Mark Levinson introduces No 5909 headphone and ML-50 amplifier package

US company Mark Levinson has unveiled its new No 5909 headphone, a high-resolution wireless adaptive active noise-cancellation model – the first portable offering from the brand more usually associated with its home hi-fi systems.

Boasting up to 34 hours of playback time and 30 hours with adaptive active noise cancellation turned on, this design was crafted with luxury comfort in mind. The No 5909 is constructed with core aluminium components, a leather headband and replaceable leather ear cushions. It comes with an accompanying hard-shell carrying case that also stores bundled cables and an airplane adapter. The No 5909 delivers what the company calls: “reference-quality sound” via 40mm Beryllium-coated drivers and features Bluetooth 5.1 with LDAC, AAC and aptX. The Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation boasts three modes for premium sound isolation and Ambient Aware for situational awareness of the user’s immediate surroundings.

The Mark Levinson No 5909 headphone comes in Pearl Black, Ice Pewter and Radiant Red with UK distribution and pricing to be confirmed soon.

Also just released by the California company is an extremely limited-edition pair of monoaural amplifiers. The ML-50 amplifier package – an exclusive creation limited to only 100 pairs globally – is named after the very first Mark Levinson power amplifier – the ML-2 – produced from 1977 to 1986. The No 20 power amplifier and its updated models the No 20.5 and No 20.6 produced between 1986 and 1995 inspired the large front panel handles found on the ML-50. The No 33 (1994-2003) and No 33H (1997-2007) reference amplifiers sparked the idea of the outrigger feet that provide the solid foundation for the ML-50 chassis. The concept of the glass front panel and red backlit Mark Levinson logo on the ML-50 is lifted from the No 53 reference amplifier that was built from 2008 to 2019.

Designed with a clear glass top cover that showcases the internal circuit designs, the ML-50 features internal LED lighting, which can be switched between red, white and off.

The solid aluminium front design also features a large black glass panel insert with a red backlit LED Mark Levinson logo and a machined aluminium standby power button encircled with a red LED light ring. The power supply and audio circuits of the No 536 platform have been enhanced to increase the high-voltage supply (voltage gain and pre-driver circuits) capacitance by 50 percent (from 8,800uF to 13,200uF) – a 20 percent increase in the capacitance of the main high-current supply (169,200uF to 206,800uF) plus reconfigured Schottky rectifiers for a lower-impedance path from the transformer to the filter caps. The company says distortion has been lowered by doubling the output stage bias resulting in more than quadruple the amount of Class A power: 20W into 8ohm. The overall Class AB power has also increased to 425W into 8ohm.

As a fully balanced design, the ML-50 offers balanced XLR and single-ended RCA audio jack inputs and two sets of Mark Levinson Hurricane binding post speaker terminals, while Ethernet, serial and 12V trigger connections provide complete external control.

Each ML-50 amplifier package includes two monaural amplifiers and an accessory kit that consists of two 3m power cords, a microfibre polishing cloth, white gloves and owner’s documentation.

The Mark Levinson ML-50 limited edition amplifier package will be available from select retailers in Q4 of 2022 at a retail price of $50,000 per system pair (UK price still tbc).

You can find out more about the No 5909 headphone here.

Mark Levinson