McIntosh Labs has just unveiled its newest flagship AV receiver that is… well, the definition of overkill. Not only does it support 15.1 or 9.1.6 surround sound as well as seven(!) HDMI 2.1 ports for 8K/60 and 4K/120, it’s also equipped to support five types of HDR.
The receiver in question is called the McIntosh MX180 and for cinephiles and audiophiles, it’s basically the Rolls-Royce of receivers.
And to be honest, that comparison makes a lot more sense when you know the price: It's expected to cost £21,995 (around $30,000 / AU$42,000) when it becomes available through authorized retailers later this month.
Why so much? Considering that there aren't too many devices out there that even use HDMI 2.1, yet, and most folks' home theater systems top out at 7.1, it's easy to see how much more headroom you're getting with this system.
Also, in addition to all the specs listed above, the MX180 supports Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), Quick Media Switching (QMS), and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) picture technologies as well as all the leading 3D surround sound formats including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Pro, and Auro-3D.
The sound can be customized to fit your space using McIntosh’s RoomPerfect calibration technology - handy for everyone out there who has a true home cinema room in their house - and digital inputs made up of 4 optical, 3 coaxial, and 1 USB that each accept up to 24-bit/192kHz signals.
Analysis: A nice pairing for your new MicroLED TV and superyacht
OK, so most of us will never be able to get our hands on a McIntosh MX180… or a Samsung MicroLED TV that starts at $80,000 (around £59,500 or AU$113,500)... or Jeff Bezos’ superyacht that’s estimated to cost $450 million.
But it’s fun to dream right?
The silver lining is that you actually don’t need to mortgage your house for a great receiver - even if you want ones with similar specs to the MX180. A number of AV receiver makers have started to roll out 8K/60 and 4K/120 receivers, starting last year, like the Denon AVR-S960H, Onkyo TX-NR696, or Marantz SR5015.
No, none of those receivers are going to come with 7(!) HDMI 2.1 ports or support for 9.1.6 surround sound, but all of them support Dolby Atmos audio and 4K upscaling/passthrough for at or around $1,000.
They're no Rolls-Royce, but they don't require a second mortgage or a car loan, either.
- Looking for more options? Check out our guide to the best AV receiver
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Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.