Don’t confuse McIntosh with the Macintosh made by a certain Cupertino-based computer company. McIntosh Laboratory is a high-end audio outfit that’s been producing some of the most respected (and beautiful) consumer audio electronics out of Binghamton, New York since 1949 – long before Apple existed. But even the most elite of audio manufacturers can’t turn a blind eye to the influence of Apple and its widely-used i-devices. Of course, if McIntosh is going to bother to build an iPod/iPhone/iPad-friendly speaker system, you can bet its going to be the best in the world. And while we’re not particularly fond of its name, the McAire is undeniably appealing – even at $3,000 (can we get fries with that?).
What does that lofty price tag get you? A look at specs reveals the McAire weighs in at a hefty 31 lbs. (that’s 2.5 lbs more than Klipsch’s impressive Stadium speaker system, not that we’re counting) and is armed with two 4-inch woofers, two 2-inch inverted dome midrange drivers and two .75-inch dome tweeters. McIntosh doesn’t disclose the system’s power rating, but given the company’s unblemished reputation, we’re going to assume it’s somewhere around more-than-enough-watts.
The system is AirPlay-enabled for wireless music streaming, but a hardwired USB connection promises even better audio quality and comes with the added advantage of charging your device for all-day play. A pair of stereo RCA-connectors rounds out the input options.
If you ask us (or anyone else addicted to those iconic, glowing VU meters), the McAire warrants its lofty asking price based on its gorgeous looks alone. And to add to the effect, McIntosh offers the AP1, an iOS app that will have your phone or tablet looking right at home next to the McAire.
While we haven’t had an opportunity to hear the McAire yet, we’ve heard enough McIntosh equipment over the last 25 years to know that it will sound spectacular. And if its anywhere near as robust as the Klipsch Stadium we’re in the process of reviewing right now, it can fill even a cavernous room with rich, detailed and deep sound.
The McAire is available now, but McIntosh equipment is only available through authorized dealers, so visit the company’s website to find one near you.