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Foto © McIntosh Laboratory Inc. | McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System
Foto © McIntosh Laboratory Inc. | McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System

McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System – The Better Soundbar

McIntosh Laboratory Inc. is successively expanding its product range in such a way that it wants to reach completely new target groups, thus not limiting itself to the high-end hi-fi segment, but also offering modern lifestyle solutions. The latest solution in this area: McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System.

The new McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System is the successor to the McIntosh RS200 Wireless Loudspeaker System introduced in 2019. Once again, the US high-end hi-fi manufacturer McIntosh Laboratory Inc. is making its mark in the field of all-in-one lifestyle systems.

Especially since this solution can clearly be assigned to the premium segment and is characterised by enormous flexibility.

The McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System is a solution that allows high-quality music streaming throughout the entire house, according to the manufacturer’s promise. What’s more, it’s a complete hi-fi system in elegant form, because in addition to streaming, the new McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System is also open to other sources.

McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System – The Most Advanced Wireless Speaker System
Whereas McIntosh Laboratory Inc. calls the newly introduced McIntosh RS150 Wireless Speaker a particularly flexible, very compact system, the new McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System is considerably larger.

Yes, this system will probably find its place in many areas of the house, but with dimensions of 62.99 cm in width, 32 cm in depth, 14.48 cm in height and a weight of 13.3 kg, the McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System cannot be placed quite as flexibly.

The manufacturer itself recommends it primarily as an audio system under the TV, because that’s where it can show its full potential.

McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System – The better soundbar…

The McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System is better than any soundbar, according to the US hi-fi manufacturer, which clearly indicates the intentions of this new solution.

And indeed, the slim design of the new McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System invites you to place it under the TV.

And of course it has the appropriate connections, first and foremost an HDMI interface that has an ARC, i.e. an Audio Return Channel, and HDMI CEC for central control with only one remote control. As an alternative, an optical S/PDIF interface is also available, so that older TV sets can also be connected.

There is also an analogue AUX input in the form of a 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack, as well as a similarly designed connection for headphones. It is also worth mentioning that, if desired, an external subwoofer can be brought into play via a corresponding output.

Phono preamplifier included

It is somewhat surprising that the McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System also has an integrated phono preamplifier, even if this is reserved for drives equipped with an MM cartridge system. Nevertheless, this is another indication that this solution is not just a wireless speaker in the conventional sense, but a complete all-in-one hi-fi system.

  • Foto © McIntosh Laboratory Inc. | McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System
  • Foto © McIntosh Laboratory Inc. | McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System
  • Foto © McIntosh Laboratory Inc. | McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System
  • Foto © McIntosh Laboratory Inc. | McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System

Streaming offers the greatest flexibility

Nevertheless, streaming in all relevant ways is of course the focus here, whereby the integration into the network can be done either via cable or the integrated WiFi module according to IEEE 802.11ac.

In the network, the new McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System initially supports Google Chromecast, as well as Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and TIDAL Connect. Gone are the days when McIntosh Laboratory Inc. relied on the DTS Play-Fi platform…

It is worth mentioning that the new McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System is Roon-ready, which means that it can be integrated directly into the media management and hi-res audio multi-room streaming software Roon from the software company Roon Labs LLC.

Incidentally, the McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System supports audio data streaming up to 24-bit and 192 kHz.

Smart Home Integration via Voice Control

Voice control is also possible with the new McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System, although it is not a so-called Smart Speaker. For this solution to listen to the word, a corresponding Smart Speaker is required. In this respect, McIntosh Laboratory Inc. emphasises Google Assistant, but Apple Siri is also available via Apple AirPlay 2, provided that an Apple HomePod or Apple HomePod mini or a Google Home or Google Home Mini or comparable solutions are operated in the same network.

Streaming via Bluetooth

As an additional option, the new McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System has an integrated Bluetooth 5.0 module from Qualcomm and is thus able to receive signals via the codecs SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD and aptX LL from smartphones and tablets, for example. If these mobile devices also support the aptX HD or aptX LL codecs, hi-res audio can also be transmitted.

Three-way system

The new McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System is designed as a three-way system. Two 20 mm titanium dome fluid-filled tweeters, two 50 mm titanium inverted dome midrange drivers and two 4 x 6 inch long throw woofers provide a total power of 650 watts – 400 watts for the tweeter and midrange drivers, 250 watts for the bass drivers. According to the manufacturer, this allows a frequency range between 40 Hz and 20 kHz to be reproduced. The crossover of the DSP-based signal processing starts at 275 Hz and 4 kHz.

Typical McIntosh…

It wouldn’t be McIntosh Laboratory Inc. if they didn’t design the new McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System in such a way that you can tell at first glance which company it comes from.

We have already explained that it is a very flat design, and the housing seems to almost float above the generously designed base, which gives the whole system a very elegant touch.

In addition, there is, of course, the glass front, which features two VU meters in the form of LEDs, the green shining logo of the manufacturer, as well as two rotary encoders in the typical McIntosh design. This panel is flanked by the loudspeaker drivers, which are hidden behind a loudspeaker grill with black textile covering.

Getting to the point

That the new McIntosh RS250 Wireless Loudspeaker System, the successor to the McIntosh RS200 Wireless Loudspeaker System, is primarily intended to be used as a flexible audio system under a television set is suggested by the claim of the hi-fi manufacturer McIntosh Laboratory Inc. that this is the “better soundbar”. The fact that it is also an extremely flexible streaming system, whether via network or directly from smartphone and tablet via Bluetooth, fits very well into the picture.

PRODUCTMCINTOSH RS250 WIRELESS LOUDSPEAKER SYSTEM
PriceN/A
BrandMcIntosh
ManufacturerMcIntosh Laboratory Inc.
Distribution Audio Components GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG

About Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.com, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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