Some people call the Cedia Awards the "Oscars" of the electronics industry. But that's not quite right. Every year, filmgoers ask "How in the heck did that win an Oscar?" It's all a matter of taste. Winning a Cedia award is more like winning the Rose Bowl or the World Series. It's not a matter of opinion which team makes it to the Final Four; it's an objective fact. So a Cedia Award has a lot more in common with the objectivity of a Superbowl ring than it does with an Emmy. Sure, the voter's taste plays a part, but a device with a faster processor is a device with a faster processor, simple as that.
So it's kind of a big deal that the Meridian 218 picked up the award for Best New Hardware at the Cedia Awards this year. You might not care if a movie won a film festival or not, but a Cedia is something that audiophiles take into account when building their home theater or sound system.
What Makes the 218 Special?
The Meridian 218 Zone Controller is, functionally speaking, not unlike many other zone controllers on the market. The difference doesn't come in bells and whistles and gimmicks, but in performance, in design, in general user-friendliness, and, perhaps surprisingly, in market positioning.
The 218 is easy to use with digital and analog inputs and intuitive remote control setup, but you already know that if you've ever used a Meridian. And Meridian audio is legendary, sounding just as clean, precise and powerful in the living room as it does in the theater or even outdoors. This is what listeners have come to expect of Meridian. What earned the brand a Cedia this year wasn't just that, it was how they bridged the gap between the high-end audiophile market and the listener who just wants good sound.
Bridging the Gap
Meridian has long been regarded as a sort of deep-end audiophile brand. People who swear by Meridian, in the past, have been the kind of users who spend as much on an audio system as some of us spend on a car. The 218 brings stunning design and impeccable quality to the middle-ground market, to people who appreciate quality, but might not be as steeped in the audiophile culture as some of us. The very high-end market is all well and good, but in reaching out beyond that community, Meridian is ensuring that the culture thrives by offering high-end sound to home theaters and in-store sound systems, without sacrificing quality.
Bridging accessibility and high-end quality is something that the industry has been trying to wrap its head around for years, and the results are often disappointing. That is to say that it's easy to appeal to the middle-ground market if you're willing to sacrifice quality. But Meridian wasn't, and that's how they released the best new hardware of the year.
Questions about the Meridian 218 Zone Controller? Give us a call today at Atlanta Home Theater to learn more!