McIntosh MB50 Streaming Audio Player Review


When it comes to building the highest quality audio products available, McIntosh has been setting the bar since 1949 — even when that means staying up-to-date with modern listening habits.

Music streaming is more popular and accessible than ever before, and McIntosh’s MB50 Streaming Audio Player is their way of ensuring music lovers have the best devices to enjoy it. Since it's a DTS Play-Fi streaming player, all you have to do is download the Play-Fi app to your phone or tablet, and you're ready to go. You'll have instant wireless access to your entire digital music library and all the best music streaming services.

To play your favorite songs anywhere in the house, simply connect the MB50 streaming audio player to the McIntosh XR50 3-way loudspeakers and one of their great power amps. Multi-room capabilities allow you to stream music to any Play-Fi device (like the RS-100 wireless loudspeaker), or to a speaker from another manufacturer.

Stream the same song to multiple rooms, or create a unique vibe by playing a different one in each room in the house. Finally, a way to listen to Frank Sinatra in the kitchen while cooking up Sunday dinner as your daughter blasts T-Swift in her bedroom.

This streaming audio player also comes with a built-in headphone amplifier, offering more diverse ways for you to sit back and listen to song after song.

Check out the video below for a complete product tour.

Video Transcript

A new addition to the McIntosh line is the MB50. The MB50 is a Play-Fi streaming device.

You probably got a hint that something was different when you saw the dual antennas on the back. So what this allows us to do is stream music. We can download the Play-Fi app onto our phone or iPad, then we subscribe to a music streaming service. There's several of them out there.

And now we hook this up to our stereo, open up the app, and we can call up almost any piece of music that's ever been recorded. I can say, "Gees, I haven't heard Doobie Brothers' "Toulouse Street" in a long time. I just punch that in and there it is — as though it was in my CD collection. So you can almost think of this as a 400,000 or more CD changer.

Pretty small for such a device. It does more than streaming. It can do multi-room streaming, so we can have several Play-Fi devices in several rooms of the house. We can be listening to different things in different rooms or we can group them all together. When we're having a party, have music all over the house.

It also has a headphone amplifier. If you listen to headphones in, say, your office, and you want to be able to listen to a wide variety of music, you can create your own playlists. Plug a pair of headphones in. You don't really need a stereo system. If you want to use this with speakers, it has preamp outputs so we can hook up a power amplifier to it directly. We don't need a preamp in our system.

It also has multiple extra inputs. It has analog inputs. It has digital inputs, multiple digital inputs. So this could serve as the heart of a very modern, clean, simple, high-quality music-streaming system.

I could picture someone having this, a pair of the McIntosh XR50 3-way loudspeakers, one of the great McIntosh power amps and, let's have some fun, maybe a MC275 tube amplifier, as a perfect little office system.

So it's the new MB50 streaming device that allows you to listen to music available on all the streaming services that are out there.

McIntosh MB50 Streaming Audio Player

McIntosh MB50 Streaming Audio Player

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