Meridian 210 Streamer review

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posted on Wednesday, 29th January 2020 by David Slater

Hi-fi  Streaming  High Res Audio  Meridian Audio 


According to official figures released by the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), music streaming now accounts for three quarters (74.4 per cent) of Album Equivalent Sales (AES) in the UK. In fact, December 2019 saw the highest weekly total for streams, a staggering 2.7 billion, topping off a grand total of 114 billion annual plays on audio streaming services, the first time the 100 billion landmark has been surpassed in a single year.

Against this booming backdrop, Meridian Audio has introduced its latest audiophile black box, the 210 Streamer. Perfectly placed to support this consumer shift to streaming, the 210 can be connected over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to any smartphone or tablet, with volume and playback controls fully synchronised between streaming apps and any Meridian system.

Meridian 210 Streamer Front Crop
Meridian 210 Streamer: Build Quality and Connectivity

The 210 is well built and comprehensively specified. Electronics are housed in a half-width, 1U tall enclosure, its aluminium case fitted with non-metallic panels to enhance wireless functionality without an external antenna.

The 210 shares its form factor - 204 x 150 x41mm (w/d/h) - with other Meridian 200 series products, such as the 218 Zone Controller. Integrators should note that there’s an optional rack-shelf available which can accommodate two of any such units.

On the rear, from left to right, you’ll find a Bluetooth pairing button; USB connector, where you can plug in a USB hard drive; RJ45 connection, to allow the 210 to access a client’s network and the internet, and a digital coaxial audio output, which allows the 210 Streamer to connect to any third party amplifier, if the installation is not using Meridian speakers.

On the front of the unit there are indicator LEDs for Standby, Network, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth status, SpeakerLink, and MQA reception.

Meridian 210 Streamer Back Crop

Meridian 210 Streamer: Performance and Features
Meridian products have a deserved reputation for quality, and the 210 doesn’t break the mould. For this audition, we coupled the streamer with a pair of Meridian DSP5200 0.2 digital active loudspeakers. With a beryllium tweeter and frequency response of over 32kHz, they provide a demanding, transparent front-end for any content source.

After unpacking, we found the 210 refreshingly easy to set up. An essential companion is the Meridian control app, which runs on Android and iOS devices. This provides a user-friendly interface, both to the 210 Streamer and to the connected Meridian system, but it is also used during the initial setup of the product, including establishing the Wi-Fi connection.

Content options are wide. In addition to aptX HD Bluetooth support, the 210 is also DLNA UPnP compliant and can act as a DLNA UPnP server.

The 210 comes with Spotify Connect and is Roon Ready. Put simply, Roon Ready certification means the device complies with all Roon Labs requirements to fully allow for all Roon's considerable functionality.

Roon may still be a rather esoteric feature, but there’s no doubt it’s finding growing interest with Hi-Fi fans, thanks to its intelligently curated interface.

Unsurprisingly, the Meridian 210 is high-res audio certified, with 24-bit/96kHz capability, and is compatible with MQA technology, guaranteeing a studio master quality listening experience.

Given that we were using the 210 with Meridian DSP5200 speakers, we used Meridian’s RJ45 connection system to connect our system. Installers need only download the aforementioned Meridian Control app to configure the system. This step-by-step installation is refreshingly straightforward.

Once set up, we played a selection of songs via Spotify Connect, using both Bluetooth and our USB library, and we have to say, we were very impressed. Sound quality is clean and wonderfully precise.

One cool feature of the Meridian 210 is that it synchronises volume and playback commands between network audio services, mobile device and the rest of any connected Meridian system.

You can change the volume in Spotify, and the Meridian 210 system volume stays in sync. Simply pressing pause on your Meridian system will pause whatever is playing.

Meridian 210 Streamer: Verdict
Beautifully designed and intuitive to use, the Meridian 210 Streamer is something of a bargain for such a great sounding device. Used in conjunction with a larger Meridian system, it’s an essential addition to any digital audio environment. System integration is seamless, and installation straightforward. The Meridian 210 Streamer comes highly recommended.

The Meridian 210 Streamer will be in action at ISE 2020 at the following booths: Barco Residential (E107) and AV AMEA (1-Q115). Integrators shouldn’t miss it!

The Meridian 210 Streamer is available now
Trade price: £800

David Slater

David Slater started his writing career with SVI writing a popular column, he has also guested on publications like Home Cinema Choice and
Living North

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