ISE 2016: Meridian Shows DSP320 Loudspeaker, Updates to Sooloos Audio Platform

Alongside Meridian’s DSP320 architectural loudspeaker will be new additions to Sooloos, including a plugin that enables third-party NAS integration, extended control options and hardware enhancements. See the two Meridian products at ISE 2016.

Jordan O'Brien

Meridian Audio focuses on two product launches at ISE 2016 – its recently launched DSP320 in-wall/in-ceiling architectural loudspeaker and developments to its Sooloos audio platform.

Within its 300mm square and 100mm deep enclosure, the DSP320 contains all the system’s electronics, including digital audio converters and two integral 80W class amplifiers for wide-range and bass drivers.

“The DSP320 is the speaker the custom installation market has been crying out for,” says Robert Sullivan, director of London-based installation firm, Electric String.

“As a digital active loudspeaker, it cuts down on the need for rack-based amplifiers, speaker cable and other components without compromising on the premium audio quality performance you’d expect from Meridian, and all from an incredibly compact unit. The DSP320 really is the way forward – no other in-wall or in-ceiling loudspeaker comes close.”

The DSP features a special left + right mode, selected via a switch on the front panel. This mode combines the left + right stereo signals and outputs them from the one speaker, eliminating the cancelation effects and increased harmonic distortion typical with passive ‘single stereo’ speakers. On-board digital signal processing has been designed to offer thermal and dynamic bass protection with accurate transients, so, when playing at high levels, the DSP320 delivers a clean, detailed and accurate sound.

Other enhancements include Enhanced Bass Alignment (EBA) for perfectly-timed music playback and dynamic volume compensation to ensure a consistent sound even at low listening levels. The DSP320 can be integrated into systems with Meridian’s free-standing DSP loudspeakers. It is being marketed for installers working on just about any project where sound is required. Whether the installer wants to integrate distributed audio around the home through a Meridian Sooloos system or a 2-channel or multi-channel installation for home and marine environments.

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Like Meridian’s current DSP520, the DSP320 has been introduced specifically to deliver maximum dispersion over a wide listening area, with minimum unwanted diffraction which the company says it achieved thanks to careful baffle and grille design.

The installation may be flush-mounted or completed with an optional bezel to hold the magnetically attached, paintable grille. All the elements – fireproof rough-in box, frame, loudspeaker enclosure, included scrim and grille – allow room for on-site adjustment (except when flush-mounted) so that the entire assembly can be fitted with precision into almost any type of ceiling or wall.

The DSP320 can be wired with Meridian’s Speakerlink or equivalent CAT6 cable, enabling long cable runs and click and play connectivity without any loss of sound quality or the need for any additional speaker cable or wiring. 

Alongside the DSP320 will be new additions to Sooloos, including a plugin that enables third-party NAS integration, extended control options to embrace redesigned iPhone and iPad applications and hardware enhancements to improve performance. TouchPC control and third party integration via Crestron and Control4 is also present.

“Meridian Sooloos retains its reputation for class leading performance but, with these improvements, gives greater freedom during installation and delivers a fantastic experience for clients,” says Barry Sheldrick, Meridian’s director of sales. “It can now be integrated with any existing audio system and supporting NAS devices, and offers a huge range of control options for greater installation flexibility. The unrivaled user interface is efficient, lightning fast and a dream to use.

Meridian Sooloos is designed to be fully flexible and scalable in terms of zones and system. It can also now be integrated using Meridian Core storage options or a supported NAS device through a special QNAP plugin.

Free Meridian Sooloos control applications are available for iPhone, iPad and any PC or Mac through the company’s flagship TouchPC application which optimises access to the Sooloos interface for touch screen PCs with a 1920 x 1080 screen size. 

Meridian Sooloos can also be integrated with 3rd party Crestron and Control4 home automation, while the Sooloos music library can also be ‘watched’ by 3rd party music control apps whilst the metadata and audio performance provided by the system is preserved.

Meridian says that it designed Sooloos to send the optimum signal to each end point via high performance analogue, digital and Speakerlink Cross platform outputs. This is so installers can maintain high resolution audio throughout a distributed audio system.

Integrated TuneIn Radio alongside streaming from TIDAL and Rhapsody also allows consumers to curate their own exclusive music collection without having to physically buy each individual file.

Meridian’s chief technology officer, Richard Hollinshead, will present ‘Making the Most of HD Audio’ at ISE 2016 on February 10 at 9:30 a.m., discussing the importance of high resolution audio.

Richard will examine the difference between standard and high resolution audio, the available audio formats, sources, and the requirements to use them. He will also look at how Sooloos can help to maintain high resolution audio throughout a distributed audio system.