This week’s picture Sunday features the new Chord Hugo 2 by Chord Electronics. To check out all previous Picture Sunday Posts click HERE.
I’ve been a long time fan of the original Hugo but our readers are probably bored of me saying that. I’m afraid that’s only going to get worse though as Chord now is back with a brand new Hugo, named the Chord Hugo 2.
Hugo 2 is a powerful DAC and headphone amp that builds on the ground-breaking original. Designed for both home and mobile use, Hugo 2 transforms headphones and audio systems’ sound quality with its cutting-edge proprietary DAC technology.
I got the chance to listen to the Chord Hugo 2 at the High End show in Munich and I loved what I heard (with an AK240 connected as source over optical). We should be getting a Hugo 2 for review very soon but from the 5 minute audition I’d say it a mix of the old Hugo’s sound, combined with the Mojo signature, taking best of both worlds. Design wise it also looks sharper and more modern than the original but all the functionalities the original Hugo had, of course are still there. It’s just easier to work with the filters and such on the Hugo 2. It features a clamshell precision machined aluminium casing with polycarbonate buttons, acrylic signal window and glass viewing portal. Hugo 2 is available in a choice of two colours – natural silver, and satin black
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. The 49,195 tap length filter on the Hugo 2 with a 10 element Pulse Array design is impressive. The analogue outputs include 2x RCA, plus 3.5mm and 6.35mm headphone outputs.
A four-function switch filter offers a useful degree of user-selectable frequency-shaping, bringing warm and soft or transparent and incisive presentations, giving additional flexibility and user control. For headphone-listening, Hugo 2 retains the popular digital crossfeed function of the original and offers three operation modes. The system duplicates the effect of listening to speakers and is based on advanced binaural audio research.
Hugo 2 features four spherical control buttons, which illuminate with colour-coding information and control power, input, filtering, plus the unit’s crossfeed functions. Battery playing time is only around seven hours and two modes of automatic charging are included using the dedicated Micro USB charging port. The Chord Hugo 2 has two rechargeable custom Enix Energies 3.7v 9.6Wh Li-ion (lithium-ion (2600mAh) batteries.
Chord Electronics is also working on a new leather cast for the Hugo 2 but I’m sure we’ll see many leather case options from the usual aftermarket case companies very soon. The new Chord Hugo 2 is selling for $2195 USD and the first thousand units are being shipped out right now.