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Chord Electronics Mojo

Rating:
4.66667/5,
Tags:
  1. ZGojira
    Good device, but bigger the hype, bigger the fall
    Written by ZGojira
    Published Aug 15, 2017
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Detailed sound, Great form factor, Solid build quality
    Cons - Easy to accidentally power on device in pocket, Gets very hot! , Overpriced (depending on where you are)
    There are enough pictures of the mojo from every possible angle, even internals, on the internet. There is nothing amusing about my particular about my unit, aside some scratches here and there, so I won't provide any photos. :wink:

    Background
    I have a nice enough desktop system for all my critical and detailed listening, so my portable (transportable) system is mainly for travel and office use. Currently my mobile DAC/Amp is an XDuoo XD-05 with Burson V5i opamp. My travel IEMs are a pair of Final Audio F7200, and Sony XBA-4, and my office can is a pair of Fostex TH-X00 with E-MU ebony cups and ZMF cowhides, and sometimes a pair of STAX SR-001Mk2. I don't require my portable setup to be the most detailed, only for it to be engaging and not out of control.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with the XD-05, I just want something more refined and controlled.

    The Mojo
    The Mojo has received a lot of attention in almost all headphone and audio sites, the overwhelming number of them are very positive. Users also consider it to be anything from "best in price bracket", "drives HD800 well", to "desktop DAC killer". All these bold claims had lead me to be interested in not only this wonder device, but also it's bigger brother Hugo.

    My interest in this device reached it's peak when I had to chance to try out a Hugo2 with my F7200. It was some of the most beautiful sound I have ever heard coming out of the F7200, but that's a discussion for another time. Anyway, I was thinking if the Mojo was anywhere as good as the Hugo2 I would be happy for it to be an upgrade to my XD-05.

    Cut along a few weeks, I found myself in a (different) shop with both the Hugo(1) and the Mojo. Did some quick tests, after failing to hear any drastic difference between the two, I walked out with a Mojo in hand.

    Sound
    Here comes the most important part, the sound. After a couple of quiet listening sessions here is what I come away with. The Mojo is able to produce detailed sound, and sadly not too much else.The imaging and separation seems below average. Whilst it certainly drives my HD800 better than other portable DAC/Amps and even some desktop DAC/amps I have tried, it is still a far cry to say it drives them well. Adequately, would be a much more realistic description, not to suggest that it is an easy feat :wink:.

    Somehow, the Mojo manages to make everything sound intimidate, regardless of track. Separation, although better than entry level options such as Fiio E17K and E07, it is no better if not worse worse than cheaper options such as the XD-05 and Oppo HA-2.

    With most of the negative points out of the way, time for positives :smile: The DAC is very clean, adding an amp afterwards usually degrades the signal. Signature leans towards the brighter side, with medium attack and impact. I.e. in bassy tracks, you can hear the bass but not feel them. Mids are liquid smooth, with hints of harshness on both ends. Overall, this is great for a portable device of this size, but maybe not at the given price.

    Other Notes
    • The Mojo retails in Australia for anywhere between $800 and $900
    • The lights.....I was able to remember the light codes after around 3 uses.
    • I find find that the device was turned itself on every time I was carrying it in my jacket pocket.
    • I was charging the device, whilst it was off, and notice that it got dangerously hot (to the point where it was too hot to hold, and I would be very concern about the internal battery)
    Summary
    • The sound was nice, but not really as outstanding as the hype would let you believe. Especially given the high price.
    • As a portable DAC, the power button is very easily pressed accidentally
    • The device can get dangerously hot (read: NOT warm)
    • I am going to sell it
      funkforfood, axw and .Sup like this.
    1. axw
      Fully agree, this thing is a bit overpriced
      axw, Jul 10, 2018
  2. vaibhavp
    Excellent dac
    Written by vaibhavp
    Published Apr 22, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Class leading dynamic clarity, clean transient response, excellent overall sound quality with easy to drive hps
    Cons - sound stage on smaller side, not best for demanding hps
    Disclaimer : I received Chord Mojo for review purpose from www.headphonezone.in . I would like to thank Raghav Somani and rest of headphonezone.in team for this opportunity. I used it for a week and its already been handed over to next person in que for review purpose. I am not affiliated to either Chord Electronics or headphonezone.in and will try to present my thoughts on mojo in unbiased way as possible.
     
    I have broken this review in sub headings of what I wanted to discuss about mojo. I will mostly be discussing about sound quality after introduction and build. Feel free to jump to headings as you please.
     
    Introduction
     
    Chord mojo is portable battery powered dac/amp that you can use to power your hps. It has excellent connectivity options, all in digital domain 3.5 mm coaxial, optical and usb. Another port is provided for charging mojo. If you happen to own laptop, mobile or a dap with digital out, chances are you can, with right cable and software use it to feed mojo. Accessories that come with mojo are a bit sparse and all you get is usb cable which you most likely already have in desired length. I used fiio x5 classic out of coaxial port to feed mojo and it was mostly flawless experience. It was not a plug and play affair with my android phone like some other portable dacs. I mostly need a software but since I dont plan to use my phone as source, I dont plan to buy software any time soon.
     
    I used Sennheiser HD700, AKG K550, Sony XBA A1 for review purpose. It is a mix of hps with different sensitivities and give good idea of mojo's driving prowess. I compared it X5-E12, X5-Ican, X5-Project solstice during review period to see how it stacks up with other portable and desktop systems. I also used it as dac in my system.
     
    DSC_0009.jpg
     
    Build
     
    Mojo is build out of single block of Aluminum and has a rubbery coating on its entire surface. Its stylish looking hardware with plastic orbs for controlling all its functions. It has 3 orbs for power and volume up and down and is very easy to use. Input selection is automatic with usb taking priority. Its rather on smaller side as you can see in pic, even smaller than fiio x5. Overall it looks tiny and cute but has a robust build. Its orbs rotate in their sockets and I like playing around with it when listening to music.
     
