McIntosh MXA80 claims audiophile sound quality from a small package

We're all for hi-fi systems with gigantic floor-standing speakers, but sometimes you want something a little less dominating. Thankfully, McIntosh's latest system is a very small package - but that's intended to be no impediment to full-size performance.

The MXA80 packs everything the modern hi-fi listener could want, including a hi-res-compatible digital-to-analogue converter (DAC). That means you can fire music to it from your smartphone, tablet or computer and, in theory at least, enjoy high-quality sound.

The 50W stereo amp is about as compact as these things ever get, and the two diminutive desktop speakers are claimed to pack quite a punch.

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It handles hi-res music files up to studio grade (32-bit/384kHz). And the DAC supports DSD and DXD files, giving some future-proofing to the system.

The system boasts four digital inputs (including USB) for connecting your smart devices, and two additional analogue inputs for your existing hi-fi kit. There's also an optional phono amp for adding a turntable, and an optional streaming module if you want to get wireless.

The headphone amp has its own proprietary technology, which should improve sound quality no matter what your brand or style of headphone.

Of course, the whole thing is built to McIntosh's exacting standards, with a stainless steel chassis giving it a decidedly retro look.

The MXA80 is on sale now from Jordan Acoustics for £7500.

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