McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier




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MHA200 by McIntosh Labs is a 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier, designed for discerning headphone enthusiasts who demand the most from their headphones.

Sporting a versatile set of connectivity options, including balanced inputs and outputs, MHA200 allows for nearly all headphone types to be connected to enjoy an extraordinary personal listening experience. There are 3 options: 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.

A pair of 12AT7 and 12BH7A dual triode vacuum tubes power the compact MHA200. The 12AT7 vacuum tubes amplify the incoming audio signal while the 12BH7A tubes provide the power to drive the output to your headphones with low distortion. MHA200 uses a pair of Unity Coupled Circuit output transformers to deliver pristine audio to your ears.

The Unity Coupled Circuit is the same technology McIntosh was founded on in 1949 and is still used in their vaunted full-size home audio vacuum tube amplifiers such as the timeless MC275 and the more recent MC1502. Indeed, the MHA200 shares many physical design traits with the aforementioned vacuum tube amplifiers. The Unity Coupled Circuit transformers have been adapted to produce 4 headphone impedance ranges of 32 – 100, 100 – 250, 250 – 600, and 600 – 1,000 Ohms at 500 mW so that virtually every headphone can receive legendary McIntosh sound quality and performance.

For connecting MHA200 to your home music system source components, it has 1 set each of both balanced and unbalanced inputs. Thanks to a small size of just 15.6cm wide x 23.2cm deep, it can be placed close to your listening position for ease use, with long balanced audio cables connecting it to your audio system without fear of signal loss.

McIntosh have custom designed and manufactured the output transformers to match the tube amplifier section to the headphone output section, in order to ensure maximum power transfer for various headphone loads. Instead of having to adapt to the impedance of the headphones with voltage gain in the input stage, the Unity Coupled Circuit output transformers' secondary windings ensure the full power of the MHA200 is available regardless of the impedance of your headphones.

In addition, a custom, high-performance, and highly efficient toroidal power transformer with low mechanical hum and a low magnetic field, which helps reduce electrical noise, provides clean power to the amplifier.

MHA200 features a custom-formed stainless steel chassis with a polished mirror finish that will accentuate the glow of the vacuum tubes, making it a statement piece to display in your home and to use with pride. A vintage die cast aluminium McIntosh name badge adorns the side.

Power Control input and output allows MHA200 to turn on and off with other connected McIntosh components, such as preamplifiers, CD players, turntables, or media steamers.

A protective vacuum tube cover is included.


  • 2-channel vacuum tube headphone amplifier.
  • Compact footprint: just 6-1/8" (15.6cm) x 9-1/8" (23.2cm).
  • 4 selectable headphone impedance ranges.
  • Balanced and unbalanced analog inputs.
  • Balanced stereo or dedicated Left & Right outputs.


  • Headphone Power Output: 500 mW
  • Headphone Output Impedance: 32-100 Ohms, 100-250 Ohms, 250-600 Ohms, 600-1,000 Ohms
  • Rated Power Band: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.5%
  • Intermodulation Distortion: 0.04% Typical, 0.4% Maximum
  • Dynamic Headroom: 1.5 dB
  • Frequency Response: +0, -0.5 dB from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity (Unbalanced): 1.0 Vrms
  • Sensitivity (Balanced): 2.0 Vrms
  • Maximum Input Signal (Unbalanced): 8 V
  • Maximum Input Signal (Balanced): 16 V
  • Signal To Noise Ratio: 94 dB
  • Input Impedance (Balanced / Unbalanced): 20 K / 10 K
  • Damping Factor: >150
  • Voltage Gain: 12 dB at 32 Ohms, 17 dB at 100 Ohms, 21 dB at 250 Ohms, 25 dB at 600 Ohms
  • Headphone Output:
    • One pair of 3-pin balanced XLR connectors for dedicated Left and Right balanced output
    • One 4-pin balanced XLR connector for balanced stereo output
    • One 1/4-inch stereo headphone jack
  • Balanced Input: 1
  • Unbalanced Input: 1
  • Tone Controls: No
  • Power Control Input: 1
  • Power Control Output: 1
  • Output Meters: No
  • Vacuum Tube / Solid State: Vacuum Tube
  • Power Requirement: 120 V 50/60 Hz, 1.5 A
  • Standby Power Requirement: <0.5 Watts
  • Output Type: Unity Coupled Output Transformer
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 156 x 146 x 232 mm
  • Weight: 4.8 kg
  • Shipping Weight: 5.5 kg


  • Protective vacuum tube cover.

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