Scandinavians are known for their love of environment and eco solutions, but audiophile amplifiers managed to resist this trend so far. Hegel wants to break it by introducing the integrated amplifier which is not only kind to the environment, but doesn't need electricity at all. That's why the E80 has no power socket on the back panel. Instead of forcing audiophiles to use the current from the wall, engineers have developed a battery power system which allows the amplifier to work at normal volume almost constantly. Instead of a toroidal transformer, there is a battery pack inside the E80, similar to the latest generation lithium-ion cells used in hybrid drive cars. To make sure the power doesn't run out quickly, engineers from Norway developed an innovative system for charging the batteries using the audio signal applied to either the analog or digital input.
If you decide to listen to the music via the USB port, the amplifier will simply use the electricity from this socket. When there is no digital connection, new Hegel will activate the PowerLoop system, which works similarly to the power distribution unit, where one plug is transformed into several outlet sockets delivering the same amount of power. The original signal goes straight to the preamp section, while those obtained by multiplication are processed and used to charge the batteries. However, the main source of energy keeping the E80 alive is a solution called KineticDrive. It is a system that enables recovering energy from the return movement of membranes in the speakers. This unique solution was inspired by the KERS system used in F1 and automotive brake energy recovery systems. The secret lies in the fact that the new amplifier doesn't drive loudspeakers in a continuous manner. Instead, it sends impulses to force vibrations. Returning membranes induce current in the coils, which is then received at the speaker terminals of the amplifier and used to charge batteries.
Apart from this, E80 is very similar to the H80 model. It has an identical housing and high-end DAC on-board. To emphasize the ecological character of the new amplifier, a green display was used instead of a blue one. The same color decorates the speaker terminals and analog inputs on the rear panel. What's interesting is that the new Hegel doesn't come with a remote control. That's because the batteries are charged also when you use any of the knobs on the front panel, to change the source or adjust the volume. The official release date of the E80 is not known yet, however it is anticipated to cost almost twice as much as the H80. A good investment, especially if you consider the rising prices of electricity.
This article is of course a April Fools' Day joke and no information in it is true. Well, apart from the fact that the Scandinavians are really known for their love of environment and eco solutions. But the E80 model doesn't exist and has been made-up by the author. Photos - with a bit of editing - by Hegel Music Systems.