About the Parasound Halo P 6
Take your digital and analog sources up a notch
Take your digital and analog sources up a notch
Parasound's P 6 preamplifier delivers an open, articulate soundstage for a wide variety of music sources. Bring out the richness in your vinyl, whether you're using a moving magnet or moving coil cartridge. Five line-level inputs let you connect an extensive range of analog components. It's not a streamer, but it works magic with its digital inputs. High-res music aficionados, take note — the P 6's premium on-board DAC supports DSD files up to 11.2 MHz, and PCM-based files up to 32-bit/384kHz via USB from your computer. Whatever your source, the P 6 delivers tremendous detail and warmth.
Versatile "2.1-channel" outputs and control
The P 6 has a wide variety of input and output options, and useful crossover control for when you're running a subwoofer.
Parasound describes this preamp as "2.1-channel," and it offers unusual flexibility for stereo setups that incorporate a separate subwoofer. Outputs include unbalanced RCAs and balanced XLRs for your main stereo channels. One mono XLR output and two mono RCA outputs accommodate one- or two-sub setups. And here's a detail we love: a handy subwoofer level knob on the front panel lets you easily adjust the balance with your stereo speakers on the fly. And using the P 6's crossover controls, you can dial in high- and low-pass filtering for optimum performance from your whole system.
Halo, Parasound's premier line
Parasound's Halo line has a well-deserved reputation for giving the most expensive audio equipment in the market a run for the money — at a fraction of the cost. With a focus on circuit design and quality electronic components, Parasound Halo brings you an affordable audiophile listening experience.
- stereo preamplifier with analog and digital inputs to handle a variety of music sources
- frequency response: 10-100,000 Hz (+0/-3 dB)
- signal-to-noise ratio: 108 dB
- total harmonic distortion: 0.01%
- ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC (ES9018K2M)
- front-panel subwoofer level control
- front-panel treble and bass controls
- dedicated high-current headphone amplifier
- home theater bypass, routed directly to power amplifier at full volume, without crossovers
- remote control
- 3.5mm 12V trigger input and loop output jacks
- 5 unbalanced stereo RCA analog inputs
- balanced stereo XLR input
- phono input for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges
- unbalanced stereo RCA home theater bypass inputs
- 2 mono RCA subwoofer home theater bypass inputs
- 1 coaxial input and 2 optical digital audio inputs
- USB Type B input for your computer handles high-res files up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and 11.2 MHz DSD
- front-panel 3.5mm aux input with automatic +12 dB gain stage
- balanced stereo XLR preamp output
- unbalanced stereo RCA preamp output
- balanced mono XLR subwoofer output
- 2 unbalanced mono RCA subwoofer outputs
- main and subwoofer output have switchable, adjustable high- and low-pass crossover control
- unbalanced stereo RCA fixed-level recording output
- front panel 3.5mm headphone output
Dimensions and warranty:
- 17-1/4"W x 4-1/8"H x 17"D (2U rack spaces)
- Crutchfield's in-house depth measurements are made with all relevant cables in place
- rack-mountable with the Parasound HRA 2, sold separately
- weight: 14 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # P 6 BLACK
What's in the box:
Parasound Halo P 6 owner's manual
- Stereo preamplifier
- 6' AC power Cord
- Remote control (RM5A)
- 2 "AA" batteries
- 39" USB-A to USB-B cable
- 6' Mono-minijack cable
- Owner's Guide
Parasound Halo P 6 reviews
More details on the Parasound Halo P 6
Features & specs
|Phono Input Type||Moving Magnet/Moving Coil|
|Optical Digital Inputs||2|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||1|
|Digital XLR Inputs||0|
|USB Type A||0|
|USB Type B||1|
|Optical Digital Outputs||0|
|Coaxial Digital Outputs||0|
|Digital XLR Outputs||0|
|Discrete Sub Outs||No|
|Audio Features & Specs|
|S/N Ratio (Phono)||80|
|S/N Ratio (Line)||108|
|DAC Bit Depth||32-bit|
|DAC Sample Rate||384 kHz|
|Home Theater Bypass||Yes|
|Bluetooth Formats Supported||N|
|Apple Control App||No|
|Android Control App||No|
|12 Volt Trigger||Out|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC: The Parasound HALO Series P 6's built-in 32 Bit DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) uses a very high resolution 384kHz ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC (ES9018K2M). Since the P 6’s DAC is superior to the DACs in most digital source components, they will sound better if you connect one of their digital outputs to the P 6's DAC instead of connecting their analog output jacks.
