McIntosh’s first-ever Headphone and New D150 Digital Preamp/DAC

January 14 2015, 04:00
McIntosh Laboratory has launched its first-ever headphone, which the brand positions for the most demanding consumers and describes as featuring “the legendary McIntosh sound”. Priced among the most expensives headphones in the market, still the brand claims the new MHP1000 is “the most affordable way to experience McIntosh’s class-leading sound quality.”

The McIntosh-designed headphone driver in the new MHP1000 has been carefully engineered to complement any current or legacy McIntosh headphone amplifier (200 ohms), plus a wide range of third-party electronics. Voiced to deliver a smooth yet transparent, full-bodied, non-fatiguing output, the MHP1000 is a comfortable closed-back, circumaural design.

The MHP1000 design has produced an ergonomic headphone that requires minimal pressure to secure them on the head and ear, allowing for longer comfort and relaxed listening sessions even though, with 464 grams, it’s not exactly lightweight. The ear pads and headband feature a premium, natural soft leather and two detachable cables are included: a 1-metre lead with a 3.5mm stereo connector, plus a 3-metre cable with a 6.3mm (1/4-inch) stereo connector. Both cables feature high-quality gold-plated McIntosh custom-designed connectors and shielded wiring.

The new McIntosh MHP1000 features dynamic, 40mm-diameter, 3-layer compound diaphragms with viscoelastic centre layer transducers and Tesla annular neodymium magnet motor assemblies (patented by Beyerdynamic). Its bass-ported design allows it to reach a 5Hz frequency response.

McIntosh D150, DSD- and DXD-compatible digital preamp
Contrary to the MHP1000, which had already been disclosed earlier in December 2014, McIntosh announced the D150 digital preamp worldwide launch at the CES 2015.

The new D150 has been designed to offer incredible flexibility when adding digital source components to a high-quality audio system and supports many of the latest digital audio formats. With its five digital inputs (2x coaxial, 2x optical and 1x USB), plus balanced and unbalanced connections for both variable and fixed volume audio outputs, the D150 is suited to exploiting the full potential of today’s high-resolution studio-master-quality digital music.

Its USB input accepts up to 32-bit/384kHz signals and supports DSD64, DSD128, DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz. Its two coaxial and two optical inputs accept up to 24-bit/192kHz signals, plus its DIN input also connects to select McIntosh SACD/CD transports/ players. The D150 also boasts a powerful built-in headphone amplifier to complement McIntosh’s new MHP1000 headphone.

The device uses the same revered DAC as the D100 (launched at CES 2013) and features an eight-channel 32-bit/192kHz D/A converter (used in stereo Quad Balanced mode) which benefits from wide dynamic range and extremely low distortion. The D150 is distinctly McIntosh, too: it shares the same classic visuals, controls and hand-crafted black-glass front panels as all the other McIntosh components.
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