***Thanks to Arthur from Matrix for making this happen. I find it amusing that the beginning of my involvement in SBAF began with asking him for a X-Sabre Pro for loan. The Element X naturally draws comparison to the X-Sabre Pro MQA. Comparing the two physically, the Element X is not much bigger than a X-Sabre Pro. It's also not a whole lot heavier, leading me to think the construction, while not bad, isn't quite up to the heroic standard the X-Sabre Pro MQA sets. As just DACs, the Matrix high-end siblings sound so much alike I'm certain I'd fail a blind test, and any perceived differences could probably be chalked up to placebo. Fast, slightly overzealous transients (maybe just a touched pulled back on the Element X, but would need a blind test to make sure), good timbre but not quite Schiit R2R tone density, very neutral up and down the octaves (depends on filter; I like the linear phase filters and primarily used mode 3, but mode 4 pairs better for brighter gear). To borrow a phrase from Marv, it's for people who like straight gin. In case it's not clear, reading the X-Sabre Pro thread would apply to the Element X when used just as a DAC. However, the amp section doesn't do the DAC section justice. It's okay and serviceable in the event that you might just want to play video games or have some background listening while doing something else, but it's a bit dynamically flat and the stage feels like a straight horizontal line. It also seems to dull transients. I think this might be partly due to the Element X using both digital and analog attenuation (I think this applies to both the line-outs and headphone-outs unless you use the line-out with no attenuation), with the digital attenuation in particular harming the sonics. Put it this way; I got bored listening and played Plants vs Zombies on my phone. ***Note: these next few sections are dedicated to the features that I used. If you don't care about that just skip to the bottom Use of the Matrix remote app requires connecting the Element X to your network via ethernet or wifi. I haven't tried the ethernet way, but setting it up on wifi is kind of annoying. It requires some menu flipping to connect to the "Matrix" network and then more finagling with the menu to connect to your network, and the question confirmation prompts are worded a bit funny. But once it sets up it works flawlessly, and honestly, once I got used to it I never used the physical remote (the physical remote does feel nice and controls input, filter settings, volume, and power. The other settings have to be put in via the button UI or the app). I have to give Matrix some props for making the button interface more friendly than the X-Sabre Pro's. While not as intuitive as the iFi Pro iDSD, it's still a big improvement over my X-Sabre Pro MQA. Inputs and outputs can be selected via the front small buttons right of the screen, or through the remote, or through the Matrix Remote app, which works well on my Galaxy S10. The volume knob is one of those infinitely spinning things for better or worse. With the app though, you never need to deal with any of the buttons, so finagling with it might actually not really be worth it. However, the button selection of the inputs and outputs still works well and only take a minute to learn. I tested plugging a flash drive in one of the two USB-A ports and playing music via the remote app. It actually sounds better than directly from my PC (which isn't saying much considering it's shit USB straight from my motherboard); I did a few double takes but the improvement is there. You can also put in a microSD card in the slot for music as well, so there's a lot of potential to load a bunch of music in there and bypass the need for adding a source, although whether this will sound better than one's quality CD transport I have no idea, nor do I know how this compares to something like Pi2AES. However, it is definitely worth checking out. Think of the Element X as a X-Sabre Pro MQA with a built-in amp and streamer. For my use case, the Element X, while nice, makes absolutely no sense. The value of this versus the X-Sabre Pro depends on how much you value the added on features.