It has all the flourishes of a classic McIntosh device – the glossy black face, cool-blue VU meters, and light-up green logo. But the McAire is the mightiest self-contained AirPlay-enabled system available, a 31-pound monster with a 25-watt amp, six stereo speakers, and a host of top-end tech that injects new warmth into your digital files. Simple to connect and operate (if AirPlay's not your thing, you can plug your iPhone into the McAire via its audio input), the system produces the best sound we've heard from a streaming stereo: vibrant and shimmering, with a rich, open soundstage. Even when the bass punches, the highs and mids stay strong. In short, the system gives us faith in the future of digital music. [$3,000; mcintoshlabs.com]
The 2014 Adventure Issue
From Iceland's Highway 1 to Utah's Canyonlands, an epic itinerary for modern explorers.
Plus: Building a Bigger Action Hero
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
The Interpreters We Left Behind
The Rise of Cyclocross
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