audio-sound @ hatena

An audio review & news blog. The volume should not exceed 80 dB is recommended. I usually adhere to the safe-listening style by WHO. Please note that my aural impressions and interpretations of measurements are also made from a safe-listening style.

(News) Matrix Element X2 Hybrid Volume Mode: Bringing Us Both Digital & Analog Volume Controls Under The Same Shell

Matrix Element X2

Matrix Element X2


Last Week, Matrix Audio announced its second generation of the premium Element series of all-in-one Desktop music players.


The flagship Element X2 is loaded with class-leading features such as a flagship DAC chipset, an eight-channel balanced amplification circuit, and many more. Among all its advanced features, we have got the Hyper Volume Control. Here they have combined the advantages of both Analog and Digital volume controls and avoid the shortcomings. Now some users might wonder what is Hyper Volume Control? How have they achieved it?


So here we are, explaining to you the concept where Matrix Audio has brought both the Digital and Analog Volume Controls under the same shell. First off, we need to understand what Analog and Digital Volume Control mean.



  • Flagship ES9038PRO DAC chipset.
  • Built-in Fully Balanced Headphone Amplifier.
  • Digital & Analog Source Support(IIS, USB, RCA, and more).
  • Built-in Femtosecond clock.
  • Isolated design.
  • Dual-band WiFi antenna.
  • Gigabit ethernet port for high-speed internet.
  • Pre-amp output.
  • Balanced 4.4mm and single-ended 6.35mm headphone outputs.
  • Excellent Craftsmanship.


What is Digital Volume Control?

Many DAC and Amplifiers in the market today feature a digital volume adjustment function. In this method, the volume control is based on the attenuation of the digital signals inside the DAC chipset. You must have seen DACs where the volume adjustment allows you to adjust volume from 0dB and down in the negatives. It doesn’t allow positive gain. Digital Volume controls have an advantage in the precise and delicate adjustment of the volume. However, when the amount of change required is large, it affects certain parameters like Dynamics and SNR ratio and affects the overall output signal.


What is Analog Volume Control?

Whenever we are into the market for a new headphone amplifier or something similar to that, we sometimes read in its features list it has Analog Potentiometer for precise volume adjustment. Well, Analog volume control are of two types, Analog Potentiometer, and Relay Array Adjustment. With a potentiometer, it is difficult to achieve an absolute balance between the left and right channels. Also with time, the contact point of the analog potentiometer gradually wears out. This will introduce some issues like inaccuracy in adjusting the volume for both the channels and also introduce noise while adjusting the volume levels.


For Relay Array Analog volume adjustment circuits, one needs huge space on the circuit board to make the relay array. Even in large-scale Relay Arrays, the linearity, precision, and delicacy of the volume adjustment are difficult to match the Digital volume control. Also, the noise of frequent relay switching during the volume adjustment process also affects the music enjoyment aspect.


So What is The Hybrid Volume Control On The Element X2?

In order to bring us the best performance with their flagship device, Matrix audio designed the Hybrid Volume controls. For this, they have combined the digital volume adjustment with a relay analog volume array. Now on the Element X2, the relay array performs large analog volume controls and the digital volume allows for precise adjustments. Here the Volume adjustment is between the 0dB and -20dB range. It makes the volume adjustment precise and delicate and at the same time reduces the loss of dynamics. They have designed the Hybrid Volume Control in such a way that the number of relay movements is also greatly reduced removing any kind of noise during the adjustment.


Price & Availability

The Hybrid Volume Control brings us the best of both the worlds, we get the performance of analog volume controls with the precision of digital ones. In addition to the Hybrid Volume control, the element X2 also has a built-in +10dB pre-amp circuit. Whenever you use a low-gain active speaker or rear amplifier, the pre-amp function will give +10dB Gain. Matrix Audio Element X2 is a true-flagship music solution that brings us the best quality performance with no compromises anywhere!!


The Element X2 will be officially released by Matrix Audio within the next few weeks and is available for pre-order now at HiFiGo.Com.




Matrix Audio Element X2

Matrix Audio Element X2