Hegel H90 , compare to Naim : how about sound character?


I’m curious to try the Hegel H90, it’s an amplifier with a built-in DAC.

In your opinion, how is the sound character of the Hegel H90, for example, compared to the Naim series (in this case, for example, compared to Naim Nait 5 or a combination of NAC-122X-NAP 150X)?

thank you

Look in the search part . A lot of threads for Hegel.

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It’s really something you need to try for yourself. A recent thread focusing on Hegel / Naim comparisons became unnecessarily nasty, so it would be a good idea to follow the suggestion of a search, rather than risking crawling over the same stuff again.


What is the character of Hegel’s voice? does Hegel have live characters like Naim?

I’ve no idea. I’ve never heard one and have no desire to. I’m happy with my Naim stuff. The Hegel certainly looks great value and lots of people are really positive about it. You need to try for yourself.

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It also depends on the speakers you want to pair it with. So as others have said, to make some kind of generalisation is pointless and as you are in a Naim forum, many would prefer Naim anyway :slight_smile:

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Other people’s opinion of Hegel gear should in no way influence your decisions.
These posts never cease to amaze me. No one has your room acoustics or your ears, so opinions are like a broken pencil.
Audition the stuff in your listening space and you decide.

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If the OP can. It is by no means possible with all gear, or even Naim gear in all parts of the world. It is not always possible to audition even at dealers’ premises. The question is therefore not unreasonable, though can only be answered by people who have heard both Hegel and Naim (qualified by tge particular H & N kit they have heard).

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Yes, ofcourse I understand that, it’s not easy, but a significant spend shouldn’t be based solely on the views of others.
Best of luck to the OP and hope they can audition the Hegel if possible.

Perhaps @Bobthebuilder may be able to comment as, IIRC, he’s owned both Naim and Hegel amps.

It does not. Hegel sounds a bit dull to me. However, my friend tells that Naim sounds too bright. So, these two guys are opposite to each other.


When I started to research buying my ATC SCM7s, which I think you own, I found a favourable review with a couple of Hegel amps, one of which may have been the H90.

This encouraged me to hear a pair at my dealer He used a Nait XS3. I bought some.

At the time, my own Naim amplifier was NAC152XS, FCXS, NAP155XS.

@cb01 on another thread :

« I’ve heard the H390 recently against the SN3. I would not call it better. H390 has floppier, less controlled bass…with less slam, than SN3. SN3 imaged slightly better as well.

I don’t know how to reconcile this with what others are stating, but I’m confident in my observations.m

What I heard is also congruent with what Jay says about the SN3. His comments regarding bass performance begin at 7:45 where he compared the bass of the SN3 to the H390:«


Both have their qualities and both have their place I’m currently trying an SN2 too which is a typical Naim amp with all of those things that we love about Naim Audio and that I do miss whilst using the Hegel but the extra muscle of of the H190 allows me to do things with MY system and in MY room that previous Naim amps haven’t and that is play quite loud without any deterioration in sound and also get a real hold of the bass coming from my speakers.

Having said that I’m really enjoying the SN2 and am trying really hard to accommodate it in my system I’ve recently bought some Gaia II feet for my speakers though haven’t tried them yet . In short both amps have great qualities and I’d be happy with either but it’s really a choice you have to make yourself by listening.


Do Hegel H90 is comparable if compared with Naim NAC-122X/NAP-150X incorrelation when they are driving match loudspeaker with the same specification of speaker?

Having owned a pair of the Linn Klimax Solos & NAP 500, I want to look at the Hegel H30, but it may be hard to get it in the US. This brand seems to have a good name.

The Hegel H90 is now eclipsed by the Hegel H95. Reading between the lines the Hegel H95 is basically the same in sound quality as the Hegel H90 in reference to analogue connections however the biggest change is the improvement in the Dac of the H95 which is the same as the one used in the H190 amp. The good news is that the price of the new H95 remains the same £1600 . Of course the preference in the difference between Hegel and Naim sound is down to the individual listener.

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It was good enough for Georg Wilhelm Friedrich


H90/95 are rather comparable to 5si. To me, the differences are the functionality and sound signature.
Say, Hegel has the builtin DAC, digital inputs, upnp and variable line output.
5si does not have neither digital things nor variable line output.
I’ve heard both, 5si and h95, and decided to stay with 5si because of the sound signature.


I used to have a local Naim dealer and he was so helpful and allowed me to audition various things at home. Nait 5i, nSats and sub, nac90 with nap something (not sure). Sadly he is out of business for over a decade and I no longer have any high end hi-fi dealer in town.

I travel to Dubai 2000 km away for business and during that time I visit the naim dealer but with global shortages of chips and the waiting time for electronics it is extremely difficult to have the exact proposed system to audition. Throw in variations in room acoustics and I am sure you can understand the stress and frustration with deciding on a new purchase.

Home auditions seem to be standard in the UK and I surely envy you folks. However, in my situation, I had to read reviews, check forum posts and have a good chat with the Dubai dealer to make the most educated “guess” regarding planning my next purchase. I know it is far from ideal but sadly that is the best thing available to me and surely to many more around the world.