Portable USB DAC & Headphone Amp: The Meridian Explorer² is a portable, compact, and
rugged USB DAC designed to deliver high-quality audio performance. The Explorer²
replaces your computer's sound card with a USB-powered DAC (Digital to Analog
Converter) featuring Meridian's high quality audio circuitry and design derived
from Meridian's award-winning Reference Series components, along with a powerful
headphone amplifier with on-board analog volume control. Featuring
premium audiophile-grade components throughout, a 6-layer circuit board, an
elegant all-metal enclosure, the Explorer² delivers a superb audio experience
from virtually any computer or laptop. Whether playing back an MP3 or a high-resolution lossless file,
the Explorer² will
make any content sound its best, delivering a level of audio quality essentially
limited only by the source material.
Premium Audiophile-Grade Components: The Explorer² features a
sophisticated 6-layer circuit board and direct-coupled outputs to further
maximize audio quality. Audiophile-grade components are utilized throughout;
including resistors, sockets, and music grade electrolytics, plus polypropylene
Meridian Apodising Filter: The Explorer²
includes Meridian's proprietary Apodising upsampling filter, which minimises
pre-ringing for a clearer, more transparent sound, while at the same time
removing digital filter artefacts from earlier digital recordings, audibly
improving overall smoothness of sound and stereo imaging
Asynchronous USB: TRather than rely on the notoriously unstable clocking of the host PC, the
Explorer² is completely asynchronous, using precision on-board low-jitter crystal
oscillators for the base sample rates, developed from those used in Meridian's
premium home entertainment systems. These oscillators provide the master
clocking for the entire playback system, and eliminate all USB interface jitter.
'Isochronous' transfer ensures maximum bandwidth and low latency; the latter
being significant when playing videos on the computer, for which audio and video
must be in sync. The DAC's design also offers extremely low modulation noise and
distortion for the ultimate in audio performance.
24-Bit/192kHz + Upsampling: The Meridian Explorer² offers high-quality
audio performance at sample rates up to 192kHz/24-bit resolution. The Explorer²2 upsamples
all input signals to 176.4/192kHz (4x standard sample rates).
Windows & Mac Compatible: The Meridian Explorer² connects to your desktop computer or
laptop's USB (type-A) port via the DAC's mini-USB (type-B) connector and
included mini-to-standard USB cable. The Explorer² connects to virtually any
computer with a USB port. Drivers for Windows; Macintosh and Linux operating
systems allow simple plug & play operation. The interface is USB Audio Class
Compliant 2.0 HS, supporting data rates up to 480Mb/s.
- The Explorer² supports Macintosh OS X 10.6.4 (Snow Leopard) or later; no
additional drivers are needed.
- The Explorer² is also compatible with Windows XP SP3, Windows 7 SP1, and
Windows 8 or later; additional drivers are required and can be downloaded
- In addition, the Explorer² supports Linux kernel
2.6.37 or later.
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated): Sourced from the
original studio master recording as approved by the creative team, MQA combines
an advanced new digital sampling technology that captures extremely high
frequency timing and detail in an audio signal with an equally novel system to
"encapsulate" that data into a form for delivery using any lossless file format
or streaming. The listener's decoder reconstructs the entire original signal,
bringing up an indicator confirming that what they are hearing is exactly the
same as the original master. Without the decoder, the listener enjoys CD quality
reproduction. Its most advanced form, "MQA Studio", uses the technology in the
studio to generate an even higher quality master recording as the source.
Headphone Amplifier w/ Analog Volume Control: The Meridian
Explorer² USB DAC features a powerful headphone amplifier with on-board analog
volume control. The 3.5mm headphone socket delivers up to 130mW of
high-quality audio; capable of driving even low-efficiency headphones. Most DACs
simply alter the digital signal going into them, so the quieter you listen, the
lower the quality. The Explorer² uses an analog volume control, driven from the
operating system, so you always enjoy the full digital resolution. The volume
will be controlled your computer/laptop.
Analog Output: The Meridian Explorer² USB DAC is fitted with an
analog 3.5mm output and provides fixed-level analog (2v RMS) output to your external audio system. The analog output is connected
directly to the DAC for bit-precise performance. The entire source resolution (up
to 192kHz sampling, 24-bit) is employed to drive the analog output. The
fixed-level output allows you to use your connected entertainment system's
3 LED Indicators: Three LED indicators show the status of the
Explorer². The LED nearest the headphone socket illuminates to indicate that the
unit is operating (44.1/48kHz). The middle LED indicates 88.2/96kHz operation
and the third LED 176.4/192kHz operation .
Power Requirements: The Meridian Explorer² is entirely USB powered
your connected computer or laptop, and does not require AC outlet. Simply plug
the Explorer² into a free USB (type-A) port on your computer or laptop.
Firmware Updates: Firmware updates can be downloaded from the
Meridian website to your computer and the connected Explorer² USB DAC.
Carrying Pouch: A soft carrying pouch is included which will hold the
Explorer² portable DAC and included USB cable.