A splash of colour from Micromega’s M-One super-integrated

Micromega’s M-One is a loudspeaker amplifier loaded with digital streamer, DAC and phono stage. In other words, a super-integrated.

Check out the back panel. The range of inputs/outputs is staggering: [inhales] MM/MC phono, balanced and unbalanced analogue, coaxial, Toslink, AES/EBU, USB and, to get digital audio geeks salivating, a pair of I2S. At the other end of the streaming quality spectrum, aptX Bluetooth and Airplay are also on offer [exhales].

Immediately adjacent to the M-One’s loudspeaker binding posts sit an RCA socket for subwoofer connectivity and balanced XLR pre-amplifier outputs.

The M-One comes in two versions: the M100 and the M150. The numbers denote watts per channel into an 8 Ohm load. Amplifier topology under the hood is Class A/B.

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American show exhibitors take note: Micromega weren’t the only manufacturer to sprinkle their Munich High-End display zone with fresh flowers. A splash of colour goes a long way, don’t you think?

Not that this French manufacturer needed it. The M-One doesn’t only come in black or silver. You can have any colour you like – for a price – including precise matches to the Sopra No. 2 loudspeakers made by fellow Frenchmen Focal. Dream as big as the RAL swatch allows.

Product designer Daniel Char and his team refer to this individual tailoring as M.C.F. – Micromega Custom Finish. As he outlines in the video below, each M-One is fashioned from a solid block of aluminium but material options can be extended to encompass wood, carbon fibre, leather…even gold.

It isn’t only on colour and connectivity options that this super-integrated sets itself apart.

Say bonjour to Micromega’s second acronym: M.A.R.S. – optional room correction in the frequency and time domain. And then there’s price: when the two models finally head into full production in a few weeks, the standard M100 will retail for €3750 and the M150 for ~€5000.

The Micromega unit/s, like Devialet’s Expert 120 and 200 before them, offer an all-in-one solution that minimises box count, does away with interconnects and breaks clean from the aesthetic conservatism of the past.

I can easily picture an M-One in red at DAR HQ, sitting between a red turntable from another Munich High-End florist Pro-Ject and the Spatial Hologram M4 open baffles.

Further information: Micromega

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Written by John H. Darko

John lives in Berlin, Germany. He derives an income from the ad revenues of DAR. John is also a very occasional staff writer for Stereophile, 6moons and TONEAudio.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
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7 Comments

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  1. Hope you review one. Love to know what you think of it relative to the Devialet or LIO.

    The color thing is great. I bet that helps them sell a lot of units.

    The Room Correction feature is also a pretty compelling add on.

    Seems like this is a very high value unit for the audiophile that doesn’t want to get near $10k for his electronics.

  2. Color (colour?) can be nice. What is going to matter here is the color of money. I personally know of 4 people that are interested in new equipment (including turntables). They are all adults with one of them shopping for a turntable set up for one of their children.

    Looks matter no doubt, but more importantly cost is still a primary factor. As your recently pointed out in your Dragonfly piece, Doug was put off by the cost of entry into Audiophileland and that particular “E TIcket” (the Dragonfly v 1,2) was too much even at $150. The 4 people I mentioned are like Doug. Eager yes, but beavers…No.

    Once manufacturers get it through their heads that few, if any, people truly can hear a difference in equipment and the resulting cost of diminishing returns is diminished sales. One need only look at Crosley Radio to see how to revive sales of record players. Make them cool, fun and affordable. One of my players is a Crosley Keepsake Deluxe. It looks neato, plays records well and has yet to eat anything be it my records or my wallet. It’s fun! I also have an old fully automatic direct-drive Technics turntable. It plays records and I don’t have to get up to return the tonearm when an album is done playing. Fun and practical. Audiophile? Hell no. More than capable? Hell yes, Affordable. Damn straight.

    I suppose that one could posit the thought that something as nice as MIcromega’s M-One (it looks bitchin’!) is so good that people can’t afford to not own it but that’s not true. Most people outside the Matrix are going to look at it, see and hear what it does and then look at the price and….Walk away. They just can’t afford to be “audiophiles”. What they can do is afford to listen to music. Apple proved that with the original iPod and continues to do so to this very day.

