Step Up to High-Resolution Music with Meridian Audio
Enjoy Supreme Convenience and the Highest Audio Quality
Meridian is a name that is well-known in high-end audio. They’re also known for marching to the beat of their own drum. Founded in 1977 – before the dawn of the CD and the digital music era – they are an early pioneer in digital audio. While powered speaker designs are quite popular today, especially in whole home audio wireless installations, Meridian introduced active (powered) high-end speakers way back in the 1980s.
The company is also a pioneer in high-resolution music formats. While high resolution (let's call it hi-res) music is a popular current term, hi-res came to music and movies quite a few years ago. Some of you audio enthusiasts that are fans of SACD and DVD-Audio, two hi-res formats that never attained mainstream status, already know that. For movie soundtracks, today’s hi-res formats like Dolby TrueHD serve up lossless audio quality and are now mainstream. Meridian had a hand in that, too, as the digital encoding called Meridian Lossless Packing is part of the standard for DVD-Audio and Dolby TrueHD.
More recently, Meridian, along with the rest of the audio industry, has embarked on a quest to take hi-res music mainstream. In today’s streaming dominated music environment, lossy formats like MP3 and AAC are used for streaming for bandwidth efficiency. Meridian has developed MQA (Master Quality Authentication) as an efficient packaging mechanism to stream both lossless CD quality and hi-res music and audio on the internet. MQA is making its way into a wide range of high-end audio gear and is used by the Tidal music service for high-quality streaming. MQA has been spun out from Meridian to facilitate the technology’s adoption in the industry.
Clearly Meridian knows as much about digital audio as just about any firm in the business. Their whole product line is built around digital technology. In this blog, we will cover Meridian Audio’s unique approach to components that deliver unsurpassed quality in digital music for your Eden Prairie listening system.
The Digital Hub - Meridian Reference 818V3
Meridian components are designed to work with their active speakers. The speakers connect to the source component via a network type cable, and the music flows to the speaker in digital form, reducing any interference or distortion that could happen over conventional speaker wire going to a passive speaker.
The ultimate digital hub from Meridian is the 818V3 reference preamp. It can accommodate multiple analog inputs as well as digital inputs that include asynchronous USB for input from a computer. Outputs can go directly to active Meridian speakers – which have their own digital to analog converters (DAC) – or can go to traditional components like power amplifiers in a conventional home audio system, functioning as a high-performance preamplifier. The 818 also features Meridian's digital up-sampling DSP wizardry which makes any source, analog or digital, sound fuller and more vibrant. With an all Meridian setup, the only speaker cable needed is Meridian's Speakerlink ethernet cable. Since the speakers are self-powered, no amplifier is required either. The 818 also features MQA decoding for hi-res music streaming.
This is one component that you don't have to hide in a rack; its beautiful modern design is a work of art. It can also be personalized (for a fee) with 270 custom colors – which should ensure it will fit well with your décor.
Meridian Soolos - Music Management for Hi-Fi
Soolos is a much-lauded music management system for vast music collections that fully supports high-resolution formats. The intuitive interface can be used from an iPad, iPhone, or a MacOS computer. Many music management solutions bog down with big libraries, but Soolos can handle libraries with 30,000 albums. Remember when the iPod boasted about 30,000 songs? Digital music has come a long way.
Besides handling the largest libraries, Soolos builds in MQA streaming from Tidal as well as the ability to tune into thousands of internet radio stations around the world via integration with Tune-In. The app interface lets you search for music by mood, genre, decades, resolution quality, and more, making it easy to find what the right music for the moment. Soolos works by automatically discovering devices on the network, so your 818V3 hub can be targeted to play streaming music or your own album with a tap on the screen.
The best way to experience the Meridian difference is to see and hear it. Visit one of the Minneapolis area’s best showrooms to see for yourself what hi-res audio is all about. Reach out to our team today by clicking the button below!