    Frequency Response
     
    Subjectively to my ears, mojo sounds neutral with warm tilt. Warmth is easily noticeable with my hps. Mids and treble have very smooth transition and I cant pin point where one starts and other ends. Bass impact is good with right hps. Both mid bass and little bit of sub bass is present and it does not tilt too heavily in one direction. Overall sound is smooth from top to bottom with treble showing some wetness and easy to listen to even on sennheiser hd700. Overall frequency response sounds very linear with no peaks or dips noticeable.
     
    Dynamics 
     
    Dynamics on mojo are top notch. Some of the best I heard. Using hd700 which is also having very good dynamics, I dont think it masks any dynamic shift that mojo is able to unearth. Mojo sticks to the tune of instrument being played with great dynamic clarity and lets you hear all push pull effects between instruments happening onstage. With hd700 having a good depth, it gives you a clear view of entire stage in one glance, such interactions between instruments are very easy to hear. In this sense its a great match.
     
    Transient response
     
    Mojo has very effortless transient response and sounds very clean. hd700 also has it as a strong point and detail pop out of blackness in stage very smoothly and effortless manner. Instruments fade out again cleanly without disturbing black background at all leaving no trace of noise. This makes the detail pop and more obviously noticeable.
     
    Timber
     
    Timber on mojo is rich and separates colours of instruments very well. Tone of different instrument is varied and vibrant. I think it has one of best timber I have heard in solid state dacs/amps. My tube amp, project solstice is only piece of equipment that betters it in terms of variation of tone and richness if sound. When I first heard it, X5 sounded poitively dull and lifeless in comparison cause of more traditional solid state sound. After I got used used to mojo's timber it was more even comparison on subjective level. It is very similar to my tube amp in that aspect.
     
    Detail 
     
    Detail retrieval on mojo is very good with excellent dynamics, both macro and micro, small details in timber and sound of instruments. I think compared to X5, mojo takes listener one step closer to mic feed. However there are no new instruments I could detect. Same no of music strands were present on both. With mojo you get a added sense of clarity and detail on instruments themselves. Tonally both X5 and mojo are neutral with warm tilt. When I compare x5 to its sabre based elder brother fiio x7, I could hear new instruments. Example On a hindi movie song, d se dance from Humpty Sharma ki... its a very busy song with a smattering of tiny little detail, I could hear murmuring in background on both x5 and mojo. On x7 I could clearly hear what they were saying. Overall I think some tiny details get lost on mojo due to warmth compared to focus on clarity on x7. While x7 looses on dynamics and clean transient response.
     
    Soundstage
     
    Soundstage on mojo is on intimate side. I think my portable rig fiio x5-E12 offers similar size with slightly more width while mojo offers more depth. I was initially disappointed with E12 soundstage but I think its par for the course and this much should be expected from portable gear with full size hps like hd700. All desktop amps I tried had bigger soundstages.
     
    Driving power
     
    Mojo offers good driving power for variety of cans. I tried following hps to see what it can do
     
    Sony XBA A1: Its an entry level hybrid iem in $100 range. Mojo drove it very well with no background noise and excellent detail as iem was able to bring out. I must admit I am not much sensitive to background noise and use and love a tube amp with full sized cans. Overall with average iems and sensitivity of listener mojo should pair well with iems.
     
    AKG K550: This is a very easy to drive hp with 32 ohm impedance and 114 db sensitivity. Mojo drove it very well with even frequency response and good detail retrieval. On subjective level, I like pairing warm and very relaxed sounding amps with k550. Otherwise it sounds overly busy and confused. Mojo has warmth but is not particularly relaxed sounding. Thus I prefer Fiio X5-E12 combo for k550 which imo is relaxed and sublime pairing.
     
    Sennheiser HD700: This I think is tipping point for mojo where it starts loosing control over drivers a bit. For testing I was listening to Eric Clapton Complete and Fleetwood Mac Best of, my 2 favourite compilations. Eric Clapton sounded sublime with mojo hd700 with detailed guitar solos and overall great music. Upon starting Fleetwood Mac, as you may know, their music has prominent basslines. Both Fleetwood and Mac are bass players with bass guitar and drum. On songs like "Go your own way", bass was a little behind midrange. Not as prominent or grippy. I thought this was character of mojo and switched to Akg k550. Here I found a perfectly balanced sound with prominent bassline and with more detail to boot. I found this to be odd as on all system I tried, hd700 offers more detail. So I concluded mojo has some difficulty in driving hd700 with changing frequency response and slight lack of detail. I think this is odd cause on volume I go till orange colour on orbs for hd700 which is in lower one third of volume range. Also I thought dynamics were excellent.
     
    Comparisons
     
    In my opinion mojo is a little exotic sounding gear with unique qualities like very clean transient response and excellent dynamic clarity. I compared it with my portable rig X5-E12 as well as ifi ican and project solstice all fed by fiio x5. In all comparisons I found mojo to have same set of strengths and weaknesses. Mojo offers a better holistic presentation with excellent push and pull between instruments and sticks to tune of instrument played best. Best use hps that offer comfortable view over soundstage at a glance instead of very wide stages that let you focus on individual instruments. It also was dynamically very transparent.
    In comparison, E12, Ican and solstice take you little in the stage with focus on individual instruments being played. Consequently they offer much relaxed presentation where each note is more spaced and played little more dynamically. All three offer slight better grip over harder to drive cans like hd700 while mojo offers slightly more detail.
     
