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Hegel H80 Integrated Amplifier Preview

Hegel H80 Integrated Amplifier

Hegel H80 Integrated Amplifier


  • Product Name: H80
  • Manufacturer: Hegel
  • Review Date: December 06, 2013 08:00
  • MSRP: $2000
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting
  • Digital inputs: 2 coax, 2 optical and 1 USB
  • Analog inputs: 2 RCA unbalanced (1 configurable) and 1 XLR Balanced input
  • Output Power: 75+75W in 8 ohms
  • Frequency response: 5 Hz - 100.000 Hz
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: More than 100dB
  • Crosstalk: Less than -100dB
  • Distortion: Less than 0.01% @ 50W 8 Ohms 1kHz
  • Intermodulation: Less than 0.01% (19kHz + 20kHz)
  • Damping Factor: More than 1000
  • Dimensions/Weight US: 3.15” x 16.93” x 13.80” (HxWxD), 26.4 lb (shipping weight)

Let's talk about integrated amplifiers. The main difference between an integrated amplifier and a receiver is the presence of an AM/FM tuner (receiver). For many of us, we use our home theater receivers as integrated amps. I think I may tune in a station I was listening to in the car once a year - about three years ago. Since then, just about every station streams their shows online so I just pop open my laptop and continue listening there.

But in the consumer (and manufacturer's) minds, the two products are completely different. An integrated amplifier is a device for high end users and have features and price points that reflect that. A receiver, on the other hand, is a consumer-level product and has price points and feature sets for nearly any consumer. The odd integrated amp with a budget price point is hard to find. And you're not going to find it today.

Hegel is a high end company that has made a name for itself with its integrated amps, processors, amplifiers, and DACs. The H80 is the second in a line of five integrated amplifiers. If you already noted the $2000 price tag, you can bet that the top of the line is going to run you a car. The H80 is a brand new product for the company and incorporates some of the technology from their flagship integrated amp as well as from their entry-level processor (not sure why they touted this but they did). First, let's take a look at the back.


The H80 has a pair of high quality speaker terminals for each speaker. It has two RCA-style analogue inputs (one assignable) and a set of XLR balanced inputs. On the digital side, it has two coaxial and two optical digital audio inputs. In addition, it has a USB port for connecting to your computer. The digital inputs all can accept 24-bit depth content. On their website, they have instructions for connecting the H80 to an Apple or Ubuntu computer (apparently audiophiles don't do PC or Linux). When connected by USB, you can use the supplied remote to control your playlists (not sure if this is limited to Apple/Ubuntu and which music programs).

Hegel has been recognized for their quality DACs and pre-amps (according to their site) for their re-clocking (to remove jitter) and low noise floor. Hegel has a patented SoundEngine technology which promises not only reduces distortion, but it also dramatically increase damping factor. The H80 sports 75 watts per channel into 8 ohms. We don't know if it is rated (or approved) for lower impedance speakers though we hope it is. The Hegel H80 is 3.15” by 16.93” by 13.80” (HxWxD) and weighs around 25 pounds (they specify 26.4 pounds but that is shipping weight). Absent is any sort of pre-out for additional amplifiers or a subwoofer.

Glancing at the front, you'll notice something not usually found on audiophile gear - a digital readout. Other than that, there are two knobs (source and volume) and a whole lot of flat aluminum. This it typical for audiophile great that prides itself on clean lines and single purpose devices.


Hegel is certainly giving you something for your $2000 with the Hegel H80 integrated amplifier. Allowing a USB connection to your computer with high quality DACs is something we usually don't expect of audiophile gear. Can you get more for less? Yes. But you can also get less for a lot more. We applaud Hegel for breaking the audiophile mold and branching out into digital files. We wonder how well this little integrated amp will sell.

For more information, please visit www.hegel.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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