• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Hegel H95 Review (Streaming Amplifier)

gallantus

Active Member
Joined
May 7, 2021
Messages
135
Likes
110
I swapped the Benchmark amp w/ a Purifi and the preamp with the Freya+ but the D90SE is there and it is a truly transparent system that I can live with for the rest of my life. Period.
Amir asked is to take this conversation to here:

 

Rottmannash

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
1,915
Likes
1,530
Location
Nashville
Amir asked is to take this conversation to here:

Will do. Posted that before I read his post.
 

Suffolkhifinut

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2021
Messages
465
Likes
165
Only 2ch for starters. I prefer more power in the amp generally for that kind of money.
Before thinking of buying an Amp always look at the tests and specs. Power rating in 8/4/2/1 Ohms if the power falls away too much don’t bother with it, then how much it weighs ( the two usually go together) taking into account the type of power supply. When it comes to its frequency graph make sure it doesn’t dip to much in the midband area, as it means an exaggerated top and bottom end. After that generally there isn‘t too much difference between them.
Doodski posted on a blind listening test involving many Amps and Speakers, for me too many to get a realistic outcome. Will say though, a couple of years ago had an Esoteric Amp that developed a fault sent it in for repair. Needed a cheap temporary replacement went into a dealers and bought a Teac Amp for £130. Sounded no different to the Esoteric. When it came back swapped them around, no difference. Both ‘voiced‘ by the same manufacturer the only difference was the price, sold the Esoteric at a loss.
 

Firespeed

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
7
Likes
16
Location
France
But I still have to get used to it that those boxes are so small.
Suggestions welcome..!
Hello Naish,

Don't be afraid of these tiny boxes...at the opposite, embrace them for what it is : efficient implementation and design at the service of your ears. When you have good music reproduction, you forget the hardware and concentrate on the pleasure it's providing you.

Based on Amir work here, you have so many choice between Topping, SMSL, Loxjie, and many many other...that you can easily find the box that meets your expectations in terms of home integration and whatever is your budget.

I've ordered PA5 + E50 from Topping and because of Amir work and measurements here. Plus, it's a good matching integration. Also, it's reasonably not expensive - 635€ - TRS cable included (H90 sold for 850€).
 
Last edited:

Firespeed

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
7
Likes
16
Location
France
I did audition the Hegel at home, and while it sounded good to me on the whole, the DAC was most definitely the weak link in the system. It was muddy-sounding and overly warm. As soon as I connected my SMSL SU-8 v2 via the balanced input, I gained a whole lot of clarity in the sound. But the idea of buying it was tainted after reading all the hate in the review.

BTW, the power button is not difficult to find at all! :)

Hello Smithynz,

I agree, power button easily found.

Regarding your "tainted idea of buying Hegel" :
Two months before the sell of the H90, I set it in the "fixed mode". The volume was fixed at 85. I managed the volume through the streamer (Node). The results was far better, mostly in the low frequencies. But still, when i received the Loxjie, another world has been opened to my ears.

Finally, 1700€ (public price) for this kind of crap, versus 170€ for a Loxjie that is on par regarding the amp, and better regarding the DAC... My decision was pure and simple logic.
 

RoA

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2021
Messages
83
Likes
33
H95 owner here (as well as an Arcam SA20 and Audiolab 6000A, swapped between in my second system).

Having also used and owned a couple of cheap and cheerful 'Class D' cinese made products which are well reviewed here plus recent active systems (Kef LS50 Wireless 2 Meta and Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo's ... both sold now) I can tell you that subjectively I far prefer any of my current above amplifiers in the first paragraph to any of the latter.

Maybe Amir got a faulty product? I don't know but the Hegel sounds fantastic (and far more autorative/powerful than stated power would let to believe).

Totally recommended but listen before dismissing. Build is good too.
 

tkr

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
19
Likes
29
I can't see any reason to recommend Hegel H95. Company needs to go back to the drawing board and design performant DACs and headphone amplifiers as a minimum. On amplification, they are being left behind by proper feedforward designs and excellent class D with tons of power.
When searching for my current setup I found Hegel to be an interesting option for all-in-one stereos. Did stay away from it in the end and now am glad I did not buy ist, seeing this type of performance. Thenak you very much for the review Amir and that you cover such a broad range of the industry.
 

