Meridian Explorer DAC Extracts Best Possible Computer Music Experience

The Explorer DAC from Meridian is designed and manufactured in the U.K., and it delivers the company's years of digital audio experience in a form factor that includes a stylish metal enclosure with LED indicators. The high resolution digital audio product is also priced at a level that is competitive with entry level products.

Meridian Explorer DAC Extracts Best Possible  Computer Music Experience
Meridian's new $299 Explorer digital-to-analog converter (DAC) utilizes technologies developed for the company's flagship 800 Series products in a form factor that allows a wide variety of computer audio users to enjoy a state-of-the-art digital audio listening experience.
Robert Archer · February 11, 2013

At this point it’s been well documented how the tides of evolution have swung the pendulum of music sales vastly in the favor of downloadable digital music. Naturally a concurrent trend that has developed within the consumer audio market has been the upswing of products that allow homeowners to use their computers, smart phones and web tablets as their primary audio sources.

The latest digital audio product to hit the market that allows homeowners to easily listen to music stored on their computers and web tablets is from a company that’s been a leader in the engineering and development of digital audio technologies: Meridian Audio. Meridian’s new Explorer digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is a small, space friendly and wallet friendly digital audio solution that consumers can use to extract the best possible listening experience from their computer and web tablets.

Meridian says the Explorer replaces their computers’ internal sound cards via USB connectivity to allow listeners to play music stored on their Apple-, Microsoft- and Linux-based computers at data rates as high as 24-bit/192kHz. The Explorer incorporates asynchronous data transfer technologies that minimize digital clocking errors, as well as other technologies the British manufacturer has developed for its flagship 800 Series products to produce the best possible digital sound. Internally the DAC also incorporates a six-layer PCB board, separate low-jitter crystal oscillators for 44kHz and 48kHz sample rates, direct-coupled outputs, fixed and variable outputs to support direct connections headphones or stereo systems, and a digital optical output that supports data rates up to 96kHz.

The British-made DAC also features an industrial design that will complement the looks of Apple’s desktop and laptop computers, as well as its iPad family of products. The slim DAC employs a metal enclosure with LED indicators that communicate the sample rate the unit is running at, and when connected to a powered USB hub, users can bring the DAC with them when traveling with their iPads to get CD-quality sound from the typically low-fi iCloud listening experience.

Meridian also points that that the Explorer is a plug-and-play upgrade for Apple users, and that PC owners can easily upgrade their computers to use the Explorer by downloading a driver.

  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]

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  Article Topics

Computer Audio · DAC · Digital Audio · Meridian · USB · All Topics
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