Hegel Integrated Amplifiers Guideezelenkovecs
One of the most respected names in the Hi-Fi market is the Norwegian brand Hegel, established in 1988. Known for producing integrated, pre and power amplifiers, all of Hegel’s products are unmistakably Scandinavian. Simplicity, power and nuance are staples of Hegel’s sound philosophy and their elegant award-winning design.
Let’s take a closer look at Hegel’s excellent integrated amplifiers.
The H95 has been designed with simplicity in mind. For an entry-level amp model, the H95 comes with a fantastic set of features. It has 60 Watt per channel output into 8 Ohms, which is sufficient for most average speakers. H95’s features include Apple AirPlay and network streaming, it also has both digital and analog connections.
These features (except streaming) can be configured to fixed level inputs which also allows for an easy integration with your Home Theatre System. Furthermore, there is a high-quality headphone output on the front.
Another huge advantage of Hegel amplifiers is their damping factor, which in this device is over 20 times higher than the industry average. Set-up is super simple. Just connect your TV, phono stage or phones, add your speakers and you’re ready to experience the extraordinary sound.
Next amplifier in the range is the Hegel H120 . While it’s a small increase in cost, it’s a big step up in terms of performance. The significantly larger power supply as well as a higher power output of 75 W offers a more dynamic sound which makes it better for combining with larger loudspeakers and more challenging drive loads. The digital section is the same as on its bigger siblings, and this is really the core of the H120. Like the H95, the H120 comes with Apple AirPlay and Spotify Connect, Additionally it offers IP Control, Control4 and UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) streaming.
Like the H95, the H120 uses the Hegel’s proprietary SoundEngine2 platform which allows it to achieve a damping factor of over 2000 combined with 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. 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.
This time it is an even bigger step up from the model below. The H190 has a damping factor of over 4000, which is double that of the previous model and 40 times higher than the industry average. The H190 is also powerful with 150 W per channel output and will drive pretty much any loudspeaker on the market. The H190 also includes DLNA streaming capabilities and can play music from various streaming platforms, including Apple AirPlay.
The H190 also features configurable inputs, a high-end DAC and a ¼-inch front-facing headphone output. Ultimate sound quality combined with its ease of use and of course, laconic Scandinavian design is what makes H190 unique. Available in contemporary anodised black or white aluminium, and with a modern OLED display, the H190 will indeed make for a beautiful centrepiece in any Hi-Fi system.
With the H390, Hegel enters the high-end territory, and offers a complete product, designed with vast amounts of thought and care, while also remaining relatively affordable. Its carefully matched components are comparable to the best-measured equipment in the world. This amp has a class A/B design, with each channel delivering 250W into 8 ohms, so would be an excellent option if you have planar magnetic or electrostatic speakers or any other demanding speakers.
Along with Apple AirPlay, the H390 also supports Spotify Connect and can handle streaming from music server software running on a computer or NAS via UPnP. The H390’s digital inputs are MQA-certified and can support up to DSD 2.8 playback, which is provided via DoP (DSD over PCM). In addition, the H390 offers basic IP control and Control4 support.
The H390 is top of the league in Hegel’s pursuit to make mainstream sources sound incredible.
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 and Spotify Connect and also embraces super high-performance formats like DSD.
The H590 also uses SoundEngine2 patented technology ,which combined with higher power output and low distortion design, achieves unmatched dynamism, while maintaining a smooth, natural sound without losing any details. The H590 can be used to provide outstanding sound to your Home Theatre system. Last but not least the H590 uses a high-end DAC chip to get the best out of the digital sources. The H590 is genuinely the ultimate integrated amplifier.
Visit our Hegel section to find out more about their award-winning Hi-Fi selection.