Review: McIntosh MHA50 Portable Decoding Headphone Amplifier
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The MHA50 puts the world-famous McIntosh sound in the palm of your hand. Designed to decode your music with the highest possible fidelity, this headphone amplifier delivers the signature McIntosh performance to almost any wired headphone on the market. You’ll also add a natural dimension to your music with the Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) - an adjustable feature that makes it even easier to personalize and perfect your sound settings.
The MHA50 operates with impressive speed thanks to the high-performance 32-bit DAC. Bluetooth 4.1 A2DP with aptX built-in enables you to send music from your Bluetooth devices wirelessly, and four included USB adapter cables enable you to connect to smartphones, tablets, computers and more. Also included is a leather carry case, and a charger.
"Hi, everyone. It's Adam with World Wide Stereo, and today I'm going to give you a product tour of a new portable headphone DAC amplifier from McIntosh, the MHA50. So this is the McIntosh MHA50. It is a portable unit. It has a DAC in it and it's also a headphone amplifier. So you can use this to connect to your iPhone or your Android-based phone or even a Mac or a computer that you want to have when you're listening to music.
And it'll do a phenomenal job of taking that digital audio and giving you a great headphone output at the other end. As you see here, it's built from nice extruded aluminum. The front has a nice glass plate, and it has a touch-sensitive volume control on the front. Your main connection here on the bottom is USB and inside the box on the other end, they're going to give you about every single connector you could ever need to connect to either your portable device or your computer or laptop.
I mentioned this is a portable device to connect to either your iPhones or your computers, but you can also Bluetooth to this thing, enable Bluetooth and send a signal to it that way and have it do the decoding and then connect your headphones to listen to that Bluetooth stream. On the top of it, you'll have your High or Low gain, and that's to change the gain of the amplifier to get more or less output. And one will sound better than the other so you know which one to choose there.
There's also a circuit in this that makes the headphones kind of sound more like a panoramic kind of sound as opposed to just directly firing in your ear. I actually really like this circuit a lot. When I turn it on, it's kind of a more easy listening experience, more like a pair of speakers and not just, you know, a speaker that's blasting into my ear. When fully charged, the manual says you get about six hours of battery life out of this
The DAC inside of it is capable of decoding up to a 32-bit, 192-kilohertz signal, and it's also able to do DSD or DXD files. Personally, I tested this thing with my MacBook. I also tested it with my iPhone and I found it to be very, very good. Everything I put into it came out really, really crystal clear. It added a kind of smoothness to the sound that I wasn't getting otherwise.
So I found it really enjoyable. It made my headphones sound better. If you haven't heard it, you need to come in and try it. This is the McIntosh MHA50. It will be available online, or if you happen to be in the area, you can stop by at our Montgomeryville or Ardmore, Pennsylvania showrooms. We're an authorized dealer for everything that we sell. We offer a 60-day return policy and also free shipping.
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