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Hegel H95 Review (Streaming Amplifier)

amarsicola

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So I just purchased the H95 and now found this thread. Would it best to use an external DAC? I am going to be either running a BlueSound Node or the internal streamer of the H95. If I use the Node I will probably use a R2R DAC with with it. Any input would be great.
My 2 cents: you should be able to sell easily your H95 for 1000€, with that money you can get a good xlr topping dac with volume control (e.g. D30 pro), an amplifier based on hypex nc252mp (e.g check Audiophonics) and a raspberry pi4 and you are almost at the state of art
 

MarcosCh

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My 2 cents: you should be able to sell easily your H95 for 1000€, with that money you can get a good xlr topping dac with volume control (e.g. D30 pro), an amplifier based on hypex nc252mp (e.g check Audiophonics) and a raspberry pi4 and you are almost at the state of art
You have nailed exactly what I did last year :D
 

ENG

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My 2 cents: you should be able to sell easily your H95 for 1000€, with that money you can get a good xlr topping dac with volume control (e.g. D30 pro), an amplifier based on hypex nc252mp (e.g check Audiophonics) and a raspberry pi4 and you are almost at the state of art
I use that DAC (Topping D30pro) and Bluesound Node 130 to feed my NAD C298. Jes, sell the Hegel H95 and get better gear.
 

DanielT

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If the wallet allows. Sell a bad Norwegian amplifier and buy a good Norwegian instead::)

Amir:
"I am happy to recommend the Vera Audio P400/1000 stereo amplifier. Great to see a high power amplifier in our top 10 best amplifiers ever tested."


Plus this one. DAC plus streamer:

Amir:
"It is my pleasure to recommend the Allo Boss2 streamer and player."


(that blue color, hm there I would probably have sprayed it in some other color, but it's a matter of taste)
 
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Berlin

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I always found it annoying that I couldn't stream music gaplessly to my Hegel via DLNA... My H120 is sold too...
 
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killdozzer

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I just got it used for a good deal but might build a pair of Amp Camp mono blocks and sell the H95. It will be here tomorrow so will test out then.
Well, yes. It's a considerably bad product and to a certain extent dishonest move from the producer. But you should be able to sell it for the price you bought it for. Amazingly, some people like Hegel even after learning of it's poor performance and will buy it if only for the pumped up volume pot.

My advice would be, if you're disappointed, don't keep the gear because some other people find it up to their standards. So, how do YOU feel about it, does it bother you, are you disappointed, would you like to own a better designed audio gear? If yes, put up an ad and sell it, if not don't worry about the review.
 

steve59

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compared to many brands hegel is considered affordable performance, brands like Mark Levinson, Krell, T&A, Ayre, Aavik, lexicon, accuphase, so many 'hi end' brands that hegel lowballs with more power, more features, and much less money that can be found at shops, and tbh the class d affordable brand peachtree is audibly inferior and while NAD has always had a good reputation, idk if they've broken out of the 'for the money' category the reviewers put them in so many years ago? If class D stands the test of time these big name brands will start using them with fancy boxes and massive power supplies and will start charging solid five figures for them, like Aavik and threshold do now.
 

peng

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Well, there are more sins than just low SINAD here...

Amp seems reasonably good (if you forget the instability), but in no way better than a 400€ Hypex NCore NC122MP based amp

Agreed, I am sure the H95 would do well in a blind test, but why pay more when you can pay less, unless it is for the look and the features and if that's worth the difference than it is worth it, I guess..
 

MarcosCh

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Agreed, I am sure the H95 would do well in a blind test, but why pay more when you can pay less, unless it is for the look and the features and if that's worth the difference than it is worth it, I guess..
Well, for instance, it has an integrated streamer that works very well. Press play in your favorite app and the hegel switches on and starts playing from second 00:00. Perfectly possible but not so easy for everybody to achieve with a vanilla hypex amp without investing some more money.
 
