McIntosh has introduced the MX100 AV processor and MI347 7-channel amplifier, which represent a streamlined approach to McIntosh’s home theater product offerings. Designed to be heard more than seen, both can be mounted in a hidden or out-of-the-way AV equipment rack. Accordingly, the MX100 has a 2U height and the MI347 has a 3U height.
The MX100 AV processor is designed for today’s home theaters that only need digital inputs and don’t require any legacy analog inputs. It has four HDMI inputs and one HDMI output, with all being HDCP 2.2compliant. Each HDMI port also has 18 Gbps of bandwidth to support High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG; 4K Ultra HD at 50/60 Hz; 4:4:4 color spacing; Rec. 2020; and 3D video pass-through. Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) functionality is included on the HDMI output. eARC offers improved bandwidth so the MX100 can receive higher resolution audio from a TV. Two coax and two optical digital audio inputs are also included.
For outputting audio, the MX100 has 11.2 (or 7.2.4) discrete audio channels and 13 balanced (XLR) connectors. Seven premium 32-bit digital-to-analog converters (DACs) provide audiophile-grade processing. By utilizing only balanced outputs, one can be assured of the cleanest sound being sent through the audio cables to the amplifier(s) and ultimately to the speakers and subwoofer(s).
The MX100 is compatible with leading home theater surround sound and object-based 3D audio formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It’s also fully compatible with 4K Ultra HD video sources. The MX100 can be fine-tuned to each home theater’s unique acoustical properties via the built-in Audyssey MultEQ XT32 calibration software that has more than 10,000 individual control points, allowing finer details of the room’s problems to be captured and corrected.
Setup is performed via computer interface, and it can even be preconfigured by the installer to save on-site installation time. The configuration file can be backed up onto a computer or USB stick for safe keeping. The MX100 can be fully operated via the remote control, or it can be incorporated it into a home automation system via RS232 control protocol.
The MI347 7-channel digital amplifier is a dedicated home theater amplifier that has a simplified and understated exterior, but the internal circuitry and components have received the full attention of the McIntosh engineers.
In a home theater, the most important audio channels or speakers are the front left, front right, and center channel speaker. These are where a majority of the dialog and the loudest and most prominent special effects resonate from. As such, the MI347 will deliver 250 watts at 8 Ohms or 300 watts at 4 Ohms to each of these three speakers. The MI347’s other four channels are meant to drive the still important but less power-hungry surround sound speakers. To each of these four channels, the MI347 will deliver 125 watts at 8 Ohms or 200 watts at 4 Ohms.
A highly efficient Class D amplifier, the MI347 does not require noisy cooling fans to maintain nominal operating temperature; it also features an abundance of cooling vents on the top and sides to further assist with heat dissipation. On the front panel, multi-color LED indicators display the status of each channel. On the back, both a balanced and unbalanced input is included for each channel.
The MI347 is ideally suited to be paired with the McIntosh MX100 AV processor, but can also be used with McIntosh’s MX123 and MX170 processors, or with virtually any home theater processor. If there’s more than seven audio channels in the home theater, such as with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, McIntosh’s MI254 4-channel digital amplifier or MI128 8-channel digital amplifier (both rack mountable) can be added to deliver McIntosh power to all the speakers.
Other features included with the MI347: Power Guard signal overload technology that prevents overdriving and damaging the speakers; Sentry Monitor short-circuit protection circuit that disengages the output stage should current ever approach unsafe operating levels; Power Control to automatically turn other connected McIntosh components on and off; and eco-friendly on/off signal sensing that turns the unit off if no input signal has been detected for a set amount of time and automatically turns the MI347 on when it senses a signal from the home theater processor.
While having streamlined designs, both the MX100 and MI347 still include many McIntosh design cues including a black glass front panel, an illuminated McIntosh logo, rotary control knobs (MX100 only), and a familiar form factor highlighted by silver trim.
Orders for the MX100 and MI347 can now be placed with authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in November 2020 to the United States and Canada, and to the rest of the world shortly thereafter.
Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded):