Hugo 2 DACylicious

The Chord Hugo released in 2014 was a game changer in the DAC industry as we shared in 2014 here.  As Chord Electronics started the Hugo 2 DAC design, they looked for everything that could be improved upon with the original Hugo. Chord read the forums, listened to feedback from Hugo owners, and thus engineered flexible new features with next-generation technical and sonic performance.  

The Chord Mojo was developed for mobile applications from the success of the Hugo and now leads the mobile DACs industry. The Hugo could be used both as a mobile and as a desktop device. The Hugo 2 can be used at home, on-the-go, either with headphones or with a conventional home audio system. 

Hugo 2 DAC Design

The shape of the Hugo 2 is similar to its predecessor, but Chord has sharpened the edges with Flush Mount I/O to allow for easier connections. This new design also works with thicker ended cables. 

Chord's Hugo 2 has been reduced to 1 Micro USB Input which is indicated by a White Light for HD USB. You can play and charge Hugo 2 at the same time with the separate Micro USB Charging input.

It takes 4 hours (2amps) / 8 hours (1amp) to charge the Hugo 2 with an average 8-hour playback. The Hugo 2 adopts the same battery light indication as the original Hugo:

Hugo 2 Battery Light Indicator

Hugo 2 Connections

Hugo 2 allows the following inputs:

  • Bluetooth up to 45 meters - A2DP Bluetooth capability just like the HugoTT
  • Optical 24-BIT/192kHz
  • Coax Digital 3.5mm - 24-BIT/384kHz x2 (Coax 1 = tip and sleeve / Coax 2 = ring and sleeve)
  • RCA Analogue (Right / Left)
  • Headphone output 3.5mm (1/8")
  • Headphone output 6.35mm (1/4")

Hugo 2 Features

The Second Generation Hugo 2 includes Intelligent filtering to change the sonic presentation. The HF filter is optimized for DSD playback. 

  • Filter 01 (White):  256fs = Incisive Neutral
  • Filter 02 (Green): 256fs + HF roll-off = Incisive Neutral with high-frequency roll-off
  • Filter 03 (Orange): 16fs = Warm
  • Filter 04 (Red): 16fs + HF roll-off = Warmer with high-frequency roll-off. 

Crossfeed also gives a more-speaker like presentation with three-stage DSP spatial effect.

Hugo 2 Specs

Materials: Clamshell precision machined aluminum casing with polycarbonate buttons, acrylic signal window, and glass viewing portal. Available in a choice of two colors – natural silver, and satin black

Battery: 2x Rechargeable custom Enix Energies 3.7v 9.6Wh Li-ion (lithium-ion (2600mAh) batteries*

Tap length filter: 49,195 – 10 element Pulse Array design

Play time: In excess of seven (7) hours

Charging: Nominal four (4) hours via Micro USB at 1.8amps (fast charge) – Nominal eight (8) hours at 1amp (slow charge)

Connectivity (input): Micro USB (White): 44.1kHz – 768kHz – 16bit – 32bit

Coax via 3.5mm Jack (Red): 44.1kHz – 768kHz – 16bit – 32bit

Optical (Green): 44.1kHz – 192kHz – 16bit – 24bit

Connectivity (input wireless): Bluetooth (Apt X) (Blue): 44.1kHz – 48kHz – 16bit

Connectivity (output): 1x ¼” jack headphone output

1x 3.5mm jack headphone output

1x stereo (L & R) RCA output

PCM support: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 358.8kHz, 384kHz, 717.6kHz, and 768kHz.

DSD support: Native playback supported. DSD64 (Single) to DSD512 (Octa-DSD)

Volume control: Digital, activated in 1dB increments. Last known state saved upon shutdown, with exception of line-level mode

Line-level mode: Activated via dual press of middle ‘Source’ and ‘Crossfeed’ buttons. Line level = 3v via all outputs. Reset by power cycle

Power saving mode: Auto-shutdown after ten minutes of input inactivity

Driver support: Driverless with Mac OS X and Linux, driver required for Windows OS

 * Non-user-serviceable batteries are covered by a limited 18-month warranty from initial date of purchase.

Hugo 2 Technical specifications:

Chipset: Chord Electronics custom coded Xilinx Artix 7 (XC7A15T) FPGA

Tap-length: 49,152

Pulse array: 10 element pulse array design

Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.2dB

Output stage: Class A

Output impedance: 0.025Ω

THD: <0.0001% 1kHz 3v RMS 300Ω

THD and noise at 3v RMS: 120dB at 1kHz 300ohms ‘A’ wighted (reference 5.3v)

Noise 2.6 uV ‘A’ weighted: No measurable noise floor modulation

Signal to noise ratio: 126dB ‘A’ Weighted

Channel separation: 135dB at 1kHz 300Ω

Power output @ 1kHz 1% THD: 94mW 300Ω

740mW 33Ω

1050mW 8Ω

Weight: 450g

Dimensions: 130mm (L) x 100mm (W) x 21mm (H)

Boxed Dimensions: 220mm (L) x 122mm (W) x 85mm (H)

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