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steve59

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There's a similar thread comparing features and longevity to inaudible sinad improvements and low cost.
 

amper42

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If I had a choice of the Hegel H95 or the Topping D30 Pro and an external amp/RPI-4 for a bedroom or medium/small office I would select the Hegel if it was the same price or less. Why? My RME ADI-2 DAC with NC502MP amp/RPI-4 sounds a bit cleaner to my ears but it's not enough that I find one less desirable in my office comparison test.

The reason I would select the RME ADI-2 with Buckeye NC502MP would be the amazing extra power offered by the amp over the 60W Hegel. The reason I would select the Hegel H90 is integration. Everything in one nice package with RCA, Optical, Coax inputs that all work really well and a quality remote that is great to use versus the Topping remote which is one step above trash. :D

While I understand the measurements in the ASR review, I still enjoy listening to the Hegel H90 with BMR monitors or Revel M105 bookshelf speakers. The Hegel H90 absolutely sucks on the Revel F328Be as the amp simply isn't powerful enough. On the other hand, H90 offers plenty of power for bookshelves in a small/medium size room. There are a few advantages to the H95 that are not obvious until you live with it. You have to decide whether integration, reliability, USB sound card feature and quality remote are important. But dumping the H90 or H95 because of the ASR test results even though it doesn't sound much different than a Topping would be a silly mistake for me.
 

DanielT

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Hegel H95, it costs some small pennies compared to this one, # 12

FrantzM:

"Here is their $ 124,999.00 per pair (No Typo, One Hundred Twenty Five Thousands US legal tender called US Dollar)
SPECIFICATIONS:
Rated Power Output
80 watts RMS per channel
Input Sensitivity
0.50 volts for full output
Input Impedance
500k ohms
Frequency Response
+/- 1 dB from 10Hz to 100kHz

Total Harmonic Distortion
10 watts output: <0.05%
50 watts output: <0.15%
80 watts output: <0.90%
Damping Factor: 16
Power Consumption
400 watts (true RMS)"

97A_front_NO-LED-(1-of-1).jpg



Crazy! :)
 
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Temple

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Just setup the Hegel and think the BlueSound node sounds better than the internal streamer/dac. The amp itself is a little lifeless so my search may go on. I might demo a Rega Elex-R next.
 

MacCali

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Just setup the Hegel and think the BlueSound node sounds better than the internal streamer/dac. The amp itself is a little lifeless so my search may go on. I might demo a Rega Elex-R next.
it's a tough choice all around.. I will say I feel at full price the hegel is a rip without a doubt. It just depends really how much you paid, at half the price I would not be very concerned. Rega is ehhh, I got nothing against rega but as I looked into the company and spoke to them directly over the phone about their products I was very much turned off. They said they do not believe in measurements and solely listen and whatever sounds good is what gets the passing colors. I see that seems to be a false narrative as someone pointed out that there flagship unit which was measured[third party] actually does have performance that is competent but comes with a high price tag.

Second to this, I point out consistently on here as many people that are anti-measurement and come on here to argue about how even with poor measurements something sounds amazing to them and that we are all wrong.

At first I thought they were just nuts, I find out that the reality comes down to down even some of the worst of the worst amplifiers on the market do not sound god awful. I own one amp that amir measured with a sinad of 36 db.. everything about the amp was horrible, and even stated by amir probably one of the worst amps he has ever measured and has an extremely poor design. I purchased the amp for 20 dollars so it doesn't bother me a bit.. BUT the situation even with such poor measurements is that the amp is not horrible. Listening to music on it doesn't bother me one bit, in my secondary system, so this is why now I understand people make these claims and come in here and dispute measurements.

In my primary system everything is top notch, my only bottle neck is my amplifier in performance vs my pre and dac. Do I hear the difference absolutely, and even with that foundation I do not hold the crap amp to be extremely horrible. I think anything above 70+ db sinad will pass for good if something at 36 db doesn't make me want to throw it out the window.

That's why I say I think people on here have never owned a very very bad amp in the lowest measurement spectrum to actually realize what a horribly measuring amp actually sounds like to now have a foundation to look upon. You should definitely use measurements but not always seek the best measuring units. Anything above the 75% of good measurements will fly as excellent upon my personal findings.
 

