The new McIntosh MHA50 offers conventional wired connectivity for the ultimate sound quality, plus the cable-free convenience of Bluetooth. Wired inputs are available for Apple iOS devices, along with Mac and Windows computers, plus Android devices compatible with On-The-Go USB technology. Wireless connectivity is via Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX technology, delivering the highest possible sound quality from Bluetooth-enabled sources.
A powerful 32-bit DAC decodes music files from almost any digital source giving an instant sound quality upgrade and enabling headphones to perform at their best. The MHA50 supports hi-res audio (32-bit/192kHz, DSD256 and DXD384 files) plus asynchronous USB audio to minimize digital distortion. The MHA50’s 3,000 mAh rechargeable battery provides up to six hours of Bluetooth playback from a single charge with even more time from wired connections.
Comparably sized to smartphones, the MHA50 is compact and lightweight for portability with a bevelled case that fits comfortably in hands and pockets. Its sleek design features a glass front panel with a touch-sensitive volume control knob inspired by the classic knobs found on countless McIntosh products. The MHA50 is built primarily from durable extruded aluminum which benefits from noise-shielding properties to help block external interference.
Two gain settings allow the MHA50 to work with all types of headphones from small in-ear models to large over-ear designs, such as the McIntosh MHP1000 headphones. The device can drive headphones with impedances ranging from 8-600 ohms.
"McIntosh’s proprietary Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) technology, as seen in its high-end hi-fi amplifiers, brings an optional dimensionality to music in a natural-sounding way," the company claims. Audio is output via a gold-plated 3.5mm jack which can also be used to connect to powered (active) desktop speakers, allowing the MHA50 to serve as a desktop DAC.
The MHA50 comes complete with three USB adapter cables to connect various devices, a leather carrying case and a wall-mount charger with a USA plug and adapters for Europe and Japan. Orders can be placed now with authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected in October (US) and elsewhere in November 2017.