    Conclusion
     
    As a portable dac amp at $600, I think mojo is great. It has unique qualities you wont find easily in regular dacs and you can also add an amp to tailor it further to suit your needs or taste. It comes with complete set of connections and can be used in any system. Overall I am very pleased with mojo and urge you to give it a try.
    1. TomNC
      A nice review. Your assessment is in good agreement with mine. Mojo is a great little device.
      TomNC, Apr 22, 2016
  3. tetsuomastermai
    A very accurate DAC/Headphone Amplifier
    Written by tetsuomastermai
    Published Jan 23, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Compact size, Good Dac capabilty.
    Cons - Poor bundle, not punchy bass, Doesn't charge when using.
    Introduction 
     
    First of all I would like to thanks Chord to have lend me the Mojo for a few weeks, and especialy their Belgium's interlocutor Bertrand :) 
    I'm not an experimented audiophile, so my review will be brief.
    I'll not describe the Mojo once again, since all the reviewers before me have done very well (thanks to all of them). 
    I will just notice once again that the bundle is very poor: Just a short USB cable. No Iphone cable nor mini jack, to resume : pitiful.
     
    The aim 
     
    The Mojo is a very versatil small DAC/Amp to use on the go. Due to all his connectivity you can use it with a laptop, a smartphone, or even a DAP.
    His small size allows you to easily put it in your pocket with your smartphone. 
    I try some Dac/amp with my Iphone, finally I think the Mojo is one of the most convenient (as the Oppo HA-2 who which is a good one too). 
    With the Mojo you have a powerfull tool for listening streaming music through a smartphone.
     
    The sound
     
    The Dac part is very accurate, very natural, without any coloration.
    Another positive point is the soundwise, greatly open for a mobile joy like the Mojo :wink: 
    I was just disappointed with the bass, it is not as punchy as ohter Dac/amp. 
    It sounds like if there were no subbass.
     
    USB Charge 
     
    First time I used the Mojo on my laptop through USB port, I was suprised that it turns off :xf_eek: 
    Actually, there are two micro USB ports : An input one and a charging one.
    So if you want to charge the Mojo while listening music you have to plug a second USB cable in the charging port.
    The Mojo user manual doesn't recommend to charge while listening because the Mojo may warm a bit.
    That's why I found the Mojo less convenient than other models.
     
    Conclusion
     
    Despite some small inconveniences, the Mojo is a very small and powerfull Dac/amp with an accurate and natural sound. 
    To use with a smartphone for streaming HI-Rez it is currently one of the best.
    1. Ra97oR
      It charges just fine when you are using it, I have ran my Mojo overnight on Hi-Res music while charging and it did just fine, no overheating, nothing. Nor charging the Mojo while listening induces any noise.

      Not a real issue.
      Ra97oR, Jan 23, 2016
    2. salla45
      Sorry, but IMO it doesn't seem like you've really got to grips what this beauty can do for your soul. Where's the passion? The mojo literally has me dancing for joy when I listen. More often than not I'm moved to tears. It's more like you're reviewing a dishwasher or a hairdrier. Nice 1.
      salla45, Jan 23, 2016
    3. tetsuomastermai
      @Ra97oR: My Mojo was already overheating just used and not in charging.
      And plug an usb input and an usb charging at the same time for one device is an inconvenient for me for a nomad use.
       
      @salla45: You got it, it was not a dream for me...
      Despite that, it has gave a good result for an electronic can :wink:
      tetsuomastermai, Feb 3, 2016
  4. Ithilstone
    Mojo is a very good at what it is intended to be used as – a portable DAC/amp
    Written by Ithilstone
    Published Nov 26, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - - Small size and really well made product with very good finish. - Does everything as advertise and does it flawlessly. - Sound quality!
    Cons - Can become realy hot when in use during charging - Line level mode - Awkward volume control
    There is always the first time they say. I would like to thank Levi aka Musicday for this opportunity and without further ado:
     
    Chord Mojo arrived in small box, but true surprise came after unpacking. My first thought was “Wow it is really small” then second, after I picked it up: “uhu but that bugger is heavy”.
    No, of course it is not but unit's weight cannot be anticipated by its looks.
    Mojo is “wearing full metal jacket”  and coming straight out of box felt really cold, as it turned out that changed very quickly – but more about it after brief introduction of my ”testing rig”  and “methodology”.
     
    PC > optical > Foobar > WASAPI (Event) > NuForce HDP > NVA AP20 >
    - Hifiman HE-6
    - Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO 250 ohm
    - Superlux HD681 EVO (second gen. with velour pads)
    Moto G (1st Gen) > USB OTG > Fiio E7 (non K) >
    - Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS
    - Koss PortaPRO
     
    Tracks used for testing are my trusted*:
    The Head-Fi/HDtracks Open Your Ears –  96kHz/24bit version
    HDtracks 2014 Sampler
    and HDtracks 2015 Sampler
     
     
    About Chord Mojo:
    I’m not going to list the whole spec here. It is available from Chords’s web site and other places online. My subjective impressions and the DAC's major features include...
     
    -          Mojo Plays all files from 32kHz to 768kHz up to 32bit
    -          Native DSD up to quad 256
    -          Li-Po battery lasts up to 10h
     
    Setting things up:
    Mojo + Moto G – everything just works, connect one with another using OTG USB cable and you ready to roll. Perfect couple. (btw for some reason Mojo as well as Fiio E7 are not detected by Moto G 3rd Gen while NuForce HDP works well with both phones)
    Mojo + PC
    Also very simple just download driver, install, reboot, connect Mojo with usb or coaxial cable and job done. In Foobar you need to set output, preferably to “DSD: ASIO: Chord” – it will play all supported files or you can set it as “WASAPI (event): Chord” but that setting will not let you play DSD natively and you will be limited to PCM output mode.
     
