Meridian 818V3 Reference Audio Core


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MQA Decoding Reference Audio Core, Pre-Amp, DAC, Sooloos Source.

Since its introduction in 1998, Meridian’s 800 Reference Series has provided a platform from which the company has been able to showcase the very best in surround sound, DVD, CD, and network music playback. Through regular updates and iterations, it has also proven to be an outstanding benchmark against which performance standards have been set throughout the audio industry. 818, now in its third iteration, benefits from almost 20 years of 800 Series product innovation.

Meridian’s Audio Core concept combines the source connectivity features of a high performance preamplifier with a full suite of proprietary resolution enhancement technologies, and provides connectivity to Meridian’s unique range of DSP Loudspeakers. In addition to its external source connectivity, with digital inputs
supporting decoding of Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) sources for studio quality replay, 818 also provides an internal digital media source through a network connection to any Meridian Sooloos Digital Media System.


818 is the highest performance two channel preamplifier and Meridian Sooloos end-point manufactured by Meridian. Connecting at the centre of an incredible Meridian music system, 818 offers simple networked integration with any Meridian Sooloos Digital Media System plus an array of other sources including MQA-encoded files and streams.

MQA is a revolutionary audio processing system that captures the essence of a studio master with advanced sampling technology and encapsulates it into a lossless stream or file. On the 818, MQA sources are decoded and can then be rendered externally in the case of the digital outputs, and both decoded and rendered in the case of the analogue outputs.

818 features twin SpeakerLink outputs for “home run” connection in an all-digital system with any of Meridian’s SpeakerLink equipped DSP Loudspeakers. And as part of the 800 Reference Series, 818 features superb, high-quality analogue pre-amplifier outputs via both balanced and single-ended connectors, ensuring 818 can also be used in more traditional audio systems, where sophisticated DSP algorithms feeding the analogue outputs result in an even more accurate sound than before. In addition, Bass, Treble and Balance may be adjusted on the analogue outputs.

Meridian’s SpeakerLink connection system delivers the highest quality digital signals to Meridian’s DSP Loudspeakers on discreet, low-cost cables with simple connectors. SpeakerLink helps make a Meridian system easier to install and far less intrusive than other high-end audio systems. The advantage of the twin SpeakerLink output is that left and right loudspeakers can both be connected directly to the 818, further simplifying wiring structure and making cables even easier to hide.

818 may be used to control and configure Meridian DSP loudspeakers that do not have their own display, such as DSP in-wall systems, where features such as Bass, Treble, Balance, Enhanced Bass Alignment and Enhanced Boundary Control can be set from the Audio Control unit.

818 connects directly to a Meridian Sooloos Digital Media System. When connected, the 818 becomes an audio endpoint and renders audio streamed from the Sooloos system. Control commands sent through 818 can be used to manage music held in the Digital Media System current Play Queue, while the apps for iOS devices can all be used to control 818 as a source within a Meridian Sooloos system.

818 offers a diverse range of high performance audio inputs, both analogue and digital. These allow audio sources to be switched and processed using the same powerful audio enhancing DSP as the internal Digital Media source. It also offers an elegant way to connect and control almost any audio source you might want to enjoy on a pair of Meridian DSP Loudspeakers. Meanwhile, an enhanced analogue output card features advanced filtering for broader bandwidth, maximising the potential of high-resolution music.

818 Reference Audio Core features an advanced linear power supply design for minimum noise and maximum signal integrity.


  • Built-in MQA decoder – fully supports Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) encoded music playback, guaranteeing a studio master quality experience.
  • Upgraded S/PDIF receiver – enables USB and RCA inputs to receive up to 192 kHz digital audio.
  • Enhanced DSP chip – offers lipsync control, DSD playback (DoP) and MQA rendering capability for analogue outputs. The analogue outputs also feature Bass, Treble and Balance.
  • Improved analogue output card – features an upgraded circuit with filtering that broadens the bandwidth, and maximises the potential of high-resolution music.
  • Reference preamplifier featuring Meridian enhancement technologies such as triple FIFO buffering, DSP upsampling and apodising filters to deliver the very
    best performance from any digital source
  • Connects direct to a Meridian Sooloos Digital Media System to make the 818 an audio endpoint.
  • Magnetically-isolated design maximises audio quality Full range of analogue and digital inputs allowing the 818 to handle all your sources, with Meridian enhancements on the digital inputs.
  • Meridian SpeakerLink connection for ultimate quality and convenience of installation when driving Meridian DSP Loudspeakers.
  • Full range of analogue and digital inputs allowing the 818 to handle all your sources, with Meridian enhancements on the digital inputs.
  • Control the Digital Media System Play Queue with the remote control or front panel, or for complete control use the Core Control App for iPad.
  • High-resolution USB input for top quality audio from your computer system.



  • ANALOGUE:1x unbalanced on phono, 1x balanced on XLR-3M, Rendering of decoded MQA streams
  • DIGITAL: Coaxial S/PDIF ≤96kHz/24-bit Twin SpeakerLink, RJ45 balanced (AES/EBU)
    digital interface for single-cable connection to other Meridian equipment, ≤96kHz/24-bit with MHR, and MQA signals for rendering by Meridian DSP loudspeakers


  • ANALOGUE: 6x unbalanced on phono
  • DIGITAL: 2x Coaxial S/PDIF ≤192kHz/24-bit, DoP, 2x Toslink optical ≤96kHz/24-bit
    1x SpeakerLink ≤192kHz/24-bit,  1x Asynchronous USB ≤192kHz/24-bit, DoP,
    MQA source decoding DSD, (DoP) native decode
  • SOURCES: Meridian Digital Media System, RJ45 Ethernet connection


  • MERIDIAN COMMS:, 2x 240 degree 5-pin DIN, 2x SpeakerLink inputs with Comms, 2x SpealerLink outputs with Comms, RS232:
  • CONSTRUCTION: Black lacquer, graphite, or silver metalic finishes in metal and glass. Meridian Select colours also available.
  • REMOTE CONTROL: Via MSR+ (supplied) and RS232
  • 220 - 240 Volt 50/60Hz
  • DIMENSIONS (HWD): 175  x 480 x 411 mm
  • WEIGHT: 16.0 kg

Due to the bespoke nature of our high-end music systems this product is not available to be purchased online. Please contact us for personalized service from one of our team of experts.