Chord Hugo 2 Portable DAC and Headphone Amplifier

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Chord Hugo 2 Portable DAC and Headphone Amplifier

Chord Hugo 2 Portable DAC and Headphone Amplifier

$2,695.00 Free Shipping!

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Chord Hugo 2 Portable DAC and Headphone Amplifier

$2,695.00 Free Shipping!

Free Shipping!
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  • Description

    MY TAKE:

    The Chord Hugo 2 is quite remarkable, both for its amazing set of features as well as its outstanding performance. Definitely an over achiever. - Galen Carol
     

    Hugo 2 is a powerful DAC and headphone amp that builds on the ground-breaking original Hugo.

    Advances in digital technology, including the latest FPGAs and WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) filters, have enabled the next-generation version, Hugo 2 which features substantially improved sonic performance and other new features. Hugo 2 offers improved ease of use for both at home and on-the-go applications and its improved line-level operation and full-function remote control adds real flexibility in full-size and desktop systems.

    Four digital inputs (optical, coaxial and HD USB) plus new extended-range Bluetooth are offered. Hugo 2 offers 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. A new 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.

    Hugo 2 features Chord’s custom coded FPGA, 49,152 Taps, 7 hour battery life, 768kHz Micro USB input, 384kHz Coax Input, Native DSD support, DSD512 Native and supports headphones up to 800 Ohms.
     


    HUGO 2 REVIEWS:
     

    WHAT HI-FI: "Put simply, it is difficult in the extreme to find meaningful fault with the way Hugo 2 converts and delivers your digital audio files. And while it’s obviously preferable to feed in a file of meaningful size in order to hear Hugo 2 at its best, unlike the outgoing Hugo this DAC doesn’t have a lot of unkind observations to make if you lower yourself to Bluetoothing a 320kbps Spotify file. Hugo 2 simply makes the best of it.
     

    "Broadly speaking, there’s no change in Hugo 2’s character whether its handling a Spotify-derived stream of Big Boi’s All Night or a Qobuz Sublime+ 24bit/96kHz file of Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough. The bigger the file and the more information Hugo 2 has to play with, the greater the detail and fidelity of its performance - naturally - but in all circumstances Hugo 2 serves up a detailed, dynamic and punchy performance.
     

    "Timing is perhaps Hugo 2’s strongest suit of all – it brings absolutely believable unity to ensemble music. That Michael Jackson tune features both brass and strings sections in addition to the more standard bass/guitar/keyboard/drums rock’n’roll line-up, but there’s never any suggestion the musicians aren’t interacting in the most natural way.
     

    "There’s crispness and clarity to Hugo 2’s sound, admirable management of tempos and an unequivocal layout to the soundstage. 
     

    "Pare down the sound to the piano-and-voice of Joni Mitchell’s River  (24bit/192kHz) and the Hugo 2 demonstrates its mastery of timbre, as well as its supernatural way with the attack and decay of individual notes. Each hit of each piano key is packed with information, and the sound of the instrument (as well as the details of the environment in which it’s being played) is laid bare. There’s nothing overly analytical about the way Hugo 2 passes on this information, but you’re left in no doubt that every available detail, no matter how minor, has been incorporated and laid bare for your ears.
     

    "The same is true of voices. The purity and vulnerability of Mitchell’s voice (as well as the harmonies she sings with herself) is transmitted absolutely explicitly, freighting her aching regret with real and tangible emotion.
     

    "From one extreme of the frequency range to the other, the Chord is a smoothly neutral listen – it doesn’t overstate, it doesn’t underplay. It simply arranges the pieces into a convincing whole where bass is balanced against treble in the most unforced and crystal-clear manner.
     

    "With Hugo 2 incorporated into our Naim/Gamut/ATC reference system as both DAC and pre-amplifier, the story is the same. Ours is a system that’s intended to make a product’s shortcomings obvious, but in the case of the Chord it simply gets on with the job in the same clear, frank and casually spectacular manner it does when driving a pair of headphones.
     

