Meridian Director

A top-of-the-range desktop DAC for superior-sounding music

Image: Hugh Threlfall

If you enjoyed the little Meridian Explorer portable digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) I recommended last May to boost the quality of music played from a laptop, you should love this larger version, the Director. It’s similarly British designed and built, but comes in a more office-friendly form and gives an even more impressive performance.

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The Director takes a digital-audio source from, typically, a laptop or a Bluetooth receiver unit channelling music from a phone or tablet and outputs it, substantially enhanced, to connect to any amplifier. Aluminium-cased, with pleasing elliptical design, it measures 139mm x 80mm x 34mm and has tiny rubber feet so that it can stand sturdily on a flat surface (unlike the wholly mobile Explorer, which is designed to be more of an addition to your headphone lead). As with other DACs, the Director magics up your music files before they have been scrunched by the often sub-par soundcard built into a computer. That accounts for the markedly improved quality of the music reaching your ears. But will it sound better than with the Explorer or a rival desktop DAC such as the Arcam rPac? The answer, I think, is yes, though whether your speakers (or ears) are able to detect this will be subjective. However, you will be confident that you are listening to incredibly high-quality output just by knowing you are getting the best.

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