Meridian Explorer USB DAC: Small Device With A Big Sound [Review]

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As you put it in gear straight out the gate this small device smacks your eardrums with high quality crisp sound as if the symphony, mixing board, band or DJ was set up in your living room. The Meridian Explorer USB DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) accompanies its great sound with an attractive sleek silver device with 3 white LED lights. I must admit I was surprised about what clean sound came out of this small USB device. First and foremost it wasn’t the smoothest transition for me to set this up because I was just looking at the DAC like what can this possibly do lol. So I plugged it into my MacBook Pro via USB cord and plugged in the Sennheiser Momentum headphones into the headphone port on the Explorer. And “Vwah-la!” an eargasmic flow of sound travels through the headphones allowing me to hear every instrument as if I had front seat at Carnegie hall.

This device enhances the quality of any sound system from a PC, laptop or anything USB compatible with high-resolution sounds of any genre of music. Whether you want to listen to your music via iTunes, Spotify®, YouTube® or a High Resolution downloaded file the Meridian Explorer DAC gives you the feel listening to a great sound to an extraordinary sound tripled over. The Explorer’s operating system drives the analogue volume control which helps incorporate the full digital resolution. meridian-04The USB cable that is accompanied with the device is short and not long like an old school telephone cord. Because it connects to your computer using the USB cable and not directly into your laptop there’s no danger of damaging the computer motherboard in case you accidentally walk off with your headphones on in which I’ve done many times. Don’t front like I’m the only one lol. Once you hear music through the Explorer you’re not going to want to listen to music in your headphones at home ever again. That is how great the sound is and puts in a place where it’s just you and the music. If you like listening to great sounding music as an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle, you need to cop the Meridian Explorer.

Featured Specs

INPUTS
USB mini type B.

OUTPUTS
3.5mm combination analogue/digital jack with mini Toslink digital optical 3.5mm jack with variable-level headphone output, 130mW into 16 Ohm.

CONSTRUCTION
Extruded Aluminium shell with moulded plastic endcaps and rubber foot.

POWER
USB, nominal 5V at <500mA.

INDICATORS
Three white LEDs show connected state and audio stream rate.

IMPLEMENTATION

  • USB audio class compliant 2.0 HS 480Mb/s bandwidth.
  • Asynchronous: device is the clock source for high quality.
  • Firmware upgrade 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.
  • S/PDIF output downsamples 4x (192/176.4kHz) to 2x (96/88.2kHz).

What is a DAC?

For those of you unfamiliar with DAC’s or Digital to Analogue Converter they are usually found in CD players, digital music players, and PC sound cards. But specialist standalone DAC’s such as the Meridian Explorer take the digital output of a compatible CD player or dedicated transport (which is basically a CD player with no internal DAC) and convert the signal into an analog line-level output that can then be fed into an amplifier to drive speakers. Meridian Replaces your computer’s sound card so you’ll you’ll experience significantly higher sound quality.

Final Thoughts

Using the Explorer will definitely change how you listen to music. It’s convenient and portable being the size of a USB stick and also using a short USB cable instead of plugging straight into the computer like a dongle so there’s no danger of damaging the computer motherboard if you accidentally walk off with your headphones on. Instead of a plastic box, Explorer has a sturdy aluminium enclosure, reducing noise and interference as well as allowing it to withstand life on the move.

Where most DACs simply alter the digital signal going into them, so the quieter you listen, the lower the quality. Explorer uses an analogue volume control, driven from the operating system, so you always enjoy the full digital resolution. Once you experience the superb sound quality of the Explorer you will never want to listen to music without it again.

You can place an order for one today on the Meridian Audio site list price is $299. A very worthwhile investment for any level of audiophile.

Originally posted on Gstylemag.com

Recharge Your Mobile Device In Style With iWalk Extreme 7500 [Review]

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Whether you’re strolling or diddy boppin’, why not keep your mobile device charged in style with iWalk Extreme 7500? This sleek portable rechargeable device is not only lightweight and reminds you of a tasty Snicker’s bar, but it’s also extremely powerful.

Usability

You can throw the iWalk in a backpack or for the ladies a purse and keep it moving. It’s been certified by Apple to be reliable and safe, but never fear Android nation it is also compatible with most Android devices. Unfortunately, this particular portable charger is not strong enough to power up anything above a tablet such as a laptop.

The impressive 7500mAh lithium-ion battery comes with 5V/2.1A rapid output with superior quality and a stylish compact design from Korea. The Smart circuit protection design keeps your devices from overcharging. You can charge a mobile device along with your iWalk Extreme 7500 simultaneously.

If you happen to need to open your door and the porch light is out it also doubles a flashlight just by holding down the power button for about 1-2 seconds. The LED designed for power indication light gives you that Tron appeal when illuminated lol.

Final Thoughts

The iWalk Extreme 7500 is compatible with all digital devices that can be charged with a USB cable. iWalk for me definitely walks the walk and doesn’t lose its appeal like some other portable back up rechargeable devices. This is definitely one of those additional necessities that every mobile device consumer needs – which is almost 90% of the world. This goes on my must have list. So you can cop it for as low as $79.95 in either black or white on Amazon or $89.95 on the iWalk site.

AT&T Liberates It’s 4G LTE MiFi Hot Spot [Review]

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Style

It looks like AT&T got it right with the stylish, sleek and portable Liberate 4G LTE MiFi Mobile Hot Spot. The 2.8 color touchscreen is a lovable and welcomed change that sets it apart from other MiFi devices.

Features

The AT&T’s 4G LTE is nothing to sneeze at. The speeds are still extremely blazing and can be used simultaneously for up to 10 devices, anywhere from mobile phone, music devices, e-readers and of course laptops. The 2900 mAh Li-Ion battery provides up to 11 hours of play time peoples and thennnnnn you can even think about recharging. You can receive text messages also on the device. The home screen let’s you monitor Connection Details, Data Usage, Connected Devices and Settings. With internet connectivity 10x faster than 3G, the globally ready MiFi Liberate can keep you connected with over 200 countries (International roaming data rates apply outside the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S.V.I.) if you’re that international traveler. If you possess a MicroSD card you can hold up to 32GB of file sharing from connected devices via DNLA or using a web browser allowing access to stored photos, access movies and music.

Verdict

Right now I believe this is the best and fastest 4G LTE MiFi on the market. Along with its attractive look the features alone and its mobility marries flawlessly with its blazing 4G LTE speed. AT&T wireless plan start at $50 per month for 5GB. If you cop it you’ll feel Liberated.

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