     
    Let’s begin with Mojo as a portable DAC/amp
    My first source was Moto G with Poweramp player app. I Started with Audio-Technica ATH-CKX9IS my trusted go to portables. First track I played a jazz version of Pink Floyd “Money” by Sam Yahel, Mike Moreno, Ari Hoenig, Seamus Blake from “Open Your Ears” album and first surprise, I always thought that bass is a bit muffed on those headphones but with Mojo bass was clearer and more punchy and somehow more pleasing and less coloured – and it is not very bassy track. So quick swap to Fiio E7 and I was welcomed by familiar slightly muffed warmer bass. Couple of next tracks only confirmed that Mojo is in completely different league. It should be expected, after all Mojo is around 6 times more expensive than E7 when new plus has 5 years of technological advance, nevertheless the way Mojo transformed my humble  Audio-Technica came as a huge surprise.

    Those days there is one app I use a lot  on the go: is Radio Paradise App – it allows you to listen to radio - streaming in AAC 320 – I took Mojo for a walk and spent a very pleasant hour – Mojo did an excellent job with all those lossy tracks. I also took with me Koss PortaPro unfortunately day was a bit windy and  PortaPros don’t offer much of a isolation I only listen to one or two tracks – so not much to report here.
    I was really impressed with how my Audio-Technica changed plugged to Mojo that I really didn't want to go back home.

    Next test – Mojo vs NuForce HDP
    NuForce is a desktop DAC/amp and even if equipped with a third party battery is not really portable therefore I swapped the source and plugged both DACs to PC using USB. I also picked up Beyerdynamic DT 990. DT 990’s were my go to headphones for a long time even when I owed Stax SR-404 – A bit too far on a bright side but overall very good headphones. Couple of tracks into testing session and I liked them even more on Mojo. More spacious sound stage, a notch punchier but less harsh tremble. Bass on level with NuForce maybe a bit more precise. Two tracks stranded out both completely different but effect similar “Allegro from Symphony No. 6 in G minor” and “Fireopal (Acoustic Version)” Mojo just simply takes you there.
    After DT990 time came for another cheapos – this time a bit of underdog Superlux HD681 EVO
    Again Mojo transformed those headphones– it somewhat took all what’s good about them but didn't put any emphasis on their shortcomings. Superlux are fun sounding headphones even more fun with Mojo with addition of healthy dose of clarity. That pair really shine on all those bass filled tracks.
     
    Last test took me the longest time and with a surprising outcome.
    I left universe of dynamic and entered the plane of plenars. Where to me there is only one King and his name is Hifiman HE-6
    Both Nuforce and Mojo has no chance to drive those monsters so I could only compare their DAC sections.
    Both DACs were plugged via USB and connected  to my Amp of choice NVA AP20**. 
    I listened to all test tracks front to back, swapping DACs and something started to occur to me. Mojo with transparent amp and very precise, fast and reviling HE-6’s was just too much, There was too much micro details, everything sounded just a notch too sharp for my liking – yes sound stage was wider and deeper and you could pinpoint everything in that space but things started to be too separated, instruments didn’t blend in as intended, things become a bit dry, voices lost a touch of realism.
    I added many more tracks to compression – from Infected Mushroom – “The Messenger 2012” and Iron Maiden – “The Number Of The Beast” to Dave Matthews – “Stay Or Leave” and Dead Can Dance – “The Host Of Seraphim”. From Red Book to Hi-Res and vinyl rips, all  with same outcome.
     
    Another thing to mention is that Mojo and HE-6s were truly ruthless with bad recordings – no fun to listen to at all – I found that I started to lose the joy of listening to music – instead I started to focus too much on distractions.
     
    Above description sound much worst that the reality – all of it took me 3 days to put into words – Mojo has a really exceptional DAC section It just doesn't work well with HE-6s unless you like details in your face and sound stage neatly separated with scalpel.
     
    Short conclusion:
    Let’s kick off with “giant killer” statement – Simple answer is: I don’t know! Never owned any giant DAC or a headphone amp. All of my gear is rather small.
     
    I believe that Mojo is a very good at what it is intended to be used as – a portable DAC/amp – works very well with small and big dynamic headphones, also helps cheaper headphones punch above their weight. Even though is clearly made to shine with Hi-Res or Ultra Hi-Res – does really good job with lossy recordings.
    A bit pricy but it is Chord after all. 
     
    What's good:
    - Small size and really well made product with very good finish.
    - Does everything as advertise and does it flawlessly.
    - Sound quality! 
     

    Noted Flaws:
    - It is scary how warm/hot Mojo becomes when in use during charging – test unit arrived completely drained and I almost dropped it when I picked it up after initial 15 minutes of use while charging it.
    It should be mentioned that Chord recommend charging with Mojo switched off. For safety Mojo has inbuilt thermal cut-out (sic!)
    - From manual “for line level mode (3V) press both volume buttons together when switching on the unit”. Mojo will not remember that setting after power down but will remember other settings like volume level. In my book it just renders Mojo useless in stationary rig. Chord clearly don’t want to cannibalise its Hugo and Hugo TT – I don’t see any other reason for 2 headphone outputs instead of replacing one with dedicated line out.
    - Volume control – there is something very unnatural and awkward about those two volume balls.
    I understand that some people actually do like it but I am not one of them
     
    Disclaimer:
    I am strong believer in A/B testing therefore all comparison was made with gear at hand –  no references or comparing  to any other gear I have owned or listened to for longer periods. I know it is non - standard practice but I also know how biased (flawed) memory can be – especially mine.
     
