NEW YORK -- Meridian has begun shipping a next-generation Sooloos networked music server system that combines two components -- touchscreen controller and hard-drive storage -- into one chassis and reduces the entry price of a Sooloos system to $7,500.
The company also unveiled a next-generation component to connect the server system to multi-room-audio systems and offer a greater variety of audio connections to single-room hi-fi systems.
Like its predecessor, the new Control 15 server system features a built-in CD ripper, but the system also uses a home PC network to transfer and download songs from networked PCs and Macs. Networked PCs and Macs can also stream music from the server system.
Control 15 features a table-mount 17-inch touchscreen with 500GB hard drive, CD slot and ability to stream Internet radio and Rhapsody from a networked broadband modem. Control 15 stores about 1,000 CD albums in lossless format along with MP3 versions that can be transferred to a personal music player. Additional storage is available by connecting a second Control 15, which could be networked to the first from another room, or connecting a Sooloos TwinStore hard drive.
Control 15 includes Meridian's audio enhancing technologies and two types of audio outputs: digital S/PDIF and proprietary SpeakerLink output, which sends digital audio and control signals direct to Meridian's active DSP-equipped speakers.
For connecting the Control 15 to hi-fi systems via a greater variety of connections, Meridian launched the $3,500-suggested Media Source 600, which features digital audio outputs as well as analog outputs. Digital outputs include S/PDIF and SpeakerLink. Multiple units are needed for connection to multi-zone audio systems.
The Media Source 600 features a glass- and bead-blasted anodized silver-aluminum chassis with no screws visible from any of the finished surfaces.
The products can also be controlled via Wi-Fi from a Sooloos iPhone/iPad app.