McIntosh has announced three new next-generation home cinema products: the MX170 and MX123 A/V Processors, plus the MC255 5-Channel Home Theatre Amplifier.

McIntosh MX170 A/V Processor

The new McIntosh MX170 A/V Processor features the latest home cinema technology, including 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and 3D surround sound. The MX170 comes with eight HDMI inputs and 4 HDMI outputs, driven by the newest and most powerful HDMI processors available. Each HDMI port is HDCP 2.2 specified and has 18Gbps of bandwidth to fully support 4K Ultra HD picture quality and full 4:4:4 color spacing.

Audio Return Channel (ARC) capabilities are featured on three of the outputs, while the 4th features Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) functionality; eARC offers improved bandwidth so higher resolution audio can be sent from TVs to the MX170. HDR formats HDR10, Dolby Vision™ and HLG are also fully supported. A special HDBaseT output is also included to prevent signal loss and degradation with long distances between screen and processor. The MX170 also has 3D video pass-through.

For audio, the new MX170 is compatible with all the leading object-based, 3D surround sound formats including Dolby® Atmos, DTS:X™ and Auro-3D®. It includes RoomPerfect™ room-correction technology to measure and adjust the output to compensate for room acoustics. The MX170 features balanced outputs for a 15.1 surround sound speaker configuration. If fewer speakers are available, four of the outputs can be used to bi-amp selected speakers or to drive additional subwoofers. The MX170 comes with a full suite of digital inputs including four optical, three coaxial and 1 USB (that each accept up to 24-bit/192kHz signals), plus one digital balanced input. There’s also a complete complement of analogue inputs comprising two balanced and four unbalanced inputs, a phono input, plus a 7.1 multichannel unbalanced input.

The processor features some of the latest analogue-to-digital convertor technology to maximise the audio quality of analogue sources. All analogue and digital devices can be custom-named to simplify system operation; their volume levels can be matched to eliminate jarring changes in volume when transitioning between sources. Bass and treble controls offer further audio fine-tuning. The MX170 takes advantage of the latest advancements in processing power to run cooler.

McIntosh MX123 A/V Processor

The new McIntosh MX123 A/V Processor is compatible with all the leading home cinema surround sound and object-based 3D audio formats including Dolby® Atmos, DTS:X™ and Auro-3D®. It’s also fully compatible with modern 4K Ultra HD video sources and can upscale lower resolutions to 4K Ultra HD for the best possible picture quality.

The MX123 features upgraded digital audio processing capabilities that result in two additional discrete audio channels, bringing the MX123 to 13.2 compared to 11.2 channels in the previous model. These 13.2 discrete channels are available via both balanced and unbalanced audio outputs that can be used in a variety of home cinema speaker configurations; two additional unbalanced outputs offer further connection flexibility. DSD and ALAC playback support have been doubled to DSD128 and ALAC 192kHz.

For video, the MX123 has seven HDMI inputs and three HDMI outputs. All HDMI inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.3, making the MX123 compliant and compatible with digital content protection specifications well into the future. They also have 18Gbps of bandwidth to support High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats: Dolby Vision™; HDR10 and HLG; 4K Ultra HD at 50/60Hs; 4:4:4 color spacing; Rec. 2020 and 3D video pass-through. Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) functionality is included on one of the HDMI outputs. Additional connections include: four digital audio inputs; one balanced and eight unbalanced analogue stereo audio inputs (including one dedicated Moving Magnet); an unbalanced 7.1 multi-channel audio input; three component and four composite video inputs; 1 USB Type A input; two unbalanced analogue stereo outputs, plus two composite and one component video outputs.

A new feature on the MX123 is IMAX® Enhanced: a set of stringent performance standards established by IMAX and DTS® to create a consistent and higher standard for image and sound performance on premium devices. It utilises an advanced algorithm designed to produce the highest-quality, sharpest 4K HDR images. IMAX and DTS will also partner with award-winning Hollywood sound mixers to use a special variant of the DTS:X codec technology included in the MX123 to deliver an IMAX signature sound experience at home.

