The McIntosh MHT300 Home Theater Receiver: A Comprehensive Review

McIntosh MHT300 Audio Video Receiver

Are you looking for a state-of-the-art home theater receiver to take your movie and music listening experience to the next level? Then you should consider the McIntosh MHT300 Home Theater Receiver. This Dolby Atmos 7.2 channel home theater receiver offers impressive performance, plenty of power, and customizable features that make it an excellent choice for audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts alike. Let’s take a closer look at what the MHT300 has to offer.

Award-Winning Performance

The MHT300 is designed to provide an immersive experience with its optical digital sound processing (DSP) technology. It can deliver 120 – 150W of power to every connected speaker, with all seven channels being driven. Every explosion, car chase, and high-speed fighter jet flyby will be faithfully reproduced with full power pumped out of every speaker.

Advanced Video Quality

The MHT300 also offers advanced video quality capabilities. It can support up to 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz across all four HDMI inputs and one HDMI output, producing a picture that matches its fantastic sound quality. It supports 4:4:4 chroma subsampling on all inputs for maximum color accuracy and 10-bit HDR for better contrast in dark scenes and brighter highlights in bright scenes. And it also supports HDCP 2.3 (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) on each HDMI input port for enhanced security when streaming content from subscription services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. This ensures that your content is displayed in its original resolution without any downscaling or loss of quality.

“Considering the increase in video streaming services over the last decade, we are excited to share our latest innovation in home theater with our customers to better enjoy their entertainment in the comfort of their home.” – Charlie Randall, President, President, McIntosh Labs.

Front view of the MHT 300

Customizable & Expandable Design

In addition to offering fantastic performance and picture quality, the MHT300 is designed to be customizable and expandable so you can get precisely what you need out of your home theater system without having to buy additional components or add-ons later down the line. The individual amplifier modules can be configured to suit any specific speaker configuration, so you can have exactly the setup you want without any extra hassle or cost. And if you need more power than the 150W per channel that comes standard with the MHT300, optional external amplifiers are available for purchase, which allow you to boost the power output even further—up to 600W per channel!

The MHT300 has 4 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output. Each HDMI port is HDCP 2.3 compliant and supports 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz. All ports have 40Gbps of bandwidth and are compatible with High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats Dolby Vision™, HDR10, and HLG; 4:4:4 color spacing; Rec. 2020; and 3D video pass-through.

The HDMI output features enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) functionality. Audio Return Channel allows a compatible TV to send audio data to the audio video processor over the HDMI cable, eliminating the need for separate audio cables. eARC offers improved bandwidth so higher resolution audio formats such as DTS-HD Master Audio™, DTS:X®, Dolby TrueHD, and Dolby Atmos can be sent through the HDMI cable, allowing the MHT300 to deliver the best possible sound quality.2 Two coax and two optical digital audio inputs are included to connect additional audio devices, while two subwoofer outputs will let you have as much bone-rattling bass as you want in your theater.

Seven premium 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs) provide audiophile-grade processing. Bass and treble tone controls are included to help fine-tune the audio to your preferences. Sturdy 5-way speaker binding posts will firmly connect your speaker cables, so you do not have to worry about them coming loose.

By default, those seven powered channels represent the front-left, center, front-right, left surround, right surround, left-rear, and right-rear speakers — there are no amplified height channels, which you need for true Dolby Atmos sound. For 5.1.2 (or 5.2.2) sound, our installers use a set of jumper cables to route the height channel signals from the receiver’s non-amplified height channel outputs into two of the seven amplified outputs. We’ll also adjust the receiver’s settings to make the Dolby Atmos magic happen.

A separate amplifier for the height channels is necessary for clients wishing to have a 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 system (or the double-subwoofer versions). In this scenario, McIntosh recommends its MI254 4-channel amplifier. Sure, that’s another investment, but McIntosh has ensured every channel is getting a massive dose of power, and it doesn’t want to water that down for the sake of Atmos height channels.

The MHT300 Offers State-of-the-Art Room Correction

Advanced room adjustment/correction is provided via Dirac Live® Room Correction. Dirac Live is an advanced room acoustic solution that enables users to optimize their sound systems and reduce unwanted effects introduced by the room. Using purpose-built audio algorithms, Dirac Live provides world-class room correction with time domain correction through patented mixed-phase filter technology – something that all other solutions are missing. Dirac Live is nevertheless easy to use, with an intuitive user interface and step-by-step guidance that allows for quick setup and robust personalization.

Dirac Live is trusted by numerous hi-fi and home theater manufacturers, from household names to the most coveted designer brands. Their room correction solution has brought unparalleled fidelity to hundreds of thousands of delighted users worldwide in listening situations as diverse as bedroom stereo setups, professional mixing studios, and some of the world’s most exclusive home theaters.

“What’s I admire about the MHT300 is all that legendary McIntosh power being distributed across all seven channels. This will  make for some serious movie-watching sound.” – David Schultz, Founder, Audio Video Synergy

Our Conclusion on the MHT300

At the end of the day, there’s no doubt that the McIntosh MHT300 Home Theater Receiver delivers an incredible experience both in terms of sound and picture quality—and with its customizable design and expandable features, it’s sure to meet all your needs today and in years down the road. If you’re looking for a fantastic home theater receiver (dare we call this an endgame AVR?) that requires a considerable but competitive budget but will give you top-notch performance and sound quality, this is worth considering!

We’ll announce when our MTH300 arrives in the shop so you can stop by and let us play it for you.

Rear view of the MHT300

Coming in Q2, 2023, the MHT300 has dynamic performance specifications, including:

  • 7.2 channel AVR (expandable to 7.2.4)
  • 150 Watts per channel into 4 Ohms/120 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms (ALL 7 channels driven)
  • 4 HDMI inputs & 1 HDMI output: 8K/60Hz & 4K/120Hz; HDCP 2.3; 40Gbps; Rec. 2020; 4:4:4 Color; eARC/ARC
  • Dolby Atmos; DTS:X
  • Dirac Live Room Correction
  • Dolby Vision; HDR10+; HLG
  • Power Guard® signal overload technology that prevents overdriving and damaging your speakers
  • Sentry Monitor™ short-circuit protection circuit that disengages the output stage should current ever approach unsafe operating levels and then resets automatically when operating conditions return to normal
  • Power Control to automatically turn other connected McIntosh components on and off
  • Eco-friendly on/off signal sensing that turns the unit off if no input signal has been detected for a set amount of time and – perhaps more conveniently – automatically turns the MHT300 on when it senses a signal from your home theater
  • An FM Tuner for enjoying free over-the-air radio broadcasts
  • 3U rack mountable
  • Perfect for Custom Installed systems or atop a cabinet
  • 3-Year Limited Warranty