McIntosh Introduces new MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier with aptX Bluetooth 4.1

October 10 2017, 02:50
McIntosh has announced its first Portable Decoding Amplifier (DAC/headphone amp) the MHA50, which offers wireless connectivity to devices via aptX Bluetooth 4.1. With a price tag close to that of a top of the range smartphone, this portable music playback device is targeted at enthusiasts of the famous brand, also looking to match their McIntosh headphone experience everywhere. The new device features a high-quality amplifier plus a high-performance 32-bit digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) with high-res audio playback.

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.
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