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Hegel Sound Evolved: New H190V Integrated Amplifier

May 22, 2024


Introducing the New Hegel H190V—Hegel’s latest edition of the super popular mid-level integrated amp, the H190! Now with, a first for Hegel Integrateds, a moving magnet phono stage.

Hegel H190V MM Phono Stage

That’s right, the big news is a built-in phono section. Hegel integrateds have always been very capable amplifiers, offering plenty of inputs and a well appointed digital section with built-in streaming and a great DAC. But for those looking for the absolute all-in-one solution—no phono stage. Well, they’ve answered the bell with the H190V, because it is now fully setup to perform both digital and analog duties!

While Hegel has not traditionally offered a phono preamp with their integrateds, they have not been completely absent in the phono space because they have had the V10 phono stage—an excellent, highly acclaimed phono preamp, utilizing Hegel’s unique distortion free philosophy for amplification, they are literally masters of clean power delivery. And much of what you have in the V10 has been brought over to the H190V—ultra low noise, dynamic, and revealing amplification of the single that Hegel is known for. The only thing missing is moving coil capability, but moving magnet will accommodate most turntable needs.

Hegel H190V Beefed Up Sound

The sound of the analog stage through the new H190V is classic Hegel—dark background, ultra low noise due to Hegel’s SoundEngine2 noise canceling technology. It leans slightly warm, very smooth—slightly rolled off highs, great punchy bass and a mid range with a little more dynamics, energy, and attack than I remember from previous H190. There’s definitely something new here. Overall the sound feels more lively and energetic. For those who felt Hegel’s sound was too laidback, might want to reconsider because this has got a lot of kick.

Hegel H190V Digital Stage

Switching over to the digital side of things, that sound signature is carried through. There is no digital glare or harness–the detail is there but the presentation is smooth and refined as is the newfound attack and liveness in the midrange. As is the simplicity and ease of use. Hegel does not require a streaming app. Their Airplay integration is exceptional, allowing you to connect easily and stream with various apps without any loss in sound quality—it’s a brilliant simple solution. There’s also Spotify connect and the H190V is Roon ready. Furthermore, it has IP control for smart home integration with systems like Control4, Crestron, and Savant.

Hegel H190V Design/Aesthetics

Aesthetically, the H190V maintains Hegel’s well established look—a very simple, stripped down front panel with an elegant OLED display panel, volume knob and another knob to select inputs. If you are looking for meters, buttons, and other controls you won’t find it here—Simple, refined Scandinavian design at its best. Color choices are black and a pristine white.

Hegel H190V Inputs & Outputs

Inputs for analog include balanced XLR and two RCA. And of course the phono with ground. There are two outputs—both variable and fixed for a sub or eternal amp. For digital you have one coaxial, three optical, one USB and there is an ethernet connection which is how you connect for streaming. The H190V does not have Wifi, and that’s fine by me because for myself, and I would suspect many of you, the hard wired connection is preferred for better performance anyway.

Now the H190V does not have HDMI eARC, which you are seeing in a lot of integrateds these days as it does provide a simplified way to connect a TV and integrate with the TV remote. However, you can use any of the digital inputs, most likely optical, and then Hegel offers the ability to program the system to work with common TV remotes, so you still get TV integration capability. That said, the reason you go for an amplifier like this is the high quality amplification section above all else and not so much the versatility. Although, the versatility is still there.

Conclusion

Some additional specs—The H190V is class A/B and offers 150 watts of power at 8 ohms. Damping factor is 4000.

That concludes our rundown of the New Hegel H190V—Hegel’s go-to integrated amplifier now with a built-in phono stage, offering classic Hegel sound—powerful, dynamic and detailed with a little bit more punch in the lower mids. And a smooth, refined over all presentation that is highly musical and never fatiguing—it’s a master class in integrated performance.

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To learn more about the new Hegel H190V, chat with a ListenUp Hi-Fi specialist.