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McIntosh MHA100

Headphone amplifier/DAC/integrated amp

Item # 958MHA100

Discontinued item

Item # 958MHA100

60-day price protection

We’ll reimburse you if the price drops.

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If you don't love it, send it back.

Hands-on research

We double check the details on each item.

About the McIntosh MHA100

Versatile amp with McIntosh power and style

McIntosh MHA100 with MHP1000 headphones

The McIntosh MHA100 is designed to deliver smooth, detailed sound through high-performance headphones like their MHP1000 over-ears.

McIntosh gear is some of the most coveted among audio heads, and has been for over 60 years. You should've seen the grins around Crutchfield when word spread that we were bringing them in. The McIntosh MHA100 headphone amplifier is a newer entry in the company's lineup. It's one of the first McIntosh pieces primarily dedicated to personal audio, and is already a hit among pro reviewers and headphone enthusiasts. 

Product highlights:

    • hybrid high-output headphone amp and stereo integrated amp
    • rock-solid stainless steel chassis and illuminated glass front panel
    • analog and digital inputs to handle a variety of music sources
    • 32-bit/192kHz decoding for enjoying high-resolution digital music files
    • full-size headphone output with selectable impedance to match your headphones
      • choose between three impedance ranges: 8-40 ohms, 40-150 ohms, and 150-600 ohms
      • McIntosh's Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®) circuitry adds spaciousness and depth
    • stereo integrated amplifier
      • 50 watts x 2 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.005% THD with two channels driven
    • Power Guard® circuitry protects speakers and headphones from damaging volume spikes
    • 5-step bass boost control allows custom tone shaping
    • uses a special version of McIntosh's patented Autoformers to ensure stable operation
    • ThermalTrak™ output transistors for low distortion and cool operation
    • fiber optic illuminated glass front panel and mirror-finish stainless steel chassis for a beautiful appearance and long-term durability
    • display and meter backlight can be turned off
    • handcrafted at McIntosh's Binghamton, New York factory
    • USB (Type B) input for connecting a computer
      • dedicated McIntosh USB audio driver required for playback on a Windows® PC (free download available from McIntosh)
    • one Toslink optical digital audio inputs and one coaxial digital audio input (supports music files up to 24-bit/192kHz)
    • digital AES/EBU (XLR) input for high-end or pro source components
    • set of balanced stereo XLR inputs
    • set of unbalanced stereo RCA inputs
    • no phono input — to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
    • 1/4" headphone output
    • gold-plated speaker binding posts
    • stereo preamp outputs for connection to an external power amp or powered subwoofer
    • detachable power cable
    • total harmonic distortion: less than 0.005%
    • signal-to-noise ratio: 105 dB
    • frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz (±0.5dB)
    • display and meter backlight can be turned off
    • remote control is compatible with other McIntosh components
    • 11-1/2"W x 5-9/16"H x 15"D
    • weight: 26 lbs.
    • warranty: 3 years
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    • MFR # MHA100

    What's in the box:

    • Headphone amplifier
    • 6' AC power cord
    • Owner's Manual

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    More details on the McIntosh MHA100

    Mark G.

    Product Research


    Overview: The McIntosh MHA100 headphone amplifier is designed to give you the best possible personal listening experience available. The MHA100 offers a wide variety of balanced and unbalanced analog and digital inputs, as well as headphone and speaker outputs. You can select a High or Low headphone output level, as well as a headphone impedance range to give you the best performance. The MHA100 has a more compact chassis than other McIntosh amplifiers, giving you more installation options.

    Front Panel: The headphone amplifier's front panel features a multi-function OLED display to indicate source selection, volume levels, trim settings, and setup functions. Dual illuminated Power Output Meters indicate the output of the amplifier, and respond to peaks in the output.

    Power Supply: The MHA100 utilizes a large power transformer, multiple large filter capacitors, and a regulated power supply. The power supply responds to variations in the power line voltages to provide rock solid power to the amplifier.

    Protection Circuits: The unit is protected by four forms of protection. McIntosh Sentry Monitor power output stage protection circuits protect the headphone amp and the headphones in case there is an impedance mismatch. The unit also has Thermal Protection circuits to protect the unit from overheating, while Direct Current Detection and Protection is also provided for the amp and headphones. To prevent overheating, at least 6" of air space should be provided above, and 2" on each side of the unit.

    Analog Inputs: The MHA100 headphone amplifier will accept both balanced and unbalanced analog inputs. A pair of female XLR inputs on the rear panel accept a high level signal from a source with a balanced output. A pair of stereo RCA jacks is provided to connect a source with an unbalanced output.

    Digital Inputs: Four digital inputs are provided on the rear panel for connecting external digital sources. The headphone amplifier upsamples the digital signal to 192kHz with 32-bit resolution before the Digital-to-Analog conversion. The digital input connectors provided include Optical (Toslink), Coaxial (RCA), AES/EBU Balanced Digital (female XLR), and USB (Type B USB).

