Stereocheck Reviews:
Matrix Audio Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4
Matrix Audio Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4
Matrix Audio Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4

Matrix Audio Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4: Entry-level models launched

The two Mini-i models have the same jacket of approximately 22 x 18 x 5 centimeters (W x D x H) and are essentially identical. They are compact DA converters with extensive streaming functionality.

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The heart of the Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4’s DA converter is an ESS Sabre ES9039Q2M DAC chip coupled with a high-quality output stage and fed from a low-noise power supply. Given the construction and component class, you wouldn’t expect us to be looking at a DAC in the price range of around 950 euros, and it doesn’t sound like it either. Mature and remarkably balanced are pleasant characteristics in this class, according to importer Reference Sounds

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The Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4 are equipped with multiple digital inputs. The coaxial and optical inputs process music signals up to a resolution of 24-bit/192kHz. The asynchronous USB-B input goes up to 24-bit/768kHz for PCM signal (MQA up to 384 kHz) and DSD up to 11.2 MHz in both DoP and Native formats. There is also an HDMI input with support for eARC.

The analog RCA input makes the Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4 even more versatile, as those who only want to connect a single analog source can do away with their preamplifier. The RCA input has an adjustable gain factor for use with almost any standard line-level source or even a turntable.

The Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4 support various streaming functions via Gigabit Ethernet. In addition to Roon Ready and AirPlay, music can be played from a NAS with support for DLNA/UPnP or directly from streaming services Tidal Connect and Spotify Connect. Internet radio is available in the form of vTuner and Radio Paradise.

Matrix Audio: MA Remote app and control with color display on front panel

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For a complete streaming experience, Matrix Audio’s own MA Remote App allows users to intuitively navigate the music catalogue using a clear, sleek interface that also provides direct access to all key functions – such as input selection and volume adjustment. The MA Remote app also assists with initial network setup and there is support for Tidal, Qobuz and Highresaudio.

Although the Mini-i’s will primarily receive their commands via the app, they can also be controlled using the 3.46 inch LCD touchscreen on the front.

Matrix Audio Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4: Volume Control

The Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4 are both equipped with volume control and could therefore be connected directly to a power amplifier or a set of active speakers. The volume control can be operated with the MA Remote App and switched on or off.

The difference between the Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4: headphone amplifier

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The Mini-i Pro 4 features a separate headphone amplifier with a 6.35mm asymmetrical jack plug and a 4.4mm symmetrical variant. The headphone amplifier is not an add-on or a straggler. The specified A-weighted S/N ratio is 116 dB on the 6.35mm jack plug and 117 dB on the 4.4mm output combined with a THD+N of 0.0004 percent over the full audio bandwidth (4 VRMS). With an output impedance of 11 Ohms, a gain of 14 dB and a generous power of 1,200 mW into 33 Ohms, 260 mW into 300 Ohms and 130 mW into 600 Ohms for the 6.35mm jack, there is more than enough power to drive a wide range of headphones. The 4.4mm variant has an output impedance of 22 Ohms and delivers 2,200 mW into 33 Ohms, 950 mW into 300 Ohms and 500 mW into 600 Ohms.

Matrix Audio Mini-i 4 vs Mini-i Pro 4: RM5 Remote Control or not

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The Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4 are virtually identical, except for the headphone amplifier in the Mini-i Pro 4. The Mini-i Pro 4 also comes with the RM5 Remote Control as standard in the box. This remote control is available as a separate accessory for the Mini-i 4.

Finally, in addition to the standard silver-gray color, the Mini-i Pro 4 is also available in a black finish.

Matrix Audio Mini-i 4 and Mini-i Pro 4: prices and delivery information

The Matrix Audio Mini-i 4 has a suggested retail price of just under 950 euros. The more extensive Mini-i 4 Pro 4 has a suggested retail price of just under 1,200 euros.

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