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October 1, 2013updated Feb 16, 2014

Sound Superiority

By Chris Boyle

DSP7200 Loudspeakers / MeridianHearing a favorite song through a set of exceptional speakers, massaged and enhanced by equally exceptional sonic processing, is a rite of passage for a music fan.

Meridian, a Cambridge, UK-based audio manufacturer, is best known for marrying the fine, hands-on craftsmanship of superb speaker design with the cutting-edge digital processing and technology of its base units.

Its new DSP7200 Digital Active Loudspeakers are 3½-way digital signal processing active loudspeakers, a powered speaker approach Meridian introduced more than a decade ago ($39,995 a pair).

Each speaker sports four custom drivers, four amps, and four digital converters all packed into curved, piano lacquer-finish cabinets that are simple and gorgeous and come in a rainbow of colors to match your home’s décor.

Playing source audio (from a CD or from a “loss-less” digital file) provides an amazing musical experience for listeners. Timbre, staging, a sense of space—all the sonic cues associated with live performance—are reproduced impressively.

But the real headliner is the touch-screen Meridian Control 15 (about $12,000). At first glance, the unit looks like a familiar “video juke box” you might have seen.

But the unit’s 500GB drive can store about 1,000 CDs’ worth of lossless, original source audio, as well as digital information associated with each track. You can program playlists and such, but the software lets you use the content information to “roll your own” musical experiences.

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