McIntosh MB20 Class 1 Bluetooth Transceiver

Model: MB20 UPC: 842548110236 Item: 176566

Product Information

Stream to a McIntosh of Any Era.


  • Easy way to stream to a McIntosh of any era
  • Bluetooth 5.0, Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), Qualcomm aptX HD, and Low Latency
  • Use as either a transmitter or receiver
  • Analog and digital inputs and outputs - including balanced connections
  • Small footprint - not much bigger than a smartphone

The MB20 Bluetooth Transceiver is an easy and simple solution to add Bluetooth streaming capabilities to virtually any McIntosh (or non-McIntosh) home audio system of any era. It can quickly turn a vintage McIntosh system that you've treasured for decades, or a family heirloom system that you've inherited, into a modern home music system capable of playing the digital music stored on your phone, in your cloud accounts, or from your preferred streaming services. It is a small (its footprint not much bigger than a smartphone), stand-alone, complete Bluetooth streaming solution that does not require any third-party apps to use.

As a transmitter/receiver, the MB20 has been designed to provide a superior Bluetooth connection to audio equipment that lacks Bluetooth connectivity. As such, it has been engineered as a Class 1 Bluetooth device. Class 1 devices can typically operate at a range of up to 150 feet (45.7 meters) in ideal conditions with limited obstructions. As a Receiver, the MB20 employs an extremely sensitive receiver for better reception, even from Class 2 devices, with the maximum range determined by the capabilities of both actively paired devices. An external antenna helps maximize its range for better performance. As a Transmitter, it has a range 10x greater than that of a typical Class 2 Bluetooth device.

The compact MB20 comes with a variety of analog and digital inputs and outputs to connect it to your home audio system – most notably amongst them being balanced inputs and outputs, making it one of the only Bluetooth transmitter-receivers to offer these superior audio connections that help deliver top-quality audio performance. For connecting it to your system via analog cables, it includes 1 stereo set of both balanced and unbalanced inputs, along with a stereo set of balanced and unbalanced outputs. For digitally connecting it to your system, such as for use with an outboard Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC), it has 1 each of both coaxial and optical inputs and outputs.

The MB20 uses Bluetooth® 5.0 with support for both the high bitrate Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) standard as well as Qualcomm® aptX HD for hi-res audio playback. It also features Qualcomm aptX Low Latency for improved audio transmission speed to deliver sound in sync with applicable visual media. When used as a Receiver, the MB20 uses a high-performance 32-bit DAC with 192kHz internal processing for optimum sound quality; when used in combination with a separate outboard DAC, the MB20's digital output is fixed at 96kHz to be compatible with most third-party DACs in order to maximize performance and maintain audio signal integrity. When in Transmitter mode, it uses an equally capable high-performance Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) with 110dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR).

As a transceiver, the MB20 can function as either a Bluetooth Receiver or Transmitter (but not both at the same time). Simply set the switch on the back panel to the proper setting for the desired Receiver or Transmitter usage.

  1. In Receiver mode, you can stream to the MB20 via Bluetooth from any compatible device with Bluetooth streaming capabilities; this audio can then be played through your McIntosh system regardless of when your amplifier or preamplifier was made.
  2. When in Transmitter mode, you can stream from the MB20 to any device capable of receiving Bluetooth streaming audio. In this setup, you could stream the music stored on physical media, such as CDs or vinyl records, to your wireless Bluetooth headphones or wireless Bluetooth speakers.
  3. If you have more than one audio system in your home that is within range of each other then a third option is to add an MB20 to each system and set one to Transmitter mode and the other(s) to Receiver mode. Then you could stream music stored on a physical medium, such as from a CD player or turntable, from one system to the other system(s) in your home. Or if you have the need for a high-performance audio link from one part of your house to another but running cables is not possible, then two MB20s wirelessly connected in this manner could create full wireless encode/decode bridge.



  • Electronic Specifications
    • Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.005%
    • Frequency Response: +/- 0.5dB from 20Hz to 20,000Hz
    • Maximum Volts Out (Balanced / Unbalanced): 5 / 2.5 V RMS
    • Signal to Noise Ratio: > 100dB
    • Output Impedance: Minimum load 500 Ohms
    • Dynamic Range: N/A
  • Connectivity
    • Balanced Input: 1
    • Balanced Output: 1
    • Unbalanced Input: 1
    • Unbalanced Output: 1
    • Digital Coaxial Input: 1 
    • Digital Coaxial Output: 1
    • Digital Optical Input: 1
    • Digital Optical Output: 1
    • Digital USB Input: 0
    • Digital USB Audio Output: 0
    • Network Connection: Bluetooth
    • DVI Output: 0
    • HDMI Output: 0
    • VGA Output: 0
    • eSata Input: 0
  • Digital Audio Specifications
    • Digital Input Format: PCM
    • Digital Input Sample Rate: Up to 24-Bit/192kHz
    • Digital Output Format: 24-Bit/96kHz
    • Digital Output Sample Rate: 96kHz
  • Control
    • Power Control Input: 0
    • Power Control Output: 0
    • Rear Panal Data Input: 0
    • Rear Panel IR Sensor Input: 0
  • Weight & Dimensions
    • Unit Dimensions (W x H x D): 9-29/64" x 2-1/2" (antenna in upright position adds additional 1-38") x 3-15/16"
    • Unit Weight: 2.5 lbs 


Customer Reviews for McIntosh MB20 Class 1 Bluetooth Transceiver

5.0 / 5.0
1 Review
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Rated 5 out of 5
Sounds great!! Lots of input and output options.
I stream Apple Music lossless audio through it and it sounds great! I have used other Bluetooth devices, but this has the options such as XLR cables, optical etc.... The XLR connections have allowed me to make superb sounding tapes on my Tascam BR-20 RTR. I am considering the purchasing another one to utilize as a transmitter. This will give me the option of having a remote music source without having use (and hide) lengthy cables.
June 30, 2021
4 months ago


Customer Q & A

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Is the MB20 made in the USA?
Ben-James T on May 29, 2021
  Thanks for your inquiry. The MB20 is manufactured at the McIntosh factory in Binghamton, NY.