    "It seems as-near-as-makes-no-difference impossible to wrong-foot Hugo 2. It has the determination to dig deep and hit hard, enough to make A Tribe Called Quest’s We The People… (24bit/88.2kHz) drive forward unstoppably. It has the deft lightness of touch to make The Costello Show’s Sleep Of The Just (24bit/192kHz) glide over its own defeatedness. And it makes Nina Simone’s typically characterful reading of Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (24bit/96kHz) sound like a malevolent music-box."
     

    Verdict

    "There isn’t another DAC around at anywhere near this sort of price able to communicate so torrentially, so unambiguously or so effortlessly. We like it a lot."  Read more here.

     

    HEADFONIA: "Wowzers! Chord was going strong already and they keep on making better gear each and every time. While the Hugo will certainly be seen as a classic in the near future (as it was the first with such a high performance), it’s the Hugo 2 that will go in the books as the best performing transportable DAC/AMP combo of 2017 (and beyond?). With the Hugo 2 you’ll come as close as you can get to a portable DAVE, and that says a lot.

    If you can afford it, I don’t see any reason why not to buy the Hugo 2. It looks great, sounds extremely good, is well built and has all the inputs and outputs you’ll ever need. It’s pure desktop quality in a transportable package. Is it too soon to declare this the winner of the 2017 DAC/AMP category already." Reda more here.


    DIGITAL AUDIO REVIEW: "On sound quality and utility – judging it as a complete package – Chord Electronics’ Hugo 2 is the finest DAC I’ve seen/heard/used to date." - John Darko

     

    HUGO REVIEWS:

     

    "As I have gotten to know the Hugo, I’ve come to admire it greatly as a complete package, but I also have come to perceive that it may, in fact, be a world-class DAC that is bolted to a very good portable headphone amplifier. In other words, when push comes to shove, the Hugo’s DAC section is what truly makes the product special. I say this, in part, because I have twice now configured the Hugo as a line-level DAC and then plugged it into ultra-high performance full-sized headphone amps (once with a Cavalli Audio Liquid Glass and later with an AURALiC Taurus MkII). In both instances, those expensive “big boy” amps revealed even more of the Hugo DAC’s performance than could be accessed when listening through the Hugo’s own amp section. Odd though it may seem, I think serious high-enders will want to consider plugging the roughly paperback book-sized Hugo into their full-sized hi-fi systems. The Hugo DAC section is, I kid you not, truly that good." - Chris Martens, HiFi+


    “All it takes is a few minutes of listening to the Hugo to recognize that it possesses that elusive ‘X’ factor, which marks the difference between very good products and truly special ones that touch on greatness. No one sonic characteristic steps to the foreground to define this product.” – Chris Martens, Hi-Fi +


    “Sounding like no other digital converter Chord’s headphone amp is a landmark product” - David Price, HiFi Choice, July 2014


    “This is how you sell another DAC/headphone amplifier into a crowded market - give it facilities and ability able to make rivals tremble! Hugo is a tour-de-force of engineering and delivers fabulous sound quality with all files, even CD. It is also very easy to use. Playing DSD and DXD files natively was almost a shock, Hugo showing just how dramatic high-resolution digital can be. Fabulous ability.” - Noel Keywood, Hi-Fi World, Five Globe award winner, July 2014

     

    “The Hugo is another giant leap for digital kind. I implore you to have a listen.” - Opinion, HiFi Choice, July 2014


    "I hope I have conveyed just how versatile, enjoyable, and downright exciting Chord’s Hugo is to use on a day-to-day basis. The Hugo is so cleverly conceived, so well-executed, and so well-rounded that you might find, as I have, that it becomes your ‘go-to’ headphone amplifier/DAC for all seasons and reasons. No matter where you want to listen, and no matter what types of transducers you choose to use, the Hugo has you covered. And, should you wish to use the Hugo as a high-performance, high-res DAC in a full-size high-end audio system, you will discover it acquits itself admirably in that context, too.

