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Hegel H600 powerhouse

Hegel H600 amplifier www.the-ear.net

Hegel H600 integrated amplifier

Hegel launched the H590 five years ago. They had never made an integrated amplifier at this level before and were slightly apprehensive about the reaction from customers. However, the combination of stellar performance and convenience made it an instant success, the reception from reviewers and customers was overwhelming.

Finally, after three years of development, Hegel are ready to present H600, the H590’s heir. With a host of new features, a new chassis design, a new DAC, an improved amplifier section, and a vastly superior streaming engine, the H600 is a true powerhouse that should cover all audiophile needs and wants. Oh, and they also added a couple of watts more.

Powerhouse

H600 is Hegel’s reference integrated amplifier. With its 303 watts in 8 ohms, a damping factor of 4000, and 2 ohms drive capability, this powerhouse of an amplifier can drive any speaker with confidence and ease. The amplifier is a dual mono design, bringing it as close as possible to the performance of two mono amps in a single box. It also boasts a state-of-the-art preamplifier with the extremely precise volume attenuator found in our reference P30A amplifier. All electronic circuitry is designed in-house, and they only use the best-quality components. This gives Hegel unprecedented control over the amplification process. When they combine this with the SoundEngine2 correction technology, they are left with an audio signal that is as close to the original recording as possible. The result is an immensely wide and deep soundstage with incredible dynamic range and tremendous bass control. This amplifier reveals all the details and nuances in the music. All you have to do is connect a pair of really good speakers of your choice.

The H600’s D/A converter is a bit-perfect design, offering pure audio fidelity without any resampling or upsampling. The DAC has a large, dedicated power supply that ensures uncontaminated and stable performance, and it is shielded by a thick steel plate so there is no interference from other electronics inside the amplifier. The result is a cutting-edge D/A converter with incredible resolution and smoothness.

The chassis is made of aluminium for better audio performance. It includes a solid bottom chassis and top cover with vents milled in two layers for added rigidity and airflow. Big aluminium feet with an anti-scratch design ensure excellent stability and reduced vibrations, while high-quality RCA connectors and optimized positioning of the analogue and digital connectors provide less noise and better channel separation. The large control knobs are equipped with touch control, making this amplifier effortless and intuitive to operate. They also have a very nice tactile feel, making every adjustment a delight.

At Hegel, they believe that great audio should not come at the expense of ease of use. That is why the H600 features a comprehensive list of streaming options. It supports UPnP streaming, Spotify Connect, Airplay 2, Tidal Connect, and Roon Ready (pending). This is however only the beginning. This highly advanced streaming engine will ensure the amplifier is always up to date with the latest options for you to stream your music.

The H600 is also highly customizable to ensure it suits any environment. All digital inputs except USB have signal sense. This means that any device connected to these inputs can wake the amplifier and set it to the right input. In addition, the volume can be limited so that it suits your max volume preference. With our remote-control feature, you can program the amplifier to be commanded by common TV remotes, eliminating the need for using two remotes and making it easier for all members of the household to get great TV sound. Most inputs can also be set as a fixed high-level Home Theatre input, making it easy to combine the H600 with surround receivers or multi-room devices. As with streaming, more features will be available in the future. These firmware updates are of course always free, and the amplifier will install them automatically when they are launched, ensuring your H600 is always up to date.

The amplifier boasts a large array of analogue and digital connections to accommodate various audio sources. There are two pairs of True Balanced XLR inputs and two pairs of RCA inputs. On the digital front, it features a LAN network port, an USB 32/384 input (supporting DSD256/DoP), three optical inputs, a coaxial input, and a BNC true 75-ohm input. For analogue outputs, it offers a pair of RCA fixed-level outputs and a pair of RCA variable-level outputs. Additionally, it provides a BNC fixed-level true 75-ohm digital output.

The H600 is an extremely capable and great-sounding amplifier.  It is highly versatile and delivers high-end sound and ease of use, all in a high-quality and minimalistic housing that fits any interior style. The H600 is a hub for your digital music, a home for all your connected sources, with a sound suitable for mansions.

The Hegel H600 This will be priced almost equal to the H590 at typical EUR 11,500 / USD 12,500 / CAD 15,000 / GBP 10,500. Ships late September 2023.

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