Hegel H390 Integrated Amplifier
Nick naming the H390 “Robin Hood” is a bit bold, you may think. After all, it isn’t pocket money and we are not giving it away to the poor. But it is a rebellion against the established. It is a rebellion because it offers extraordinary resolution and musical quality, typically found only in the most esoteric products, but at a reasonable price.
It is a rebellion against the establishment of “forcing” consumers in to a user interface defined by the amplifier/streamer manufacturer. The H390 is very much at the tip of the spear in Hegel’s pursuit of making mainstream sources sound their very best. Meaning the H390 is not just for the Audiophile. It is a product for the entire family to enjoy.
At the heart of the H390 is Hegel’s patented SoundEngine 2 amplifier section. The SoundEngine 2, in many ways works like a noise cancelling headphone. A computer inside will sample what comes in to the amplifier and compares it to what comes out. The computer subtracts the difference (distortion) and then add it into the music, but in reverse phase. The result being that, without any time delay, the SoundEngine cancels out almost all errors made by the amplifier. Leaving you with the most musical and natural sound you ever have experienced.
Then there is digital. If not using a turntable, you are probably using the digital connections. Hegel designs both the analogue and digital sections from the ground up and in house. The digital section in the H390 is unique in that regardless of the signal type or input, the music signal remains unchanged and untampered with in the H390. Hegel calls it a “bit perfect” DAC. This is digital in its purest form. For those interested in deep tech, Hegel even designs digital clocks that will follow the sampling frequency in the music and “down-clock” when receiving a low resolution file. For the non-techie, the result is a far more natural and “analogue” sound as well as an unbelievable soundstage and realism.
Finally let’s talk about connectivity. The H390 has Apple Airplay and UPnP streaming. Hegel offers free updates with services like Spotify Connect, IP Control, Control4 and Roon. It supports most audio formats like DSD and MQA. All inputs are configurable for volume bypass, so you can integrate in a home theatre or with a Bluesound or Sonos. Almost whatever you want, you can do it with the H390.
The H390 is a complete product. Great care has been taken in every step of design. From carefully selecting and matching components. To using the best measurement equipment in the world, in combination with our own ears. Real people gave us input on how they would want to use a stereo system. You can connect virtually anything you like. Hegel calls it Robin Hood because it takes strengths from its reference products and offers them at a lower price.