Meridian Audio 857 Reference stereo power amp and 218 Controller make ISE debut

posted on Wednesday, 8th February 2017 by Steve May

High-end  High Res Audio  Meridian Audio 

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The Meridian 857 Reference two-channel amplifier has made its debut at ISE. Described as “tremendously powerful” the reference model features a new, flexible design and is intended for dedicated home theatres and media rooms. It can be rack-mounted or installed free-standing.

Bridgeable to >1.5kW, the 857 delivers 500W per channel into 4 Ohms and has been designed to work with any audio product, allowing installers to partner the amp with their client’s preferred brand of loudspeaker.

Meridian ‘Superbal’ technology converts unbalanced inputs to balanced inputs before they enter the amplifier. These inputs are then transformed into a 1-100Hz frequency response -/+ 2DB, translating the sound quality to perfect hi-res audio sound.

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“We are delighted to unveil the Meridian 857. It sets a new benchmark for power, clarity and flexibility and can be used in any existing audio solution,” says Rayner Sheridan, Director of Marketing at Meridian Audio. “Implementing Meridian ‘Superbal’ and hi-res audio technology, the 857 raises the bar in terms of audio quality, design and specification on today’s CI market. Also, thanks to our complimentary Design and Specification Service, this amp can be specified for multiple applications as the perfect companion to any passive loudspeakers.”

218 Zone Meridian Audio Controller

ISE has also seen the European unveiling of the Meridian 218 controller (pictured above). The slimline 218 takes up only 1U on a rack and needs no dedicated cooling or ventilation. Integrators have the choice of both bracket and rack mounted options. Connections include Meridian Speakerlink as wll as optical and analogue inputs and outputs.

This addition to the 200 series uses Meridian High Resolution up-sampling technology, and can be for a range of AV applications,  from music streaming systems to TV.  The 218 is slim enough to be bolted to the back of a TV with a VESA mount, where it can be connected to the TV’s optical output and then run to a pair of digital active loudspeakers, perhaps a pair of Meridian DSP3200s, or a power amp. The promise is of a significantly improved, Hi-Res Audio experience when watching TV.

                    Also read
                    Meridian to present power amps and controller at ISE
                    Meridian debuts new power amps at CEDIA 2016

The controller includes an MQA decoder to enable it to serve as part of a Hi-Res Audio solution. It can also be used as a DAC to take any music that a homeowner is listening to, through any audio system, and convert it to Hi- Res Audio. The 218 can convert the 44 kHz and 16 bit output of a SONOS to 192 kHz 24 bit resolution. 

The 218 comes with lip sync technology and features IP control so that it can be configured through a webpage. Crestron and Control4 integration modules are also available.

For more news stories about Meridian Audio products and services, visit our partner page here.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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