DACs

Meridian Explorer USB DAC

ARTICLE INDEX

Best of 2013 Awards

Introduction

Computer audio is all the rage now, with many people moving their entire digital collections to music servers, and the laptop taking the place of the CD player in many systems. The technologies behind USB DACs have evolved rapidly to where the interface is now on the same level as Coaxial or Optical interfaces. One area that hasn't been addressed as well is the portable audio market, as most USB DACs are rack-sized components that require a wall power supply. This is certainly not a convenient option for those of us that want high-resolution audio on the go.

At this year's CES, Meridian gave us a special sneak preview behind closed doors of their new portable DAC, the Explorer. A small, USB powered, 24/192 DAC housed in a stylish silver chassis, it certainly had the look of a solution for those of us that want to take our high-resolution music with us. Long known for their high-end products, this also came in at a very different price point for Meridian: $299. Could a high-end DAC be designed and manufactured in England and still hit this price point without sacrificing quality? We certainly wanted to find out!

Meridian explorer usb DAC SPECIFICATIONS

  • Design: 24/192 USB DAC
  • Digital Inputs: USB 2.0 (Asynchronous)
  • Analog Outputs: 3.5mm Headphone, 3.5mm Line Level, 3.5mm Mini Optical
  • Dimensions: 4" H x 1.25" W x 0.7" D
  • Weight: 1.76 oz.
  • MSRP: $299 USD
  • Meridian
  • SECRETS Tags: Meridian, DAC, PCM, USB, USB DAC, Audio