McIntosh Group is getting very serious about home theater in 2023 and we knew that was coming based on our 2022 coverage and visits to the factory in Binghamton and the Sonus faber factory in Italy. We have an extensive list of articles linked below that should be considered valuable reading.
The pandemic created a lot of opportunities in the home theater and CI verticals; McIntosh and Sonus faber introduced new multi-room audio components and architectural loudspeakers to satisfy the needs of more affluent consumers who want the experience — they just don’t want to look at it.
But do you know what was missing for that extensive list of components? A really high-end AV receiver with a lot of power, support for Dolby Atmos, and Dirac Live.
The McIntosh MHT300 Home Theater Receiver is now available and while it looks very impressive on the surface, there are a few interesting twists that might not make it ideal for all home theater enthusiasts depending on what kind of sources you plan on using.
The McIntosh MHT300 provides 120 Watts per channel with all 7 channels driven, from 20Hz-20kHz at .03% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion), with 8-Ohm speakers and 150 Watts at the same distortion level with 4-Ohm speakers.
The MHT300 is not only designed to provide powerful sound, but it is also customizable and expandable. The individual amplifier modules can be configured in several ways to suit any specific speaker configuration and additional external amplifiers can be connected to power the included Height 1 and Height 2 preamp audio outputs. With external amplification, the MHT300 can be expanded to 7.2.4 channels (that can be used for Dolby Atmos).
One significant thing that makes the MHT300 different than most home theater receivers is that it doesn’t provide any analog inputs (that includes no phono input for connection of a turntable).
McIntosh has made the decision to only emphasize home theater applications. Dolby and DTS processing chips only work with digital signals. To put analog inputs into the MHT300, Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADC) would need to be included. Since high-end ADCs are an added expense the decision was made to leave them out and concentrate on providing superior DACs (32-bit) and more clean power than other receivers.
On the video side, the MHT300 supports 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video pass-through on all 4 of its HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output so the image will feel as realistic as the sound.
Tip: HDMI 2.1 support, included HDMI-eARC is included.
McIntosh Design Features
The MHT300 includes a traditional McIntosh design that includes:
- Signature black glass front panel
- Illuminated McIntosh logo
- Rotary control knobs
- Highlighted by silver trim
- Heavy-Duty chassis.
- Power Guard® signal overload technology that prevents overdriving and damaging your speakers.
- Sentry Monitor™ short-circuit protection circuit that disengages the output stage should current ever approach unsafe operating levels and then resets automatically when operating conditions return to normal.
- 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 – perhaps more conveniently – automatically turns the MHT300 on when it senses a signal from your home theater processor.
- An FM Tuner for enjoying free over-the-air radio broadcasts
- A wireless remote control is provided with the MHT300 and 2 12Volt triggers, 1 RS232, and 1 IR sensor connection that provide additional control flexibility.
Tip: No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth is included in the MHT300. This means that there is no internal access to streaming services.
To facilitate setup, an Ethernet connection is provided on the MHT300. Once the receiver is connected to a local network via Ethernet to your home router, press the left knob on the receiver and rotate it until it tells you the IP address of the receiver.
Type that IP Address into the web browser of a laptop (Windows or MAC) and the setup menu is displayed on the laptop screen (you can use a desktop – but a laptop is more convenient). McIntosh sees this as a much easier option to support receiver setup than having to see an on-screen TV setup menu (that might be in another room or even on another floor).
Renaming inputs is easy. No “up/down/left/right” button pushes to input letters. Just type in CABLE BOX (or another component name) and the input is renamed in 3 seconds. McIntosh feels that Installers prefer a laptop setup as opposed to an on-screen TV setup.
To optimize setup, Dirac Live Room Correction is also provided. This enables users to precisely set up their sound systems and adjust their audio output to the unique acoustics of the space. The necessary mic input jack is included.
Availability and Pricing
The MHT300 will be available through Authorized McIntosh Local and Online Dealers beginning March 2023, with an MSRP of $8,000 USD.
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