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CHORD Mojo 2 Review (Portable DAC & HP Amp)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 8 2.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 26 9.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 125 45.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 116 42.2%

  • Total voters
    275

Ken Tajalli

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And why? What does output voltage have to do with jitter?
With jitter, nothing, but that graph maybe showing some distortion/noise artefacts since the output is not a standard 2V, therefore not directly comparable to graphs from other devices measured at standard 2V.
Let's stick to known standards, or the results might become inaccurate.
Regarding Toslink, Chord mobile DACs can be sensitive to USB noise, since they have no isolation built in (costs too much in power usage), so a Toslink, though not Asynchronous (as in USB), can cut through that possible noise.
 
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pkane

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With jitter, nothing, but that graph maybe showing some distortion/noise artefacts since the output is not a standard 2V, therefore not directly comparable to graphs from other devices measured at standard 2V.
Let's stick to known standards, or the results might become inaccurate.
Regarding Toslink, Chord mobile DACs can be sensitive to USB noise, since they have no isolation built in (costs too much in power usage), so a Toslink, though not Asynchronous (as in USB), can cut through that possible noise.

A jitter test (J-Test) is defined to be such that it produces a specific dBFS level. There is no option there to pick a different output level -- that is the standard test.
 

Ken Tajalli

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A jitter test (J-Test) is defined to be such that it produces a specific dBFS level. There is no option there to pick a different output level -- that is the standard test.
I am not an expert, and a good possibility I may be wrong, at any rate:
- Mojo 2 has a headphone amplifier built in, which is inseparable from its DAC section. It does not have a line output and a headphone output.
It can pretend to be a desktop DAC, but in reality it isn't.
To get it to output a standard 2V level, volume control must be used.
In addition, Mojo2 has its highest SINAD at 3V to 4.3V, at 2V noise floor would be 5dB higher, masking some of those jitter spikes.
All in all, some jitter spikes at max. -135dB is better than many DACs, at higher prices that have been applauded as excellent, portable or otherwise.
My 2 pence.
 
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I am not an expert, and a good possibility I may be wrong, at any rate:
- Mojo 2 has a headphone amplifier built in, which is inseparable from its DAC section. It does not have a line output and a headphone output.
It can pretend to be a desktop DAC, but in reality it isn't.
To get it to output a standard 2V level, volume control must be used.
In addition, Mojo2 has its highest SINAD at 3V to 4.3V, at 2V noise floor would be 5dB higher, masking some of those jitter spikes.
All in all, some jitter spikes at max. -135dB is better than many DACs, at higher prices that have been applauded as excellent, portable or otherwise.
My 2 pence.
The Mojo 1 had a fixed line output but it was just the volume set at 3v, they removed it in the Mojo 2 to remove the possibility of accidentally enabling it while wearing headphones, I spoke to Chord recently and they said you can you just manually set the volume on the Mojo 2 to the 3v level equivalent to the original Mojo line out, it's the same thing, if anyone is interested you achieve this by doing the following,

"Start your Mojo 2 in the ‘upper’ volume range. This is identified by a illuminated mode light on the left, but the volume + and - lights are extinguished.

Now you will need to press the volume + button EXACTLY 41 times. The result is showing in two BLUE volume buttons."


In fact Chord told me that by doing this you can actually use both jack's as line outs, in my case, one going to my headphone amp, and one to my integrated stereo amp, this is a very handy feature unique to the Mojo.
 
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Chester

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A1C40C3B-FAAC-49EA-9BC7-0FBF6BB9565D.jpeg


There’s also this if you want to select a particular voltage for your needs.
 

Jimbob54

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View attachment 215465

There’s also this if you want to select a particular voltage for your needs.
Kind of illustrates the somewhat bizarre and useless nature of the marble colours as a useful indicator of anything specific . Per your post 3v/-4db is "violet"- but its also 41 presses up from -45db dark brown, which stacks up with @PacketofCrisps post above . But per Chord that light should be "blue" at 3v. Im no colour expert but Violet isnt blue, but "blue" tops out at 1.5v and (kinda blue) "Indigo" at 2.1V.
 

Chester

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Kind of illustrates the somewhat bizarre and useless nature of the marble colours as a useful indicator of anything specific . Per your post 3v/-4db is "violet"- but its also 41 presses up from -45db dark brown, which stacks up with @PacketofCrisps post above . But per Chord that light should be "blue" at 3v. Im no colour expert but Violet isnt blue, but "blue" tops out at 1.5v and (kinda blue) "Indigo" at 2.1V.