    *- I am using those tracks for couple of reason: firstly “Samplers” are very good quality and allow to test across many types of music plus can be download for free. “Open Your Ears” is very reasonably priced and was put together as a testing album. I know them quite well and used often to compare gear. There is also one more thing – I don’t particularly like any of those songs so there is no emotional attachment – which I found helps a lot if I want to stay as objective as possible.  
    **- I listened to a number of amps with HE-6s, dedicated as well as vintage and new speaker amps and even though some were better in one way or the other, overall NVA always came on top. (with Dillan’s “dill3000” monster amp coming close but there is a huge price difference)
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Zardphil
      Thank you! It is said that the sound quality of Mojo is the same as Hugo's and Hugo is assumed to be at the same level as Benchmark DAC I. So I expected the Mojo have the better sound quality than HDP. Well, it seems I was expecting too much of it. Thanks a lot! 
      Zardphil, Jan 23, 2016
    3. Ithilstone
      Now - Mojo is better DAC and better HP amp - and is portable and supports more type of files natively - it is just in my opinion not a giant killer - and if you paring it with neutral amp and HP like HE-6 you may get more that you wished for.
      To me -  if I would look for a portable DAC/Amp and was willing to pay premium price - Mojo would be definitely very high (possibly even in first place) on my choice list. 
      As a desktop amp if you already have NuForce HDP I would rather save money for something truly extraordinary or buy another set of cans ;]
      Or try something different - like something vintage based on Phillips TDA 1541A - mother of all DACs ;] 
      Ithilstone, Jan 23, 2016
    4. Zardphil
      I appreciate your detailed reply and useful suggestion!! Helped me a lot! I'd better save money for a better desktop dac&amp. 
      Zardphil, Jan 24, 2016
  5. dill3000
    A great little portable device
    Written by dill3000
    Published Nov 14, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Nice price, Compact size, Ease of use, Really good quality DAC, Has all the inputs you need.
    Cons - Doesn’t drive the more demanding headphones with authority, lacking accessories - only a short USB cable included in the box.
    As an DIY’er / Modder and someone who builds high quality amps, the only thing I am lacking is a good quality desktop DAC. When the opportunity arose to test the Mojo I was keen to hear it with my system. No it’s not a desktop DAC but with a good quality DAC it still can make a difference to my current set-up. At present the DAC that I’m using is my Centrence Hifi-M8, which sounds really good on my system but I wanted to see how much of an improvement I could get with the Mojo.
     
     
    Testing scenarios
    I have tested the Mojo in a variety of ways. My first listen to it was directly with the iPhone 6 Plus, and used the camera kit for the iPhone 6 Plus and the software VOX and Onkyo HF Player for the original tests. In addition to this, I tried it with a direct connection to my Mac with USB with Amarra, and the Mac from its optical out. Finally, I tried optical from my media player to watch a film. As a portable device you have to use it in a portable set up. Connecting via the iPhone 6 Plus is a perfect way of doing it because you are able to listen to music in a high quality manner and with ease of use. It’s exactly what the Mojo is made for. As I quite often use my headphones for watching films it was important to me to test the realistic sound quality of a film via my media player (Med8er 1000 x3d) via optical.
     
    Headphones used:
    I used the Mojo with my Beyerdynamic DT 1350’s, Sennheiser HD 800, and did a brief test with my Hifiman HE-6’s.  The HE-6’s connected was unpractical because it requires much more power than the Mojo could deliver. This was to be expected, but I thought I’d give it a try.
     
    Sound quality
     
    1. connected to iPhone 6 Plus (Beyerdynamic DT 1350)
       
    For my first comparison I plugged the Mojo in my iPhone 6 Plus via VOX player and listened to the HD Tracks version of the Thriller album, the track PYT in particular. I was instantly amazed by the clarity, transparency, natural sound and bass detail coming from my DT 1350 headphones.  After listening to the Mojo,  I immediately powered my Hifi-M8 and did a quick comparison with the same track and setup.   Even though the DT 1350 is only my portable headphone for my traveling, I was definitely able to hear differences between the Mojo and Centrence Hifi-M8 with my first testing track.
     
    The Hifi-M8 is known for driving a large range of headphones, from IEM’s to full size demanding headphones. Since the DT 1350’s are pretty easy to drive the test would not be for power but for clarity and DAC quality. Upon going back and forth between both the Mojo and the Hifi-M8, I definitely noticed a big improvement with the Mojo in terms of DAC quality. I heard the graininess of the Hifi-M8 DAC wise. It seemed a lot more natural sounding with the Mojo, and the bass quality and detail was quite  a bit better.
     
    After discovering the quality in the bass difference I wanted to do another test track which I use for bass quality comparisons. One such track is Wesley’s theory by Kendrick Lamar, which is on the ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ album.  This completely confirmed the difference in quality.
     
    1. connected to Mac via USB with Amarra (HD 800’s)
       
    After being so impressed with the combination with my DT-1350’s I wanted to test it with a more demanding headphone. My next choice was my HD 800’s, this time connecting the Mojo to my Mac using Amarra. One of the first tracks I decided to listen to was Gregory Porter ‘No love dying’ from his Liquid Spirit album (HD Tracks. The detail was really good and I heard the refinement of the DAC quality, but one of my first impressions was that it didn’t drive the HD 800s as good as a desktop rig. Compared to my two chassis desktop amp which I built myself there is a big difference in power authority and dynamics. After that I knew it would not drive my HE-6s (well I did know before :) but I thought I’d give it a shot. As to be expected the Mojo did not do a good job with my HE-6’s.
     
