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The Explorer2 is one of the first portable DACs to support MQA Master Quality Authenticated files – a lossless file protocol ensuring mastering-grade audio but with a smaller footprint. Remember the very first iPod from seventeen years ago? Read more about us. The top of the matte aluminum body features the engraved words Meridian Explorer2 in a darker metallic color and three LED lights, which help indicate the quality of audio being player. Consider this the ultimate explainer. The MyTek Clef , for example, is only a touch more expensive than the Explorer2, and handles both MQA conversion duties as well as being an excellent headphone amp. Thus, low bass could be weightier and more precise.

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Having connected the DAC to a computer via a regular USB portthe unit is ready to take over all audio playback duties from your existing sound card. When I think of British digital electronics, the first name that comes to mind is Meridian. We really dig the sound, and although AudioQuest are working on MQA file support, this is still not a live feature.

Review: Meridian Audio Explorer2 | The Master Switch

As for packaging, the DAC comes in a fairly thin box – merician bit like a box of chocolates, but in this case featuring a large picture of the DAC in question. The first is a headphone out, featuring a powerful analog headphone amp 0. A simple DAC upgrade can do wonders for your audio playback, as for example, a 4K-capable TV might change your movie viewing experience.

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View the discussion thread. The contents are smartly wrapped and, aside from the DAC, you will find a printed manual booklet, containing simple but thorough instructions and spec figures.

All of the subjective characteristics explained above are of course a lot more pronounced with high resolution audio kHz files for instance and whether you are streaming from Tidal or using bit-perfect high fidelity players like Foobar meridiqn Audirvana, the Explorer2 simply shines. The Explorer also brings expressive midbass to the streamer segment, with sturdy timbres and purer, cleaner dynamic punch. Everything we do is geared towards creating bigger, better sound.

Meridian Explorer USB DAC

The company has a solid history of stellar Digital-to-Analog Conversion DAC tech, and they even make pocket-friendly options, like the subject of this review – The Explorer2. This is a problem that dogs the portable DAC segment. Remember the very first iPod from seventeen years ago? Tonally, the Explorer supplies smooth touches of analog-like warmth and fluidity.

You wouldn’t meridoan headphones to need any special equipment to work.

It handles MQA, doubles as a headphone amp, and delivers block-rocking sound quality. It can take a variety of adapters, allowing the DragonFly to be used with smartphones.

Designers of complete digital systems from transports to fully active DSP- controlled loudspeakers, it makes products that are exquisite, refined, and priced accordingly. To see how it stacks up, see our list of the best DACs.


Anyway, it sold around three hundred and sixty million units. Get the best new audio gear in your inbox once a week. You can read more about MQA and other related audio formats here.

Still, setup of the DAC is relatively straightforward. The cherry-picking moment of the megidian experience is, of course, unwrapping the unit itself and having a closer look and feel. A series of tiny lEDs along the outside of the case indicate incoming resolution. At The Master Switch, we spend an awful lot of time thinking about audio.

So why not take the jump?

That enlarged soundstage is the first striking difference. It had an almost Japanese aesthetic to it, with the Explorer2 nestled in a black compartment, the accessories underneath it. Fortunately, we’re here to help, with our full guide to this audio topic.

The combination of color-coding and individual merivian makes for an easy, at-a-glance way to judge audio quality. Dreams of a true budget-level item from this firm would seem as unlikely as high tea without finger sandwiches.

Read more about us. Supercharge your laptop audio.