Meridian Explorer 2 Portable USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier, MQA-ready


Made in United Kingdom


Sale priceA$499.00
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Meridian's new Explorer2 is the successor to the popular and widely acclaimed Explorer pocket USB DAC. Featuring a dramatically increased complement of DSP, Explorer2 is able to incorporate the full suite of Meridian's audio enhancement technologies to provide a more realistic, natural sound than ever before. Hand-made in Cambridge, England. The Explorer2 is MQA-ready!

Meridian Explorer2 wins Australian Sound+Image DAC of the Year Award

We're proud to announce that the Meridian Explorer2 has been awarded the Winner of DAC of the Year Award in the 2017 Australian Sound+Image Awards.


  • Explorer2 plays high resolution 24-bit/192 kHz files at their native resolution without downsampling. Meanwhile, Meridian's unique Apodising filter can actually fix errors in digital recordings, making them sound more alive and natural.
  • Designed, engineered and hand-made in Cambridge, England – with the same care and attention as every Meridian product. Explorer2 delivers the Meridian experience in miniature.
  • The Explorer2 is MQA-ready, Allowing you to experience the full, intricate detail of a live performance for the first time in the history of recorded music.
The Meridian Experience in your hand

Explorer2 replaces a computer's audio outputs with a USB-powered DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) featuring over 30 years of Meridian's digital expertise in high-quality audio circuitry. Explorer2 includes digital clocking derived from Meridian's award-winning Reference Series components, for precise timing of digital signals.

Meridian has paid as much attention to the analogue circuitry as the digital. Explorer2 features a pure analog volume control with a powerful headphone amplifier and a line output. This provides sophisticated volume control with an extended range of 100dB – ideal for sensitive headphones. Whatever you listen to, Explorer² makes it sound its best.

Master Quality Authenticated (MQA)

Sourced from the original studio master recording as approved by the creative team, MQA combines an advanced new digital sampling technology that captures extremely high frequency timing and detail in an audio signal with an equally novel system to "encapsulate" that data into a form for delivery using any lossless file format or streaming. The listener's decoder reconstructs the entire original signal, bringing up an indicator confirming that what they are hearing is exactly the same as the original master. Without the decoder, the listener enjoys CD quality reproduction. Its most advanced form, "MQA Studio", uses the technology in the studio to generate an even higher quality master recording as the source. 

Meridian Apodising Filter

Filters are critical in digital audio. Commonly they introduce distortion and harshness because of "pre-ringing". Early digital recordings suffer from harshness too, due to primitive filters. After painstaking research, Meridian developed a special filter that avoids pre-ringing, so it can be steeper, cleaning up the effects of early filters. The result: a better, cleaner sound from recordings old and new.


  • USB mini type B.
  • 3.5mm analogue line out, fixed 2v RMS.
  • 3.5mm headphone jack with variable-level output, impedance 0.47Ω.
  • Extruded Aluminium shell with moulded plastic endcaps and rubber foot.
  • USB, nominal 5V at <500mA.
  • Dual Tile XMOS DSP with 16 cores and 1000 MIPS
  • Three white LEDs (1x, 2x, 4x) show connected state and audio stream rate.
  • USB audio class compliant 2.0 HS 480Mb/s bandwidth.
  • Asynchronous: device is the clock source for high quality.
  • Firmware upgrade is via USB.
  • Windows drivers provided, no drivers required for Macintosh OS X or Linux.
  • Analogue volume control for headphone output, controlled from PC, control law modified to match connected OS.
  • Macintosh OS X 10.6.4 (Snow Leopard) or later.
  • Windows XP SP3, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8 or later
  • Linux kernel 2.6.37 or later and ALSA version 1.0.32 or greater
  • 102 x 32 x 18mm (4.0 x 1.25 x 0.7in) - approx.
  • 50g (1.76oz) – approx.


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