    Auralic’s neat Aries Mini had a shot at this but a price jump from $399 to $549 threw ice water on that wedding night. I have bought and given many of my friends and family internet radios made by Onkyo, Grace Digital and Logitech. They are simple to use, all but the Onkyo have color screens that display useful information such as station I.D., album artwork and even bit rate. They also are affordable enough that I have 4 of them myself and have given 5 as gifts to friends and family. Those people are thrilled with them! They use them at home and business. My brother is constantly asked by customers at the jewelry store he and his wife own about the music they hear and the radio its played on! They are using a Logitech Squeezbox Radio I gave them and people are dismayed (are you listening Logitech?) to hear it is no longer available. He just points them toward Grace Digital’s website, shows them the Grace Mondo and Encore models (both with color/colour displays and the former looks much like the Squeezbox Radio) and the smile returns to their faces even after seeing the price.

    The point being, there are plenty of people out there who are potential customers. The High End is not the ultimate goal for most people. Okay, few people really. What then should it be for audio manufacturers and retailers? Customers, happy repeat, loyal customers who spread the word.

    Make it good looking, with decent features and affordable and people will not just come, they will buy. Better still, they will share this experience with others. What makes more sense, “Hey! You wanna hear some music? Listen to this!” or “Would you care to listen to my new SuperSystem with tube preamp/phono stage and bi-polar transistorized Wack-DAC output and Flux Capacitor? Well, give a few more weeks of burn-in time and I’ll knock your socks off!”

    Digital audio is portable, palatable and potable. Drink it in, my friend.

    SS

    • This isn’t a product for Doug and his ilk. It’s for the guy/gal who hears and sees (!) the return on bigger ticket items. It’s also for someone who wants an all-in-one that doesn’t look like it was designed in 1978. Admittedly, there are billions of people out there who won’t see/hear the value in this piece but there must be a small market (thousands?) of would be buyers otherwise Micromega wouldn’t bother.

      As per the Dragonfly piece that you mention, the job of the audio journo is to consider everyman gear but also step outside of his own shoes and consider those who might see value in costlier items irrespective of their narrower market appeal. I’d encourage readers to do likewise: just because you or I wouldn’t buy something that runs into the thousands of Dollarydoos/Euros/Pounds doesn’t mean that others won’t. It might rankle one’s sense of social justice but there are many, many audiophiles out there for whom 5000 Euros is chump change.

  3. If someone has the money, I have no problem with them buying something that makes them happy. Social justice is not about some people having more money than others. It’s more what I call “social just us”.

    If I could afford an M-One I would get one. I just think it doesn’t do anything better than other less expensive choices. Well…It might look cooler. Might. Maybe. Who knows…

    • “I just think it doesn’t do anything better than other less expensive choices.”

      You’ve heard it? 😮

  4. Nope. Bits is bits. If it properly decodes the bits then we get music. I really think, not feel, that no one could tell the difference with any degree of accuracy in a test where they didn’t know what equipment they were listening to.

    I did this a audiophile friend once. I told him he was listening to music via a piece of equipment that was out in the open when in reality he was listening to music being played on a cheap player he couldn’t see. He opined about how much better this high end device was than the one I used to have. I showed him the truth and he was both pissed off and embarrassed. I did the same thing to others with CD and DCC versions of the same recording and honestly I couldn’t tell the difference between them.

    Often, if they see a difference, many people hear one too. The M-One looks cool and you are right in that it is affordable enough to be bought by a great many people who will doubtless enjoy the music it brings to them. Nothing wrong with a nice, efficient, integrated and minimalist approach to audio.

    As for not looking like it designed in 1978, my Sony STR-6800 SD receiver was made circa1976 and has two phono inputs so it stays for now. I don’t use the tuner as terrestrial AM/FM sucks now and I just have one of my internet radios hooked into one of the two Tape Inputs (a CD player uses the other one) for that aspect of music. It looks “retro” cool but then I was around when it was new so to me it looks like what I expect it to. I guess that makes me something of a (m)antique.

    Thanks!

  5. John,

    The similarities between the M-One and the Devialet Expert are too obvious to ignore. Is it just a coincidence that Micromega & Devialet are based in France?