RoA

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2021
Messages
83
Likes
33
When searching for my current setup I found Hegel to be an interesting option for all-in-one stereos. Did stay away from it in the end and now am glad I did not buy ist, seeing this type of performance. Thenak you very much for the review Amir and that you cover such a broad range of the industry.
Sad
 

AdrianG

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
24
Likes
5
I had many amps hegel is the one i think i liked the most, what a beautiful amp! looks nice sound even better! i sold it bc i wanted less cluster and bought kef ls50w.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RoA
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
37,374
Likes
156,097
Location
Seattle Area
That's like saying you are sad because there is now a poor government health report on a restaurant you like the food at. You should be happy to know that there are other restaurants that make delicious food without hygiene issues. No the other way around.

Countless people buy these products because they think, based on marketing message, that they have superior engineering. When my measurements show otherwise, it should be motivation for companies like this to do better and consumers to have more correct info about these products than buying into the messaging.
 

killdozzer

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
851
Likes
809
H95 owner here (as well as an Arcam SA20 and Audiolab 6000A, swapped between in my second system).

Having also used and owned a couple of cheap and cheerful 'Class D' cinese made products which are well reviewed here plus recent active systems (Kef LS50 Wireless 2 Meta and Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo's ... both sold now) I can tell you that subjectively I far prefer any of my current above amplifiers in the first paragraph to any of the latter.

Maybe Amir got a faulty product? I don't know but the Hegel sounds fantastic (and far more autorative/powerful than stated power would let to believe).

Totally recommended but listen before dismissing. Build is good too.
Still, you're going the wrong way around. Why would you recommend something that is poorly designed even if it subjectively sounds good to you? The least you could say is you liked the sound and recommend people find that sound elsewhere. Wouldn't that be more fair?

While we're at the topic of sound, if it sounds, something's wrong with it. You know the visualization; a > a

Things like 'authoritative' are not the property of an amp.

Furthermore, how come you'd recommend something that is subjectively better to you? If it's subjective, it means it's your own personal experience. Why do you think people should buy your own, personal, subjective experience? Shouldn't you say; I subjectively found mine, you go out there and subjectively find yours?
 
Last edited:

peng

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
2,750
Likes
2,245

Good for you that you seem to be happy with yours despite the average performance on the bench and there is no need to be "sad":) if others don't prefer the H95 based on bench test results. I doubt the one Amir reviewed was a defective unit because it would be rare (though I suppose anything is possible..) for something defective to yield such consistent test results in many tests performed in the review. It is not surprising that one can like or even impressed with Hegel's, because from what I can see, based on the bench test results it can be very transparent under many conditions of use.

For a lot of people, including me, would however, stay away from it because for a lot less money, they can choose other products that measured much better on the test benches and would perform better under certain conditions, such as in a very quiet room, playing at levels higher than the H95 can handle, and still maintain high level of transparency, and have more flexibility to play back high quality recordings that may only be available in, unfortunately bit rate and/or sampling frequency that the Hegel's DAC cannot handle.
 

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,370
Likes
1,672
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
I'd still say that by the standards of DEALER PURCHASED mid level gear of just ten years ago, the Hegel is not wanting at all. Even the dac is acceptable enough if used the way suggested (maybe the variable outs should not have been there, saving much angst I'd suggest).

Many trad dealers are still against Class D and the new wave of superb performing inexpensive (relatively speaking) little boxes coming along often bought from AliExpress or Amazon don't even feature on their radar and probably never will (they'll go out of business first I'd suggest).

Still, many here regard Hegel junk now, so fair dos I suppose, but I still feel it's a bit unfair and very sad...
 

Geert

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
873
Likes
1,103
Totally recommended but listen before dismissing. Build is good too.
Questioning how the H95 sounds to you would be meaningles. But on build quality everyone can agree that it's extremely low budget and poorly executed. Looks like your opinion is biased.
 

amper42

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
1,073
Likes
1,434
I'd still say that by the standards of DEALER PURCHASED mid level gear of just ten years ago, the Hegel is not wanting at all. Even the dac is acceptable enough if used the way suggested (maybe the variable outs should not have been there, saving much angst I'd suggest).