Axo1989

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If I had a choice of the Hegel H95 or the Topping D30 Pro and an external amp/RPI-4 for a bedroom or medium/small office I would select the Hegel if it was the same price or less. Why? My RME ADI-2 DAC with NC502MP amp/RPI-4 sounds a bit cleaner to my ears but it's not enough that I find one less desirable in my office comparison test.

The reason I would select the RME ADI-2 with Buckeye NC502MP would be the amazing extra power offered by the amp over the 60W Hegel. The reason I would select the Hegel H90 is integration. Everything in one nice package with RCA, Optical, Coax inputs that all work really well and a quality remote that is great to use versus the Topping remote which is one step above trash. :D

While I understand the measurements in the ASR review, I still enjoy listening to the Hegel H90 with BMR monitors or Revel M105 bookshelf speakers. The Hegel H90 absolutely sucks on the Revel F328Be as the amp simply isn't powerful enough. On the other hand, H90 offers plenty of power for bookshelves in a small/medium size room. There are a few advantages to the H95 that are not obvious until you live with it. You have to decide whether integration, reliability, USB sound card feature and quality remote are important. But dumping the H90 or H95 because of the ASR test results even though it doesn't sound much different than a Topping would be a silly mistake for me.
I understand the appeal of an integrated device with good feature set, industrial design and UX, and you've clearly described the pros and cons of two comparative examples. There's a bit of pearl-clutching reading back through this thread, certainly, but it's entirely defensible to go with either, I think.
 

Temple

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it's a tough choice all around.. I will say I feel at full price the hegel is a rip without a doubt. It just depends really how much you paid, at half the price I would not be very concerned. Rega is ehhh, I got nothing against rega but as I looked into the company and spoke to them directly over the phone about their products I was very much turned off. They said they do not believe in measurements and solely listen and whatever sounds good is what gets the passing colors. I see that seems to be a false narrative as someone pointed out that there flagship unit which was measured[third party] actually does have performance that is competent but comes with a high price tag.

Second to this, I point out consistently on here as many people that are anti-measurement and come on here to argue about how even with poor measurements something sounds amazing to them and that we are all wrong.

At first I thought they were just nuts, I find out that the reality comes down to down even some of the worst of the worst amplifiers on the market do not sound god awful. I own one amp that amir measured with a sinad of 36 db.. everything about the amp was horrible, and even stated by amir probably one of the worst amps he has ever measured and has an extremely poor design. I purchased the amp for 20 dollars so it doesn't bother me a bit.. BUT the situation even with such poor measurements is that the amp is not horrible. Listening to music on it doesn't bother me one bit, in my secondary system, so this is why now I understand people make these claims and come in here and dispute measurements.

In my primary system everything is top notch, my only bottle neck is my amplifier in performance vs my pre and dac. Do I hear the difference absolutely, and even with that foundation I do not hold the crap amp to be extremely horrible. I think anything above 70+ db sinad will pass for good if something at 36 db doesn't make me want to throw it out the window.

That's why I say I think people on here have never owned a very very bad amp in the lowest measurement spectrum to actually realize what a horribly measuring amp actually sounds like to now have a foundation to look upon. You should definitely use measurements but not always seek the best measuring units. Anything above the 75% of good measurements will fly as excellent upon my personal findings.
The Rega was nice but did not top my SoundArtist integrated $400 ish. The SoundArtist trounced the Hegel. My SA has some issue when adjusting the volume I get distortion out of one channel and it’s brand new. Not sure I want to send it back to China either. It really does sound great and would love to see how it measures.
 
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DanielT

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it's a tough choice all around.. I will say I feel at full price the hegel is a rip without a doubt. It just depends really how much you paid, at half the price I would not be very concerned. Rega is ehhh, I got nothing against rega but as I looked into the company and spoke to them directly over the phone about their products I was very much turned off. They said they do not believe in measurements and solely listen and whatever sounds good is what gets the passing colors. I see that seems to be a false narrative as someone pointed out that there flagship unit which was measured[third party] actually does have performance that is competent but comes with a high price tag.

