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McIntosh MB20 transceiver brings two-way Bluetooth to any hi-fi system

McIntosh MB20
(Image credit: McIntosh)

Recognising the convenience of Bluetooth and the fact that not every hi-fi system – especially those of the vintage variety – has it integrated, McIntosh has launched a device that brings it onboard any home audio set-up.

The MB20 Bluetooth transceiver is a two-way device that can both receive and transmit audio wirelessly. In receiver mode, the MB20 can accept audio from a phone or any other Bluetooth source for playback through the system it's connected to. In transmitter mode, the transceiver can send music playing on a system, including from vinyl and CDs, to a pair of Bluetooth headphones or speakers. A back-panel switch changes the device to the required function.

The MB20 supports the latest Bluetooth 5 standard, as well as the aptX HD, aptX Low Latency and AAC codecs for higher quality transmission between compatible devices. It can connect to systems via a range of outputs and inputs, which include RCA, XLR, optical and coaxial connections.

McIntosh MB20

(Image credit: McIntosh)

As a receiver, it utilises a 32-bit/192kHz DAC (if used with an external DAC, its output is fixed at 96kHz). And when in transmitter mode, it uses an ADC with a 110dB signal-to-noise ratio. 

The Class 1-supporting MB20 can transmit audio within a 150-foot (45.7m) range – 10x greater than a typical Class 2 Bluetooth device – and features an external antenna designed to maximise its range.

The McIntosh MB20 is available to order now, priced £649 / $500 / AU$995, with shipping expected this month for the United States and Canada, and in June for the UK and Australia.

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Becky is Hi-Fi and Audio editor of What Hi-Fi?, and has been part of the team for almost eight years, with her current position preceded by roles as a staff writer and news editor. During that time she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching horror movies and hunting for gluten-free cake.

  • Terry Webb
    Cor, I think I would create a need for one of these just for the sake of owning one!
    Reply
  • Gray
    Terry Webb said:
    Cor, I think I would create a need for one of these just for the sake of owning one!
    Just 649 quid and it's yours Terry boy.
    Reply
  • Peter Carter
    Good to see an audiophile offering with balanced inputs and outputs. Particularly good for McIntosh customers I suspect (and there have been plenty since 1949) wanting to add high-quality BT to legacy systems and retain the same in-house sonic signature.
    Reply