Recently, the headphone market has greatly increased in popularity, and for many it is the primary way to experience music. This choice is based not only on performance, but also feel, comfort, and style. It is with this in mind we introduce Meridian Prime Headphone Amplifier.
With a new chassis design instantly identifiable as Meridian DNA, Meridian Prime delivers lifelike performance from any headphone and is designed to appeal to audio enthusiasts who seek the highest possible performance from conventional analogue audio sources.
Meridian Prime provides three inputs, one dedicated and optimised to USB sources for computer audio, discrete pure analogue inputs on RCA for traditional sources, and a 3.5mm connection for portable devices such as a smart phone or tablet.
ASP, or Analogue Spatial Processing, is an option for “outside the head” listening through headphones.
6-layer PC board for maximum signal isolation and enhanced performance
Analogue Spatial Processing offers dual-mode loudspeaker-like listening on headphones – with bypass
Audio components mounted near rear- panel sockets for ultra-short signal path
Analogue logic switching
USB 2.0 asynchronous playback at up to 192kHz/24-bit with upsampling and resolution enhancement
Externally-powered USB input: disconnecting deactivates all digital electronics
Dual 1/4in stereo headphone sockets with separate-wire grounding (may be used with separately-wired headphones) plus 3.5mm stereo jack
High-quality gold-plated sockets
Headphone-only mode powers down preamp output
Relay muting on power-up and power- down for thump-free operation.
Meridian Prime will appeal to even to most demanding users with its range of input connectivity, performance, unique features, and build quality.
Three front-panel headphone sockets are provided, optimised for purpose. One is a 3.5mm stereo socket for the connection of earbuds and similar devices, which presents an output impedance of 2Ω to suit these devices. The other two sockets offer an exceptionally low impedance (around 3mΩ) and are standard 1/4in stereo (tip-ring-sleeve) types, carrying both channels. They can be used to connect two pairs of headphones, or to attach a single pair of headphones wired with separate cords for left and right drivers, thus offering the opportunity to reduce headphone crosstalk.
In addition to simply replaying stereo audio at the highest possible quality via headphones, the outputs also include two “Analogue Spatial Processing” modes, i and ii, which replace the typical “in the head” experience of headphone listening with a smooth, natural feeling of spatiality that is much more like listening on a pair of loudspeakers in front of the listener.
The USB conversion system is powered from the interface, meaning that when it is disconnected, all digital circuitry in the unit is deactivated. The fully asynchronous USB 2.0 interface supports signals at up to 192kHz/24-bit sampling and includes Meridian resolution enhancement techniques such as oversampling and Meridian’s unique Apodising filter.