Hegel introduced the H95 integrated amplifier, which replaces the H90 in September. The H90 was a big step for the Norwegian company when launched three years ago. Because of the implementation of the SoundEngine2 module it sounded a great deal better than its predecessor, the H80. As good as the H90 was and still is, its streaming and digital capabilities are slowly becoming obsolete. Hegel's team since designed the H190 and H120. Both of which offer both Spotify Connect, a far more stable UPnP connection as well as upcoming updates making them AirPlay2 compatible.
"The measure of intelligence is the ability to change, said Albert Einstein. What is intelligent today is not necessarily intelligent tomorrow. At Hegel we want our products to last as long as possible. That means they need to be able to change with time. Therefore, the H95's built-in software is upgradeable over the air, ensuring that improved functionalities and new features are delivered directly to your amplifier, with no hassle, and cost-free. While connectivity and upgradability are important, it is on the inside where the H95 really showcases its intelligence. Today most media going to your amp is digital. That is why we have equipped the H95 with a Digital-to-analog converter of the highest quality - making the change from digital to analog in a very intelligent way. With technology crafted from the ground up and in-house by the Hegel team, we take full control of the digital data stream. And using design developed to equip our absolute reference products, we make sure digital music is delivered in its purest form. The result for you is blissfully natural sound, without any added artifacts, enabling you to just play louder."
H95 has the same menu system as its bigger brothers. Meaning you can software update it over the internet and via the on-screen menu. You can also enter the menu to see its IP address and other information. All inputs are individually configurable so you can set them as a home theater bypass input. Another popular feature is the ability to set a maximum volume level individually for the headphone output and the speaker output. You can also customize the start-up volume for when the unit is powered up. This must be done with a RC8 remote (not included). Finally, the new H95 will wake up from standby on LAN. So, when the unit is off, you can still select it in Spotify or AirPlay and get it to wake up.
The H95 is built around the platform of the H90, and in all honesty, their analog sections are quite similar. On the H95 Hegel made small improvements in the power supplies and in the implementation of the analog stage. There are also improvements made to reduce noise on the headphone output. All this to bring it up to the level you expect from our new models. The big thing, however, is the digital-analog-converter. 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. It is smoother, more precise, and more dynamic. So, while it is already an upgrade when using analog, it is a completely different animal when it comes to digital. The H95s will begin shipping September 2020. Info and photos by Hegel Music Systems.