Compendium updated: April 13th, 2021.
If your sights are set on an all-in-one DAC/amp/streamer, look no further than the Matrix Mini-i 3/Pro 3. With Bluetooth 5.0, a full-color display, and MQA (Pro version only), it’s virtually future-proof. But what do the critics think?
We’ve compiled reviews from across the web for your reference. What you’ll find here are the TLDR versions of the full reviews (which you can access with the provided links). We’ll continue updating this compendium as reviews come in.
From Audio Science Reviews' review of the Matrix Mini-i 3/Pro 3, first published on March 26th, 2021:
“As is typical of Matrix, proper engineering is used to design the system and verify the performance of mini-i Pro 3. Strong objective and subjective results are reflected here as a result. The only tiny negative I see is that the noise floor has regressed a bit relative to last generation product. I could not detect it in listening tests and dynamic range is still well above 16 bit however.
“I am going to recommend the Matrix mini-i Pro 3. Yes, $1000 is a lot of money but you are getting a fully integrated high performance DAC and streamer. Hard to find a configuration like this cheaper.”
From SoundNews' review of the Matrix Mini-i 3/Pro 3, first published on November 1st, 2020:
“I don’t know how, it wasn’t a goal of mine, but I’m just finishing my 13-th page, I still wanted to cover its MQA capabilities but this review already reads like a book so I’ll just stop here.
“Matrix Audio is a manufacturer that I am very fond of, because they are making some of the finest digital converters at affordable prices. I still consider their X-Sabre Pro as one of the best ESS-Sabre DAC in existence and their Element X is easily the most complete and feature packed all-in-one device. I knew a day would come when they would start trickling down technology and putting it in smaller and more affordable units. Everything is in here: MQA, Balanced headphone drive, balanced outputs, great preamplifier section, Bluetooth capability, AirPlay 2 and a full-fledged streamer via Roon in a small elegant metal box. Can you really ask for more? I’m yet to experience such a full-featured device that costs less than a grand, everything was nailed down perfectly. I can complain only about its headphone amp section that has a higher impedance and a low intensity noise with IEMs, but everything else performs at a very high standard.
“The philosophy behind this unit is well-known to me, these guys are more about linearity, about perfect measurements, about technical details, about being straight as line in the frequency response than about flowery audio terms.
“The regular Mini-3 at $749 is an amazing value that is hard to beat. However, the DACMan is strongly recommending the PRO version at $899 that is adding a much better crystal oscillator, a full MQA decoder and Wi-Fi capabilities, it is a much better device from any point of view.
“I’m more than happy to award it our highest Golden Award for great digital design, must-have features, beautiful looks and small form factor at a price that wouldn’t land a critical hit on your wallet. Congratulations to the team and l look forward in testing their next digital creatures!
“Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro 3 was kindly provided by Apos Audio and it can be purchased by following this link (they offer free shipping in the USA, they will price match any price you can find online, they offer free 30-day returns in case you don’t like it and extra 1 year of warranty).
- Beautiful craftsmanship, amazing build-quality
- Linear and very extended in the frequency response
- Very high transparency, impressive resolution
- Open wide sounding, very good depth performance
- 3D sounding with a precises pin-point location of the notes
- Presses on the gas pedal, very fast sounding
- Good slam in the chest, great rendition of the low-end
- Noise-free on its RCA and XLR outputs
- Great preamp section!
- A true definition of an all-in-one device (seriously, it’s a 7-in-1)
- Roon Ready and AirPlay 2 are some of its nicest features
- Future proof
- An amazing value
- High-impedance on its headphone outs, slight hum with sensitive IEMs”
From Z Reviews' review of the Matrix Mini-i 3/Pro 3, first published on December 24th, 2020:
From Max Settings' review of the Matrix Mini-i 3/Pro 3, first published on February 25th, 2021:
From Alpha Audio's review of the Matrix Mini-i 3/Pro 3, first published on February 12th, 2021:
- Solid sound
- Immensely versatile
- Extremely easy to use
- Beautiful colour screen
- Roon Ready
- Display not readable from afar
“We have been inundated with affordable Chinese dacs lately, so it is important for manufacturers to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. In our opinion, the Matrix Audio i-pro 3 succeeds in doing just that. The reproduction is what we expect in this price range but in terms of versatility and user-friendliness, the i-pro 3 goes a few steps further. The i-pro 3 is a pleasure to use and leaves no feature out. Every component performs exceptionally well and the beautiful screen is the icing on the cake. The price-quality ratio is particularly high here, which is why we give the Matrix Audio i-pro 3 an Alpha Approved.”
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.