Chord Hugo: How to Setup Computer Audio Settings

Setup Tips for Chord's Hugo DAC/AMPs

A popular question at Moon Audio is:

"How do I setup Sound Properties for the Chord Hugo, Hugo 2 or any USB DAC on Windows & Mac?".

We know why this question is so popular. Setting correct Sound Properties on Windows PCs or Apple Macbooks is how to achieve optimal Chord Hugo or other Universal Serial Bus (USB) Digital Analog Converter (DAC) sound quality to headphones or speakers. Setting up your Chord Hugo is easy to with our how-to guide.

Chord Hugo & USB DAC Windows & Mac Setup Guide

Hugo + Windows PCs:  

Install the Chord Hugo Driver or the Chord Hugo 2 Driver and your PC running Vista, Win 7, 8 or higher will playback music up to 384KHz and support both DSD64 and DSD128 on Chord Hugo. Please note that the install process for the Chord Hugo and the Hugo 2 are exactly the same, other than using a different driver for each device.

Download the Chord Hugo Windows Driver HERE.

Download the Chord Hugo 2 Windows Driver HERE.

To install (the example is installing the Chord driver for use with Windows):


  1. Open Control Panel on your computer
  2. Click on Hardware and Sound
  3. Right Click on the Chord Hugo
  4. Click Properties
  5. Rename "General the tab" to Chord Hugo
    Chord Hugo Sound Properties for Windows

Click on Hugo Supported Formats and make sure your computer mirrors settings in the image below.

  1. Hugo can only do 2 channel receiving so "Home Theater Formats" (see below) do not apply at this time.
  2. Check off all resolutions.

    Chord Hugo Sound Properties for Windows Supported Formats

Now Go to the Advanced tab.

  1. Set resolution format to 24 bit, 192000 Hz (the max). Good idea to maximize resolution anytime you connect a USB DAC

    If your DAC only has lower res formats go ahead and select the maximum.

  2. Check the exclusive modes. Checking exclusive modes allows programs like JRiver to bypass the Windows Sound Properties and take over control.  

    Chord Hugo Sound Properties for Windows Advanced Tab

Set the Chord Hugo as the default device & click Apply.

Chord Hugo Sound Properties for Windows  to set as default device

To install (the example is installing the Chord driver for use with Mac OS):

Hugo + Apple Mac OS:

On Apple Mac OS, iOS for iPhone/iPad and Android, no drivers are required to change the sound properties.

To fine-tune the audio output, go to the Audio MIDI Setup (AMS) by navigating to Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup.

Chord Hugo Sound Properties for Mac
  1. Configure the audio setup for the Chord Hugo in this window.
  2. You can configure your audio sample rate here too (for USB DACs).
  3. The Hugo automatically defaults to 384 kHz and DSD 64/128 if your playback software/app can support it.
  4. Therefore, you don't need to configure the sample rates if you are using the Hugo.
  5. Here is the Apple online support link for the Audio MIDI Setup if you need additional information.

Using Hugo with JRiver

Hugo + the JRiver Media Catalog:

  1. If you are using JRiver to handle your music catalog with the Chord Hugo or any USB DAC, in version 20.0.115 of JRiver Media the screen looks like this: JRiver_media_center_dsp_link
  2. To set up the Chord Hugo or another sound device, go to: JRiver_media_center_dsp_device_link

Set up with the following attributes:

  1. Buffering - select "50 milliseconds" and check the box for "use large hardware buffers"
  2. Volume - select "Digital Output (Chord Async USB 44.1kHz-...."
  3. Tools - check the box beside "DSD bitstream in DoP format"

These are all the Sound Properties changes that you need to make when using the Hugo or another USB DAC with Windows or Mac.  

If you would like more information or want to discuss how the Hugo can improve your headphone and music listening via headphones or speakers, we'd love to help you. If you need cables to connect your Chord Hugo or DAC, see our audio cables for chord blog post.

If you have any questions about installing the Chord drivers, please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading our blog post. Happy listening!

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