Any music lover who spends a lot of time listening to music via headphones will want to make sure they are listening to the best sound they can to avoid fatigue. The McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier was designed with this exact purpose in mind. It’s small for a McIntosh (it’s just 6-1/8″ (15.6cm) wide x 5-3/4″ (14.6cm) tall x 9-1/8″ (23.2cm) deep) allowing it to be placed just about anywhere, and offers a variety of headphone connections: 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; and a 1/4″ stereo headphone jack.
India’s What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision magazine reviewed it with a variety of high-end headphones and said “it makes every type of headphone bloom with its incredible power.” They added its 500mW of power is “enough to bring out the best from planar, electrostatics or dynamic headphones from any brand you can think of… the resulting sound is big, powerful and meaty but without sacrificing the nuance or micro dynamics in delicate recordings.”
In their testing they went from track to track and headphone to headphone from the likes of HIFI Man, Focal, Meze Audio, and Audio Technica, and the MHA200 just kept “revealing the true nature of every headphone, without adding anything of its own. And it does so with power and punch but without sacrificing on the subtlety or micro dynamics. It allows the soundstage to breathe and come to life in an almost three-dimensional way inside your head.”
(Excerpts taken from original review by What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision / November 2021)
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