Balanced & Unbalanced Line-Level Analog Inputs: The P 6 is outfitted with both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA line-level analog inputs, as well as a front-panel 3.5mm Aux input. There are a total of six line-level inputs.
- Stereo RCA: There are five stereo RCA line-level analog audio inputs on the rear-panel of the P 6. These analog source inputs have the same input sensitivity and input impedance and are compatible with any typical analog line level source.
- Balanced XLR: There is one balanced stereo XLR line-level analog audio source input. Use this input to connect an analog source which has balanced XLR outputs. A balanced line provides superior hum and noise cancellation, especially for long cable runs.
- Front-Panel Aux: For added convenience there is a front-panel 3.5mm Aux input for connection of a portable audio player. The Aux input has an additional gain stage that boosts the input signal by 12 dB so that the volume level is comparable with your other audio sources. For the best result set your portable player's volume to at about 75% of its maximum level. If you connect a component other than a portable MP3 player or phone to the Aux Input jack, the volume level will probably be too high and likely distorted.
Note: One of the stereo RCA jacks shares the same source input (Input 5) as the balanced stereo XLR input; therefore the RCA and XLR jacks of Input 5 cannot be connected at the same time.
MM/MC Phono Input: The P 6 is equipped with a high-quality phono stage for connection of a turntable. The phono input consists of stereo RCA jacks and a ground terminal. Connect the ground terminal to prevent hum. The Phono input has a 3-position Load/Cartridge selector switch. Select the switch position that matches your turntable cartridge type.
- MM: The MM setting is for moving magnet cartridges. It provides a 47k ohm load and the appropriate gain for all MM cartridges. This is the most common cartridge type.
- MC 100-Ohm: The MC 100 ohm setting is for most moving coil cartridges. It provides the higher gain required for even very low output MC cartridges and a 100 ohm load that is ideal for most MC cartridges.
- MC 47k Ohm: The MC 47k ohm provides the appropriate gain for MC cartridges with an alternative 47k ohm load. You can try both the 100 O and 47k O settings to see which sounds best in your system. The MC 47k ohm setting is also the load which Grado recommends for their MI (moving iron) cartridges.
Note: If your turntable won’t reach adequate volume, or if it plays too loud, you have selected the incorrect cartridge type. If you use the MC setting with an MM cartridge the volume level will be very high and distorted.
Asynchronous USB-B Input: The asynchronous USB-B 2.0 input is used to connect the P 6 to your Windows PC (7-up) or Mac computer (OS X). This allows high quality playback of music files that are stored on your computer and streaming music services you access over the internet. The USB Input supports 2ch PCM (up to 32-bit/384khz), native DSD 64/128/256 (up to 11.2MHz), and DoP (DSD over PCM).
- Mac computers do not require the installation of a separate driver to use the USB-B 2.0 input. Simply connect a USB cable from the P6 to your Mac computer and then turn on the P 6. Next you will need to ensure that the P 6 is selected as the computer's default audio output device (see Owner's Guide for further instructions).
- Windows computers (7 and up) will require a separate USB 2.0 audio driver that can be found on the Parasound website. Once you have downloaded the USB driver onto your computer, you can connect the P 6 to your PC via a USB cable and select the P 6 as the computer's default audio output device (see Owner's Guide for further instructions).
