Chord Hugo 2 – Best Audiophile DAC
Everyone loves listening to music, and the best way to enjoy music is through a good pair of headphones. Chord Hugo 2 has come to a long path in terms of audio gears. These days with a good pair of headphones, you are getting many features, like wireless connectivity, active noise cancellation or passive noise isolation, built-in voice assistant, and much more.
These headphones produce great audio, and higher-end headphones reproduce stellar quality audio. You will find these headphones coming with well-padded earcups, headbands; some are flexible and foldable. With earcup padding made with faux leather, leather, and memory foam, you can listen to these headphones for a long time.
However, when it comes to audio, you may think you’re getting the best possible quality, but that’s not true. Your headphones are powered by your phones, and as a result, you’re not getting the purest sound. Your phone isn’t powerful enough to power a large driver. To enjoy the most purified audio quality, you need a DAC.
DAC stands for Digital to Analog converter. What a DAC does is, it takes the digital sound signal and converts it to a low voltage signal that your amplifier can then amplify. This way, you’re getting the necessary boost in audio quality for that stellar performance. Sometimes you will find devices that come with built-in DACs and amps. However, the performances of those DAC have too much variation. You will see some built-in DAC’s giving a decent performance, while others are bad. That’s where you need to use an external DAC.
DACs comes in all shapes and size with a wide range of price tags. Some DACs are portable, while others are stationary. Some DACs come with rechargeable batteries, while others run on AC power. These days, you can find many DACs for a low price with much value. Some DACs are a bit costly but worth every penny. Chord Hugo 2 is the successor to the Chord Hugo, and it is the best audiophile DAC money can buy. The Chord Hugo was a success too, and the Hugo 2 is better than its predecessor.
Design and Quality of Chord Hugo 2
The Chord Hugo 2 looks as good as it sounds. The build quality of this DAC is fantastic. The case of the DAC is pleasantly smooth, and the corners are edged, giving it a crisp look. The construction of Hugo 2 is robust and sturdy. You will find the Hugo 2 lased cut on the top of the case.
The DAC is 2-centimeter in height, 10-centimeter in width, and 13-centimeter in depth. The Hugo 2 is a bit more compact than the Hugo 1. However, it’s still relatively large, and don’t expect it to sit perfectly fit in your pocket. The DACs are lightweight, weighing 450-grams. In that sense, it is portable, but going around the block with this in your pocket isn’t a great idea. The reason behind the Hugo 2 weighing so less is thanks to the high-end aluminum used in its construction.
Despite Chord saying the Hugo 2 is portable, they know that the DAC might end up as a stationary preamp or DAC. You can understand this, too, by finding a remote included with the Hugo 2. The remote control is a functional handset. On the top side of the DAC, you will find five spherical buttons. The fun part about these spherical buttons is that these buttons change colors. The Hugo 2 has more color shifting button that its predecessors.
These color-changing spherical buttons act as indicators. On the front edge of DAC, you will find four buttons. One of these buttons is the charging status indication button. Depending on your charging status, the button will shift between five colors. After that, you will find the filter button. The filter button shifts through four colors. Next, you will find the input selector, and this button shifts between six colors. Lastly, there is the crossfade button, which shifts through four colors.
On the other side, you will find the volume control dial. The sphere in the middle of the dial changes color based on the output level. And finally, you will find a little hole, through which you can see the interior of the DAC. This hole shifts through eleven different colors to indicate the sampling frequency of the incoming digital signal. This color-coding makes Hugo 2 a memorable DAC, and this method of communication is better than numbers and letters.
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The Hugo 2 is featured pack DAC. It has all the inputs you will ever need. For 24 bit/192KHz, you can use the TOSLink input, and for 2 bit/384KHz, you have the coaxial input port. You can use both mini USB and aptx Bluetooth to play music on this DAC. Furthermore, you will findports for both 3.5mm and 6.3mm cables. Also, you have the option to switch between different filters. Each filter represents a type of sound signature.
Filter 1 is for neutral sound, filter 2 for high-frequency roll-off, filter 3 for warm sound signature, and lastly, filter 4 for a high-frequency roll of to filter 3. The cross fade button on the Hugo 2 is designed for giving you a feel as if you were listening through speakers. The battery life on the Hugo lasts for more or less seven hours.
Sound Quality of Chord Hugo 2
The Hugo 2 converts digital files almost entirely. No matter the size of the audio file, Hugo 2 will offer top-notch performance. Moreover, The bigger the data you feed the Hugo 2, the better it reproduces audio.
You will head great details, fidelity, dynamic and punchy bass performance on the Hugo 2. The tempo timing on the Hugo 2 is perfect, and the amount of clarity this DAC puts on the table is impressive. Hugo 2 excels in vocals and instruments too. You will hear every little detail in the instruments, and the sound is laid bare.
With all the features, aesthetic, and audio reproduction, Hugo 2 is the best audiophile DAC money can buy. Also, You won’t find a similar performance in any other DAC.
Be sure to check this: Best Audiophile Headphones