Chord Hugo 2 Review – New dimensions for portable audio, Simply sublime

Physical comparison with the original Hugo

As earphonia.com have the original Hugo, we thought we would provided some side by side physical comparisons of both.

Left is the Hugo 2 and right is the Original Hugo

earphonia.com review Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC/Headphone Amplifier

You can see that the Hugo 2 is slightly larger than the Original Hugo.

Also the volume dial on the Hugo 2 is raised which means if you are stacking a source with it for portable use, your options are limited as you have to take this raised area into account.

This raised area means that the Hugo 2 can only be placed on a flat surface/table in one direction, where as with the Original Hugo you could place it both ways.

Also you can see on the Original Hugo there were the 6 grooves – 3 on each side to assist with the source stacking elastic bands, as these are not present on the Hugo 2 it looks like Chord have placed the portable stacking aspect lower on their priority list. The viewing glass is not present on the base of the Hugo 2, also the Hugo 2 is termed transportable officially whereas the Original Hugo is termed portable.

For me this raised volume dial area although great looking results in some physical restrictions in term of usability for portable stacking as mentioned.

earphonia.com review Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC/Headphone Amplifier

Top is the Original Hugo and Bottom is the Hugo 2

earphonia.com review Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC/Headphone Amplifier

On the Hugo 2 all buttons and ports are etched with their usage either with icons or text. This is very helpful as the Original Hugo had no markings and meant having to remember the buttons and ports. The coaxial port has also changed and is now Coax via 3.5mm Jack and sits in the place of where the extra 3.5mm headphone out previously resided.

The RCA stereo output ports have larger diameter space around them and have gold coloured connectors.  The optical port is flush with the enclosure and has a square profile.

As mentioned earlier one of the two 3.5mm headphone outputs is now gone but we still have a single 3.5mm headphone and a single 6.33mm jack headphone output port.

Both are single ended and there is no balanced output on the Hugo 2.

If you look closely on the left and right, there are 2 small screw holes on the buttons side profile of the Hugo 2. There are designed for supporting add on’s, much like the Poly addition to the Mojo.

These are tapped holes that will accommodate two small ball ended locking pins for WiFi and SD module to firmly lock onto when they become available as well as additional options in future.

earphonia.com review Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC/Headphone Amplifier

All the side button function buttons have now been moved into the spherical polycarbonate buttons similar to those on the Chord Mojo, not only do they look great they also serve to indicate certain statuses about each function as is explained in the next section of this review.

The charging of the Hugo 2 is now done via USB so there is no need for a special power supply and it can be charged with any standard USB charger.

With the exception of the raised volume control the team at earphonia.com feel the Hugo 2 is a large step up from the Original Hugo in terms of functionality, usability and design.  In fact looking at them side by side, you can see that everything feels slicker and more refined whilst maintaining their recognisable excellent futuristic design signature characteristic of recent Chord products – Dave, TT and the Qutest.

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