    They say no product can hope to be all things to all people, but in the world of high-performance headphone amps and DACs, Chord’s Hugo comes a lot closer than most. If I could have one (and only one) headphone amplifier/DAC with which to satisfy all real-world use conditions and listening requirements, this would be the one I’d choose." - Chris Martens

     

    SPECIFICATIONS:

    Inputs
    • Optical TOSLink 24-bit/192kHz-capable
    • RCA coaxial input 24-bit/384kHz-capable
    • Driverless USB input 16-bit/48kHz-capable (designed for tablets/phones)
    • HD USB input 32-bit/384KHz and DSD128-capable (for computer/laptop playback; see driver details below)

    Drivers
    • On a PC (Vista, Win 7 or 8) Hugo will playback music up to 384KHz and support both DSD64 and DSD128, but for this you must install the supplied driver which comes in the box and is also available on this product page.

    • On Apple Mac OS, iOS for iPhone/iPad and Android, no drivers are required and Hugo will work up to 384KHz and DSD64/128 if your playback software/app can support it.

    Outputs
    • 2x3.5mm headphone jacks
    • 1x6.35mm (1/4 inch) headphone jack
    • 1x (pair) stereo RCA phono output

    Technical specs

    • Advanced digital volume control
    • Crossfeed filter network
    • Battery powered for approximately 14 hours operation
    • Input, sample rate and volume level indication by colour-change LEDs
    • 26K tap-length filter (more than double when compared to the QuteHD DAC)
    • Headphone output: 110dB SPL into a 300ohm headphone load
    • Output power – 1KHz 1V sinewave both channels driven 0.1% distortion
    • 600 ohms 35mW
    • 300 ohms 70mW
    • 56 ohms 320mW
    • 32 ohms 600mW
    • 8 ohms 720mW
    • THD – 1KHz 3V output: 0.0005%
    • Dynamic Range: 120dB
    • Output impedance: 0.075 ohms
    • Damping factor >100
    • Weight: 0.4kg
    • Dimensions: 100x20x132mm (WxHxD)

Product Ratings

Average Rating
432175

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Chord Hugo 2 Portable DAC and Headphone Amplifier

$2,695.00 Free Shipping!

Free Shipping!
Loading...

Description

MY TAKE:

The Chord Hugo 2 is quite remarkable, both for its amazing set of features as well as its outstanding performance. Definitely an over achiever. - Galen Carol
 

Hugo 2 is a powerful DAC and headphone amp that builds on the ground-breaking original Hugo.

Advances in digital technology, including the latest FPGAs and WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) filters, have enabled the next-generation version, Hugo 2 which features substantially improved sonic performance and other new features. Hugo 2 offers improved ease of use for both at home and on-the-go applications and its improved line-level operation and full-function remote control adds real flexibility in full-size and desktop systems.

Four digital inputs (optical, coaxial and HD USB) plus new extended-range Bluetooth are offered. Hugo 2 offers 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. A new 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.

Hugo 2 features Chord’s custom coded FPGA, 49,152 Taps, 7 hour battery life, 768kHz Micro USB input, 384kHz Coax Input, Native DSD support, DSD512 Native and supports headphones up to 800 Ohms.
 


HUGO 2 REVIEWS:
 

WHAT HI-FI: "Put simply, it is difficult in the extreme to find meaningful fault with the way Hugo 2 converts and delivers your digital audio files. And while it’s obviously preferable to feed in a file of meaningful size in order to hear Hugo 2 at its best, unlike the outgoing Hugo this DAC doesn’t have a lot of unkind observations to make if you lower yourself to Bluetoothing a 320kbps Spotify file. Hugo 2 simply makes the best of it.
 

