One of the most recognised names in the Hi-Fi market is the Norwegian brand Hegel, established since 1988. Known for producing integrated, pre and power amplifiers alongside some of the most modern and sophisticated DACs, Hegel is unmistakably Scandinavian. Simplicity, uncompromised functionality and power is Hegel’s signature sound and style alongside a combination of contemporary and elegant award-winning design.
When it comes to contemporary styling, the H90, H120, H190, H390 and H590 integrated amplifiers fit the bill perfectly. These compact amps offer high power, high performance and sleek lines.
Let’s take a closer look at Hegel’s superior, single box integrated amplifiers.
The H90 has been designed with simplicity in mind, making it the perfect stand-alone unit. As an entry-level amp model, the H90 comes with a fantastic set of features and 60 watts per channel sound. This ensures you’ll get a powerful bass response, even through large floor standing speakers. Although an entry-level amp, the damping factor is up to 20 times higher than the industry average and the range of the H90’s features allow superior flexibility, including Apple AirPlay, network streaming, digital and analog connections.
These features (except streaming) can be configured to fixed level inputs which allow easy integration with your Home Theatre System. For private listening, there is a high-quality headphone output and a white OLED display which is not only informative but sleek and bright too. Set-up is super simple. Just connect your TV, phono stage or phones, add your speakers and you’re ready to listen to extraordinary sound!
One step up in price from Hegel’s entry-level amplifier is the Hegel H120 . While it’s a small step in terms of cost, it’s a massive step in terms of performance. This is down to the H120’s features. Like the H90, the H120 comprises Apple AirPlay; it also includes Spotify Connect, IP Control, Control4 and UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) streaming. And it doesn’t end there! Additional features, in development, will be offered when they are ready at no extra cost and can be easily integrated using the software update functionality.
The H120 uses the Hegel SoundEngine2 amplifier platform which allows a damping factor higher than 2000 yet keeps extremely low distortion levels. It works a little like a noise cancelling headphone by comparing the output of the amplifier with the input. When distortion is detected, this is played forward into the speaker output, but in reverse phase.
This is the key to the incredible sound performance of the H120. The 75W power output creates a more dynamic sound, and this, combined with sizeable loudspeakers, presents more challenging drive loads.
All inputs can be configured for volume bypass so that you can integrate with your home theatre or your wireless sound system making it the perfect affordable upgrade.
With powerful technology within a modern casing, the Hegel H190 is a beautifully designed piece of equipment. This time it is a small step up from the Hegel H120 and has a damping factor of over 4000. The H190 is massively powerful! This amp will drive pretty much any loudspeaker currently on the market, especially the big ones! With a power output of 150W, the H190 also includes DLNA streaming capabilities that can play music from various streaming platforms, including Apple AirPlay.
The H190 also features configurable inputs, a high-end DAC and a substantial 6.3mm front-facing headphone output, making it easy to plug and unplug depending on your listening preferences.
Ultimate sound quality combines with its ease of use and of course, its style when it comes to the H190. Available in contemporary anodised black or white aluminium, and with a sleek OLED display, the H190 is indeed a beautiful and powerful centrepiece in any Hi-Fi system.
The Hegel H390‘s is a complete product, designed with vast amounts of thought and care, while also remaining affordable. This is apparent from the carefully selected and matching components to the best measurement equipment in the world. The amp is a dual mono class A/B design, with each channel delivering 250W into 8 ohms, so is an excellent option if you have planar magnetic or electrostatic speakers that are often difficult to drive.
Along with Apple AirPlay, the H390 also supports Roon, Spotify Connect and can handle streaming from music server software running on a networked computer or NAS via UPnP. The H390’s digital inputs are MQA-compatible and support for up to DSD 2.8 playback is provided via DoP (DSD over PCM). At present, the H390 offers basic IP control, with Control4 and Crestron currently in the works to support the custom integration market.
The H390 is top of the league in Hegel’s pursuit to make mainstream sources sound incredible and means that the H390 is not just for audiophiles; the entire family can enjoy it.
Finally, let’s look at the Hegel H590. This is a reference amplifier throughout, delivering a massive 301W per channel, so it’s no wonder it’s often referred to as ‘the beast’. Like the rest of the series, the H590 includes user-friendly services such as Apple AirPlay, but at the same time embraces super high-performance formats like DSD. The H590 is Hegel’s way of making ‘high end’ quality accessible to everyone!
The H590 uses SoundEngine2 amplifier patented technology combined with high power, low distortion amplifier design. The result is dynamic capabilities which are unmatched, while maintaining a smooth, natural sound with all the detail. The H590 can be used to provide outstanding sound in your Home Theatre or to combine a Theatre and a wireless system for music listening without losing sound performance. The H590 is genuinely the ultimate integrated amplifier.
Visit our Hegel section to find out more about their award-winning Hi-Fi selection.