Hugo 2 can be used both at home and on-the-go, either with headphones or within a conventional audio system. Its line-level output and full-function remote control adds real flexibility in full-size and desktop systems.

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. 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 around seven hours and two modes of automatic charging are included using the dedicated Micro USB charging port; an indicator shows charging and battery-charge status.

About Chord Electronics

Chord Electronics Ltd.

Chord Electronics have been producing cutting-edge digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and amplifiers, using innovative techniques and methods, since their founding in England in 1989.  Founder John Franks and engineer Rob Watts have once and again turned the audio world upside down with their outstanding and unique designs.

At the heart of every Chord DAC is an FPGA chip (field-programmable gate array), which Chord packs with thousands upon thousands of lines of code, to optimize the conversion for timing and noise, and deliver and incredibly natural, musical sound.  This sets Chord Electronics apart, as instead of turning to mass-produced, off-the shelf integrated circuits for the heart of their DAC’s, they craft their own circuit in-house for each design. This is why no other DAC on the market sounds like a Chord DAC.

Our Take

Quite possibly the world’s best sounding portable DAC, the Hugo 2, offers Chord’s signature clarity and open sound in a small package compatible a myriad of digital platforms and sources.  The filter settings allow you to tailor the sound signature to the headphones you’re using, or even to the individual recording.  The Hugo 2 works wonderfully with our entire line of headphone amps, though to get the most out of the GS-X mk2 or Blue Hawaii SE, we recommend a balanced output source.