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Parasound Halo C2 Processor Review

by Steve DellaSala December 07, 2006
Contributors: Gene DellaSala
Parasound Halo C1 C2 Processors

Parasound Halo C1 C2 Processors

  • Product Name: Halo C 2 Processor Checklist
  • Manufacturer: Parasound
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: December 07, 2006 10:45
  • MSRP: $ 4000
  • Dolby Digital EX, DTS ES, and Dolby PL II
  • THX Ultra2 Certified with THX Surround EX
  • 7.5 Channel Enhanced Surround
    Automatic Digital Audio and Video Input Selection
  • Nine balanced outputs, two balanced inputs
  • Four Audio Only Inputs
  • 7.1 Analog Input for Pure Analog Path
  • Six Audio/Video Inputs
  • 3 Composite Video and 3 S-Video Outputs
  • 2 Assignable Component/RGB Video Inputs
  • 1 component/RGB Video Output
  • BNC to RCA Adapters Included
  • Digital Inputs and Surround Modes are assignable to Sources
  • Component Inputs/Outputs pass 1080i and 720p signals
  • Automatic Calibration of Channel Levels and Delay Times
  • Dual Zone Control with Analog Audio and Composite Video Outputs
  • External IR Input Jacks
  • Three 12V Triggers, two Programmable Events
  • 10 Year Warranty
  • Frequency Response +0 / -3 dB:
  • Digital Inputs: 20 Hz to 42 kHz
  • Analog Inputs: 20 Hz to 22 kHz
  • 7.1 Channel In: 5 Hz to 200 kHz
  • Total Harmonic Distortion
  • All Inputs: <0.002%
  • Signal To Noise Ratio
  • Digital Inputs: 102 dB
  • Analog Inputs: 98 dB
  • 7.1 Channel Inputs: 107 dB
  • Maximum Input Levels
  • Balanced: 35 V rms
  • Unbalanced: 3.6 V rms
  • 7.1 Channel: 8 V rms
  • Maximum Output Levels
  • Balanced: 16 V rms
  • Unbalanced: 8 V rms
  • 7.1 Channel: 8 V rms
  • Video Bandwidth:
  • Composite and S-Video: 30 MHz
  • Component Video: 300 MHz
  • Dimension: 17-1/4" w x 6" h x 16" d C 2
  • Dimension:17-1/4" w x 7-5/8" h x 16" d C 1
  • Net Weight: 18-lbs C 2; 22-lbs C 1


  • Automatic Speaker Distance Calibration
  • Automatic Speaker Level Calibration
  • Video Pass Through - No Power Required
  • BNC Video Connection Inputs and Outputs
  • Easy to Set-Up
  • THX Ultra2
  • On-The-Fly Channel Trims
  • Preset volume adjustments for analog inputs
  • RS-232 Interface
  • Software Programmable
  • Universal Remote MX-700 with Side-Kick
  • Balanced XLR Inputs and Outputs
  • 10-year warranty


  • No Component Video Up-Conversion
  • No Dolby Pro-LogicIIx (available soon via firmware)
  • No 1394 IEEE Input or Output
  • No HDMI or DVI Inputs (unavailable during the time of design)
  • One Set of Global Speaker Settings
  • Currently Decodes DTS 96/24 as 48kHz
  • Only One Set of Multi-Channel Inputs
  • Analog Bypass only with Balanced XLR Inputs


Parasound Halo C2 Introduction

Parasound, a privately owned U.S. company located in San Francisco, was founded in 1981. From their inception by President, Richard Schram, their mission has been to provide affordable audio components for high-end audiophiles, home theater enthusiasts and custom audio/video systems designers.

During an interview, Richard Schram once stated that, "we take listening very seriously," and we're sure that this philosophy likely resulted in the fundamental reason why Parasound created high quality products made to endure the scrutiny of most audiophiles while being affordable to the budget minded enthusiast. "If I didn't listen to the products we sold, or if John Curl, our legendary chief circuit designer, didn't listen to the products he designed, then we would have never won the respect of hundreds of dealers, the praise of most of the world's audio reviewers, and the earned loyalty many thousands of critical listeners who have chosen Parasound products for their own."

Parasound's chief designer for their amplifiers was John Curl. Curl's experience included hardware such as the classic Mark Levinson JC-2, the SOTA head amplifier, and the Vendetta preamplifier. He also wrote several definitive articles on circuit design and the influence of capacitor design on sound quality. Lately however, Curl has been promoting some views on cables which Audioholics does not agree with, but we believe this seemingly new found position didn't take away from his excellent circuit designs and understanding of the important metrics governing quality amplifier designs as seen in the Parasound A 21 and A 51.

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