The McIntosh MB20 Bluetooth Transceiver is a simple solution to add McIntosh-quality Bluetooth streaming capabilities to virtually any McIntosh (or non-McIntosh) home audio system of any era. It can quickly turn a vintage McIntosh system or family heirloom system into a modern home music system capable of playing the digital music stored on your phone, in your cloud accounts, or from your preferred streaming services.
Engineered as a Class 1 Bluetooth Device
As a transmitter/receiver, the MB20 has been designed to provide a superior Bluetooth connection to audio equipment that lacks Bluetooth connectivity. As such, it has been engineered as a Class 1 Bluetooth device. Class 1 devices can typically operate at a range of up to 150 feet (45.7 meters) in ideal conditions with limited obstructions.
The MB20 employs an extremely sensitive receiver for better reception, even from Class 2 devices, with the maximum range determined by the capabilities of both actively paired devices. An external antenna helps maximize its range for better performance.
As a Transmitter, it has a range 10x greater than that of a typical Class 2 Bluetooth device.
MB20 Offers Variety of Inputs and Outputs
The compact MB20 comes with a variety of analog and digital inputs and outputs to connect it to a home audio system – most notably among them being balanced inputs and outputs. For connecting it to a system via analog cables, it includes one stereo set of both balanced and unbalanced inputs, along with a stereo set of balanced and unbalanced outputs. For digitally connecting it to a system, such as for use with an outboard Digital-to-Analog Convertor (DAC), it has one each of both coaxial and optical inputs and outputs.
The MB20 uses Bluetooth 5.0 with support for both the high bitrate Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) standard as well as Qualcomm aptX HD for hi res audio playback. It also features Qualcomm aptX Low Latency for improved audio transmission speed to deliver sound in sync with applicable visual media.
When used as a receiver, the MB20 engages a high-performance 32-bit DAC with 192kHz internal processing for optimum sound quality. When used in combination with a separate outboard DAC, the MB20’s digital output is fixed at 96kHz to be compatible with most third-party DACs, maximizing performance and maintaining audio signal integrity.
When in transmitter mode, it uses an equally capable high-performance analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) with 110dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR).
As a transceiver, the MB20 can function as either a Bluetooth receiver or transmitter (but not both at the same time). Simply set the switch on the back panel to the proper setting for the desired receiver or transmitter usage.
- In receiver mode, you can stream to the MB20 via Bluetooth from any compatible device with Bluetooth streaming capabilities; this audio can then be played through your McIntosh system regardless of when your amplifier or preamplifier was made.
- When in transmitter mode, you can stream from the MB20 to any device capable of receiving Bluetooth streamed audio. In this setup, you could stream the music stored on physical media, such as CDs or vinyl records, to your wireless Bluetooth headphones or wireless Bluetooth speakers.
- If you have more than one audio system in your home that are within range of each other, then a third option is to add an MB20 to each system and set one to transmitter mode and the other(s) to receiver mode. Then you could stream music stored on a physical medium, such as from a CD player or turntable, from one system to the other system(s) in your home. Or if you have the need for a high-performance audio link from one part of your house to another but running cables is not possible, then two MB20s wirelessly connected in this manner could create a full wireless encode/decode bridge.
The MB20 comes in a black, custom aluminum chassis with a black glass top panel, letting it fit right in with any McIntosh system. The MB20 will also work with any non-McIntosh home audio system that has the proper inputs and outputs. It includes a wall mount charger with adapters for some of the most common outlets used around the world.
Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $500 USD.