OMG Chord. Stop it! Hugo 2 Announced

Posted on 6th January, 2017

OMG Chord. Stop it! Hugo 2 Announced

Chord Electronics has used the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to unveil three brand new products for 2017. Is there any stopping John Franks and his relentless pursuit redefining HiFi and portable audio?

CHord Electronics Hugo 2

Unveiled at an exclusive presentation just hours ago, first up is the Hugo 2, “revolutionising Chord Electronics' game-chaning debut portable DAC/amp”.

Sadly, StereoNET is not at CES, so we're relying on the press releases and expletives coming thorugh as text messages from those that are fortunate enough to be present.

Said to be a dramatically redesigned version of the now legendary Hugo, it features all new casework, new features and of course, “next-generation technical and sonic performance”.

Chord Electronics Hugo 2

Franks said that recent advances in digital technology allowed htem to introduce what is the next generation of everything that was learned and experienced with the original Hugo.

Casework is reported to be a sharper, lower profile design, with the introduction of four spherical top mounted control buttons. These control power, input, filtering and crossfeed functions. Chord have recognised Hugo, while originally intended as a portable device, found its way into many HiFi systems. They now include a full function remote control.

The latest FPGA and advanced WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) filters have been implemented in the Hugo 2, bringing a wide variety of performance improvements in a number of areas. Performance gains have been made in timing accuracy, noise reduction, headphone amp power and dynamic range.

Chord Electronics Hugo 2

Inputs include optical, coaxial and HD USB, along with Bluetooth. Hugo 2 supports playback up to 768kHz and DSD512 via HD USB. Analog outputs include line-level RCA, 3.5mm and 6.35mm headphone outputs.

Other features remain much the same, however battery life has been reported to be improved. Playing time is around 7 hours with two modes of automatic charging included.

Manufacturers Specifications


  • 1x Optical TOSLink 24-bit/192kHz-capable
  • 1x RCA coaxial input 24-bit/384kHz-capable
  • 1x HD USB input 32-bit/768kHz and DSD512-capable
  • 1x aptX Bluetooth (extended range)


  • 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 1x 6.35mm (1/4 inch) headphone jack
  • 1x (pair) stereo RCA phono output


  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.2dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.0001% 1kHz 3V RMS 300 ohms
  • THD and noise at 3V RMS Ref 5.3V: 120dB @ 1kHz 300 ohms A Wt
  • Noise 2.6 uV A Wt: no measurable noise floor modulation
  • Signal to noise ratio: 126dB A-weighted
  • Channel separation: 135dB @ 1kHz 300 ohms
  • Maximum output level (to clipping at 1% distortion): 94 mW 300 ohms; 740 mW 33 ohms; 1050 mW (8)  
  • Output impedance: 25 milliohms (0.025 ohms)

Technical features

  • Advanced digital volume control
  • Crossfeed filter network
  • Four-stage frequency-shaping filter
  • Fast-charging batteries via Micro USB giving around 7 hours operation
  • 49,195K tap-length filter (near double the original the Hugo)

Chord Electronics is distributed in Australia by Radiance Audio Visual. Hugo 2 will be available “early 2017”. Local pricing has not yet been confirmed, but it will sell for £1,800 in the U.K.

Stay tuned for more Chord Electronics news.

Marc Rushton's avatar

Marc Rushton

English born but now residing down under, StereoNET’s Founder is still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the International Hi-Fi Show.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Headphones
Tags: radiance audio visual  chord