Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC and Headphone Amplifier

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

In 2014, Chord introduced Hugo, a revolutionary portable DAC and headphone amp that became a landmark product in the audio landscape. Advances in digital technology, including the latest FPGAs and WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) filters, have enabled the company to introduce a next-generation version, Hugo 2, featuring flexible new features, plus next-generation technical and sonic performance.

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.

Features

Materials: Clamshell precision machined aluminium casing with polycarbonate buttons, acrylic signal window, and glass viewing portal. Available in a choice of two colours – natural silver, and satin black

Battery: 2x Rechargeable custom Enix Energies 3.7v 9.6Wh Li-ion (lithium-ion (2600mAh) batteries*

Tap length filter: 49,152 – 10 element Pulse Array design

Play time: In excess of seven (7) hours

Charging: Nominal four (4) hours via Micro USB at 1.8amps (fast charge) – Nominal eight (8) hours at 1amp (slow charge)

Connectivity (input): Micro USB (White): 44.1kHz – 768kHz – 16bit – 32bit

Coax via 3.5mm Jack (Red): 44.1kHz – 768kHz – 16bit – 32bit

Optical (Green): 44.1kHz – 192kHz – 16bit – 24bit

Connectivity (input wireless): Bluetooth (Apt X) (Blue): 44.1kHz – 48kHz – 16bit

Connectivity (output):

  • 1x ¼” jack headphone output
  • 1x 3.5mm jack headphone output
  • 1x stereo (L & R) RCA output

PCM support: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 358.8kHz, 384kHz, 717.6kHz, and 768kHz.

DSD support: Native playback supported. DSD64 (Single) to DSD512 (Octa-DSD)

Volume control: Digital, activated in 1dB increments. Last known state saved upon shutdown, with exception of line-level mode

Line-level mode: Activated via dual press of middle ‘Source’ and ‘Crossfeed’ buttons. Line level = 3v via all outputs. Reset by power cycle

Power saving mode: Auto-shutdown after ten minutes of input inactivity

Driver support: Driverless with Mac OS X and Linux, driver required for Windows OS

 

Specifications

Chipset: Chord Electronics custom coded Xilinx Artix 7 (XC7A15T) FPGA

Tap-length: 49,152

Pulse array: 10 element pulse array design

Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.2dB

Output stage: Class A

Output impedance: 0.025Ω

THD: <0.0001% 1kHz 3v RMS 300Ω

THD and noise at 3v RMS: 120dB at 1kHz 300ohms ‘A’ wighted (reference 5.3v)

Noise 2.6 uV ‘A’ weighted: No measurable noise floor modulation

Signal to noise ratio: 126dB ‘A’ Weighted

Channel separation: 135dB at 1kHz 300Ω

Power output @ 1kHz 1% THD:

  • 94mW 300Ω
  • 740mW 33Ω
  • 1050mW 8Ω

Weight: 450g

Dimensions: 130mm (L) x 100mm (W) x 21mm (H)

Boxed Dimensions: 220mm (L) x 122mm (W) x 85mm (H)

“The sound of the Hugo2 is undeniably divine in terms of how it manages to deliver a warm, human performance and yet doesn’t manage to lose any of the punchiness that digital music can excel at. Separating out things like kick drums, bass, rhythm guitar and almost anything with a beat is the Hugo2’s strong suit. It brings impeccable timing to the party and, the better the source, the better Hugo2 shapes the music.”

Mark Sparrow, Forbes, May 2019, 5 Stars and Best DAC over £1200, 2018

“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.”

What Hi-Fi, October 2018, 5 Stars and Best DAC over £1200, 2018

“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.”

Darko Audio John Darko, September 2017, “Premier League” Product

Download the Hugo 2’s Manual to Learn More

Chord Hugo 2 User’s Manual