Chord Hugo 2
Chord Electronics has unveiled Hugo 2, a dramatically redesigned version of its legendary portable DAC, featuring all-new casework, flexible new features, plus next-generation technical and sonic performance
Three years ago at CES 2014, Chord Electronics unveiled a revolutionary portable DAC and headphone amp that became a landmark product in the audio landscape. Recent advances in digital technology have enabled Chord to introduce the next-generation version: Hugo 2.
The new device has been comprehensively upgraded while ensuring continuity with the much-loved original. It introduces the latest proprietary Chord Electronics FPGA technology giving cutting-edge technical and sonic performance, plus exciting new features.
Sleek new aircraft-grade aluminium casework
Featuring a newly designed precision-machined aircraft-grade aluminium case, Hugo 2 is distinct from its predecessor with its sharper, lower profile design and four spherical control buttons. The spheres, which are top-mounted to allow for possible future expansion side-modules, illuminate with colour-coding information and control power, input, filtering and crossfeed functions. The top-mounted volume-control sphere has been retained and made larger for more intuitive operation.
The stylish new design and additional functionality has been introduced in anticipation of greater indoor use within both desktop and conventional home audio systems, despite Hugo 2’s obvious portability. The inclusion of a full-function remote control adds further flexibility and the practical line-level output mode of the original has also been retained.
New levels of technical performance
The latest FPGA and advanced WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) filters have been implemented in the Hugo 2, bringing a wide variety of performance improvements in a number of areas. Performance gains have been made in timing accuracy, noise reduction, headphone amp power and dynamic range.
Four digital inputs
Hugo 2’s connections and switches now feature laser-ablated function-lettering for improved ease-of-use. The device offers four digital inputs (optical, coaxial and HD USB) plus extended-range Bluetooth, with high-resolution file playback up to 768kHz and up to DSD512 (Octa DSD), via its HD USB input. Analogue outputs include 2x RCA, plus 3.5mm and 6.35mm headphone outputs.
1x Optical TOSLink 24-bit/192kHz-capable
1x RCA coaxial input 24-bit/384kHz-capable
1x HD USB input 32-bit/768kHz and DSD512-capable
1x aptX Bluetooth (extended range)
1x 3.5mm headphone jack
1x 6.35mm (1/4 inch) headphone jack
1x (pair) stereo RCA phono output
Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.2dB
Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.0001% 1kHz 3V RMS 300 ohms
THD and noise at 3V RMS Ref 5.3V: 120dB @ 1kHz 300 ohms A Wt
Noise 2.6 uV A Wt: no measurable noise floor modulation
Signal to noise ratio: 126dB A-weighted
Channel separation: 135dB @ 1kHz 300 ohms
Maximum output level (to clipping at 1% distortion): 94 mW 300 ohms; 740 mW 33 ohms; 1050 mW (8)
Output impedance: 25 milliohms (0.025 ohms)
Advanced digital volume control
Crossfeed filter network
Four-stage frequency-shaping filter
Fast-charging batteries via Micro USB giving around 7 hours operation
49,195K tap-length filter (near double the original the Hugo)