In this article we review the new Chord Electronics Mojo 2, selling for £449 UK Pounds.
Disclaimer: The Chord Electronics Mojo 2 was sent to me by Chord Electronics in exchange for this review.
If you’ve been in to Hi-Fi or personal audio for the last decade, than you surely must have heard of Chord Electronics:
“Chord Electronics Ltd is a world-leading manufacturer of high-end audio products. Since 1989, under the leadership of proprietor John Franks, Chord Electronics has been pushing the boundaries of innovation, creating some of the planets finest hi-fi, home cinema and professional audio equipment. A technology-driven leader, Chord Electronics philosophy of ongoing evolution and refinement continues to deliver landmark audio products with extraordinary performance and unrivalled design features.”
We’ve seen several very successful products from Chord such as the Qutest DAC, the Hugo 1 and Hugo 2 (also here and here), the Mojo, the Hugo TT2 and of course the TOTL reference DAVE. Now Chord Electronics is back with an updated version of their smallest and most portable DAC/Amp unit ever released, the Mojo 2.
I am sure almost every self-respecting personal audio aficionado knows the Chord Electronics Mojo, and the major part of you over the last 7 years surely had a chance to listen to it. The Mojo DAC/AMP (well basically it is just a DAC) was a big hit right from the start and since Chord released the Hugo 2, everyone has been waiting for the awesome Mojo to be updated. And now that day has come.
Yesterday, Chord Electronics officially announced the Mojo 2 but some of you might have already seen some pictures of the Mojo 2 on the www already as some people don’t seem to care anymore about NDA’s. Anyway, we strongly advise you to read up on the original Mojo before you start with this Mojo 2 article. You can do so here:
The Chord Electronics Mojo is one of the most successful units of the last years, so everyone is expecting a lot of the new Mojo 2. Let’s find out what the new Chord Mojo 2 is all about.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s been 7 years since the Mojo was launched and now Rob Watts has revisited, reimagined and reengineered the original Mojo with ground-breaking, world-first technology.
The world’s first lossless DSP sees Mojo 2 set the benchmark for portable sound quality. Again.
The Chord Electronics Mojo 2 still is a DAC (AMP) and it is capable of playing files up to 768 kHz 32- bit and DSD 256! Of course there is no balanced output because of Chord’s design principles.
Let’s go over all of the Chord Electronic Mojo 2 ‘s features! (as published by Chord Electronics)
1. Revolutionary lossless DSP
According to Chord it is the first of its kind in the world. We quote Chord: “The innovative new ‘UHD DSP’ is fully transparent, enabling comprehensive tone adjustments across the frequency range, without any degradation in sound quality. The new technology gives Mojo 2 unrivalled compatibility with today’s wide-ranging choice of headphones, regardless of type and sonic signature, plus flexibility with different source components and digital file types.”
2. Menu system
Navigated via a new fourth control sphere, the menu brings a mute function, four-setting crossfeed adjustment (more on that later), a button-lock feature for travelling, plus the fully lossless tone controls. When I first received the unit, this looked really difficult but it actually is simple and it grows on you fast.
3. USB-C data input
The digital inputs have now increased to four, thanks to a new USB-C data input for greater flexibility. This is something I really like. Sure it looks a bit weird but I think having a USB-C input is more important. The USB-C is featured alongside the optical, coaxial (incl. dual-data for the M Scaler) and Micro USB input. Two 3.5 mm mini-jack headphone outputs still allow up to two people to listen simultaneously.
4. Better battery and charging
Mojo 2 benefits from greatly improved battery management, thanks to a new FPGA-based battery-charging system. The tech brings much faster charging rates, coupled with a huge 75 % reduction in power loss for cooler, more efficient charging. Capacity is up by 9 %, resulting in better efficiency and improved battery life, which is now better than eight hours. What’s not to like?
Mojo 2’s established ‘Intelligent Desktop Mode’ technology has also been improved, with an isolated battery and PSU redesign to support battery-free operation without any losses in sound quality, plus improved filtering and isolation.
5. Improved transparency
Mojo 2 is now DC-coupled with a digital DC servo. It benefits from an improved WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) filter, now offering 40,960 taps (the technical indicator of how complex the interpolation filter is), using 40 DSP cores. If I am not mistaken the original Mojo had about 38K taps. Additionally, an improved noise-shaper offers greater depth and detail perception, plus improvements to the 4e Pulse Array DAC introduce lower distortion and out-of-band noise. Greater neutrality has also been achieved, thanks to the elimination of coupling capacitors.
Of course we will find out about this in the part on how the Mojo 2 sounds.
6. New fully transparent UHD DSP
Mojo 2 benefits from the world’s first fully transparent ‘UHD DSP’. The proprietary technology uses a 104-bit custom DSP core running at 705/768 kHz: no other audio DSP offers the same accuracy. By using 104 bits plus extensive internal noise-shaping, Mojo 2 can deliver complete transparency by preserving the filtering of ultra-small signals.
7. UHD DSP features
The unique UHD DSP enables fine-tuning across the full frequency range with 18 steps of adjustment per frequency banding: lower bass, mid-bass, lower treble and high treble.
The volume control range has also been improved from +18 dB to -108 dB, and now benefits from two distinct operational ranges: low and high volume.
A new four-setting crossfeed function, also DSP-controlled, brings speaker-like spatial effects for flexible headphone listening.
The article continues on the next page. Click here or use the jumps below.
Page 1: Chord Electronics, Mojo, Mojo 2
Page 3: Sound Part 1
Page 4: Sound Part 2 & Conclusion