McIntosh Labs has a new “desktop” option for those of us looking for a sexy audio-system alternative: the RS200.
What’s interesting about this (well, one of the things that’s interesting) is what it’s not — it’s not a receiver, or an integrated amp. I mean, sure, it can be — but it’s also a very modern version of such a thing. That is, the brains are elsewhere. And not “off box” or “somewhere else in the system” — the brains are already in your pocket.
Using your mobile device (or whatever it is you’re using for Internet access these days), the RS200 “takes” all that you have to offer. Running Qobuz? Tidal? Spotify? Pandora? iTunes? Who cares — you wirelessly stream all that right to the RS200.
Don’t like streaming because it’s too … whatever? Fine — hook a computer right up to via USB.
This is not a replacement for your hi-fi, obviously. That’s why McIntosh still makes the Big Iron amps festooned with tubes and giant transformers. But like it or not, this is what “lifestyle” looks like — and given my memories of little Bose balls on bendy sticks — I cannot tell you how happy this new approach makes me.
I kinda want one for bedroom. And kitchen.
Details after the buzzer.
Introducing the RS200
Binghamton, NY – February 14, 2019 – McIntosh, the global leader in prestigious home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for 70 years, is proud to announce the RS200 Wireless Loudspeaker System.
Delivering room-filling sound, the RS200 Wireless Loudspeaker System is McIntosh’s next-generation home audio wireless speaker. Designed for a modern streaming lifestyle, it comes packed with virtually everything needed to enjoy music streamed from handheld devices, stored online or a local computer, or played from legacy audio sources.
The RS200 offers 650 Watts of total power that is delivered to 8 drivers consisting of (2) 4” x 6” woofers, (4) 2” midranges and (2) 3⁄4” tweeters. In addition, a subwoofer output is included to connect an external powered subwoofer to further enhance low frequencies. As the RS200 can be placed in a variety of locations with unique sonic characteristics, a 3-position EQ switch allows the EQ to be set based on the specific room and the user’s listening preferences.
The RS200 comes loaded with several streaming options, including: Apple® AirPlay® 2; Bluetooth® 5.0with support for AAC, Qualcomm® aptXTM HD for hi-res playback and Qualcomm aptX Low Latency for improved audio transmission speed to deliver sound in sync with visual media; DTS Play-Fi® whole-home wireless audio; and DNLA support.
For non-streaming applications, it has an audio-only HDMI input to connect to TVs that have Audio Return Channel (ARC) capabilities; an optical input to connect TVs without ARC as well as other digital sources; a USB Type-B input to play music from a Macintosh or Windows computer; and a 3.5mm AUX input for connecting analog sources. For enveloping home theater sound, connect a pair of McIntosh Play-Fi compatible RS100 Wireless Speakers (sold separately) to use as surround speakers.
AirPlay 2 is an Apple technology designed to control home audio systems and speakers in any room –with a tap or by just asking Siri – right from an iPhone®, iPad®, HomePodTM, or Apple TV®. It offers multiroom audio, Siri voice control, and enhanced playback. The RS200 is also an Amazon Works With Alexa certified product. Simply speak to a third-party Alexa control device to operate the RS200 from any room. (The RS200 does not contain any listening capabilities and relies entirely on an Alexa control device for voice control.)
Play-Fi from DTS has built-in interfaces for many leading streaming services including Amazon Prime Music, Pandora®, Qobuz, SiriusXM®, Spotify® and TIDAL to name just a few. Up to four favorite Play-Fi streaming services can be stored via the preset buttons on the top of the RS200; once configured, quickly play the saved streaming services directly from the cloud without needing a mobile device by simply pressing the preset buttons. Users can also stream audio from wired devices connected to the
RS200 to other Play-Fi devices on the same network via Play-Fi Line In Broadcasting. And Play-Fi’s CriticalListening mode allows high-resolution audio files to be sent to the RS200 with no transcoding or downsampling.
With its space-saving design and room-filling sound, the RS200 is versatile enough to accommodate the audio needs of nearly any room or lifestyle. While designed for modern streaming, it features classic McIntosh design elements such as a black glass front panel, illuminated logo, control knobs, and a pair of fast responding blue Watt-meters.
Pricing and Availability
Orders for the RS200 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in February 2019.
Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $3,000 USD