     
    1. connected to Mac via USB - First Watt F6 Power Amp (HE-6)
       
    The next test was to connect my Mojo directly to my amplifier, which could drive my Hifiman HE-6 headphones. The first amp I tested it with was my latest build (First Watt F6). I played a Chesky Records recording - Alexis Cole’s “Ain’t we got fun” from the Kiss In The Dark album. The next track was Chet Baker’s  ‘Travelling light’ from his Bakers Holiday album (HD Tracks). For both tracks it felt like I was in a smoky jazz club with the singer singing directly at me and the band was surrounding me.  I just closed my eyes and sunk into the music. The voice clarity was amazing.  The instruments, voice separation was really natural sounding with air between each notes. The vocals stood out with great staging.  This was an amazing combination. The dynamics, clarity, and transparency were all top notch. As the First Watt F6 is power amp there was no volume control or pre-amp in between so I was able to listen to the Mojo in its most pure fashion.  The volume switches on the Mojo are a nice feature, as you are able to adjust and control in either small increments or hold the button for a smooth volume transition. The coloured light indication is also a handy feature.  
     
     
    IMG_1149.jpg
     
     
     
    1. connected to pre-amp in line out mode (HD 800)
     
    I was interested to test the Mojo on a  different amp in line out mode using my own built passive pre amp (tortugo audio passive pre amp) The headphone amp itself is a DIY built based from a Nelson Pass Design.  I used my HD 800 and the DSD track “Oblivion” from trumpet player Andre Heuvelman’s album “After Silence” (DSD/352).  Boy did this sound great. Every detail from the subtle button flicking and breathing to the naturalness of the music.  Also the imaging and soundstage surrounded me in every way.  The album was originally mixed using the HD 800 so I definitely wanted to give this set up a try. I have never heard this particular album sound that good. Obviously my desktop amp helped with this as I feel the Mojo does not drive the HD 800’s to its full potential.
     
    IMG_1179.jpg
     
    IMG_1175.jpg
     
    IMG_1169.jpg
     
     
    1. connected to my Media player - Med8er 1000 x3d
       
    My final test was to watch a film.  The Mojo showed great functionality and I found it very handy. If you want to listen to a film intimately whether it’s on the move with your phone / laptop or at home chilling.  I tested it on a few worthwhile scenes of World War Z.  The Mojo gave a natural feel to the voices and sounded impactful and dynamic when called for on action sequences. When using it with the HD 800 I decided to connect the Mojo to my desktop amp which gave overall better quality with all the movie sub bass I needed. Listening to the Mojo at loud levels the HD 800 could sound a bit harsh so that’s why I needed a different amp. For less picky headphones I feel it would be a great solution.

     
    1. Comparison Chord Mojo Vs Centrence Hifi-M8
       
    How does the two portable amps comparison fare? My Hifi-M8 is more powerful and could drive a larger range of different type of headphones, even the HE-6’s  to a par standard, but it can’t fully drive the HE-6s as it requires more power. That said, it does a much better job than the Mojo.
    With the HD 800’s I feel the Hifi-M8 powers the HD 800 better but lacks the refinement in the DAC quality.
     
    The Mojo has the win when it comes to the sound quality of its amp / DAC,  ease of use, functions, digital inputs, build quality and size. The Hifi-M8 has its own nice functions like the impedance switches, tone adjusting switches, variety of headphone outputs. Another great feature is the native connection to Apple devices without having to use the Apple Camera Connection Kit. You can also charge your Hifi-M8 and Apple device at the same time.  The Camera Connection Kit  has its benefits when playing HD music and DSDs but that wouldn’t help if you are  using an old iPod, also you’re not able to charge.
     
    Having the Apple device version of the Hifi-M8, I am not able to connect optical so this would prohibit me from connecting my media player or anything with a optical port.
     
    The Mojo is easy to use - it would automatically detect your digital source without the need to press a button. It also allows you to know exactly what sample rate you’re using via the visible coloured lights.
     
    Conclusion
    Is the Mojo a desktop killer DAC? I would say no, but it definitely has a top DAC in it and as a portable system you get great value for the price.  The simplicity and functionality is great. A user could just plug it in and have great quality music on the go, no matter what source they use with it.
    1. Takeanidea
      Well done Dillan, some great photos there too. The Mojo is a classy piece of kit for sure, the Dac alone makes it worth the price, it has a killer sound for smaller headphones than the HE-6 if you want to take it around with you. By the way, I prefer the sound of optical through my Macbook than the sound of the USB. Weird innit?
      Takeanidea, Nov 14, 2015
    2. Hawaiibadboy
      Nice well balanced review
      Hawaiibadboy, Nov 14, 2015
    3. Takeanidea
      The chap's a natural isn't he? Listen to people who make amplifiers for fun....they know stuff. Dill doesn'tpost much but when he ddoes it'll be worth reading
      Takeanidea, Nov 14, 2015
  6. Dobrescu George
    The Majestic One - Chord Mojo DAC/AMP
    Written by Dobrescu George
    Published Apr 22, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - + Full Metallic Build Quality
    + Good ergonomics, nice aesthetics
    + Lots of inputs and two headphone outputs for headphones
    + Excellent battery life
    + Clear, clean, smooth, fun sound
    + Good musical note weight and good dynamics
    + Natural overall sound
    + Good price / performance ratio for a device that is used in lots of recording studios as well as by music listeners
    Cons - - Gets hot while charging
    - Charges quite slow
    - Portability is a bit of a question mark, it is very thick but short, you have to get creative if you're using it portably
    - Doesn't come with all the cables required to make it work, or with anything really
    - Smooth treble may not be for those looking for a bit more sparkle

    The Majestic One - Chord Mojo DAC/AMP

    [​IMG]

    Chord Mojo is an interesting little DAC/AMP, as it relies on a rather different DAC technology than most, relying on a FPGA, or Full Programmable Gate Array, rather than a normal DAC, paired with a pretty clean power stage, to deliver what Chord calls "the world's most advanced portable DAC/ Headphone Amplifier". We'll be putting to test and see whether Chord's statement holds true in today's review of Mojo.




