If you are an audiophile who is into headphone amps, you might have definitely heard the name of Chord Electronics. Established in the year 1989, the company is a high-end manufacturer of audio products, like DACs, network audio players, CD players, amplifiers, and a lot more. Recently the brand has started focusing on the portable audio segment and has launched two portable audio DACs- Chord Mojo and Chord Hugo.
In this post, we will review the smaller and more affordable Chord Mojo. This portable device provides amplification and high-end digital-to-analog conversion for PC and smartphones. It promises to significantly boost the audio quality.
Now, Let us find out what this headphone amp is all about.
Specifications and Design
The compact build of Chord Mojo allows you to hold the DAC right in the palm of your hand and you can easily carry it in your pocket. It can be used with many different types of devices like PC and smartphones. The DAC is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and IOS. If you want to use it with a smartphone, you will either need a Micro-USB, Lightning, or USB Type-C cable on the basis of the smartphone you use. These cables are not included with this portable DAC.
The device is made from aluminum and the volume and power buttons are at the top. While the buttons are colorless when the device is not in use, they take on different colors on the basis of the input that is being used and the volume level. The button balls turn in the casing, however, this doesn’t have any function and you need to press the button for using them. The headphone amp is shaped like a slab and has rubber feet at bottom which make it ideal for desk use.
The left part of the device has two 3.5mm jacks which you can use to simultaneously connect two headphones. On the right side, you can find Micro-USB, coaxial, and other inputs along with a Micro-USB for charging the device. The headphone amp can be used with headphones that have an impedance rating of 4-800Ohms and is compatible with frequency rates ranging between 44.1 and 768kHz. Moreover, apart from the common formats like mp3, wav, and flac, the device also supports dsd file format.
Chord Mojo also has an automatic mode which eliminates the need to select any input. It just follows the priorities for selecting the input and when the ones that aren’t being used are unplugged, it automatically understands to select the one that is plugged in. When fully charged, the battery can last for up to 8 hours. It can take around 4 hours for the battery to charge fully. However, we noticed that the device gets hot when it is being charged.
For testing the performance of the device, we connected it to a Windows PC and an Android smartphone. We used many different types of audio formats and a variety of headphones. Moreover, we also tried many different types of tracks to thoroughly understand its performance.
It is readily noticeable that the portable amplifier makes the mid-range of the audio tracks cleaner. The vocal performance of the artist was a lot more real and present with Mojo. Overall, the device does an excellent job of increasing the vocal power and depth of the tracks. Not to forget that the audio files were feeling a lot more cohesive.
Another important thing to note is that the amplifier slightly improved the sound of individual instruments and the tracks were resonating a lot more realistically. If you are audiophile looking for realistic and neutral sonic signatures, Mojo will definitely impress you. We also noticed that the abilities of the devices are neatly highlighted even in tracks that are busy. The bass feels much tighter and the highs and mids are pretty solid.
Moreover, the portable DAC also retains some qualities of the audio files and the headphones in use. The device sounds a lot better with audio that is high-resolution and ensures that all the qualities of the headphone too are used properly. As a listener, you are sure to enjoy a much better audio listening experience with this DAC.
Pros and Cons
While the portable headphone amp is definitely a steal at this price, especially when compared with the more expensive Chord Hugo, it has its flaws too. Most of the reviews have complained about its battery life and the device getting warm when it is being charged.
Let us have a look at some of the pros and cons of this device.
√ Excellent build quality
√ Does an excellent job of refining the music
√ Dual headphone sockets
√ Can be used with several devices
√ Amplification capabilities are impressive
⊙ Battery life could have been better
⊙ Device turns warm when being charged
⊙ Charging wall adapter not included
There is no denying the fact that Chord Mojo is a fantastically built premium headphone amp. Its controls are very simple and easy to use. Even if you are using a DAC for the first time, you shouldn’t find it difficult to use this device. It is highly portable and most importantly is compatible with computers as well as smartphones.
While it is definitely not the most affordable portable amplifier, it is a premium grade product from a high-end and highly reputed audio brand. Mostly, the device is targeted towards audiophiles who are looking for a product which can upgrade their listening experience.
While the difference that this device makes to your music will be subtle but you will definitely be able to notice it and are quite significant. Good headphones combined with good audio will definitely be significantly enhanced with this amplifier. While the difference can be hard to listen and experience initially, when you will go back to listening to the audio without this DAC, you will surely notice the difference. If you want to invest in a top-notch audio device, Chord Mojo is definitely an excellent option.