Chord Electronics Mojo 2 Review

Chord Electronics Mojo 2

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. 

Chord Electronics

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.

Mojo

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.

Chord Electronics Mojo 2

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:

Review: Chord Mojo – The Chosen One

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.

Mojo 2

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.

Chord Electronics Mojo 2

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.

Chord Electronics Mojo 2

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 2: Packaging & accessories, Design & Build quality, Lay-Out & Usability, Menu, Specs

Page 3: Sound Part 1

Page 4: Sound Part 2 & Conclusion

4.1/5 - (216 votes)

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

15 Comments

  • Reply February 1, 2022

    Ml

    Original mojo was 38k taps.

  • Reply February 1, 2022

    MhtLion

    Great review!! Personally I’d love to find out how Mojo 2 will drive LCD-5 and Phi TC.

    • Reply February 1, 2022

      Lieven

      Thanks. The 5 is in for repair…

  • Reply February 1, 2022

    Ali Arghavan

    Thanks for the review. I must say, I’m disappointed with the new Mojo. It’s more expensive but doesn’t bring that much to the table. Compared to 7 years ago there is more competition.
    – You still get an abysmal accessory set (just one USB-A to microusb). No case, no USB-C no lightning.
    – The USB-C port looks like an aftertough and looks horrible. Seriously! Did someone cut the Mojo and added a cheap plasticky bit just to add a port?
    – MicroUSB charging is laughable at 2022. So Chord will continue to use microUSB even on future devices just to maintain compatibility? This was the best opportunity to revamp Poly as well maybe to implement better Bluetooth and features.
    – DSP settings are nice but without a display and preset settings, I won’t find myself using it after some time. It’s just too much hassle compared to proper EQ options.
    + The only real objective benefit is the new desktop mode which I appreciate. And also the higher output power which is welcome indeed.

    Am I complaining too much? Yes. It’s a Chord product that people have been waiting for years. And it’s not cheap.

  • Reply February 2, 2022

    Alex

    Great review!

    Re: “I find the Mojo 2 to cause no listening fatigue at all and that’s not something I could say about the original Mojo (for my ears)”.

    I am surprised about your comment above since by all accounts the M2 has more treble extension/energy compared to the OG Mojo, which is usually the part that leads to listening fatigue. I get zero (0) listening fatigue with the OG Mojo. None.

    • Reply February 4, 2022

      Lieven

      For me personally the fatigue doesn’t come from the upper end, more the intimacy and lack of extension

  • Reply February 2, 2022

    Shane

    What’s it like with hard to drive headphones like the DCA Aeon Noire?

    • Reply February 4, 2022

      Lieven

      I don’t have the headphone, but Mojo is not meant to drive hard to drive headphones really

  • Reply February 3, 2022

    xtvymrdn

    Soundwise only, what do you think about mojo2 vs hugo1?

    • Reply February 4, 2022

      Lieven

      Mojo 2 is technically superior. Hugo 1 is smoother and more analog sounding.

  • Reply February 4, 2022

    Phanindra MVR

    How does this compare against the iFi Gryphon and iFi iDSD Signature?

    • Reply February 4, 2022

      Lieven

      Sorry, I don’t have any iFi devices

  • Reply February 4, 2022

    vince

    also interested in how this pairs with aeon 2 closed!

  • Reply February 13, 2022

    Syazwan

    Nice! Thank you for comparing to Mojo 2 with Centrance Hifi M8 v2.

    Been considering them both, both packed with features and unique from one to another. My only primary interest for Mojo 2 is its Lossless EQ. Does the EQ implementation in Mojo 2 is better than Paramteric EQ or EQ from Schiit Loki?

  • Reply May 17, 2022

    Will

    Hey hey,

    Maybe this is a silly ask. I’ve got the Mojo 2 fed by iFi Zen Stream. Looking for a decent cable. Weirdly my old QED TOSLINK wouldn’t lock into Mojo, so need to find different option. USB-C vs Mini USB? I’m thinking USB C because it’s a newer connection, seems to lock in much better. Mini USB has always seemed a bit flimsy to me. Audioquest do a decent Carbon USB-C cable that’s not insanely priced at about £120, high silver content.
    Not sure I can actually output optical from Zen Stream- asked iFi, not heard back. Coaxial/optical connection stuff really confuses me- so many connector variations.
    Mojo 2 is great by the way, clean, smooth, quick, great slam and attack, effortless.
    Cheers,

    Will

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