Note: For the highest quality sound playback, leave the computer application's volume control at 100%. Then use the volume control on the P 6 to set the listening level.
Optical & Coax Digital Inputs: The Parasound P6 features two optical (toslink) digital audio inputs and one coaxial (RCA) digital audio input. The optical and coaxial digital inputs support 2ch PCM audio, up to 24-bit/129kHz.
Note: The optical and coaxial digital inputs do not support Dolby Digital, DTS, and other multichannel audio formats.
Dedicated High Current Headphone Amp: The P 6 is equipped with a dedicated high quality current-feedback headphone amplifier based on the top-grade Texas Instruments TPA6120A. This superior design allows for an extremely high slew rate preventing odd order distortions which are responsible for listening fatigue. The virtually instantaneous response to musical dynamics doesn't raise the noise floor or degrade the S/N ratio like typical headphone amps. The headphone amp circuit was also designed with a low 10 ohms output impedance and high gain to drive headphones rated up to 600 ohms. The headphone jack accepts a 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo mini plug. The Main output jacks (RCA and XLR) are muted whenever a headphone plug is inserted into this jack. The Record out jacks are not muted
Theater Bypass Input: The Theater Bypass input is used to incorporate the P 6 into a surround sound system. The Bypass input works by passing the incoming Front Left/Right and Sub 1/2 channels directly through to the Front Left/Right and Sub 1/2 output jacks. None of the P 6 circuits or controls has any effect on the bypassed signals. The P 6 is thus transparent to the Left, Right and Subwoofer outputs from your surround sound processor or receiver and passes them on to your amplifier and Subwoofer. In order to use the P 6 Bypass function your surround sound receiver must have RCA line-level preamp output jacks.
Balanced & Unbalanced Outputs: Both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA audio output connections are provided for the P 6's Main and Subwoofer outputs. There is also a stereo RCA Record output. The balanced output has a 6dB higher gain in comparison to the unbalanced outputs.
- Main Outputs: The Main Output Jacks are the primary outputs that connect to the inputs on your power amplifier. Both RCA (unbalanced) and XLR (balanced) connections are provided. The Balanced XLR Left and Right Outputs have the same signal as the Left and Right RCA Output jacks. Both RCA and XLR outputs can be connected at the same time. The high pass crossover switch effects both the RCA and XLR outputs.
- Subwoofer Outputs: The P 6 provides one XLR connector and two mono-RCA jacks for connecting up to three powered subwoofers. The two unbalanced RCA and one balanced XLR subwoofer outputs all carry the same mono signal. You can select whether the mono signal is full-range or crossed over according to the frequency you select for the Low Pass Filter (LPF). Both RCA 1 & 2 subwoofer outputs and the XLR subwoofer output can be connected at the same time.
- Record Output: The stereo RCA Record Output connects to your analog audio recorder's record/input jacks. When you select an input the signal from the corresponding source component is available at the Record Out jacks whenever it is turned on. It is a fixed level signal that is unaffected by volume, balance, tone settings, audio mute or crossover settings. The fixed level Record Out jacks can also be useful to connect a power amplifier for speakers in another room that has a passive in-wall volume control.
12V Trigger Out: If your power amplifier is equipped with a 12V trigger input you may find it convenient for the P 6 to turn it on and off automatically. Connect a mono-minijack cable between the P 6's trigger out jack (3.5mm) and your external amplifier's trigger input. When the P 6 is powered on, 12 volts will be present at the 12V output jack and your amp will turn on automatically.
IR In/Out: The P 6 is compatible with most popular infrared repeater systems (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) for remote control operation from another room or when the P 6 is installed in a cabinet where its remote handset signals cannot reach its front panel remote control sensor. The IR Input is a standard 3.5mm mono-minijack connector. The IR Output (3.5mm) offers a convenient way to daisy-chain an IR signal to another component that is also equipped with an IR input jack. Whatever IR control signal is present at the P 6's IR Input jack is also present at its IR Output jack.
