Meridian Audio has introduced the Prime Headphone Amplifier, a reference-quality analogue headphone amplifier for almost all types of headphones, which replays audio from both analogue and USB-based sources.
Built into a compact Allen Boothroyd-designed metal case, the Prime Headphone Amplifier also provides a preamplifier output to drive an external audio system or analogue active loudspeakers.
The unique new enclosure design echoes previous Meridian designs such as the G Series and even Meridian’s original 100 Series. Its new, compact shape includes several special features and details. The metal enclosure is a dual-skinned design of interlocking extrusions, making the circuitry far less susceptible to interference. There are no screws – the box is opened by a hidden magnetic release mechanism. Even the curve on the volume knob was carefully chosen, the company says, recalling the compact M80 music system and a special flexible coupling links the knob to the shaft of the volume potentiometer towards the rear of the box, minimizing microphony – mechanically-induced noise.
The Prime Headphone Amplifier can be powered by the wall-mounted supply provided or, for even higher audio quality, by the optional partnering Meridian Prime Power Supply, available early December. The use of this external power supply means that AC noise is kept well away from the pure analogue stages of the Headphone Amplifier.
Meridian’s Prime Headphone Amplifier features unique Analogue Spatial Processing (ASP) technology to deliver authentic sound to any headphones. Meridian’s advanced ASP is designed to provide a more natural spatial soundstage.
In addition to a high quality analogue path that is essentially remote-controlled from the front-panel for the shortest possible signal path and the ability to use almost any kind of headphones—including separately wired types—the Prime Headphone Amplifier transform headphone listening from sometimes sounding “in your head” – into an experience much more like listening on loudspeakers, Meridian says.