There are certain companies which are little-known to the world at large but highly respected by the real cognoscenti. In this case, the company is Meridian Audio, which designs and manufactures some of the world's most desirable home entertainment systems.
Meridian’s 30-year reputation was compelling enough for Ferrari to approach them for a collaboration on a range of co-branded audio products. The first of these is the Meridian F80 – a transportable home entertainment system comprising an FM/AM and DAB radio, CD player, DVD player and 80 Watt, 2.1 digital loudspeaker system.
This is by no means merely a radio with a Ferrari badge (although it does, indeed, proudly bear the famous Cavallino Rampante alongside the distinctive Meridian 'M'). Meridian claims that inside the elegant cabinet lies the most advanced transportable entertainment system ever made, with astonishing performance. It can fill a large room with superb quality CD sound or, when connected to a display device, play your DVDs. It can also wake you in the morning with gentle chimes, a pre-set radio station or your favourite CD. In the study, it can be used as a music system or a high-performance computer speaker. Connect your iPod and enjoy your stored music library, or listen to the news on your local FM, AM or DAB Digital radio station. And, being small and light, it’s completely transportable.
But what has Ferrari brought to the partnership other than a badge? Well, Ferrari has an outstanding reputation in the field of materials and composites technology and Meridian faced a number of challenges where Ferrari’s input was invaluable. For example, the main 'cabinet' of the F80 is made from a unique alloy-injected composite plastic that is very light but also extremely rigid and dense, to minimise vibration. Hence the F80 offers excellent dynamic integrity. Whatever the volume level, it doesn’t resonate or interfere with the sound quality, which is clear and full – no matter whether the Meridian F80 is filling a room or sitting right next to you.
The F80 looks smaller than it sounds; but every bit as good. The smooth lines, sculptured curves and deep-gloss lacquered finish immediately tell you that it’s something special. It’s currently available in five official Ferrari colours, with limited-edition models to come, and it costs around £1,500.
Text - Charis Whitcombe
Photos - Meridian
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