Front-Panel & Remote Control: The Parasound P 6 offers front-panel controls and comes with an IR remote for wireless operation. Some control functions are only found on the front-panel, while others are only found on the remote, and some on both.
Crossover Setup: The P 6 is equipped with adjustable low-pass and high-pass crossovers. Crossovers are filters that allow certain frequencies to pass while blocking other frequencies. A low pass filter permits only low frequencies to pass and blocks high frequencies. A high pass filter permits only high frequencies to pass and blocks low frequencies. 80 Hz is the best starting frequency for both the High Pass and Low Pass crossovers if you are using a subwoofer and are not certain where to set the crossover frequency. If you are not using a subwoofer, set the P 6 Main Output Crossover switch to its Off position. The crossover settings affect both RCA and XLR Main Outputs.
- Low Pass Crossover: The Low Pass crossover allows only low frequencies to be output from the P 6 Sub Output jacks. If your subwoofer has a built-in crossover that cannot be switched off, set it to its highest frequency to minimize the negative effects on bass response from filtering in the P 6 and again in the subwoofer.
- High Pass Crossover: The P 6 High Pass Crossover for the Main Outputs (both XLR and RCA) allows you to block low frequencies from going to the main Left and Right speakers. This can be particularly useful if you are using small speakers and you have a subwoofer. The most common settings are between 50Hz and 80Hz. If you are not using a subwoofer you will get better results by turning the P 6 High Pass Crossover off or setting it below 40Hz. If you want your Left and Right speakers to operate full-range with no frequencies blocked, then set the High Pass crossover switch to its Off position
Tone Controls: The Parasound HALO Series P 6 offers Bass & Treble control, Balance, and Tone Bypass.
- Bass & Treble: The HALO Series P 6 features front-panel Bass & Treble control to fine-tune the tonal balance of your music. You will find that very slight adjustments can add a degree of warmth, richness, and clarity. However, larger adjustments may obscure musical detail, and even risk overloading your speakers. The Bass and Treble controls affect both the Main Outputs and the Subwoofer Outputs.
- Tone Bypass: You can turn off the Bass and Treble tone controls, thereby completely bypassing the tone control circuitry. This will improve sonic purity by eliminating the small amount of noise and distortion inherent in tone control circuits.
- Balance: Adjusting left and right channel balance is helpful to compensate for speaker placement or room acoustics.
Level Controls: The Parasound HALO Series P 6 provides Turn-On Volume, Mute, and Sub Level control.
- Turn-On Volume: You can set the P 6 to come on to the same volume setting every time it is turned on. This can be particularly useful if you sometimes listen at high volume levels and you want to avoid a blast of sound the next time you turn it on.
- Mute: Pressing the Mute button once will mute the signal for all output jacks except the Record Out. Press the Mute button a second time to cancel mute. Mute is automatically canceled if you press the volume up or down buttons on the remote or if you change the volume from the front-panel.
- Sub Level: The Sub Level control knob adjusts the subwoofer level. The sub level can be adjusted between -10dB and +10dB, relative to the Left and Right channels of the P 6. When you first setup your subwoofer you should set this control to 12 o'clock (0dB) and then play some music. Adjust the level control built into your subwoofer until it sounds balanced in your system. Now, whenever you want to fine-tune your subwoofer level you can simply use the P 6 front panel Sub Level control knob instead of walking over to your sub and bending over to adjust its level control.
Optional Rack Mount: For mounting in a standard 19” equipment rack, you must use the Parasound HRA 2 rack mount kit (sold separately - see Accessories Tab). With its four feet removed, the P 6's front-panel height occupies 2U rack spaces:
2 questions already asked
What an improvement over my worn out 1990's ADCOM preamp. Astonishing! Some don't like the volume control, I appreciate the fine adjustment it allows at typical listening levels. The synergy between the P6 preamp, A21+ amp, and B&W 703 S2's is excellent to my ear.
Stephen from Saint Paul, MN