Chord’s Hugo 2 portable DAC/amp: in an all-new chassis 

6th January 2017

Chord Electronics has unveiled Hugo 2, a redesigned version of its portable DAC and headphone amplifier, featuring all-new casework


It introduces the latest proprietary Chord Electronics FPGA technology. Featuring a newly designed aircraft-grade aluminium case, Hugo 2 offers a lower profile design and four spherical control buttons. The spheres, which are top-mounted to allow for possible future expansion side-modules, illuminate with colour-coding information and control power, input, filtering and cross-feed functions. The top-mounted volume-control sphere has been retained and made larger.



The inclusion of a full-function remote control is joined by a line-level output mode of the original has also been retained.



The device offers digital inputs (i.e. 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. Analogue outputs include RCA plus 3.5mm and 6.35mm headphone outputs.


A four-function switch filter, operated by its own control sphere his also included.


For headphone-listening, Hugo 2 retains the digital cross-feed function of the original and three operation modes from its dedicated control sphere. The system cross-feeds a partial 400 millisecond-delayed and shaped signal from each left and right output to the opposite channel.


The system, says the company, “…duplicates the effect of listening to speakers and is based on advanced binaural audio research.” Battery playing time is around seven hours and two modes of automatic charging are now included using the dedicated Micro USB charging port: fast (1.8 amperes) and slow (less than one ampere). An indicator shows charging and battery-charge status. New digital DC servos have replaced the inline capacitors in the original output stages. Price is £1,800

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