Chord Electronics have updated their old 2015 design, MoJo – which is an abbreviation of Mobile Joy, an FPGA based headphone amp / DAC with what they call UHD DSP KFLG (Ultra High Definition Digital Signal Processing)….OK I made the last letters up…. But that isn’t to deride this main selling point (as far as Chord are concerned). You can debate whether having ordinary ‘non-lossless DSP’ in your DAC is ones own subjective ‘meat and veg’ until the cow’s come home – ironic as they’d need to come home first…. but crucially and quite obviously it now silences people who say they don’t like the sound of a particular brand of DAC! And in some circles there are just those with Chord Electronics. (Disclaimer – not me!)
Whatever your view on UHD DSP, a worlds first according to Chord designer Rob Watts, this DAC is a blinder and predictably at price, a cut above headphone ‘dongle’ DACs like AudioQuest’s DragonFly Cobalt and Hidizs’ S9 Pro. With its £450/$725 price, it really ought to be.
WATCH MY UNPAID / UNSPONSORED VIDEO ON 13th NOTE – SUBSCRIBE TO MY CHANNEL HERE
There are a few dislikes – the underside white sticker (carrying the serial number) doesn’t deserve to be ‘buddied-upped’ to lovely aircraft grade aluminum casework, colo(u)red selection balls are not for everyone with 8% of men being red/green colour blind, and the colo(u)red ‘balls’ (more accurately teardrop spheres) rattle against the case if Mojo 2 is moved fervently….for reasons of allowing balls to expand and contract Chord say – but not roll like the old Mojo. But these are minor frivolities to most Audiophiles and the ‘95% reason’ as to why we do this …. or you should ‘do’, god damn it, Mojo 2………and that’s SOUND QUALITY. And this is what Mojo 2 is all about…..
Comments that something so small can produce such a big sound, might be confined to the halls of room 101 cliché’s but the fact Mojo 2 can produce such ‘splair hitting’ detail, massive ‘stound sage’ and incisive non smearing dynamics, traits all à la Chord, is not just pleasing descriptive spoonerisms out of a 1970’s Two Ronnie’s show.
The ten facts;
Some additional facts I didn’t mention in my video useful to users or potential buyers of Mojo 2….
1. The 3.5mm Coaxial digital input (which looks like a headphone socket) is designed, not accommodating larger RCA socket guise, because Mojo 2’s side connectivity ‘real estate’ is, given its small form, in more demand than properties on Kensington High Street, London.
2. Trickle Charging cannot shorten batteries life anymore, when using Mojo 2 in desktop mode, because of what is called…..yes you’ve got it… ‘intelligent desktop mode’, now in use on Mojo 2 and designated by a purple battery status light. It stops the battery from being overcharged with the micro USB-C cable connected.
3. Battery life is a little more generous than Mojo one. Its professed 8 hour battery span is pretty accurate in the use I have had out of it so far, depending on headphone types…..admittedly the batteries are new. This is reported to be an increase of 9% on the original Mojo battery.
4. Button presses (Menu then Volume ‘-‘) allows you to dim Mojo between normal and low brightness PLUS (Menu six times to Magenta ball colour, then Volume ‘-‘ and ‘+’ simultaneously) locks down Mojo 2 to any ‘pocket-dialling’.
5. Rob Watts did not want to loose the optical input of Mojo and it is worth trying it instead of using the coaxial connection, a nod to optical often being favoured with Chord DACs for reasons, I don’t have time to go into in a short article. But try different connections yourself, as always.
6. USB-C is a new input to Mojo 2 to take account, no doubt, of the pre ponderance of USB-C in Android and Apple devices (new Ipad’s), and generally for this format (with iphones likely to go ‘c-shaped’ too). The Micro-USB input may now be really old school but this is to do with keeping the connections compatible on ‘mating’ Poly (Chord’s add-on Streamer)
7. Mojo 2 keeps the Mojo’s Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA chipset, (XC7A15T), which is also the same board used inside the Hugo 2.
8. The number of taps goes from 38,912 in Mojo one to now having 40,960. Questions aside as to whether in full or half rate mode, this is getting close to the Hugo 2’s and Qutest’s 49,152, yet in my sound tests, as I elaborated in my video, this is perhaps a misnomer for close performance. The Qutest / Hugo2 FPGA is sufficiently far apart still in subjective listening to make it stand out quite a bit from Mojo 2, when used with revealing HiFi and headphones.
9. Rob Watts, says that a main element in separating his DACs from others is reproduction of transients in music and their timing. He says the large number of taps, accurately allows for accurate transients in music, which some DACs cannot achieve through modulation of signals blurring transient cohesion, changing the ability to perceive pitch, instrument separation and bass. Listen to the Darko Podcast here for more.
10. Now is a great time to find stocks of Mojo one, which appears discontinued by not being listed in the current line up on Chord Electronics website – Predictably. If you are in the UK, Richer Sounds, are selling Mojo one for £149.95 which is under half its price pre Mojo 2 – about £300….Ok this is not strictly a fact about Mojo 2, but I was struggling to get to ten useful points to be honest….sorry!