ready, and Apple AirPlay. Additionally, both products provide a USB input for external storage.

However, the element X2 has some notable connectivity advantages over the X2 Pure. The X2 features a built-in headphone amplifier with balanced XLR and unbalanced 6.35mm outputs, while the X2 Pure lacks these outputs.

Matrix element X2 Pure Streamer

Use Cases: Which One is Right for You?

The Matrix element X2 is a feature-packed streamer that offers a slightly better audio performance than the X2 Pure, thanks to its marginally higher SNR and lower THD+N. It also comes with additional connectivity options, such as a built-in headphone amplifier and USB input for external storage. If you want a versatile, all-in-one solution for your high-end audio setup, the element X2 is an excellent choice.

On the other hand, the Matrix element X2 Pure is a streamlined option that focuses on delivering high-quality DAC and streaming performance without the added features of the element X2. If you don't need a built-in headphone amplifier and prefer a more straightforward, streamlined DAC/streamer, the X2 Pure might be a better fit for your needs.

Explore our Matrix Audio collection for more details and to find the perfect audio solution for your needs. Remember, we offer free shipping, a price match guarantee, a one-year transferable warranty, and a 45-day return policy to ensure your satisfaction.


When deciding between the Matrix element X2 and the Matrix element X2 Pure, it all comes down to your specific needs and preferences. If you require a built-in headphone amplifier and additional connectivity options, the element X2 is the ideal choice. For those who value a more streamlined, focused DAC/streamer without the extra features, the X2 Pure is a fantastic alternative. Whichever you choose, you can trust that Matrix Audio delivers high-quality performance and an enjoyable listening experience.