|Industry||Audio/Visual equipment manufacturing and distribution|
|Founder(s)||Bob Stuart, Allen Boothroyd|
|Products||High-end loudspeakers, home theatre equipment|
Based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, Meridian Audio was founded by Bob Stuart and Allen Boothroyd in 1977. They continue to lead the company with Stuart heading all technological developments and Boothroyd leading the design team. Since the company’s inception, all Meridian products have been conceived, engineered and built in the UK.
The company was the first to introduce active loudspeakers (loudspeakers with power amplifiers inside the cabinet) designed for the domestic market, and was the first British company to manufacture a Compact Disc player in 1983. The Meridian MCD, launched in 1985, was the first audiophile CD player. In his review of the MCD, audio engineer and Stereophile founder J. Gordon Holt wrote, "For the first time, the sound of the best CDs (Telarcs, RealTimes and Sheffields) is truly liquid and transparent, with an effortlessness that I have not previously heard except from the better analog sources... To date, then, this is the best-sounding CD player I've encountered." Meridian also created the first digital surround-sound processor and the first DSP-based digital active loudspeakers.
The flagship DSP8000 active loudspeakers were released in the late 1990s as part of the company's new 800 series. Subsequent loudspeaker models (DSP7000, DSP5200) employed the styling that contributed to the success of the DSP8000.
In 2007 a significant minority shareholding in the company was sold to the Muse Group, a consortium of the Swiss-based luxury goods group Richemont and U.S. film company New Regency. Muse is now a majority shareholder and is 100 percent owned by Reinet Investments, a sister company of Richemont.
Meridian Audio has been in the home theatre market since 1994 with the launch of the Meridian Digital Theatre. In 2005, The New York Times profiled Meridian’s $20,000 Model 800 DVD player. According to The Times, "The Model 800 represents what some believe to be the pinnacle in audio and video processing technologies."
Meridian has developed a number of unique technologies over the course of the company’s history. These include Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Loudspeakers and Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP). MLP is used in DVD-Audio and Blu-ray Disc as part of Dolby TrueHD.
Partnerships and acquisitions
Since 2005, Meridian Audio has been the manufacturer and distributor of Faroudja video processor systems, now marketed solely under the Meridian name. In December 2008, Meridian acquired media server manufacturer Sooloos to create Meridian Digital Media Systems.
Meridian has also engaged in partnerships with several luxury companies:
- Meridian and Ferrari developed the F80 compact system.
- Meridian and Alfred Dunhill partnered to develop the Alfred Dunhill AD88 Entertainment System.
- Meridian has developed high-end in-car audio systems in collaboration with McLaren, Land Rover and Jaguar.
Meridian runs several boutiques in major cities across the world. Boutiques are located in Kuwait City, Bangkok, Mexico City, Santiago, Moscow, Oxford, Bangalore and Singapore. Retailers also sell Meridian products worldwide.
Awards and recognition
Meridian products have received several awards, including:
- 2011 Robb Report Best of the Best, Audio: Meridian Sooloos Digital Media System
- 2010 CEA Human Interface Product of the Year: Meridian Sooloos
- 2009 Robb Report Best of the Best, Home Video: Meridian 810 Reference Video System
- 2009 CEA Innovations Design and Engineering Award in the Integrated Home Systems: Meridian Sooloos
- 1988 British Design Council Award: Meridian 200 Series
- 1982 British Design Council Award: Meridian Modular Amplifier System
- "The Meridian Story". Meridian Audio.
- "Time warp: Meridian’s MCD, the first audiophile CD player". Gadget Guy. 15 June 2009.
- J. Gordon Holt (4 February 1985). "Meridian MCD & MCD Pro CD players". Stereophile.
- "Tim Ireland, CEO, Meridian Audio". Luxury Society. 30 March 2011.
- "Milchan high on tech buy". Variety. 4 December 2007.
- "Electronics That Enhance an Image (Yours)". The New York Times. 22 March 2004.
- "The great sound of Britain". The Daily Telegraph. 21 April 2012.
- "Lookin' Good, Soundin' Good". Popular Mechanics. June 2001.
- "Meridian DSP8000 digital active loudspeaker". Stereophile. 23 November 2001.
- "New Meridian M6 Loudspeaker delivers contemporary design and outstanding sound performance". Luxurious Magazine. 13 January 2012.
- "The Meridian Audio Group: A short history". Meridian Audio.
- "In Judging DVD Players, Performance Is in Details". The New York Times. 8 December 2005.
- "Cool stuff for chilling". San Francisco Chronicle. 1 December 2009.
- "Meridian 810 Reference Video System 2,400p Three-Chip D-ILA Front Projector Reviewed". Home Theater Review. 21 August 2008.
- "Meridian Technologies". Meridian Audio.
- "Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP)". Meridian Audio.
- "History". Faroudja.
- "Meridian Acquires Sooloos". Stereophile. 5 December 2008.
- "Meridian Digital Media Systems". Meridian Audio.
- "Meridian F80 CD Receiver System". Stereophile. 22 April 2008.
- "Alfred Dunhill AD88 Entertainment System Announced". eCoustics. 4 November 2008.
- "In-Car Audio". Meridian Audio.
- "Meridian Boutiques". Meridian Audio.
- "Retailers". Meridian Audio.
- "Best of the Best 2011: Audio: Meridian Sooloos Digital Media System". Robb Report. 1 June 2011.
- "CEA Announces Winners of 2010 Mark of Excellence Awards". Business Wire. 29 March 2010.
- "Meridian 810 Reference Video System". Robb Report. 1 June 2009.
- "Meridian Sooloos Wins 2009 Innovations Award". Meridian Audio. 6 February 2009.
- "Meridian". Gramophone. May 1999. p. 193.
- "Design award for Meridian". Gramophone. July 1982. p. 90.
- "Meridian at the Movies". Meridian Audio.