"Broadly speaking, there’s no change in Hugo 2’s character whether its handling a Spotify-derived stream of Big Boi’s All Night or a Qobuz Sublime+ 24bit/96kHz file of Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough. The bigger the file and the more information Hugo 2 has to play with, the greater the detail and fidelity of its performance - naturally - but in all circumstances Hugo 2 serves up a detailed, dynamic and punchy performance.
 

"Timing is perhaps Hugo 2’s strongest suit of all – it brings absolutely believable unity to ensemble music. That Michael Jackson tune features both brass and strings sections in addition to the more standard bass/guitar/keyboard/drums rock’n’roll line-up, but there’s never any suggestion the musicians aren’t interacting in the most natural way.
 

"There’s crispness and clarity to Hugo 2’s sound, admirable management of tempos and an unequivocal layout to the soundstage. 
 

"Pare down the sound to the piano-and-voice of Joni Mitchell’s River  (24bit/192kHz) and the Hugo 2 demonstrates its mastery of timbre, as well as its supernatural way with the attack and decay of individual notes. Each hit of each piano key is packed with information, and the sound of the instrument (as well as the details of the environment in which it’s being played) is laid bare. There’s nothing overly analytical about the way Hugo 2 passes on this information, but you’re left in no doubt that every available detail, no matter how minor, has been incorporated and laid bare for your ears.
 

"The same is true of voices. The purity and vulnerability of Mitchell’s voice (as well as the harmonies she sings with herself) is transmitted absolutely explicitly, freighting her aching regret with real and tangible emotion.
 

"From one extreme of the frequency range to the other, the Chord is a smoothly neutral listen – it doesn’t overstate, it doesn’t underplay. It simply arranges the pieces into a convincing whole where bass is balanced against treble in the most unforced and crystal-clear manner.
 

"With Hugo 2 incorporated into our Naim/Gamut/ATC reference system as both DAC and pre-amplifier, the story is the same. Ours is a system that’s intended to make a product’s shortcomings obvious, but in the case of the Chord it simply gets on with the job in the same clear, frank and casually spectacular manner it does when driving a pair of headphones.
 

"It seems as-near-as-makes-no-difference impossible to wrong-foot Hugo 2. It has the determination to dig deep and hit hard, enough to make A Tribe Called Quest’s We The People… (24bit/88.2kHz) drive forward unstoppably. It has the deft lightness of touch to make The Costello Show’s Sleep Of The Just (24bit/192kHz) glide over its own defeatedness. And it makes Nina Simone’s typically characterful reading of Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (24bit/96kHz) sound like a malevolent music-box."
 

Verdict

"There isn’t another DAC around at anywhere near this sort of price able to communicate so torrentially, so unambiguously or so effortlessly. We like it a lot."  Read more here.

 

HEADFONIA: "Wowzers! Chord was going strong already and they keep on making better gear each and every time. While the Hugo will certainly be seen as a classic in the near future (as it was the first with such a high performance), it’s the Hugo 2 that will go in the books as the best performing transportable DAC/AMP combo of 2017 (and beyond?). With the Hugo 2 you’ll come as close as you can get to a portable DAVE, and that says a lot.

If you can afford it, I don’t see any reason why not to buy the Hugo 2. It looks great, sounds extremely good, is well built and has all the inputs and outputs you’ll ever need. It’s pure desktop quality in a transportable package. Is it too soon to declare this the winner of the 2017 DAC/AMP category already." Reda more here.


DIGITAL AUDIO REVIEW: "On sound quality and utility – judging it as a complete package – Chord Electronics’ Hugo 2 is the finest DAC I’ve seen/heard/used to date." - John Darko

 

HUGO REVIEWS:

 

