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.
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.