Streaming options on the MX123 have been upgraded from the previous model. The MX123 now includes Apple® AirPlay 2® along with Bluetooth® and Spotify Connect for easy streaming from mobile devices (AirPlay 2 is an Apple technology designed to control home audio systems and speakers in any room – with a tap or by just asking Siri – right from an iPhone®, iPad®, HomePod™, or Apple TV®). It offers multiroom audio, Siri voice control and enhanced playback. TuneIn is also included for further music streaming options. To assist with streaming performance and reliability, wireless connectivity has been improved to include 2.4/5GHs dual band support.

Audyssey MultEQ® XT32 is included and will calibrate the MX123 to a home cinema’s unique acoustical properties. Each discrete audio channel has its own 32-bit premium digital-to-analogue converter (DAC). Bass and treble tone controls, plus a nine-band equaliser offer additional fine-tuning. The MX123 also has the flexibility to create two additional zones and send select audio and/or video to each zone.

MC255 5-Channel Home Theater Amplifier

The new MC255 features McIntosh’s new TripleView™ Power Output Meter which independently indicates the real-time power reading of the amplifier’s three front channels. Instead of three separate meter windows each housing a single meter, as found on McIntosh previous five-channel amplifier, the easy-to-read, 38 cm- (15-inch-) wide TripleView features three of McIntosh’s traditional mechanical meters in a single meter enclosure.

In addition to the new TripleView meter, the MC255 offers a number of other performance upgrades: filter capacity has been increased by 50 per cent, which has more than doubled dynamic headroom from 1.7dB to 3.6dB (a key feature in a home cinema amplifier) as well as improving the performance of low frequencies. When using just the front left, centre and right channels, the power output has been increased by 25 per cent from 200 watts per channel (WPC) to 250 W. When using all five channels, each will receive a healthy 200 W. McIntosh’s Dynamic Power Manager® (DPM) technology delivers the full 200/250 W regardless of whether 4- or 8-Ohm speakers are used.

The MC255 runs cool and is also quiet, thanks to four  Monogrammed Heatsinks™ which are connected to advanced high-current-output transistors which silently and efficiently cool the amplifier; as a result, noisy cooling fans are not needed. A quiet, specially wound toroidal isolation power transformer also helps keep noise to a minimum.

The speaker terminals have been updated to McIntosh’s gold-plated binding posts. Traditional McIntosh knobs now adorn the front panel to control the meter lights and power function. Direct LED backlighting has been added to the front panel . McIntosh’s eco-friendly power management system (that will turn the amplifier off after a set amount of time when no input signal has been detected) is also now included.

The MC255 also comes with hallmark McIntosh technologies such as Power Guard® (which prevents potential speaker damage caused by clipping and over-driving of the amplifier), and Sentry Monitor™ (which protects against short-circuits by disengaging the output stage should the current ever exceed safe operating levels; it then resets automatically when operating conditions return to normal). Both balanced and unbalanced inputs are included to connect the MC255 to the rest of the home cinema system. The MC255 can be used to power a conventional five-channel home cinema, plus it can be paired with either McIntosh’s MI128 eight-Channel or MI254 four-Channel Digital Amplifiers in home cinemas that have additional surround sound speakers for use with object-based 3D audio formats such as Dolby® Atmos, DTS:X™ and Auro-3D®. It can also be used in a two-zone configuration with the three front channels used at 250 W in one zone and the two surround sound channels used at 200 W in a second audio zone.

Pricing And Availability

Orders for the MX170, MX123 and MC25 can now be placed with McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin to the UK in November 2019 (October in the US).

UK Prices: MX170: £19,995; MX123: £9,995; MC255: £9,995

USA Prices: MX170: $15,500; MX123: $8,000; MC255: $8,000

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