By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York – Luxury-audio brand Meridian is expanding its fledgling presence in USB DACs with the new $699-suggested Director.
The Director is intended for use at home with a network music player, music server, video streamer or computer connected to a home hi-fi system or to powered speakers. The company’s first DAC, the $299 Explorer, is a portable USB-powered DAC designed mainly for listening to music through headphones from a laptop, although it also offers line-level and digital outputs. It was launched in February.
The Director is shipping with asynchronous USB B port and 3.5mm hybrid socket that accepts either S/PDIF optical or coaxial input. The DAC supports 24-bit, 192kHz digital files and upsamples 16-24 bit, 44.1/48kHz files to 24-bit, 88.2/96kHz.
The DAC, which is hand-made in the U.K., features anodized aluminum enclosure with molded end caps.
“Meridian recognized several years ago that computer audio sources would become more and more important as part of an audio system, whether at home or on the road,” a spokesperson said. “The company therefore began to design USB input circuitry to add to its Reference 800 Series and G Series [home-component] products, enabling them to be used for high-quality computer playback.’”
The technologies used in those products’ USB inputs “were subsequently developed into the Explorer portable headphone DAC,” the spokesperson continued. “Meridian also recognized the increasing need to connect standard digital audio sources as well as computer audio sources to traditional analog home audio systems and developed the Director.”
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