The latest streaming integrated amplifier from Norway’s Hegel is the H95 — an update to the outgoing H90. The Hegel H95 is a 60wpc amplifier whose output belies it’s conservative rating. The new H95 also features a modified analogue stage with “small improvements in the power supplies and in the implementation of the analog stage.”
Hegel’s SoundEngine2 technology reduces signal distortion to levels almost immeasurable and makes certain you totally immerse yourself in your music or your movies. Hegel claims H95’s ‘damping factor’, is up to 20 times higher than the industry average. This delivers a dynamic, controlled and powerful bass response, and is why 60 watts of output power is often more than enough to drive challenging speakers with confidence.
Unlike the H90, the H95’s internal network streamer supports UPnP, Spotify Connect and Apple AirPlay, future firmware update will also add AirPlay 2 support.
An ethernet input is provided to be able to connect via network. With a third party app such as mConnect, the H95 will stream any music collections on any PCs or hard drives on your network, as well as music streaming apps and internet radio. The USB input on the H95 is limited to PCM resolutions of 24bit/96kHz while the S/PDIF and Network inputs raise that PCM resolution limit to 24bit/192kHz.
The largest amount of engineering attention has been applied to the H95’s DAC. On this Hegel says, “The H95 uses the same DAC as the H120 and the H190, and this is a massive step up from the H90. It is quite simply a completely different level of D/A conversion. So, while it is already an upgrade when using analog, it is a completely different animal when it comes to digital. It is smoother, more precise and more dynamic.”
The H95’s internal DAC is not only accessible via the internal network streamer but back panelled coaxial, USB and three optical inputs.
In addition to its digital inputs, the H95 offers a pair of unbalanced (RCA) inputs (there is no phono stage). There is also a variable line out (RCA) for use with a subwoofer or home theatre processor.