Meridian DSP7200 Digital Active Speaker

Sonic Splendor

Timing is everything when it comes to great comedy—and great sound. And time alignment is one of several refinements Meridian has made to the popular DSP7200 tower speaker it introduced in 2007—one of the most technologically advanced speakers on the planet. But before we get into what the company has done to improve this already remarkable speaker, let’s take a quick look at what makes it special in the first place.

Number one: The 42-inch-tall DSP7200 is powered. Each of the custom drivers in its gently curved wood/aluminum cabinet—two 8-inch woofers, a 6-inch midrange, and a semi-horn-loaded 1-inch tweeter—is driven by its own 150-watt amplifier. Number two: The speaker is digital, meaning it accepts only digital signals via a coaxial or Ethernet-style connector and routes them to a digital signal processor (the status display hints at the powerful technology inside). You won’t find any binding posts on this puppy.

Meridian has been making such “digital active” speakers since 2000 and, as founder Bob Stuart puts it, “One of the things you can do with a DSP speaker that is not possible with any other speaker is adjust the time dispersion of the sound that comes through.” Which brings us back to those DSP7200 refinements, the most compelling of which is “enhanced bass alignment.” “With signal processing we’re able to realign all these frequencies,” Stuart explains. “When the low notes come out at the same time as high notes and mid notes, the space in the recording opens up and everything is more tangible and believable…We can hear the enhanced bass alignment on a plucked guitar note and that’s part of the magic of real high quality sound.”

Other attributes that set the DSP7200 apart from conventional speakers include multi-stage buffering to further improve musical clarity by minimizing jitter and an apodizing filter that cleans up digital signals, especially the harsh “pre-ringing” effects of the primitive filters used in early digital recordings.

The standard finish is black or white piano lacquer. But when you’re investing in a technological marvel like this—$38,000 a pair, by the way—why settle for ordinary? Meridian’s Select service provides a choice of more than 270 colors so you can match a room’s décor or, even better, make a visual statement.