Meridian introduces new flagship Digital Active Loudspeaker

Meridian Audio has launched the DSP8000 XE flagship loudspeaker, showcasing its innovative new developments in Digital Active Loudspeakers.

The DSP8000 XE is the first Meridian loudspeaker to emerge from the company’s Extreme Engineering Programme which was created over six years ago and designed to re-imagine every element of Meridian’s product platform, including both software and hardware.

Created through Meridian’s significant investment in the programme, the DSP8000 XE features a new design concept called Precision Sonic Transport (PST). PST adopts innovative techniques and new processes to ensure that every aspect of the audio signal journey through the loudspeaker maintains maximum sonic fidelity. This means that audio is reproduced exactly as captured in the recording.

The DSP8000 XE is the first of Meridian’s products to benefit from the enhancements enabled by PST, with further new product developments to be announced.

The new loudspeaker is built on a new audio architecture, using higher specification and more powerful components, leveraging Meridian’s expertise in psychoacoustics to achieve its sound quality.

It features Atlas Software Core, a new future facing audio processing and control platform which is host to the company’s most powerful DSP engine to date, enabling the implementation of new enhancement technologies and features. It also allows even more performance to be extracted and delivered from Meridian’s existing proprietary audio technologies.

The R1 Electronics Platform is the essential hardware infrastructure that deploys the PST design concept in the DSP8000 XE. The platform has new, highly specified digital and analogue circuitry, as well as sophisticated signal enhancing developments. One of these developments is the command board, a state-of-the-art processing centre which is dedicated to the powerful DSP processing engine and controls the functionality of the speaker. Secondly, the sync-link transports precision re-clocked digital audio via shielded RJ45 links from the command board directly to the new DAC boards. Finally, it has new separate dedicated higher performance DAC boards and more powerful application-specific amplifier boards which are hard-wired via extremely short balanced audio connection to minimise any signal interference.

Next generation drive units have been introduced throughout the loudspeaker to push performance levels to new limits. There are six new 200mm long-throw (24mm excursion) bass drivers in a ‘force balanced’ configuration to give maximum bass extension with total clarity and control. A 160mm long-throw drive unit is included, along with a newly developed non-conductive voice coil former and large motor system to deliver detail and clarity combined with power and dynamics. It also has a 25mm beryllium dome and silver voice-coil featuring a new custom steel waveguide which enables pinpoint imaging and wide dispersion for total spatial immersion.

With modernised aesthetics and a re-engineered cabinet, the DSP8000 XE accommodates mechanical performance enhancements with updated driver clamp-ring system, flush-fitting acoustically transparent metal grilles and mass-loading aluminium base plate.

The DSP8000 XE offers significant new connectivity and control features, including easy setup and control via the new Meridian B-Link Bluetooth device, IR, USB, RS232, or with a Meridian Controller product. Each loudspeaker also includes the optional IA21 analogue input module which enables users to connect and control the DSP8000 XE via their preferred third-party analogue pre-amplifier or processor.

John Buchanan, CEO of Meridian Audio commented: “DSP8000 XE embodies all of Meridian’s core values and breaks new ground in Meridian loudspeaker performance with the first implementation of our Precision Sonic Transportation design concept. The all-new hardware and software platforms combine to unleash a new level of accuracy, power and emotional connection, and the result is a holographic sound experience so immersive that it’s as if the loudspeakers are not in the room.

“DSP8000 XE is truly a next generation Meridian loudspeaker and leads the company into an exciting new era for our talented team, our business partners and our customers.”

The DSP8000 XE loudspeaker is available to order now in the piano black standard finish. Select colour options are available. Production will begin in March 2022. The loudspeaker is priced at £75,000 / $125,000.