Like most things, it’s subjective. For its primary purpose, as a volume indicator I find it quite effective in everyday use. But I can understand how some may feel differently. And if you haven’t used it at all, I can see how it can appear overly complicated.

As a designer, I appreciate what they have tried to do with colour as a visual cue. Again, as a designer I much prefer this to some of the poorly thought out typefaces/sizes/colours/viewing angles some products have employed.

This sounds defensive of the Chord products but it’s not meant to be. Just my preferences.
 

Ken Tajalli

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Yes, on a daily use, for its primary use (specially in the dark) it functions well, if one is not color blind!
in a lab environment , use a meter, stop complaining .
 
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Kind of illustrates the somewhat bizarre and useless nature of the marble colours as a useful indicator of anything specific . Per your post 3v/-4db is "violet"- but its also 41 presses up from -45db dark brown, which stacks up with @PacketofCrisps post above . But per Chord that light should be "blue" at 3v. Im no colour expert but Violet isnt blue, but "blue" tops out at 1.5v and (kinda blue) "Indigo" at 2.1V.

You are correct, according to that slide which was originally supplied by Rob Watts himself, 3v is Violet, not blue, so I can only guess that the instructions are incorrect, I've emailed Chord to see if they can clarify this.
 
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Right, I've spent a good week with the Mojo 2 (using as a DAC only), also had a friend come round last night to do some a/b testing and we both struggled to hear a difference between the Mojo 2 and the DAC on my motherboard from my PC going to my stereo amp, we've done lots of comparisons between different headphone amps and both find we can discern audible differences between them, but the Mojo 2 vs Motherboard DAC, nada, nothing, slightly disappointing but I guess it save a good chunk of change as I'm still in the return window.
 

Ken Tajalli

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Right, I've spent a good week with the Mojo 2 (using as a DAC only), also had a friend come round last night to do some a/b testing and we both struggled to hear a difference between the Mojo 2 and the DAC on my motherboard from my PC going to my stereo amp, we've done lots of comparisons between different headphone amps and both find we can discern audible differences between them, but the Mojo 2 vs Motherboard DAC, nada, nothing, slightly disappointing but I guess it save a good chunk of change as I'm still in the return window.
Even if you were not within your return window, a Mojo2 on eBay catches almost the price of a new one, since stocks are low.
 

Veri

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Right, I've spent a good week with the Mojo 2 (using as a DAC only), also had a friend come round last night to do some a/b testing and we both struggled to hear a difference between the Mojo 2 and the DAC on my motherboard from my PC going to my stereo amp
Well. Would not hesitate and just return it if I were you.
 
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One thing I well say is the amp section sounds nice, if you using Mojo to power headphones at the office for example it's a great device, good sound quality and plenty of power for most headphones, it powered my AKG K712's like a champ, but for a DAC only device as part of a chain in a system, I don't think it's worth it.
 

Chester

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Right, I've spent a good week with the Mojo 2 (using as a DAC only), also had a friend come round last night to do some a/b testing and we both struggled to hear a difference between the Mojo 2 and the DAC on my motherboard from my PC going to my stereo amp, we've done lots of comparisons between different headphone amps and both find we can discern audible differences between them, but the Mojo 2 vs Motherboard DAC, nada, nothing, slightly disappointing but I guess it save a good chunk of change as I'm still in the return window.

A good objective opinion you’ve come to there. A point of clarification though. This is not a Chord Mojo specific thing. The outcome would likely be the same for almost any DAC.
 

Sam Spade

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Good review of a (technically) great product.

As I understand it, the main selling point of this over the mojo 1 is the DSP function which Mr Watts claims to be the best thing since sliced bread. It would be nice if at some point it was possible to test that vs an upstream solution (say Roon on a pc) and other on device implementations (say on the rme adi 2 dac and maybe the Qudelix 5k). No idea how the test would work in terms of measurements.

Now let's wait for the flood of posters claiming this is the best sounding product known to man.
It sounds awesome.
 

Jimster480

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Performance is good, but after seeing the DAVE Review it seems that all his products have the same performance. So from the Mojo to the Hugo to the DAVE they have hit a wall in terms of performance. Either the other components outside of the DAC are at their limits or there is something else at play. Despite his performance claims and the TAPS (which is his measurement) they all perform the same.
 

Jimster480

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Looks decent even if it is pricey!
110db SINAD though isn't anything to laugh at. It seems that Watts can get his full performance out of the Mojo and the other products are just irrelevant!
 
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