Chord’s new Hugo 2 digital to analog converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier continues to inspire a revolutionary high fidelity in portable music listening from the innovative makers at Chord Electronics in Kent England. Timing accuracy, noise reduction, and dynamic range are a few of the sonic performance improvements headphones, and stereo listeners will feel as much as hear with the Chord Hugo 2 DAC and Amp.
The most advanced field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and highly advanced watts transient aligned (WTA) filters bring vast improvements to the Chord Hugo 2 sound via headphones, in-ear monitors (IEMs) or stereo gear.
Chord Hugo 2 Digital Inputs and Outputs
The Chord Hugo 2 has four digital inputs: optical, coaxial, HD USB and extended-range Bluetooth with file playback up to 768kHz and DSD512 (Octa DSD) via HD USB input so very high resolution coming in means great sound going out. Two RCA, 3.5mm, and 6.35mm headphone analog outputs cover playing music to just about every headphones, in-ear monitors, and pre-amplifier imaginable.
Chord Hugo 2 Do-It-Yourself (DIY)
The Chord Hugo 2 brings power and do-it-yourself (DIY) beauty to portable DAC and headphones amplifiers high fidelity sonic performance. Like warm and soft or precise and dynamic when you listen to music? Chord Hugo 2 provides a four-function filter to change the sound and sonic performance by manipulating a simple switch. The Hugo 2 creates listening power and flexibility for listeners - a future audio gear trend we suspect.
Chord Hugo 2 and Headphones
If you like the new Focal “speakers on your head” headphones listening experience you’ll be glad to know the Chord Hugo 2 retains Hugo’s popular digital crossfeed function with three options. Hugo 2 cross-feeds a 400-millisecond delay in shaping music from left and right output to the different channel based on advanced binaural audio research to emulate the effect of listening to music in a room with a stereo and speakers.
Chord Hugo 2 Portable DAC Can Stay Home Too
The Chord Hugo 2 features a new precision-machined aircraft-inspired aluminum case. A sharper lower profile with four now larger but still round control buttons makes the Hugo 2 a more portable DAC and headphones amp than its predecessor. Clearly, the new Hugo 2 design speaks to the portable DAC success achieved by the Chord Mojo DAC. The company anticipates greater “indoor” usage too by including a full-featured remote control.
Chord Hugo 2 Battery Life
Battery life makes a significant contribution to any portable DAC or headphone amplifier. Chord Hugo 2 battery life is around seven hours with two “automatic charging” modes via dedicated Micro USB charging port: fast or 1.8 amperes and slow coming in at less than one ampere. The Hugo 2 includes a battery charge indicator and status gauge.
Chord Hugo 2 and Moore’s Law
We loved and agreed with this note from Richard Dale on Head-fi.org:
It's very impressive how Moore's Law is giving Chord more powerful, less power-hungry FPGAs year by year and they are taking great advantage of it. The technology in the regular DAC chips, such as ESS, isn't progressing at such a rapid rate. I listened to the audio recording that Chris put up of John Franks and Rob Watts talking about the new kit. It was incredible to hear that Rob Watts dreamed of a million tap filter in the early 80s and never believed it would be possible, and now 35 years later he's able to announce a product with such a thing in it.
Chord Hugo 2, Smartphones and Dragon Audio Cables
Now that the Chord Mojo isn’t the only portable high fidelity digital to analog converter (DAC) and headphones amplifier buyers and listeners will be glad to know the Chord Hugo 2 adds new depth, soundstage, and intimacy to music via iPhones, iPads, or Android smartphones and tablets. Apple iPhones and iPads will need a camera adapter (CCK) via USB since Chord Electronics continues to balk at paying Apple licensing fees.
We recommend our Apple CCK + Silver Dragon USB for customers who love precision and detail when listening to their music and Apple CCK + Black Dragon for music lovers look for more warmth and better lower and mid tones in their portable DAC listening experience.
Android phones and pads can connect directly to the new Chord Hugo 2. We recommend Silver Dragon USB for Android smartphone listeners who look for precision and detail and Black Dragon USB for those seeking warmth and robust low to mid-tones.
Chord Hugo Features
Hugo 2 includes the latest FPGAs and WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) filters with new features:
- 7 Hour Battery Life
- 49,152 Taps
- 768kHz Micro USB Input
- 384kHz Coax Jack Input
- 192kHz Optical Input
- Bluetooth Apt X Input
- 1x 1/4" Headphone Output
- 1x 3.5mm Headphone Output
- Unbalanced RCA Outputs
- DSD512 (8x) Native
- Native DSD Support
- 4x Playback Filters
- 3x Crossfeed Function