While this McIntosh may not be made by Apple, the attention to detail in McIntosh Lab’s new Wireless Loudspeaker System certainly matches up with what we’d expect to see if it were. Dubbed the RS200, this powerful speaker system is a clear step up from McIntosh’s nearly two-year old RS100.
This should not come as too much of a shock when considering the RS100 is a bookshelf form-factor that sells at 1/3 of the price. That being said, features like AirPlay 2 and Alexa support make McIntosh’s latest release a no-brainer when going all-in on audio equipment.
As with other McIntosh Labs products, the RS200 Wireless Loudspeaker System looks stunning. It offers a clean, high-end appearance that will look fantastic in pretty much any space.
The front of the device wields two knobs, dual output level displays, and the company’s signature McIntosh logo with model number and description right below. The knob on the left determines which input to use and the other provides precise command over volume.
When it comes to audio quality, the RS200 is no slouch. It offers 650 Watts power sent through 8 drivers that include two 4” by 6-inch woofers, four 2-inch midranges, and two 3/4-inch tweeters. If that’s not enough for your tastes, you can connect an external subwoofer thanks to a built-in output.
The back of the unit features input options like HDMI (ARC), optical input, a USB Type-B for hooking up to a Mac or PC, and an expected 3.5mm headphone port for everything else. A standard power cable hooks up to the back and resides next to a dedicated on/off switch.
With tons of companies dabbling with home audio these days, terms like “room filling sound” are thrown around a lot. Apple touts that it’s HomePod has audio that ‘fills a room’ as does Sonos when users pair several of speakers together. Even so, when a speaker of this size (and cost) says it delivers room filling sound, it’s easy to believe it will be of much higher quality than many of the others currently swarming the market.
The RS200 wields support for AirPlay 2, Apple’s recent update to its initial audio and video flinging solution. Support for AirPlay 2 means that iOS users will be able to easily send audio to McIntosh’s Wireless Loudspeaker System with just a couple of taps.
In addition to AirPlay 2 support, this speaker system works with Alexa. McIntosh is very clear that RS200 is not equipped with microphones, but instead is able to be controlled using an Amazon Echo device or something similar.
Pricing & Availability
As with other McIntosh products, the RS200 Wireless Loudspeaker System is not priced for the faint of heart. Those interested in the device will need to fork over $3,000 to add it to their audio setup. Orders can be placed today, but is limited to authorized dealers. Units are expected to ship to customers later this month.
With such a steep price tag, I don’t expect to be putting McIntosh gear in my home anytime soon. Even if I did, I do not claim to be an audiophile and would likely be better served by lower cost options like Sonos One, Beam, and others.
This is an easy decision for me to make since Sonos’ latest gear also offers AirPlay 2 support and unlike McIntosh’s RS200, they can actually fire up Alexa without the need for additional devices.