McIntosh MHA100 headphone amp goes on sale for £4995

The McIntosh MHA100, the company's first dedicated headphone amplifier, is now on sale in the UK for a cool £4995.

First revealed at CES 2014 alongside compact amplifiers, a micro system and headphones, the MHA100 offers a range of analogue and digital inputs in an instantly-recognisable, compact McIntosh chassis.

The amp can also be used to drive a pair of speakers, McIntosh has computer or desktop systems in mind, thanks to the addition of speaker outputs capable of pumping out 50-watts of stereo power.

Measuring just under 30cm wide, 15cm high and 45cm deep (and weighing 12kg), the MHA100 is a compact take on the famous McIntosh design, which is signified most obviously by the illuminated glass front panel and output meters.

McIntosh MHA100 top

McIntosh MHA100 top

There are a choice of three impendance ranges depending on the specs of your headphones, while McIntosh's Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) aims to deliver the sense of depth and space that's more normally associated with listening to a hi-fi system rather than headphones.

The MHA100 has coaxial, optical, balanced and USB digital inputs, plus balanced and unbalanced stereo analogue inputs. There's a stereo preamp output, too, and of course a headphone connection.

All digital inputs are upsampled to 32-bit/192kHz resolution before the digital-to-analogue conversion process.

McIntosh MHA100 back

McIntosh MHA100 back

Elsehwhere McIntosh's Power Guard and Sentry Monitor technologies aim to ensure your amp has a long and healthy life, avoiding clipping, protecting mismatched headphones and speakers from being cooked, and monitoring overall power output.

There's an OLED display to show your volume and input selection, tone controls for making fine adjustments and a remote control.

The McIntosh MHA100 is on sale now for £4995 and distributed in the UK by Jordan Acoustics.

MORE: McIntosh C2500 amplifier review

by Joe Cox

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).