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Hegel’s Viking Reference CD Player Has Only One Purpose…

The Hegel Viking CD player does not upsample, play SACDs, or support streaming. Its solitary purpose is to be the best sounding CD player on the market and nothing more.

Hegel Viking CD Player Angle 2023

If you were expecting Hegel’s Viking reference CD player to offer all of the bells and whistles of some recent offerings from Cambridge Audio, Luxman, McIntosh, and Rotel — prepare to be rather bored.

The Viking is a standalone CD player that does not offer streaming capabilities and nor can it serve as a digital hub for the rest of your digital sources.

Hegel is very aware of what the competition is offering, but to offer the same thing would be a rather steep departure from its design ethos.

The purpose of the Viking is to be the best sounding 16-bit/44.1kHz CD player on the market and whilst that might be a rather lofty goal — the Mohican model that is it replacing due to supply chain issues, was a rather high performance CD player during its run and that means the Hegel had to offer something better.

The early word on the street in Europe is that the Viking exceeds Hegel’s goals and more. The CD player is new to North American listeners but it already won the EISA 2023-2024 Best High-End CD Player Award.

The Viking uses a dedicated laser and CD drive to ensure optimal data reading alongside a “state-of-the-art DAC” that delivers high-quality digital-to-analog conversion with minimal levels of distortion.

Hegel Viking CD Player Front

The slot-loaded CD player does not support SACD, MQA, or offer any form of upsampling.

It only plays 16-bit/44.1kHz CDs?

That definitely feels out of touch with the rest of the market but Hegel refuses to apologize for that.

The Norwegian manufacturer designed every aspect of the Viking to deliver the best possible CD performance because they believe that it offers superior sound quality to other digital sources including its own streaming components.

The Viking CD player has one pair of balanced XLR outputs, one pair of unbalanced RCA outputs, and one BNC digital 75 Ohm output, making it easy to operate and integrate into any audio system.

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Hegel Viking CD Player Rear

The Viking CD player also features an OLED display that is specifically selected for its low noise, resulting in a clearer and more detailed sound. The analog stage in Viking is developed specifically for this model.

It incorporates their analog low pass filter and Line Driver technology, ensuring fully balanced and noise-free handling of the signal all the way to your amplifier.

Will the Hegel Viking make our “Best CD player 2023” list? We hope to have a review sample soon.

Specifications

  • Supported Discs: 12 cm Redbook CDs
  • Line Level Output: 
    • 1 unbalanced fixed (RCA)
    • 1 balanced fixed (XLR)
  • Output Voltage Analog: 2.5V RMS
  • Digital Output: 1 BNC true 75 Ohm
  • Frequency Response: 0 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Distortion: Less than 0.0015%
  • Finish: Black
  • Dimensions (HxWxD)/Weight: 
    • 9.9 cm x 43 cm x 30.5 cm / 7.3 kg
    • 3.54″ x 17″ x 12″ / 16.1 lbs

For more information: hegel.com

Where to buy: $5,000 at ListenUp

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Lash

    August 27, 2023 at 6:06 pm

    O good. A 5k CD player. Zzzzzzzzzz……….

    • Ian White

      August 27, 2023 at 8:06 pm

      Lash,

      You would be surprised how many audiophiles still want a CD player. Not saying you need to spend $5K on one, considering how many good options exist below $1,000, but Hegel makes rather good equipment and for those with dedicated CD libraries that might be their #1 source (versus streaming)…spending $5K on this might not be totally out of the ballpark.

      Do you think $5K turntables are also Zzzzz….?

      Best,

      Ian White

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