Meridian unveils next gen DSP8000 XE flagship speaker

posted on Thursday, 11th November 2021 by Steve May

High-end  High Res Audio  Hi-fi  Loudspeakers 

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Meridian Audio has unveiled a new flagship loudspeaker, the DSP8000 XE, claiming major advances in digital active loudspeaker design.

The DSP8000 XE is the first loudspeaker to emerge from the company’s Extreme Engineering Program which began over six years ago, charged with re-imaging every element of Meridian’s product platforms, both software and hardware.

One major advance to come from the program is a design concept known as ‘Precision Sonic Transport’ (PST). The company says PST ‘adopts innovative techniques and new processes to ensure that every aspect of the audio signal journey through the loudspeaker maintains maximum sonic fidelity.’

The DSP8000 XE may be the first Meridian product to benefit from the enhancements enabled by PST, but apparently it won’t be the last.

The new tower builds on a new audio architecture, using higher specification, more powerful components and a raft of fresh software ideas. Its Atlas Software Core is a new audio processing and control platform for Meridian’s most powerful DSP engine to date.

The R1 Electronics Platform is hardware infrastructure for digital and analogue circuitry, including a Command Board processing centre, home to the DSP processing engine and Sync-Link digital audio re-clocking system, which uses shielded RJ45 links from the Command Board directly to the new DAC boards.

The new speaker also boasts separate dedicated higher performance DAC boards and more powerful, application-specific amplifier boards, hard-wired via extremely short balanced audio connections.

DSP8000XE Grille

When it comes to drive units, the DSP8000 XE features six all-new 200mm long-throw (24mm excursion) bass drivers in a ‘force balanced’ configuration for maximum bass extension, a 160mm Evo mid-range driver, and a 25mm beryllium dome tweeter, with silver voice-coil featuring a new custom steel waveguide for precision imaging. The speaker offers 150W into 4Ω to the tweeter and mid-range, with 240W bridged for bass.

Meridian has also spruced up the aesthetics, with a re-engineered cabinet, flush-fitting acoustically transparent metal grilles and mass-loading aluminium base plate.

Connectivity comprises Meridian’s B-Link Bluetooth device, IR, USB, RS232, and Meridian Controller support. Each loudspeaker also includes the optional IA21 analogue input module, which enables users to connect and control the DSP8000 XE via any preferred third-party analogue pre-amplifier or processor,.

John Buchanan, Meridian CEO, hails the DSP8000 XE as “truly a next generation Meridian loudspeaker”

Orders for the DSP8000 XE are being taken now, the standard finish is piano black, although select colour options are available. Production is scheduled for March 2022. The DSP8000 XE is priced at £75,000.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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