    USB Compatibility: The MHA100's USB input allows you to play music from a computer when connected via a USB cable. The USB input is compatible with PCs using Windows Vista (SP2), Windows 7 (SP1), and Windows 8/8.1 (SP1), and Windows 10. It is also compatible with Apple Macintosh computers using OS X 10.9 Mavericks or later. You may be required to download a USB Windows driver to your PC before you connect it to the headphone amp.

    Headphone Output: The McIntosh MHA100 headphone amplifier is equipped with a high quality 1/4" (6.3mm) headphone output.

    HXD: The built-in Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) circuitry provides the same spatial soundstage in your headphones that you would normally hear when listening to conventional loudspeakers. The HXD circuitry achieves this by improving the sound localization and directionality of the sound coming through your headphones. You can turn HXD on or off as you desire by momentarily pressing the volume control on the front panel. The HXD icon above the headphone jack will illuminate when activated.

    Speaker Outputs: In addition to the headphone output, the MHA100 has a 50 watts per channel stereo power amplifier. McIntosh's patented gold-plated binding post speaker terminals will accept large diameter speaker wire, spade lugs, and banana plugs. The speaker outputs are rated for 8 ohm loudspeakers.

    Note: When headphones are plugged into the front panel 1/4" output, the loudspeakers are automatically switched off.

    Output Control: The MHA100 uses a specially-designed Autoformer for Headphones technology that gives you three selectable impedance ranges, as well as a low and high output level for best headphone performance. Using the Output Control dial, you can select from the following outputs:

    Listening Device Impedance Power Level Output
    Loudspeakers 8 ohms --- 50 watts
    Headphones 8 to 40 ohms Normal 250 mW
    Headphones 40 to 150 ohms Normal 250 mW
    Headphones 150 to 600 ohms Normal 250 mW
    Headphones 8 to 40 ohms High 1 Watt
    Headphones 40 to 150 ohms High 1 Watt
    Headphones 150 to 600 ohms High 1 Watt

    Preamp Outputs: The MHA100 provides a pair of RCA preamp output jacks that allow you to connect a separate power amplifier or a powered subwoofer. There are two Subwoofer Mode settings: the Disabled setting provides a stereo signal at the preamp output jacks, while the Enabled setting combines the left and right channel signals into a monaural signal at both preamp output jacks.

    Power Control Jacks: The 3.5mm Power Control Input jack receives +12V DC power on/off signals when the headphone amp is connected to another McIntosh component. The 3.5mm Power Control Output jack sends +12V DC power on/off signal to other McIntosh components. Stereo 3.5mm miniplug cables are used for connection to the Power Control jacks.

    Trim: The MHA100's Trim Functions allows you to make several adjustments to the audio and display. Trim functions include Bass Boost, Balance, Level (input trim), Mono/Stereo, Meter Backlight, Display (information), and Digital Audio (display information). The Bass Boost, Balance, Level (input trim), and Mono/Stereo Trim Settings are stored independently for each input selected. The other Trim Settings are the same for all inputs. Trim adjustments can be made on the front panel or the included remote control.

    Profiles: You can set and store up to five different Profile settings for headphone listening, each with an assigned custom name. Each profile setting includes the stored selections for Headphone Impedance Range, Power Level,  HXD (On or Off), and Bass Boost (0 to +12.5 dB). Profiles can be recalled by turning the ring around the volume control knob.

    Remote Control: A wireless remote control (HR079) is supplied with the MHA100, allowing you to power on/off the headphone amplifier, as well as perform other functions. You can control volume, mute, select inputs, and select and adjust Trim functions. The remote can also select preset stations on many McIntosh tuners.


    • Frequency Response:
      • 20Hz - 20kHz (+0, -0.5dB)
      • 10Hz - 100kHz (+0, -3dB)
    • Headphone Power Output: 1 watt (High); 250 mW (Normal)
    • Headphone Load Impedance: 8-40 ohms; 40-150 ohms, 150-600 ohms
    • Loudspeaker Power Output: 50 watts per channel (minimum sine wave continuous average power output, both channels operating)
    • Loudspeaker Load Impedance: 8 ohms
    • Total Harmonic Distortion:  0.005% (maximum with both channels operating from 250 milliwatts to rated power, 20 Hz - 20 kHz)
    • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (High Level): 105dB below rated output
    • Tone Control: Bass Boost 0 to +12.5 dB (2.5 dB steps) @ 40 Hz
    • Digital Input Sampling Rates:
      • Optical: 16-bit/24-bit, 32kHz to 192 kHz
      • Coaxial: 16-bit/24-bit, 32kHz to 192 kHz
      • AES/EBU: 16-bit/24-bit, 32kHz to 192 kHz
      • USB: 16-bit/24-bit/32-bit, 32kHz to 192 kHz
    • Dimensions: Width 11.5" Height 5.5625" Depth 18" (including front panel, knobs, and cables)
    • Footprint: Width 8" Depth 9.5" on center
    • Weight: 26.5 pounds

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