Hey Sonos, McIntosh’s awesome trade-in scheme is everything Upgrade Program isn’t

McIntosh hi-fi separates in little rows, on white background
(Image credit: McIntosh)

Oh, McIntosh. This is the kind of deal we all need in the current financial climate and my hi-fi loving heart applauds you.

The US high-end audio specialist wants you to know that its 2023 TradeUP Program is now active. And that is big news, because running from now 'til June 30, qualifying customers can receive up to the total original retail price for any home audio electronics – regardless of brand – when they trade in against the purchase of a new McIntosh product from an authorised UK McIntosh Dealer.

Read that again. I know. 

It's no secret that I love McIntosh products – the company makes the most gorgeous Bluetooth speaker I've ever seen, for starters – and now, thanks to this TradeUP Program (and despite the fact that some McIntosh stereo components cost more than most cars) I might actually be able to get my hands on it.

Subject to certain terms and conditions (see below), McIntosh tells me that any home audio product will be considered for the trade-in, giving people like me the chance to enjoy the very latest products from the world-renowned audio brand at a fraction of the retail price. And I don't need to have ever owned McIntosh before! What's not to love? 

Now consider that Sonos' Upgrade Program lets you keep your old Sonos speakers but only offers its loyal users a discount of up to 30% on new Sonos kit. Not quite the same deal, is it? 

If you're in the US, Australia, or other regions, I'm sorry – I've asked on your behalf whether it's coming to you. This limited-time offer is available only through authorised UK McIntosh dealers, with customers urged to contact their local dealer to discuss the options.

What are those terms and conditions? The biggie is that the McIntosh product that you want to purchase must be at least two times the value of the HiFi product(s) that you want to trade in.

To clarify: say a customer wants to trade in an integrated amplifier that originally retailed for £2500. To be eligible, the McIntosh electrical product the customer wishes to purchase must be listed for £5000 or more. The customer will then trade in the integrated amplifier with the dealer, and up to £2500 will be taken off the price of the McIntosh product being purchased. Assuming the full original retail is given for the trade-in, the customer will then have to pay an additional £2500 to complete the purchase of the £5000 amplifier. 

Furthermore, McIntosh TradeUP Program applies only to the trade-in/purchase of hi-fi electronics such as stereo power amps, preamps, integrated amps, phono stages, turntables, CD players/DACs, streamers/music servers, tuners, headphone amplifiers, and receivers. Monoblock amps are eligible but only when traded in and sold in pairs. McIntosh AV/Home Cinema products are not part of the McIntosh TradeUP Program at this time.

Opinion: McIntosh's deal reminds us that maybe all tech isn't disposable

McIntosh amp in low-level lighting, illuminated by its trademark blue volume meters and green logo

Which shiny new McIntosh hi-fi separate would you snap up for your old amp?  (Image credit: McIntosh)

Here's the kicker for me: the hi-fi product(s) that you may want to trade in can be from any brand; however, you must provide proof of purchase in the form of an original invoice/receipt.

As you'd expect, traded-in product(s) must be in reasonable physical condition, they must actually work, and they must not have been modified or altered from their original design. Customers can only trade in a single product against the new McIntosh product they want. If looking to purchase multiple McIntosh products, the same quantity of trade-ins will be accepted, but your UK Authorised McIntosh Dealer reserves the right to deem any product(s) as not eligible for the McIntosh TradeUP Programme – which again, seems only fair.

But it speaks to a much wider issue: hi-fi gear retaining its value at a time when many of us view electrical items as disposable. In an age where Apple updates its iPhone handsets every year (and to have one of the best iPhones is usually to buy one, annually) and new headphone iterations hit shelves so often as to no longer be newsworthy, McIntosh sees it all differently. 

Who knows what the Binghampton, New York, outfit will do with the old working kit you might trade in? Maybe McIntosh audio engineers are building a huge art installation or hi-fi museum. But whatever the reason, your kit is valued here, at the same price as you paid for it when new.

McIntosh TradeUP Program runs from May 1 until June 30 2023 and to find your nearest authorised UK McIntosh dealer, simply visit: www.finesounds.uk/dealers. Remember, only 'til June 30. 

Becky Scarrott
Senior Audio Staff Writer

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.