Russound, distributed by Connected Distribution, is introducing the compact MBX-AMP amplifier and MBX-PRE pre-amplifier, the first of a new generation MBX streaming audio products designed to deliver networked music, internet radio, streaming via Bluetooth, Chromecast or Airplay and local TV sound, right to the customer’s room or multi-room installation.
The 50W-per-channel MBX-AMP acts as the cornerstone of a distributed audio system, whether centralised or decentralised, for installers who need to offer the most up-to-date streaming solutions to their clients, says the maker.
Its range of connectivity options and ability to reproduce high-resolution audio are mother pluses. Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet connections allow for quick, reliable streaming of all network stored music, plus Tidal and Deezer at up to 24bit/192kHz high resolution.
In addition to TuneIn, vTuner, UPnP, DLNA and Apple AirPlay, the MBX features built-in Chromecast to play any music (Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc.). With integrated Chromecast, the MBX is compatible with Google Home and can be voice controlled via Google Assistant. Both products can be controlled using the MyRussound app for iOS and Android and is compatible with the Russound XTS touchscreen.
Adding other sources
External audio sources can be connected via an optical digital or analogue input, plus a USB socket makes provision for locally stored music to be played. Each audio input can be distributed to the other MBX players for a true whole-house, multi-room, audio experience.
Analogue line level and optical digital outputs permit connection to external amplifiers and distributed audio systems. The MBX-AMP also features a dedicated subwoofer output.
The 21cm x 18cm x 4.5cm MBX-AMP is slim enough to wall mount behind a TV and attractive enough to have on display in a room, the MBX also features an optical digital input to which the TV’s audio output can be connected.
Auto sensing of the TV signal when it is switched on overrides the streaming audio connection to the MBX and feeds the sound directly to the connected loudspeakers. An IR input for control via the TV’s remote makes operation simple.
The companion MBX-PRE is a preamplifier version of MBX-AMP. It features all the same connections, streaming services and high-resolution audio capabilities as its sibling, but is designed solely to feed any external amplifier or distributed audio system.
Both models feature a 12v trigger output to control additional equipment.
Charlie Porritt, Russound CEO, describes the impact of these new MBX streamers, “While small in size, these new streamers deliver a lot: bringing really helpful additional features, superb performance and fingertip convenience to every TV installation or entertainment zone of our dealers’ installations. Designed and built with the input of many experienced Russound integrators, these robust MBX streamers are more flexible to install, easier for consumers to operate and they perform beautifully.”
Mike Bonnette, Connected Distribution’s Technical Director adds, “Our close working relationship with Russound, over the past 19 years, has been hugely beneficial for the UK based custom installers, in that we have been able to interact directly with the R&D team to offer advice as to the features and benefits that are needed in our market. The MBX series addresses many of the needs of our installers, offering exceptional performance, simplicity of installation, ease of use and huge amounts of flexibility. We are confident they will provide installers with an unbeatable proposition for their clients’ installations.”
MBX-AMP has a MSRP of £599 inc. VAT, whilst the MBX-PRE has a MSRP of £449 inc. VAT.