Peer Review: Meridian’s DSP320 In-wall/In-ceiling Loudspeaker

Meridian's DSP320 loudspeaker is reviewed by Rob Sullivan, director at integration firm, Electric String.

Why did you choose this product?
We have been big fans of Meridian’s floor standing loudspeakers for many years, so we were delighted when the company decided to manufacture a range of in-wall DSP Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 8.58.22 AMloudspeakers, including the DSP320 loudspeaker. Encased in a 300mm squared enclosure and being only 100mm deep brings many advantages, but the main one for us is that, within this tiny enclosure, Meridian still manages to retain its DNA. All the electronics, DAC’s and amplification are neatly tucked away within the speaker. We don’t need other audio components, like amplifiers installed in racks and standard speaker cables to rooms. Instead, all we need is a source, a Cat 6/7 cable to the speakers and power.

What do you like about using it?
We have always liked the ease of installation, which isn’t just about the speaker itself, it’s more to do with the rack. In the past, with a standard audio set up, you would need a source going in to a preamp and then to an amplifier. All these extra parts mean critical space is used up in the rack. But with the DSP320 we just need a source. The speaker sorts out everything else in the room and, as everyone in the industry knows, the audio quality of Meridian speakers is second to none.

One other unique advantage offered by the design of the DSP320 is its wide dispersion advantage. The baffle and grille design reduce unwanted diffraction and the image height is lowered from the ceiling instead of trying to direct sound to a sweet spot.

What additional features would you like to see?
The DSP320 is the product the custom install market has been crying out for.  As a digital active loudspeaker, it cuts down on the need for rack-based amplifiers, speaker cable and other components without compromising on the premium audio quality performance you’d expect from Meridian, and all from an incredibly compact unit. In that sense, it’s difficult to pick holes in a product so soon after it’s been brought to the market. Give us a bit more time, and we may well be in a better position to respond.

In which applications are you using the product?
At the moment, we are mainly using DSP320 loudspeakers for installations in high end marine applications, especially in compact areas that still require the very best the industry can offer. The compact design and performance that we all have come to take for granted with Meridian speakers make these products perfect for this environment. The added benefit of less equipment in the rack ticks all the boxes. Space is everything in this environment. So, the more we help reduce the demand for space, then the better it is for everyone involved.

Rob Sullivan is director at Electric String.

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