Top 4 reasons we added the Chord Hugo to Moon Audio’s lineup of portable headphone amps:
1. The Dac in the HUGO is not a standard off the shelf wolfson or Burr Brown chip that everyone else uses so the decoding is just spectacular.
2. The Hugo can be used as a desktop or portable headphone amp/dac and it converts usb, pcm, dsd, and tons of other formats.
3. We love the sound, it’s just jaw dropping and it can drive just about any headphone on the planet, even hard to drive ones like the Sennheiser HD800.
4. It has an AMAZING 12-14 hour battery life. WOW, need I say anything else?
More Details of the Hugo
Hugo is the world’s most advanced headphone amp/DAC, offering five digital inputs including A2DP aptX Bluetooth, plus advanced 384kHz PCM and DSD 128 playback for today’s high-resolution DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) music files. Based on the same FPGA DAC technology that has helped establish Chord Electronics as an authority in digital audio. Named Hugo (because you can take Hugo wherever ‘you-go’), and it offers studio-master-tape sound quality, advanced connectivity and uncompromising file playback capability, all from a palm-sized player.
Use as both a portable headphone amp/DAC as well as a reference-level source component in a static system, it brings the renowned digital audio expertise of Rob Watts and Chord to serious headphone listening, enabling consumers to experience a world of super-high-resolution music via their headphones. Hugo offers unsurpassed performance and technology and is unrivaled in the marketplace, thanks to its bespoke technology, FPGA circuitry and advanced file-playback capability.
The Chord Hugo DAC plus headphone amp is ready to take advantage of today’s advanced studio-master-quality (DXD) music files. Hugo by Chord can decode sample rates ranging from 44.1kHz to 384kHz (PCM), allowing audiophiles to experience music in true high definition, along with the best possible reproduction of CD-quality music. The Chord Hugo also benefits from two advanced USB inputs: one driverless input for legacy USB devices and one asynchronous high- definition USB port for operation up to 384kHz. Thanks to two additional digital inputs, coaxial and optical, any connected component with a digital output will also benefit from Hugo’s advanced technology.
Building on the strengths on the (two-years’-running) What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision ‘Best DAC’ QuteHD, the Chord Hugo dac 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, so even without cables, high-quality music can still be enjoyed.
In addition to 384kHz PCM files, the Hugo by Chord can also process DSD 128 data using the latest DSD-over-PCM standard (DoP). Whether using Mac OS or Windows OS, Chord Electronics’, the manufacturer of the Hugo, own proprietary driver software is provided, removing the restrictions of current operating system audio playback.
Chord's Hugo even has a built-in battery-charging circuit, with a full charge reached in approximately two hours. Hugo takes no power over its USB input (as this is severely limited with many partnering products) and only takes signal data, therefore, Chord's hugo is fully compatible with all iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Further features include an advanced reference-grade digital volume control that does not lose bits.
Like all Chord Electronics products, Hugo is built to last. The casework is precision- machined from aircraft-grade aluminium, with a bright silver hard-anodised finish. Complementing the design is a top-mounted ‘porthole’ that gives users an intriguing insight into the internal circuitry, which changes colour with differing incoming sample rates.
Important Notice: The available digital audio stream depends on your device and operating system. For a list of compatible devices please visit Extreme DSD. *Note that some devices need 3rd party software to function.
Chord Hugo Color Charts
CNET Hugo Review by Steve Guttenberg
Audio Stream Hugo Review
HiFi+ Hugo DAC Review
Sound News Hugo Review