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Parasound Halo 2.1 Integrated Amplifier

Parasound has hit the ball right out of the park with the new Halo 2.1 Integrated amplifier. The features to be found in this unit are absolutely killer, all at a price point that is remarkable.  The versatile Halo 2.1 Integrated features a DAC with an ESS Sabre32 chipset, a phono stage, headphone amplifier, home theater bypass, and digital inputs for USB, coaxial SPDIF and Toslink.  The front panel has treble and bass controls with bypass, a balance control, and a front panel sub control. The Halo Integrated 2.1 subwoofer output features adjustable crossover settings, which the user can set at any point between 20Hz to 140Hz, allowing the seamless integration of a subwoofer into your system.

The amplifier portion of the integrated, designed by the legendary John Curl, falls between the Parasound A21 and A23 in terms of power and is capable of 160 watts into 8 ohms. Richard Schram, Parasound’s president, says: “We went to great lengths to eliminate power supply contamination that compromises audio purity in some of the most expensive high-power integrated amps.” The Halo Integrated features two mono power supplies, a toroidal power transformer, JFET inputs and MOSFET drivers.

In our listening tests we were mightily impressed with the Halo 2.1 Integrated.  The sound was clean and detailed and music sounded uncolored, neither too warm nor too harsh. The sound stage was deep and bass was smooth. The Parasound was able to drive whatever speakers we hooked up, even those that are notoriously hard to drive. The digital audio through the Halo Integrated DAC was flawless, absolutely everything an audiophile could wish for.  The Halo 2.1 Integrated certainly rivals DACs at many times the price.

Reviewers across the board have praised the Halo 2.1 Integrated for its virtuosity and performance. When you take into account the price point, the Parasound Halo 2.1 Integrated is an amplifier you won’t want to pass up.

Preamp and DAC Features

  • Latest generation ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC (ES9018K2M)
  • Asynchronous USB 2.0 supports PCM up to 384kHz/32-bit
  • USB input decodes Native DSD64, DSD128, DSD256 and DoP DSD
  • Windows USB drivers for ASIO & WASAPI
  • Mac OS does not require any drivers
  • Coax and optical accept PCM up to 192kHz/24-bit
  • Analog bass management with high & low pass crossovers
  • Home theater bypass input for surround sound integration
  • Front panel subwoofer level control
  • Dedicated high current headphone amplifier (TI TPA6120)
  • Phono for MM & MC with 100 Ω or 47k Ω load
  • Front panel Aux input with automatic +12 dB gain stage
  • 5 pairs RCA line level Analog inputs
  • 1 pair XLR balanced Analog input
  • Balanced XLR and RCA left and right preamp outputs
  • 1 balanced XLR and 2 RCA subwoofer outputs
  • Bass & treble controls with relay bypass from remote or front panel
  • Rear panel IR input and IR loop output jacks
  • 12 Volt input and output to triggers
  • Back-lit remote control with discrete buttons
  • 0.5w standby power consumption meets Energy Star & EU specs

Power Amp Features

  • 160 Watts x 2 @ 8 Ohms (RMS, both channels driven)
  • 240 Watts x 2 @ 4 Ohms (RMS, both channels driven)
  • Power amp circuit topology designed by legendary John Curl
  • Direct amplifier input to bypass preamp section
  • High bias class A/AB operation
  • Oversized shielded toroid power transformer
  • Dual-mono power supply and power amplifier
  • 40,000uF power supply filter capacitance
  • Matched JFET input stages and MOSFET driver stages
  • 12 high voltage/high current bipolar output transistors
  • Heavy-duty 24k gold-plated 5-way speaker binding posts
  • Over temp and short circuit relay protection

Halo Integrated Specifications

Frequency Response:
10 Hz – 100 kHz, +0/-3 dB

Total Harmonic Distortion:
< 0.01 % Power Output:
RMS, All Channels Driven (20 Hz – 20 kHz)
160 watts x 2 @ 8 Ω
240 watts x 2 @ 4 Ω

Input Impedance:
Unbalanced: 24k Ω
Balanced: 100k Ω per leg

Output Impedance:
Unbalanced: 100 Ω
Balanced: 470 Ω per leg

Hi & Low Pass Crossover Slope:
12 dB / Oct

XLR Pin Identification:
1 = Ground (Shield)
2 = Positive
3 = Negative (Return)

Power Requirement:
Standby: 0.5 Watts
Power On: 70 Watts
Maximum: 750 Watts
110-130 VAC 60 Hz


Width: 17-1/4″
Depth: 16″
Height, with feet: 5-7/8″
Height, without feet: 5-1/4″

Net Weight: 33 lb.

Colors:  Silver and Black