Second to this, I point out consistently on here as many people that are anti-measurement and come on here to argue about how even with poor measurements something sounds amazing to them and that we are all wrong.

At first I thought they were just nuts, I find out that the reality comes down to down even some of the worst of the worst amplifiers on the market do not sound god awful. I own one amp that amir measured with a sinad of 36 db.. everything about the amp was horrible, and even stated by amir probably one of the worst amps he has ever measured and has an extremely poor design. I purchased the amp for 20 dollars so it doesn't bother me a bit.. BUT the situation even with such poor measurements is that the amp is not horrible. Listening to music on it doesn't bother me one bit, in my secondary system, so this is why now I understand people make these claims and come in here and dispute measurements.

In my primary system everything is top notch, my only bottle neck is my amplifier in performance vs my pre and dac. Do I hear the difference absolutely, and even with that foundation I do not hold the crap amp to be extremely horrible. I think anything above 70+ db sinad will pass for good if something at 36 db doesn't make me want to throw it out the window.

That's why I say I think people on here have never owned a very very bad amp in the lowest measurement spectrum to actually realize what a horribly measuring amp actually sounds like to now have a foundation to look upon. You should definitely use measurements but not always seek the best measuring units. Anything above the 75% of good measurements will fly as excellent upon my personal findings.
It is difficult to know, if one imagines that one hears or not hear differences. Especially if you do not hear differences. Even with blind tests. If you tell yourself that you do not hear any difference, you will not hear any difference. One thing is however for sure, sooner or later you hear differences, which are not imaginary. That's what we have our ears for. :) The question is only when the differences become so big that you hear differences.

Here you can test:



It also becomes a more psychological, philosophical issue. What is imagination? What is reality? How is reality created? But that's another question, in another thread.:)...If you are interested in that. As for HiFi, well, I really do not think you need to go that far. In one's thoughts, for the sake of sound that is. It's still just a hobby. On the other hand, you can think about it, in general, if you like to philosophize, think about things.:)
 
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MacCali

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Why are we even here at all?
Personally I’m here to see if I’m getting ripped off. A lot of these companies have got away with ton of bs over the years.

As stated in my previous comment it’s really hard to for us as a consumer to really know what sounds good.

From another perspective to judge a reviewer or really know what their intentions are. They maybe deceiving you or as I said if it measures decent it will sound “good”

I mean take a look around, look at all the audio companies that exist and clearly all of them can’t be the best. Yet, they don’t go out of business. People do purchase and enjoy what they have even when it’s poopoo.

I understand the philosophy of these companies. From Hegel to Rega and you name it. You buy the cheap or mid first, you love how it sounds and they hope you move up the line as that clearly means better sound. If not that in the future buy the name with possibly a new line of amplifiers or dacs or who knows what piece of equipment.

Common sense says though you can’t get me to spend thousands on a product when something at a fraction of the cost is doing better and there’s evidence to back that.

A little more detail about journey and feel free to skip it, I got my point across. I’m extremely new to home audio. I started in September 2020. I was in real search for a good amp and found so many that cost so much Hegel, Rega, Cambridge and I was very close to pulling the trigger on cause there marketing got me.

I was finally settled on musical fidelity, but I couldn’t really trust them either. So I decided to try vintage and bought a couple amps and found exactly what I was looking for in parasound.

So far thanks to Amir we fished out Cambridge as somewhat of a rip and Hegel a super rip. Rega too, at least it gets good at a price tag of 4,000. The rest of these companies maybe dishing out mediocre for insane price tags

Honestly I can go on and on, but even on the top spectrum I got a chance to listen to the benchmark amp and it didn’t impress me either.

Yet at home in my main system, everything besides the amp is 120 db SNR my sources jitter is 142. To my ears everything sounds amazing.

Does the junk amp sound amazing? No it doesn’t.
Does it sound god awful? No it doesn’t.

I don’t think there’s any way to quantify the difference with an absolute answer.
 
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