August 16, 2010
| by Robert Archer
A couple of years ago when the U.K.-based company Meridian introduced its F80 desktop A/V system it raised the performance bar for manufacturers in the all-in-one system category.
The newly announced M80 Compact Entertainment System, successor to the F80, from the high-performance A/V manufacturer offers ergonomically challenged homeowners the same basic technology platform as the F80, which includes a 2.1 speaker system driven by an 80-watt amplifier, digital signal processing (DSP), a slot-loaded CD/DVD player, an AM/FM tuner and multiple digital and analog inputs, with the addition of several new finishes and the company’s i80 iPod dock.
Meridian says each M80 is hand built in its Cambridgeshire, England, facilities, and its new leather exteriors—-available in black, chestnut and ivory—-are hand sewn in Northampton, England.
The elliptically shaped M80’s exterior also includes a organic light emitting diode (OLED) display that features an automatic brightness control that adjusts the display’s light level to match the ambient light levels in the room. The companion gloss-black i80 iPod dock enables users to access and their music from the system’s front panel or by remote control. In addition, the dock automatically charges an iPod so that a user never leaves home with a depleted iPod.
It won’t match your red Ferrari, like the F80 design managed to do so well, but if you’ve got a black one sitting in your garage the “obsidian” black-colored M80 and black-gloss i80 iPod dock would certainly look like the fit in well next to the sports car.
The M80 is now available, with a hefty MSRP of $2,995, for discerning desktop listeners.
Bob is a dedicated audiophile who has been writing about A/V for Electronic House sister publication CE Pro since 2000.