"As I have gotten to know the Hugo, I’ve come to admire it greatly as a complete package, but I also have come to perceive that it may, in fact, be a world-class DAC that is bolted to a very good portable headphone amplifier. In other words, when push comes to shove, the Hugo’s DAC section is what truly makes the product special. I say this, in part, because I have twice now configured the Hugo as a line-level DAC and then plugged it into ultra-high performance full-sized headphone amps (once with a Cavalli Audio Liquid Glass and later with an AURALiC Taurus MkII). In both instances, those expensive “big boy” amps revealed even more of the Hugo DAC’s performance than could be accessed when listening through the Hugo’s own amp section. Odd though it may seem, I think serious high-enders will want to consider plugging the roughly paperback book-sized Hugo into their full-sized hi-fi systems. The Hugo DAC section is, I kid you not, truly that good." - Chris Martens, HiFi+


“All it takes is a few minutes of listening to the Hugo to recognize that it possesses that elusive ‘X’ factor, which marks the difference between very good products and truly special ones that touch on greatness. No one sonic characteristic steps to the foreground to define this product.” – Chris Martens, Hi-Fi +


“Sounding like no other digital converter Chord’s headphone amp is a landmark product” - David Price, HiFi Choice, July 2014


“This is how you sell another DAC/headphone amplifier into a crowded market - give it facilities and ability able to make rivals tremble! Hugo is a tour-de-force of engineering and delivers fabulous sound quality with all files, even CD. It is also very easy to use. Playing DSD and DXD files natively was almost a shock, Hugo showing just how dramatic high-resolution digital can be. Fabulous ability.” - Noel Keywood, Hi-Fi World, Five Globe award winner, July 2014

 

“The Hugo is another giant leap for digital kind. I implore you to have a listen.” - Opinion, HiFi Choice, July 2014


"I hope I have conveyed just how versatile, enjoyable, and downright exciting Chord’s Hugo is to use on a day-to-day basis. The Hugo is so cleverly conceived, so well-executed, and so well-rounded that you might find, as I have, that it becomes your ‘go-to’ headphone amplifier/DAC for all seasons and reasons. No matter where you want to listen, and no matter what types of transducers you choose to use, the Hugo has you covered. And, should you wish to use the Hugo as a high-performance, high-res DAC in a full-size high-end audio system, you will discover it acquits itself admirably in that context, too.

They say no product can hope to be all things to all people, but in the world of high-performance headphone amps and DACs, Chord’s Hugo comes a lot closer than most. If I could have one (and only one) headphone amplifier/DAC with which to satisfy all real-world use conditions and listening requirements, this would be the one I’d choose." - Chris Martens

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

Inputs
• Optical TOSLink 24-bit/192kHz-capable
• RCA coaxial input 24-bit/384kHz-capable
• Driverless USB input 16-bit/48kHz-capable (designed for tablets/phones)
• HD USB input 32-bit/384KHz and DSD128-capable (for computer/laptop playback; see driver details below)

Drivers
• On a PC (Vista, Win 7 or 8) Hugo will playback music up to 384KHz and support both DSD64 and DSD128, but for this you must install the supplied driver which comes in the box and is also available on this product page.

• On Apple Mac OS, iOS for iPhone/iPad and Android, no drivers are required and Hugo will work up to 384KHz and DSD64/128 if your playback software/app can support it.

Outputs
• 2x3.5mm headphone jacks
• 1x6.35mm (1/4 inch) headphone jack
• 1x (pair) stereo RCA phono output

Technical specs

• Advanced digital volume control
• Crossfeed filter network
• Battery powered for approximately 14 hours operation
• Input, sample rate and volume level indication by colour-change LEDs
• 26K tap-length filter (more than double when compared to the QuteHD DAC)
• Headphone output: 110dB SPL into a 300ohm headphone load
• Output power – 1KHz 1V sinewave both channels driven 0.1% distortion
• 600 ohms 35mW
• 300 ohms 70mW
• 56 ohms 320mW
• 32 ohms 600mW
• 8 ohms 720mW
• THD – 1KHz 3V output: 0.0005%
• Dynamic Range: 120dB
• Output impedance: 0.075 ohms
• Damping factor >100
• Weight: 0.4kg
• Dimensions: 100x20x132mm (WxHxD)