    Introduction

    Chord is a large company from UK, who is known for having created and designed some of the world's best DAC/AMPs, like the original Hugo, which left me quite impressed at the beginning of my audiophile journey, as well as the Hugo 2 they created now, and countless others. Chord is known for good warranty and customer support, as well as interesting sales going now and then. Locally, Chord is known to be a true workhorse, and people are using their products as reference, but more about that in the "Portable Usage" part of this review.

    It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Chord, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review is not sponsored nor has been paid for by Chord or anyone else. I'd like to thank Chord for providing the sample for the review. The sample was provided along with Chord's request for an honest and unbiased review. This review reflects my personal experience with Chord Mojo. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in Chord Mojo find their next music companion.



    About me

    https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/about.html



    Packaging

    As I poited in my Youtube Video, Chord Mojo has one of the most basic packages out there, the stuff you get in the box being a really short USB cable. That's all.

    For a 500 USD DAC/AMP, this is lower than competition offers, but, most people may be interested in upgraded cables either way.



    What to look in when purchasing a high-end DAC/AMP


    https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/what-to-lookl.html



    Technical Specifications

    Inputs:
    1x Micro USB 768kHz/32-bit Capable Input
    1x 3.5mm Jack Coaxial 768kHz/32-bit Capable Input
    1x Optical TOSLINK 192kHz/24-bit Capable Input
    1x 1amp Micro USB Charging Port Input


    Output:
    2x 3.5mm Headphone Jacks


    Technical Specs:
    Output Power @ 1kHz – 600Ω 35mW
    Output Power @ 1kHz – 8Ω 720mW
    Output Impedance: 75mOhms
    Dynamic Range: 125dB
    THD @ 3v: 0.00017%
    Weight: 180g (0.4lbs)

    Dimensions: 82mm (l) x 60mm (w) x 22mm (h)



    Build Quality/Aesthetics/UI/Firmware


    The build quality of Chord Mojo is as solid as it gets, quite literally, this is one fully metallic device that looks like it will survive a 100 Meter drop, if you ever wanted to treat it to one. The aesthetics are on the cool and avant-garde side of things, with colored marble buttons. If you've ever had Chord Hugo before, you may think that the buttons of Mojo rotate, and they do, but to use the buttons, you need to press them.

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    There are two color strength options for the buttons, and the buttons colors indicate what level you are in with Mojo. The operation is quite basic actually, despite how difficult it may seem at first to operate Mojo.

    To open it up, press the power button for a few seconds. The volume buttons are marked with Plus and Minus, and the colors go from a variety of rainbow colors, depending on the volume and level you are in. To make the buttons dimmer, just press both the volume buttons at once.

    [​IMG]

    To charge Mojo use the charging port, and to use it as a USB DAC, use the USB data port. Mojo also has Optical and Coax inputs, if you wish to use those, I actually have found myself using Optical most of times because it was more convenient to me, but the USB data port works just as well for using Mojo as a DAC/AMP.


    Mojo connects to pretty much any smartphone, as long as it is Android and more recent, at least it did with all that I threw at it. For windows, you need a USB DAC Driver.

    [​IMG]

    Other things to keep in mind are that Mojo gets quite hot while it is charging, it can't use the same port for data and charging, so you will need two cables, if you'll have it stationed at your computer as a desktop DAC/AMP, it is backed by a one-year warranty from Chord, but if using it as a desktop DAC/AMP you may be churning its battery and its battery life quite fast, and it may not live very long.

    Mojo has two headphone ports, both in a 3.5mm single ended mode, and both work very well, are created equal and can be used at the same time, in case you wanted to share your sweet music with a loved person.


    Mojo has tiny rubber feed, but those may not be enough for strapping it to a smartphone, in case you wanted to take it with you, and a rubber band separator is recommended.

    The battery life of Mojo is decent to very good, and in normal usage I haven't managed to run out of battery in a normal day of usage, as it lasts for around 8 hours in my typical usage, which is in purple-ish mode in both balls, which is the maximum volume I can use with Mojo and any headphone, without running into distortions. This color, as far as it is explained in most sources, represents a voltage of 2 Volts, anything above simply enters clipping. Charging time is about 4 hours, which is considerably longer than most competitors, which have implemented Type-C USB interfaces and quick charging by now.

    Understanding the technology and why Chord decided to not use an industry-standard DAC, and instead developed their own is not necessary to use Mojo, or enjoy it as a DAC/AMP, and I think, would give more expectations bias than necessary to listen to it. I personally did not read the technical papers on why and how it was designed, because I wanted to provide feedback on its actual sound and performance more than about its theoretical design.

    [​IMG]

    The driving power of Mojo is very good, and besides QLS QA361, DX200 and X7mkii/Q5 is one of the very few DAC/AMPs that can drive HIFIMAN Sundara to pretty much their full potential. Very few DAC/AMPs are capable of giving Sundy the dynamics, punchy, impact and detail it should have, and Mojo is one of those. Furthermore, Mojo can also drive IEMs without any hiss, and Chord has provided a good price / performance ratio for its actual driving abilities.

    Studying the circuits inside reveals that Chord used a very nice overall electronic scheme for Mojo, and it should provide a clean sound, along with good performance, no cheap electronics, and pretty well-thought design.

    Overall, it is a flawless DAC/AMP, without driver issues, no hiss, good noise isolation, but it charges a bit slow, and relies on microUSB, both things which may be a touch inconvenient. The battery life is long, the operation is hassle-free, and quite frankly, it is well built as well.



