Chord Electronics Mojo portable DAC/headphone amp

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Chord Electronics Mojo

How does the Mojo compare to the Hugo? My answer is that the family resemblance between the two is unmistakable, but that the products do not by any means sound ‘identical’ or interchangeable. Stated simply, the Mojo offers a very slightly warmer and ever so slightly less forward-sounding presentation, with almost—but not quite—the same high levels of resolution as the Hugo. For a great many headphones and earphones, this is terrific combination of virtues. With that said, when listening though highly revealing top-tier transducers (for example, the HiFiMAN HE 1000 or the Noble Audio 4S CIEMs), there is no denying that the Hugo offers greater resolution and, arguably, more perfectly neutral voicing overall (the perceived voicing differences are, as noted above, likely attributable to the slightly different filter parameters used in the Mojo). For all-day/everyday listening, the Mojo makes a very fine choice, but when you are in the mood to push performance limits the Hugo will be the device of choice. Of course, the ideal solution would be to own both.

Are there any drawbacks to the Mojo? Personally, I can’t think of any, though I am aware that some journalists have commented about the Mojo ‘running hot’. Candidly, I find this much ado about nothing. I’ve used my Mojo review sample with all kinds of headphones for hours on end (and at a wide range of volume levels) without it ever becoming more than mildly warm. I suppose if you wrapped the Mojo up in insulation, ran it under the noonday sun in Phoenix, AZ, and tried playing music while simultaneously trying to charge the unit, you could conceivably get it to overheat and shut down. But for the most part, Chord has done its power dissipation homework, keeping the Mojo’s operating temperatures well within sensible bounds.

In summary, the Chord Mojo is a marvel both of sound-quality-first design and cost-effective engineering. It is one of the finest and most capable portable amp/DACs I have yet heard regardless of price, and one whose value for money quotient is clear off the charts. If you have always craved a top-tier product of this type, but thought you could never afford one, the Mojo is now officially your ticket to ride.

Technical Specifications

Type: High-resolution portable headphone amplifier/DAC

Digital inputs: One TOSLink optical input (1compatible with 192kHz PCM and DSD64 via DoP), One coaxial S/PDIF input (compatible with 384kHz PCM – 768kHz PCM (special option) and DSD64/128 via DoP), and One USB input (compatible with 768kHz PCM and DSD64/128/256 via DoP; requires a Chord-supplied device driver for Windows environments)

Analogue outputs: Two 3.5mm headphone jacks (can be reconfigured as fixed, line-level outputs)

Device drivers: Mac OS/iOS/Android – No driver required. Windows: Chord-supplied device driver required

Digital Filters: Very long tap-length digital filters implemented via Xilinx Artic 15T FPGA running a proprietary Rob Watts-designed WTA filter algorithm

Controls: Power on/off, Up/Down volume control; switches also can be used to control intensity of display lights and to configure Mojo for use as a standalone DAC with fixed line-level outputs

Battery: Sufficient power at full charge for approximately 10 hours of operation

Power Output @ 1kHz: 600 Ohms, 35mW, 8 Ohms, 720mW

Distortion – 1kHz 3V output: 0.00017% THD

Dynamic Range: 125dB

Output Impedance: 0.075 Ohms

Accessories: USB-A-to-USB-Mini-A digital and/or charging cable

Dimensions (H × W × D): 22 × 62 × 82mm

Weight: Not specified

Price: £399

Manufactured by: Chord Electronics Ltd

URL: www.chordelectronics.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 1622 721444

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