Audiolab 6000A Play – classic integrated amplifier upgrade

Audiolab 6000A Play – classic integrated amplifier upgrade

Audiolab 6000A PlayNews this week of a streaming platform being added to the classic Audiolab 6000A model, it is called the 6000A Play.  I’ve always had a soft spot for Audiolab, though I started out back in the 80s with the NAD 3020e at the time, it could have gone either way I seem to recall.

The new Audiolab 6000A Play features internet radio and streaming over WiFi and Bluetooth, multiple analogue inputs, 5 digital inputs including 2coax inputs and Ethernet AND a MM turntable stage with RIAA equalisation!  It is an integrated amplifier so just add speakers and you are away, what a spec list.  With Audiolab’s reputation of clean and crisp music reproduction, this looks really interesting indeed, particularly at £799.

DTS Play-Fi

The Audiolab 6000A Play’s Wi-Fi networking is powered by DTS Play-Fi: an app-controlled platform enabling high-quality, whole-home wireless audio, capable of streaming hi-res music up to 24-bit/192kHz and supported by a large range of established audio brands.

The free Play-Fi app (available for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices, Windows PCs and Apple and Android smartwatches) is an intuitive gateway to a wealth of music services, including Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, Deezer, Qobuz, HDtracks, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and SiriusXM. It can also support streaming from a NAS or any other media server on the same home network.


The Audiolab 6000A Play’s digital stage incorporates the ES9018K2M DAC chip from the Sabre32 Reference family, applying the benefits of ESS Technology’s 32-bit HyperStream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator to deliver ultra-low noise and high dynamic range (it says here!).

Integrated Amplifier

The Audiolab 6000A Play’s Class AB power amp sports a discrete circuit design and delivers 50W per channel into eight ohms, with a maximum current delivery of 9 Amps into difficult loads, it has plenty of firepower by the look of it.


There is a dedicated headphone output as well with a built-in headphone amp with dedicated current-feedback circuitry.

And Finally

This looks like an excellent package.  I’ve been looking to purchase anyway the 6000CDT CD transport from Audiolab and this coupled with this new Audiolab 6000A Play looks like a fabulous all-round package and I’ll do what I can to try and get a review sample.

The Audiolab 6000A Play is available from late July in a choice of silver or black, at an RRP of £799. The original 6000A, without Wi-Fi/Ethernet network streaming, continues at £599.  It is available in Black and Silver.

Outline Specification Audiolab 6000A Play

• Hi-res wireless streaming and multiroom connectivity
• Network connection via Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable
• aptX Bluetooth streaming
• ESS Technology Sabre32 Reference DAC
• Three user-selectable digital filters
• Class A post-DAC active filter
• Low-noise MM phono stage
• Class AB power amplification: 2x50W into 8 ohms; 2x75W into 4 ohms
• Three operational modes: Integrated Mode; Pre-Power Mode; Pre Mode
• Dedicated current-feedback headphone amp

Cable inputs

• 5x digital audio (2x optical; 2x coaxial; 1x Ethernet)
• 4x analogue audio (3x line level; 1x MM phono)
• Power amp input
• USB for firmware updates
• 12V trigger

Cable outputs

• Speaker binding posts
• Headphone output
• Preamp output
• 12V trigger


Formed in the early 1980s by Philip Swift and Derek Scotland, Audiolab earned worldwide acclaim with the 8000A – an integrated stereo amplifier that became a classic ‘step-up’ from the budget models of the time. Now part of the IAG brand family, Audiolab’s reputation has been further enhanced by its hugely respected DAC circuitry, earning the company a plethora of awards since the launch of the 8200CD and M-DAC in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Today, the company continues to make highly acclaimed source and amp components – delivering crisp, clean ergonomics and sensational sound with everything from vinyl to the latest digital formats – as well as a range of high-performance in-ear monitors

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