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New McIntosh Bluetooth Transceiver Unveiled

Following the foundation of its MB20 Bluetooth Transceiver, released back in 2021, McIntosh has revealed its latest MB25 system, equipped with new and upgraded features.

Its main premise is to stream music directly from a smartphone to a home audio system via Bluetooth. No third-party apps are required for the operation of this system.

It’s able to function as a Bluetooth Receiver or Transmitter, albeit not at the same time. There is a switch (Rx/Tx) on the back panel for changing the function.

In Receiver Mode (Rx), users can stream audio from compatible Bluetooth devices, and use the output connections to play the audio through their systems.

In Transmitter Mode (Tx), users can stream music from physical media sources (CDs / Vinyl) to Bluetooth-enabled headphones or speakers.

The device has a transmission range of up to 150 feet, which is enhanced by an external antenna.

The MB25 can also accept physical media sources, making it the perfect system for audiophiles.

It has all the same features as the MB20 while upgrading the user experience. The upgrades include an illuminated front glass panel, providing insights into audio signal rates and connection types, the flexibility to select the input in transmit mode and power control.

The MB25 also offers a solution that allows wireless audio distribution between systems by connecting an MB25 to each system.

It can also be used with another MB25 to achieve a multi-room, multi-system configuration.

It also has a 32bit DAC for receiver mode and a premium Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC) for transmitter mode.

To use the device with an outboard DAC, there are coaxial and optical inputs and outputs. It’s important to note that the MB25 can’t be used as a standalone Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC).

See below the features carried over from the MB20:

  • Bluetooth Version 5.0: A2DP, SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Low Latency, aptX HD
  • Wired Inputs: 1 set Analogue Balanced, 1 set Analogue Unbalanced, 1x Digital Coaxial, 1x  Digital Optical
  • Wired Outputs: 1x Balanced, 1x Unbalanced, 1x Digital Coaxial, 1x Digital Optical
  • Digital Input Format: PCM
  • Digital Input Sample Rate: Up to 24bit / 192kHz
  • Digital Output Format: 24bit / 96kHz
  • Digital Output Sample Rate: 96kHz
  • Power Control: 1x Input, 1x Output
  • Dimensions: 24 x 10.01 x 6.35cm (antenna in upright position adds an additional 3.43cm).
  • Weight:2kg

In order to play vinyl records via the MB25, the turntable used must have a built-in phono preamp or an external phono preamp must be connected between the turntable and the analogue inputs of the MB25.

The MB25 comes with a custom aluminium chassis, complete with a black glass front panel with an illuminated logo.

It also includes a wall-mount power supply with global adapters.

Even without an older McIntosh stereo, AVR, or audio system, the MB25 can be added to almost any legacy audio setup that lacks Bluetooth or digital audio connectivity.

The McIntosh MB25 is retailing for U$600 (approx. A$905) and will be available from July 2024. Official Australian pricing and availability have yet to be revealed.

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