Headphones with the Mac


McIntosh’s new MHA200 vacuum tube headphone amplifier is compact enough (six inches wide) to be placed close to the listening position with its long balanced cables connecting it to audio systems without fear of signal loss. Features, such as the advanced Unity Coupled Circuit transformers, have been adapted so that virtually any headphones can be driven with it. 

A wide range of connectivity options includes a pair of 3-pin balanced XLR connectors (for dedicated left and right balanced output); a 4-pin balanced XLR connector (for balanced stereo output), plus a ¼-inch (6.35 mm) stereo headphone jack. For connection to home audio devices, the MHA200 has both balanced and unbalanced inputs.

The MXA200 is driven by 12AT7 valves that amplify the incoming audio signal, while the 12BH7A tubes provide the power to drive the output to the headphones. McIntosh has designed the output transformers in order to ensure maximum power transfer for various headphone loads. Instead of having to adapt to the impedance of the headphones with voltage gain in the input stage, the Unity Coupled Circuit output transformers’ secondary windings ensure the full power of the MHA200 is available regardless of the impedance of the headphones. A custom, high-performance and highly efficient toroidal power transformer (with low mechanical hum and a low magnetic field to help reduce electrical noise), provides clean power to the amplifier. 

The MHA200 features a stainless steel chassis with a polished-mirror finish. A vintage die-cast aluminium McIntosh name badge adorns the side. The £2,795 MHA200 is expected in April 2021 (UK) and March (United States and Canada).

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