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Meridian Explorer² Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by click, Dec 22, 2014.
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  1. Click
    I think this awesome new DAC/amp should have its own thread. [​IMG]
  2. volly
    aaannnnnddddd subbed! [​IMG]
    Awesome setup Click!
  3. Click
    I've been listening to the Explorer² for 2 days so far and I'm extremely impressed with its clarity, details, and soundstage. It has brought out the true potential of my modest stock of IEMs and headphones. E² is making my FLAC, MP3, and streaming files sound incredible. 
    I love how it has the ability to upsample files to 24-bit/192k kHz. It's great as both a portable DAC/amp combo and dedicated DAC. The small form factor and aluminum finish looks awesome. I'm excited to try out Meridian's new MQA format, which the E² is equipped to decode. 
    I think this was what Meridian wanted the first Explorer to be, but messed up with the high output impedance. Well, the E² has a very low 0.47Ω output impedance, so that's no longer an issue. I highly recommend this amazing little DAC/amp to anyone looking for a portable solution under $300.
    kawaivpc1 likes this.
  4. Click
    Thanks! [​IMG]
  5. obsidyen
    Amazing little device. I'm using mine with Philips Fidelio X2. Now if I could just get my hands on some MQA mastered songs... [​IMG] 
    If anyone is interested in buying, I bought mine from Custom Cable. You can buy VAT free if you're from a non-EU country.
  6. plonter
    Can anyone comment about the Explorer2 Vs the Dragonfly 1.2 ?   not only as a dac but also as a headphone amp.
  7. Click
    I don't have the Dragonfly 1.2 to compare it to, but the Explorer² blows my E10 Olympus out of the water. There's really no comparison. E10 does OK as a cheap DAC/amp that's better than most motherboard soundcards, but it doesn't hold a candle to the sound quality of the E². Then again, I wouldn't expect it to.
    I can only provide my initial feedback on the E² with very little to compare it to, but so far, I've been amazed. I expected the E² to sound good, but not this good. Hopefully the more experienced head-fi members will get their hands on an E² soon and post their feedback. I'm also very curious as to how the E² stacks up against $150-$300 amps and DACs.
  8. sm4rt1
    Wow ... Christmas has come early this year

    Received my Explorer2 in the post from Meridian through Amazon UK yesterday ... wasn't expecting it to arrive until after Christmas so was well impressed with Amazon's service

    Anyway - only had one evening with it but I can tell I'm already sold and this one won't be going anywhere soon

    My set up is
    Source:- Dell Inspriron I5 PC running Tidal/ Spotify (premium)/ also with a number of HD tracks download from a short time with Qobuz
    DAC: Previously Music Fidelity V90-HPA ... now obviously the Meridian Explorer2
    Headphones: B&O H6

    The change of DAC has made a huge difference to the detail and smoothness of almost anything I listen to ... the highs are detailed but smooth and the bass has completely tightened up and really shows the H6s to have great bass extension (not something that most people would expect, but I think it just goes to show they need the right set up to make them shine)

    The only downside is that it's sort of killed Spotify for me, still great for mobile on the go use but not for serious listening ... I couldn't believe how much better the Tidal lossless streams now sound versus the 320Kb Spotify equivalents. I have only been trialling Tidal for the past few months but looks like it might finally be time to move on from Spotify.

    One thing I need to do some research on is hooking the Explorer2 up to my ipad air ... the Tidal app on IOS looks great but I'm not sure if the DAC will play nice and already know from previous posts it will need a USB power splitter and battery to even stand a chance.

    The only thing I'm not sure about is the well publicised MQA decoding feature ... seems unlikely that Meridian are likely to get enough industry buy-in for another new format (although I see Warner are supporting it) and as there aren't any files available yet, I can't vouch for any quality improvements.

    Regarding comparison withe the Dragonfly ... I had the 1.2 version earlier in the year and returned it after a week as it really didn't seem to be anything better than my V90-HPA, unlike the Explorer2. However, the Dragonfly can be had for nearly half the price, so maybe it's not a fair comparison?
    waiveddreams likes this.
  9. HiFiGuy528
    Didn't Meridian fixed the original Explorer shortly after initial release?
  10. obsidyen

    They only fixed the output impedance. Explorer2 brings many new features such as MQA support, apodising filter etc.
    huberd likes this.
  11. Click
    From what I've read, the original Explorer's headphone output impedance was 50 Ohm. They fixed it and made the revised version output at ~5 Ohm. You can read about it HERE
    The Explorer² headphone out is rated at 0.47 Ohm. It's much less than the revised Explorer's output impedance.
    Other additions and upgrades include up sampling to 24-bit/192 kHz, "significantly more powerful DSP," MQA decoding, and apodising filter like obsidyen said. They got rid of the optical out.
  12. Head1
    Looks like they are challenging the Geekout by going with an output impedance of 0.47 ohms in particular. But it doesn't do DSD.
  13. Josh83
    Has anyone compared the Explorer2 to the Fulla? Obviously, there's a big price difference, and I'm wondering if it's audible or not.
  14. kawaivpc1
    So, how does this sound compared to Geek Out 1000?
    Does it sound comparably good? I'm very impressed with Geek Out 1000. It sounds a bit flat but it has everything a good DAC should feature.
    Is it worth buying after owning a Geek Out 1000?
    I had used iBasso's R10, Sony PHA-2, Zodiac Plus, and HM901. Can you compare Explorer 2 to any one of these units?
    cloud13cherish likes this.
  15. cloud13cherish
    Can anyone comment about Meridian Explorer 2 vs Geek Out ? I use B&W P7 as a headphone and would like see some comparison and recommendation between these two.

    My Help thread:
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