Many trad dealers are still against Class D and the new wave of superb performing inexpensive (relatively speaking) little boxes coming along often bought from AliExpress or Amazon don't even feature on their radar and probably never will (they'll go out of business first I'd suggest).

Still, many here regard Hegel junk now, so fair dos I suppose, but I still feel it's a bit unfair and very sad...

I have the Hegel H90 which is the earlier version. It sounds absolutely awesome with my BMR Monitors. I performed an AB test between the H90 and my Denon 4700 for stereo in a 12'x14' office and I much preferred the H90. I was hoping a lot of people would shy away from Hegel or the H95 in particular so I could get a big discount on another one. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet. Measurements are an easy way to try to determine what product will work well but when they don't align with what my ear likes I start to realize measurement value may be less than I previously assigned. This made me also realize reviews posted on ASR without a listening test will offer less value to me than ones that include one.

I also use the RME ADI-2 DAC FS with my BMR Monitors. I enjoy that setup with an RPi4 just as well or better than the Hegel H90 but it's not a huge difference in sound with these speakers. If I could get a another Hegel H90 or H95 for $1000 or less I would be just as happy. The key to my Hegel purchase is never pay retail. I bought my H90 on sale for $1200 and don't regret it. The H90 sounds great with the right set of speakers but don't expect it to power big towers. Also, don't use the Hegel pre-outs as they suck. In my opinion, Hegel should remove them if they can't offer a standard pre-out.
 
Last edited:

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,370
Likes
1,672
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
Questioning how the H95 sounds to you would be meaningles. But on build quality everyone can agree that it's extremely low budget and poorly executed. Looks like your opinion is biased.
Ummm - Got to disagree here.. Plain black finish is fine to me and I can read the display without having to squint (my ears and eyes best times are long gone :( ). Flick the power switch underneath, turn one nice feeling rotary knob to select source, adjust equally nice feeling volume knob with the other (shown in the display) and off you go! What more do you want if music rather than the gear-love is the goal? I'm just thinking of something my better half could use easily - she 'runs a mile' from my current stuff...
 

JiiPee

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2021
Messages
60
Likes
108
Questioning how the H95 sounds to you would be meaningles. But on build quality everyone can agree that it's extremely low budget and poorly executed. Looks like your opinion is biased.
Have You actually handled the Hegel? The build quality is easily on par with most amplifiers in the same price category. Yes, the measurements are mediocre, but to say that it is extremely low budget and poorly executed is exaggeration.

Regarding the sound quality, I doubt very much if many of us could detect it to sound inferior to other USD $2K amplifiers in a controlled blind test.
 

killdozzer

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
851
Likes
809
I have the Hegel H90 which is the earlier version. It sounds absolutely awesome with my BMR Monitors. I performed an AB test between the H90 and my Denon 4700 for stereo in a 12'x14' office and I much preferred the H90. I was hoping a lot of people would shy away from Hegel or the H95 in particular so I could get a big discount on another one. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet. Measurements are an easy way to try to determine what product will work well but when they don't align with what my ear likes I start to realize measurement value may be less than I previously assigned. This made me also realize reviews posted on ASR without a listening test will offer less value to me than ones that include one.

I also use the RME ADI-2 DAC FS with my BMR Monitors. I enjoy that setup with an RPi4 just as well or better than the Hegel H90 but it's not a huge difference in sound with these speakers. If I could get a another Hegel H90 or H95 for $1000 or less I would be just as happy. The key to my Hegel purchase is never pay retail. I bought my H90 on sale for $1200 and don't regret it. The H90 sounds great with the right set of speakers but don't expect it to power big towers. Also, don't use the Hegel pre-outs as they suck. In my opinion, Hegel should remove them if they can't offer a standard pre-out.
As was explained to you in great detail in Audioholics forum, you didn't really do the AB test. By the time you pulled banana's from one unit to plug them into another and turn everything on again, you were operating under bias. You can't conclude anything about Denon from that experiment.

You got swayed by "built for 2ch stereo" type marketing and the fact that you needed to turn the volume knob less to get to "beefy-meaty" that you've experienced. Things like "tighter bass and enhanced clarity" is not exactly useful.

It goes without saying then that drawing conclusions on 95 on account of 90 would be equally misleading despite what one might think.
 
Top Bottom