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Chord Hugo 2 Review (Portable DAC & HP Amp)

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 75 26.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 109 38.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 82 29.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 17 6.0%

  • Total voters
    283

JSmith

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What is fact, and has been shown as such, is that, Hugo2 has no USB noise issue, Since Amir has shown us on Audioquest cable review.
This is not correct as the generic cable during that test showed the same results... what has been shown in the test of the Hugo2 is that it can have problems with USB.
That it can behave as good as optical, if ground loop noise issue is addressed properly.
Why would I buy this unit for this kind of money knowing it may have intermittent or random problems with USB, when many others tested here don't? No thanks...


JSmith
 

Palladium

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Thanks for the review Amir. This thing is so overpriced, it's ridiculous. You could get a SOA desktop and portable DAC (and headphone amp) for about a third of the price of this thing. I never liked the look of CHORD products but if they were finished exquisitely then I could understand why some fool might want to buy one, but I've seen products finished better than this for a fraction of the price. This thing might sound okay, but it's looks and finish are terrible considering the cost.

It's such a bad joke when I my Fiio BTR5 is $65.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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What is fact, and has been shown as such, is that, Hugo2 has no USB noise issue, Since Amir has shown us on Audioquest cable review.
There is no such "fact." As I explained in that thread, USB noise is system/condition dependent. It clearly manifested itself when I perform the review. But later did not.

FYI, I have updated the review here with the measurement from the USB cable test. I also clarified that all the measurements in this review were with Toslink so not impacted by USB noise. In other words, I gave the Hugo 2 the benefit of doubt and let it perform its best using Toslink.
 

Geert

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What is fact, and has been shown as such, is that, Hugo2 has no USB noise issue,

The Hugo 2 has a very poor USB input in my experience and will exhibit ground noise during playback; depending on the source, what charger is used, how close your phone is to the base, how long is the usb cable, is the WiFi router near the device/computer or how well the cable is made. It could be that the issue is mainly due to micro usb convention. Over the years many consumers begged the designer to change to either USB B or type c. He still kept micro usb on the Mojo 2.

The amount of background noise varied too much for me to justify keeping the device at the price point.
 

Ken Tajalli

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There is no such "fact." As I explained in that thread, USB noise is system/condition dependent. It clearly manifested itself when I perform the review. But later did not.

FYI, I have updated the review here with the measurement from the USB cable test. I also clarified that all the measurements in this review were with Toslink so not impacted by USB noise. In other words, I gave the Hugo 2 the benefit of doubt and let it perform its best using Toslink.
Thank you for replying. Noted all.
It seems the same device in the same test rig, can at times have as much as 10db noise, and at times not, so it is a random situation, am I right?
If I am right, then wouldn't it be prudent, to include two noise tests on USB input, one with an isolator and one with deliberate noise injected, to see how the device behaves under those conditions.
Again, if I did get it right that phenomena is random, then one can not be sure, if a device being tested got lucky on the review day!
Hugo2 is primarily a portable device, and as you correctly mention in the review, it is excellent at it. Hugo2 is single ended, and does not have isolation on USB, does any portable DAC/amp do?
Can any single ended DAC without isolation on USB, combat ground loop noise, if it gets unlucky and be exposed to a large noise?
I suppose, Chord could be more clear about that and suggest the use of a USB isolator, if being used with two grounded external devices. Or, simply use optical.
Also the 1kHz sidebands on jitter test look curious, what could cause that? exactly 1kHz! anything on USB architecture with a 1 kHz .... whatever?

Also, for clarity, do you think it is prudent to show that the Audioquest cable, is also ineffective in a noisy situation?
If it can be shown, when noise does exist using a generic cable and then no changes with another cable, the point is clearly made.
Personally I doubt you would get a different outcome, but I felt that before you even tested it, however, the point was to discover, one way or another.
As I said in a previous post, if one does not have a headache, he can not claim ibuprofen is snake-oil, because it cures nothing!
 
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AudioSceptic

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I also recall images of an Apple store fitout aligning expansion joints in the concrete footpath outside to the internals. Not many companies can do that.
I've not heard of that before. Do even any of the Bond Street jewellers and fashion boutiques do that?
 

AudioSceptic

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Funny that.
In Nov. 2020

Just scroll down till you get to this:
View attachment 224229 View attachment 224231 View attachment 224232
I quite enjoyed reading about your mods to improve the Mojo's heat management, but don't you think that, for such an expensive device, this should have been done by Chord themselves when they made the thing?
 

Ken Tajalli

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I quite enjoyed reading about your mods to improve the Mojo's heat management, but don't you think that, for such an expensive device, this should have been done by Chord themselves when they made the thing?
Ha Ha
I thank your faith in me, and my DIY tinkering! You are assuming that the Mojo actually needed my mods, right? and then question why it wasn't done by Chord in the first place!
Assumptions, assumptions ...
Rob Watts somewhere commented on that.
His explanation was that, Mojo has three thermal sensors, so it adjusts itself not to produce too much heat to affect the battery life, which is the prime consideration here.
By insulating the battery from the heating chips by means of a sponge pad and connecting the battery to the top shell, which happens to be the coolest part of the assembly, the battery is saved from too much heat. So he had considered the matter and put remedies in place.
I just thought, I take it one step further, and use the bottom shell as a heatsink.
 

bracko

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This product is a joke. Both performance and the build quality are not worth a product costing 1/10th of the asked price. Unbelievable.
 
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