Chord Hugo versus Hugo TT: Differences Explained

Chord Hugo versus Hugo TT: Differences Explained

Chord Electronics has racked up multiple awards for the Chord Hugo USB DAC Headphone Amp with unrivaled quality. At CES 2017, Chord announced they are introducing the Hugo 2, a 2nd generation Hugo.  The original Hugo is the world's most advanced portable headphone amp/DAC in its class and we've sold hundreds of them and we truly look forward to the Hugo 2!  

We have many customers asking about the differences between the Hugo and the Hugo TT.  or "Should I buy the Chord Hugo versus the Hugo TT for my high-end audio applications?"

Chord Hugo versus Hugo TT

The Hugo TT (Table Top) is a larger desktop audio device offering greater connectivity and an increase in resolution over the Hugo including:

  1. Galvanic isolation on the USB. This stops RF noise from the source creating noise floor modulation within the analog electronics. It also prevents signal correlated but distorted ground currents from corrupting the small signal distortion performance. The SQ benefits are smoother and warmer SQ with better instrument separation and focus, and better sound-stage depth. Our galvanic isolation runs through all resolutions whereas a lot of isolators will only run up to 96k.
  2. Beefed up OP stage - increased bias current. This means that with lower impedance headphones it will be in Class A for more time, making it sound smoother.
  3. Beefed up power supply - double the batteries of Hugo and addition of super caps (10,000,000uF (microfarads) of supercapacitor energy storage) reducing power supply impedance.
  4. Improved reference circuitry - lower impedance and noise. This has the benefit of reducing THD and noise by 4 dB at full output.
  5. Chassis machined from a solid block - reduces effects of vibration.
  6. Plus you have the usual features, remote control, balanced OP for power amps etc.
  7. Hugo TT also has memory recall of the input selection after switching off. 
  8. The blue tooth reception has been increased to a ninety feet maximum. 
  9. There were also changes to the reference voltage power supply's of the pulse arrays, but no changes to any program algorithms. 

Chord Electronics FPGA DAC Technology Explained:

Advanced sample rate capability

The Hugo TT allows music lovers to experience music in true high definition. Hugo TT supports up to 32-bit/384kHz audio via coax and USB, and 24-bit/192kHz over optical. Plus, DSD64 on all inputs and DSD128 via coax or USB (all via DoP).

Compared to the Hugo, the Hugo TT benefits from a high-quality asynchronous B-type USB connection for both the SD and HD USB input. With two further digital inputs: a (new) BNC coaxial and optical (Toslink), any connected component with a digital output can benefit from the Hugo TT's advanced sound quality.Chord Hugo versus Hugo TT


Hugo TT also has A2DP Bluetooth capability and uses a custom-made module with the aptX codec to feed a digital signal directly into the DAC circuitry.

Spartan 6 FPGA

The Hugo TT retains the same high-performance Spartan 6 FPGA that enabled Hugo to redefine the DAC genre in 2014. 


As a home-orientated device, the Hugo TT runs continuously from the supplied charge.

Chord's engineers have also improved the battery and added Supercap energy storage, a technology seen in F1 where supercapacitors back-up the car's batteries by sharing the load and charge demands, thereby protecting them. They serve a similar purpose in the Hugo TT, extending the battery life as well as improving dynamics and demanding transients in recorded music.

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