Meridian unveils £1200 Prime Headphone Amplifier

21 Nov 2013

Meridian has taken the wraps off of its new Prime Headphone Amplifier. The Prime comes with analogue and digital inputs in the form of stereo, 3.5mm and asynchronous USB connections, allowing you to connect a variety of sources.

The Prime Headphone Amp comes bundled with a standard power supply, however Meridian also offers an £800 Prime Power Supply, which keeps AC noise away from the analogue stages, in an effort to further improve sound quality.

The Prime Amplifier supports headphones with 3.5mm and 1/4in jacks, with separate inputs for each. The impedance level for each connection is specifically manipulated for each headphone type. Phono sockets found on the rear allow the device to be connected to a power amp.

Meridian has included two unique ASP (Analogue Spatial Processing) modes with the Prime Headphone Amplifier. These aim to recreate the listening feeling you get when using a traditional loudspeaker set-up.

The device is capable of supporting digital sources up to 192kHz and the USB input can upsample 44.1/48kHz sources to 88.2/96kHz. This is done via Meridian's own Apodising filter.

Meridian's co-founder Allen Boothroyd designed the all-metal enclosure for the amp. With no screws in sight, the unit can be opened up thanks to a magnetic release mechanism.

The Meridian Prime Headphone Amplifier is available to buy now direct from Meridian's website and costs £1200. We'll be getting hold of our review sample next week so look out for our review.


by Max Langridge

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I expect it will sound very good, as Meridian are kings of digital audio processing. Apodising filter does make a difference when upsampling from CD quality. 

Unfortunately i expect the sound quality can be at least matched by headphone amps available for much cheaper. There are many valve based hedphone amps i can think of which for sound quality will likely blow this away. Icon Audio, WooWoo etc...

In my opinion if Meridian sold this headphone amp for around half the price, (say £695) then they would sell many, many more, as they would be competative to other headphone amps available, both transistor and valve based. 

Desirable maybe, but there's no way on earth it's worth £2,000 with PSU. 

£1200 and it doesn't even have the right PSU fitted as standard!

It does look very nice though.

This is not a product aimed at someone looking to spend £130 quite clearly


A decent integrated can be bought for £300 doesnt make the £3000 one any less desireable or worth its price

I disagree, naturally. A decent DAC/headphone amp can be bought for ~ £130. 

An Addtional (Linear no doubt) Power Supply outside the small enclisure will make all the difference to all ears - M kit is expensive granted as others out there from Graham Slee etc do similar for less.

But if you like Meridian then you will like this.

Ridiculous money, even more so with the (£800!) power supply which will make no difference whatsoever to 99% of ears. Massively diminishing returns I'm afraid. Sad A 'magnetic release' system so you can't open it up yourself and see how little you get for your £1200......