Mission has a new integrated stereo amp. That might not seem like a big deal, until you realise its last one was released nearly 40 years ago, in 1983 (that's the same year that saw Return of the Jedi hit cinemas). Thankfully, it looks like the Mission 778X was worth the wait.
The original 778 launched six years after Mission was formed. It combined decent build quality, simple controls and a broad range of inputs in a relatively affordable package. After it, Mission didn't stop making amps – it just did so under its new Cyrus brand offshoot. But now we have a new model under the Mission name.
The 778X offers similar benefits as the original 778 but updated to meet today's standards.
Thanks to its range of inputs, it will play nice with all your digital and analogue music sources. These include asynchronous USB Type B and three S/PDIF sockets (one coaxial and two optical), as well as three stereo RCA inputs (two line-level plus an MM phono input for turntables). And outputs? Its digital come in optical and coaxial varieties, while pre-out sockets mean you can hook it up to an external power amplifier.
Of course, Bluetooth is onboard too for wireless playback from a computer or mobile device, and it supports the aptX and AAC codecs.
Two rotary controls on the front of the unit adjust source selection and volume, while the white LEDs surrounding them show your current settings. There are also a power button, IR sensor and 6.3mm headphone port on the front.
Inside is a hi-res DAC based around the ES9018K2M chipset from the Sabre32 Reference family. Because this uses ESS Technology’s 32-bit HyperStream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, it should provide great dynamic range and low distortion. Hi-res PCM files are supported up to 32-bit/384kHz, and DSD to 11.2 MHz (DSD256).
The Mission 778X is available this month for £549 / $799 / AU$1199.
It also comes packaged with some of Mission's standmount speakers: you can bundle it with two Mission LX-2 MkII speakers for £649 (saving you £130 on buying the devices separately), or with two Mission QX-2 MkII for £799 (saving £150).
The amp comes in silver or black, while the speakers are available in matt black, matt white or walnut.
Read our Mission QX-2 MkII review
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