Introduction to the new Chord Electronics 2go and 2yu
(With my views on some Chord Electronics products)
Every Chord Electronics Product release comes with eager anticipation and this is the case with the New Chord Electronics 2go and 2yu, the latter perhaps having some reference in naming to The Chuckle Brothers.
Chord Electronics have traditionally taken their place as amongst the best in the field of DACs and rightly so in my opinion. From the mountain ridge the DAVE sits on as a reference DAC of analytical epic proportions, to the perch the Qutest looks out from as a DAC that pretty much trounces all others at a similar price bracket. A detail dredger that does so much at the price. It’s forebear the 2Qute was pretty good too, so is the Hugo TT2 as a mid reference preamp/DAC of true audiophile prowess in the bass and detail departments. I rated these all a while back in an article here.
I wasn’t enamoured by the upscaling Hugo M Scaler as a VFM proposition when I tested it; DACs like the PS Audio DirectStream impress with equally wide soundstage alone without need for an upscaler, albeit a different sonic character. I felt on a dollar for dollar basis M Scaler isn’t achieving near the value of a Hugo TT2. Too, the long running Chord Mojo has been eclipsed by the more flexible and diminutive AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt, albeit very slightly. Certainly with easy to drive headphones, where, for more rounded headphone listening, eviscerating some detail and treble is not such a bad thing with ear injecting sound pleasure.
What are they?
So the 2go is built for the Hugo 2 DAC / headphone amp and turns the Hugo 2 into a streamer, much like the Poly did for the cheaper priced headphone amp/DAC – Mojo, which I’m hoping will be getting an upgrade – ‘More Mojo’ perhaps.
It supports Bluetooth (the aerial is encased under the black window like the Hugo TT2) and can work as a streamer via ethernet and Wi-Fi – the ethernet socket occupying the other side of the case. Think support for Qobuz and Tidal streaming and internet radio services – no Spotify yet (which is limiting but apparently Chord are working on it). And it’s as a UPnP (universal plug and play) streamer, meaning you can stream music to it over your network from PC’s and network drives. Also support for Apple Airplay, and as a Roon end point player (use on the end of a Roon networked system)
There isn’t yet manuals on the Chord website on the recently introduced Chord 2go and 2yu, but it plugs into the USB and power ports of the Hugo 2. Utilising top bezel cut outs to match the Hugo 2 and accordingly marking the Hugo 2’s control icons, hitherto hidden when the 2go is plugged in.
It also uses twin microSD card slots for storing music locally on the device (the server bit) – each one capable of using up to 2TB cards. A hellava lot of music for such a small device!
It might give the impression of being just for portable audio but not so… The 2go offers the flexibility of a mobile solution and fixed HiFi solution, particularly with upgraded gigabit ethernet and the fact you get a remote with the Hugo 2. Utilising its charge socket, with the Hugo 2, Chord describe the 2go’s battery power operation as being the ‘ultimate in purist audio’. Whether important to this unit I couldn’t comment without testing – by design or not, the Qutest, utilising the same DAC as the Hugo 2, works equally well on battery or mains supply.
Controlled via the Chord GoFigure App, it is apparently being updated in ‘early 2020’. Apt for the new 2go and 2yu.
If you attach the 2yu to the 2go (after some 2 and throwing) you can add digital outputs to the 2go streamer – USB, optical and two coaxial (BNC and RCA). This means you can use the 2go by itself with your DAC of choice. You’ve got four polychromatic spherical control buttons for ; output selection, power, mute and dim functions.
Both the New Chord Electronics 2go and 2yu look toy like in their appearance but don’t let that put you off, when you look at them close you will gorge at the machined aluminium qualities. And if they sound as good as most Chord products… well job done! Quite pricey for small units but Chord are market leaders and demand will no doubt be high – so remembering school economics…..
In the UK? Chord are showing both of these off at the impending Bristol HiFi Show, next week.
2go ; £995 – available immediately
2yu : £449 – available Feb/March