Ensoniq Halo

Ensoniq Halo Image

The Ensoniq Halo is a sleek keyboard with a 32 MB ROM soundset of diverse synth sounds including sounds of the popular Ensoniq ZR-76 featuring the "Perfect Piano". Halo has three additional ROM slots for up to 128 MB of sounds (more on this below). The keyboard is a full 61-keys long with 16 real-time controllers. There's also 16 on-board syncable/programmable arpeggiators and the E-mu's Super BEATS interactive Groove Mode. With 16 mute/enable buttons this keyboard is set for live and on the fly performances with plenty of real-time controls! Halo also features multi-mode resonant filters, 24-bit DACs, and an affordable price tag!

Halo is part of a new line of performance keyboards launched by E-mu/Ensoniq that repackage their current line-up of top notch sound modules targeted at specific genres. For all purpose synthesizer, the PK-6 Proteus Keys. For HipHop and R&B, the MK-6 Mo’Phatt Keys. For techno trance and dance, the XK-6 Xtreme Keys. And Halo from Ensoniq, which is another all purpose synthesizer.

Every one of these ships with one 32 MB sound-set, but are expandable up to 128 MB via three additional slots for 32 MB expansion cards. These cards include (ranging from $249 to $395):

  • 9061: Siedlaczek Orchestra 32 MB ROM.
  • 9062: Pure Phatt 32 MB ROM - standard in Mo’Phatt, MP-7 and MK-6.
  • 9063: Beat Garden 32 MB ROM - standard in Orbit 3.
  • 9082: Protozoa 16 MB ROM - standard in Proteus 1, 2, 3.
  • 9083: Definitive B-3 32 MB ROM - standard in B-3.
  • 9084: Techno Synth Construction Yard 32 MB ROM - standard in Orbit 3.
  • 9085: Orchestral Session Vol. 1 32 MB ROM - standard in Virtuoso 2000.
  • 9086: Orchestral Session Vol. 2 32 MB ROM - standard in Virtuoso 2000.
  • 9087: World Expedition 32 MB ROM - standard in Planet Earth.
  • 9088: Sounds of the ZR featuring the Perfect Piano 32 MB ROM - standard in Ensoniq Halo.
  • 9089: X-Lead 32 MB ROM - standard in Xtreme Lead-1, XL-7 and XK-6.

With these expansion options, you could buy a PK-6, then add the sounds of the Orbit 3, XK-6, and the MP-7... or any other combinations you may want. If you like desktop synths, you can start with an MP-7 or XL-7, and then add these same expansion card options to add Proteus, Orchestral, or the new Halo sounds to them. E-mu/Ensoniq's interchangeable sound cards and a variety of keyboard/sound-module options means that there's a model out there for everybody now.

Lookup Ensoniq Halo Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Ensoniq Halo? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

15 Visitor comments
June 29, 2013 @ 11:55 pm
@Patrick: I have a Mo'Phatt and, yes, it can be used for a variety of styles. It's configured for hip-hop/"urban dance"/acid jazz but the sounds themselves are mostly just that---sounds. I'd recommend looking into the arpeggiator---patches can sound really different with it, plus it has a bunch of arp patterns you can choose from (as well as the mainstays like up, down, up/down, and random). I got mine for a hundred bucks incl. shipping, and it can deliver a lot for that price.
June 12, 2013 @ 8:41 pm
I bought an EMU Mo'Phatt without knowing that it was made for a particular genre (Urban/HipHop) and read here on VSE that it has the same engine as the Proteus, sooo... I'm not too terribly into hiphop and enjoy synthesizing the crap out of my neighbors :D - I was wondering if the MoPhatt has any basic waveforms (not repetitive/single cycle samples but more like wavetables similar to Ensoniq ESQ1, PPG Wave, etc) that I can build my own sounds from, or would I have to get the original Proteus (2000) for what I want to do? Am I really limited to just hiphop/urban/acid jazz with the MoPhatt?
May 15, 2013 @ 1:05 am
I bought this at 2002 without even trying it my self!.....
I risk buying it because I believe this keyboard reviews I found in the internet.
It cost me 6.500.000 rupiah at that time (now about 663 US Dollar), at first I was rather dissapointed, the sounds are not so impressive. I upgraded it by adding 2 more ROMS (B3 and Beat Garden). Not bad after adding those 2 roms.......
I still use it for my everyday music playing :D
Greetings from Indonesia.
October 6, 2012 @ 9:10 am
imo probably one of the worst sounding emu roms i've heard. i sold my proteus 123 rom and replaced it with a qrom.. huge mistake. the qrom is mostly just GM midi stuff (like yamaha psr sounds).
July 23, 2012 @ 5:39 pm
I just got a copy of Keyboard Magazine from April 2002, for the picture of the Hartmann Neuron on the cover (others still available in eBay if you are interested.) Only a small blurb about the Neuron inside, but there is a great photo of Ray Charles grinning and having great fun playing an E-Mu PK-6 at the E-Mu/Ensoniq booth at NAMM 2002. If this keyboard was good enough for Ray Charles, nobody here should have any complaints about it. My HALO is as good quality as my Kurzweil, Kawai piano, Technics WSA1, and Neuron. A great tough portable everyday synth with more expansion than most others.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.22 (209 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 64 voices
  • Oscillators - 32 MB "ZR/Perfect Piano" Sound Set ROM (expandable to 128 MB), four 24-bit DACs
  • LFO - 2 per voice
  • Filter - 50 types of 6th- and 12th-order Z-plane filters
  • Effects - 24-bit dual stereo-effects processor with 29 reverbs types, 15 delay types, 8 chorus types, 7 flange types, 5 distortion types
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity and aftertouch)
  • Memory - 1,152 Presets (640 ROM, 512 RAM)
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 2002

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.