A few weeks ago, British brand Chord Electronics launched an mysterious countdown on its official website. The page read “Countdown to January 31, 2022” accompanied by the silhouette of a device reminiscent of the Chord Mojo portable DAC and headphone amplifier, the brand’s best-seller. Today, Chord Electronics officially unveils the Chord Mojo 2! Sold for €599 and adopting a very similar design to that of its predecessor, what innovations does this new version of Chord’s portable DAC have in store for us?
Chord Electronics: the brand
Founded in 1989 by John Franks, Chord Electronics draws its inspiration from the world of aeronautics. An influence that is reflected in the ultra-precise performance of the brand’s electronics as well as in their metal chassis and their excellent build quality. The first amplifiers designed by Chords Electronics were initially delivered to the BBC before equipping the biggest studios in the world, notably Abbey Road, Sony Music (New-York) and the Royal Opera House.
Renowned among audiophiles for its powerful electronics with a clear sound and a unique design, the brand now offers portable audio DACs, a digital upscaler, headphone amplifiers, USB audio DACs, a hi-fi preamplifier, power amplifiers, network media players and phono preamplifiers.
Chord Electronics: high-end hi-fi
Among the flagship hardware offered by Chord Electronics is the high-end Chord Hugo 2 DAC and headphone amplifier. Like all the brand’s DACs, the Hugo 2 features a proprietary conversion chip to maintain total control of performance and benefits from an innovative architecture as well as high-end components. The powerful amplification section of the Chord Hugo 2 allows it to offer very spacious sound with all hi-fi headphones, even the most demanding models, and has earned it praise from the specialized press.
The latest addition to the British brand’s catalog and launched in September 2021, the Chord Anni amplifier is an ultra-compact model with two RCA analog inputs. It is designed to power a pair of headphones or a pair of compact speakers in an office or medium-sized room. This small amplifier is capable of holding its own against larger devices and surprises with its energy, musicality and balance. Using the same formula that has made the brand so successful, the Chord Anni benefits from a very robust design and high-end components to establish itself as a first choice audiophile solution.
Chord Mojo 2: what’s new?
The Chord Mojo 2 portable audio DAC and headphone amplifier builds on the successful formula of its predecessor while optimizing components and features for even greater versatility and an optimized performance. It therefore features the ultra-robust aluminum frame and transparent balls with the typical colored lighting of the brand’s electronics. The inputs of the Chord Mojo 2 are the same as on the first generation model, that is to say USB, optical and coaxial, except that this new version adopts a USB-C port in addition to the micro USB port. Regarding outputs, the two 3.5mm mini-jack headphone connectors are still included.
One of the innovations of the new Chord Mojo 2 is the addition of a menu button that provides access to new functions. These include an equalizer with 4 frequency ranges (20Hz, 125Hz, 3kHz, 20kHz) with an amplitude of +/- 9 dB, a Crossfeed function allowing you to adjust the balance of the channels, as well as a locking function. The Chord Mojo 2 also features the smart desk mode implemented by the Chord Hugo 2. Once the battery is fully charged, this feature allows you to switch to direct power to preserve battery life.
In addition to these new features, the Chord Mojo 2 benefits from optimized components including an improved FPGA processor, advanced UHD DSP and new WTA filtering for an even lower noise level. The question is to know how this new version of the gateway to the Chord Electronics universe behaves compared to its predecessor. The answer could well arrive in a review to be found soon on this blog!