New McIntosh MX180 amp boasts 7 HDMI 2.1 ports and a huge price tag

Mike Wheatley

McIntosh has just announced its latest flagship AV receiver and it is the very definition of overkill, with a whopping seven HDMI 2.1 ports that enable 8K at 60Hz or 4K at 120Hz, support for no less than five HDR formats and a price tag that’s more expensive than most new cars.


The McIntosh MX180 is priced at a stunning £21,995 in the U.K., or around $30,000, and possesses an incredible 16 channels, meaning it can deliver either 15.1 or 9.1.6 channel surround sound. The HDR support includes Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG, and of course there’s support for premium sound formats including Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D and DTS:X Pro.

The seven HDMI 2.1 ports are probably the most found on any consumer device so far, and they support all the major functions, including Auto Low Latency Mode, Quick Frame Transform, Quick Media Switching and Variable Refresh Rate. There’s also a single HDMI output that supports both Audio Return Channel and enhanced Audio Return Channel.

The MX180’s connectivity goes well beyond HDMI though, with the company boasting of a “suite of digital and analogue inputs and outputs” that include four optical, three coaxial and a single USB port, as well as a moving magnet phono input.

Another useful technology it supports is McIntosh’s RoomPerfect calibration system, which helps to optimise frequency response, bass management and level alignment according to the room’s layout and ambient noise condition.

So if anyone happens to have 16 speakers lying around and wants the ultimate home cinema surround sound experience, the MX180 looks to be a great choice. That is, of course, unless the price tag doesn’t put them off. McIntosh said it’s taking pre-orders now at authorised deals, with delivery expected this spring.

For those who want something less pricey, McIntosh also announced a couple of high-end integrated amps armed with slightly less bells and whistles – the MA8950 and MA9500 - available for roughly half the price.

A more budget-friendly option though would be to snap up one of the latest AV receivers from Denon or Marantz, both of whom have models that support 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz, with prices starting at less than a grand. They might not be able to support 16 speakers, but the advantage is buyers won’t have to remortgage the house to afford one.