Meridian’s new Explorer² is the successor to the popular and widely acclaimed Explorer pocket USB DAC. Featuring a dramatically increased complement of DSP, Explorer² is able to incorporate the full suite of Meridian’s audio enhancement technologies to provide a more realistic, natural sound than ever before.
Explorer² replaces a computer’s audio outputs with a USB-powered DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) featuring over 30 years of Meridian’s digital expertise in high-quality audio circuitry. Explorer² includes digital clocking derived from Meridian’s award-winning Reference Series components, for precise timing of digital signals.
Meridian has paid as much attention to the analogue circuitry as the digital. Explorer² features a pure analog volume control with a powerful headphone amplifier and a line output. This provides sophisticated volume control with an extended range of 100dB – ideal for sensitive headphones. Whatever you listen to, Explorer² makes it sound its best.
Filters are critical in digital audio. Commonly they introduce distortion and harshness because of "pre-ringing". Early digital recordings suffer from harshness too, due to primitive filters. After painstaking research, Meridian developed a special filter that avoids pre-ringing, so it can be steeper, cleaning up the effects of early filters. The result: a better, cleaner sound from recordings old and new.
Here are a few snippets from our most recent reviews:
“Music is spacious, detailed and transparent enough to invite comparisons to more expensive DACs. High-res ‘to-go’ for less than the price of a decent set of headphones!”The Absolute Sound Magazine
“At the price, I have not heard a better portable DAC/headphone amplifier than the Meridian Explorer².” [Five Stars] HiFi Choice Magazine
“A very reasonable £199 price tag, cutting-edge performance and that enviable Meridian logo, it’s pretty hard not to recommend the Explorer 2.” [Five Stars] BBC Music Magazine
“For £199 it really is quite a bit of a bargain as it does give such a wonderful sound that hits far higher than its price tag suggests.”The Speaker Shack
“…with the Meridian Explorer² you can listen for hours and hours. Listening fatigue is just not a thing to worry about anymore. With the Explorer² music is just fab, together with the MQA codecs it´s way beyond belief.”Mono & Stereo Magazine
“The Meridian Explorer² comes highly recommended as a great value DAC.”Hi-Fi Plus Magazine
I have been using a portable DAC from a well known nationwide chain. A decent improvement on my laptop's sound card. The Meridian Explorer2 moves my digital music much closer to what sounds like genuine hi fi. The sound stage is enlarged, the music naturalistic, clean, detailed and nuanced but not too analytical. It significantly improves every file type from mp3 to high res Flac files. Just occasionally, it might expose the limitations of mp3.If you run Windows, you will have to download a file from Meridian's web site. Their instructions are clear and concise and installation should not be a problem.I have downloaded half a dozen MQA files, hardly enough to make an informed judgement, but early impressions are extremely positive.Meridian's Explore2 looks good, sleek and well made. It produces wonderfully enjoyable music, with the potential of MQA to come. There may be better DACs if you have the money, but I am nothing but delighted with my Explorer2. It has transformed the pleasure I get from my digital files.
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