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McIntosh Adds Headphone Amp, Digital Bridge

LAS VEGAS – McIntosh’s first stand-alone headphone amp and first digital media bridge debut in prototype form with high-resolution support. Both incorporate DACs.

The Ethernet-connected MB100 Digital Media Bridge lets users add digital content into a McIntosh sound system from web sources, music on the home network, and from local digital sources such as USB storage devices, SATA drives or computers via USB 3.0. It plays uncompressed, lossless and DRM audio formats. Web services that can be steamed include Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify, RadioTime and guest-provided music. Cloud access is also available for backing up files and synchronizing them with other Digital Media Bridges in other homes.

The bridge is controlled via iOS or Android app, web browser, TV user interface, front-panel display, or third-party control systems via IP and RS232. Outputs are both balanced and unbalanced analog as well as digital optical and coax. ESS DACs are used.

The MB100 Bridge comes with USB and digital coaxial ports supporting data rates up to 192/24. The device also up-samples music to 192/24.

The compact MHA100 headphone amp will feature a variety of analog and digital inputs for connecting sources. It also features built-in 2×50-watt amp to power desktop speakers and can be connected to a powered subwoofer.

Four digital inputs, one optical, one coax, one AES/ EBU and one USB input allow playback of files of up to 32 bits/192 KHz. The device also up-samples content to 32/192. Two stereo analog inputs, one balanced and one unbalanced, can also be used. The headphone section uses McIntosh-designed and wound impedance matching autoformers to deliver full power into any headphone from 8 to 600 ohms. Signal processing simulates conventional stereo imaging through headphones as experienced with normal speakers.