    Sound Quality

    The most interesting part about such a raved product is talking about its sound, because the design and operation have been talked about in-depth, but the sound is the most interesting aspect, and the reason you'd want to invest almost 500 USD in Mojo.


    [​IMG]

    The overall sound and tonality of Mojo is quite interesting, as it is a warmer, more fun tuned than Hugo is, and Mojo feels like a more commercial version of Chord's main house sound. The detail levels are insane, and the treble is quite smooth in textures, but not overly cut out nor absent, or too smooth. The overall tonality is very natural, and musical notes have both good thickness and weight, although in all fairness, it may be a touch too smooth and too thick to be called dead neutral. Mojo feels like it has the details of an analytical DAC/AMP, without being analytical by itself, but rather being musical. It is interesting to try and describe it, but you have to imagine that a typical analytical sound extrudes details out of music, with a strong emphasis on textures and micro-detail, while Mojo has those details, but has more emphasis on a natural, thicker more smooth and musical sound, although it doesn't lose extension at either end.

    The bass is quite deep, and actually quick, despite my description of it being natural, the bass doesn't feel slow or sticky at all. In fact, this is one of the things I love the most about Mojo, that it has the speed to be quick, but also the power to deliver a healthy punch, so for EDM and Metal music, it can keep up even with aggressive music, while with Jazz the bass stays in a more natural speed. There's another thing about its bass that kind of differs from the typical DAC/AMP experience, the bass of Mojo just flows, it doesn't feel overly quick or snappy, with lightning fast decay, which is why it can stay slower for a Jazz experience, but also speed up for metal, it responds naturally to the music that is being played. For classical music, the bass provides both the authority, and the depth required, but also the texture in the bass needed for a more typical analogue experience.

    The midrange of Mojo is extremely natural and musical, it feels full and lush, without feeling too thick or boomy, simply, it feels natural. The tonality feels pretty spot-on, and with guitar solos, you can hear that juicy tone you want from a guitar, and the same can be said about male voices, which can sound deep and authoritative. Performance on stringed instruments is also very good, with nice amounts of detail and clarity, the midrange can feel snappy and quick, but once again, the decay of each musical note is on the natural side of things, rather than being set on fast, so you don't feel like music is rushing on your, but you don't feel like things are being too slow. There is a hint of vocal forwardness and the soundstage isn't expanded unnaturally, but Mojo doesn't feel congested, and the instrument separation is quite good, and in line with other 500 USD DAC/AMPs.

    If the bass and the midrange of Mojo are very natural, the treble is slightly too smooth to be called perfectly natural, instead, treble-lovers may not find what they are looking in Mojo. The articulation and detail in the treble are quite excellent, but Mojo doesn't have any hint of sibilance, and no grain either, so the texture in the treble may feel a touch too smooth. The treble has one of those experiences where you can't say you were unhappy, though, because it has all the detail you'd like, and it is one of those fatigue-free trebles that you would want to listen for longer.


    [​IMG]

    I said in my video review that the dynamics weren't quite that impressive on Mojo, but after more listening to it, I notice now that I grew a bit too used to the dynamics of a 2000 USD system, and this is why I felt a bit underwhelmed by Mojo, now that I had more time to analyse it, it is in line with other similarly priced DAC/AMPs in terms of dynamics, like iFi xDSD and such. In fact, Mojo's dynamics aren't the highlight simply because it sounds natural, it doesn't lack dynamics, rather, it doesn't place a strong emphasis on them either, it simply strives to be as natural as possible, with a touch of smoothness and warmth, that enables a really long listening session, after which you can feel about zero fatigue.




    Potable Usage


    The portable usage of Mojo is more or less average, because although it has a good battery life, it has a long charging time, and it isn't the most easy to stack with a smartphone. Something like iFi xDSD can use a short, simple OTG cable that's easy to find in most shops, while for Mojo, you either need to look for a special Type-C to microUSB, or microUSB to microUSB short cable, to connect it to a smartphone.

    Furthermore, Mojo's shape isn't the most friendly for stacking, it is short, and quite thick, which means that with most smartphones, it will cover about half of the smartphone, although this leaves enough space for the headphone cable.


    [​IMG]

    Now, the funny thing about Mojo is that a lot of people have been using it as a Desktop DAC/AMP. In fact, Mojo is the most widely used DAC/AMP for headphones, and even as a standalone DAC in music production, throughout Romania. Most music producers found that its versatility in driving both IEMs and Headphones, having a perfect phase, and the kind of smooth detail it has, being able to both reveal all details, and provide a clean sound at the same time, but without inducing fatigue, are all perfect abilities for a DAC in their setup. Indeed, I have seen a Mojo DAC/AMP on the table of almost all sound engineers / live mixing engineers / and music workers in general in Romania, and around the world, it looks like this is quite a nice reference DAC/AMP that they use for their process, and well, if they consider it both fit and perfectly fit for music production, it should also be nice for music listening as well.

    The thing is, most people seem to have taken it out of its intended usage scenario, and instead of using Mojo portably, as it was intended, it is widely used for desktop DAC/AMP setups. Even I have used almost half-half on-the-go and on desktop, simply because it has the power, depth, clarity and detail to make a nice desktop unit, but the physical thickness and overall shape, combined with the microUSB port makes it a bit less likely to be used as a portable unit.


    [​IMG]

    As far as its driving power goes, Mojo can safely drive HIFIMAN Sundara, which is pretty much the hardest to drive portable I'd use while on-the-go. It struggles a bit with HIFIMAN Arya and HE6SE, but then again, those are not what you'd normally take while on-the-go. Mojo can drive Kennerton Thror really well, as well as Audeze LCD-MX4, and it pairs beautifully with Beyerdynamic Amiron, but with IEMs it shines just as bright, being able to give an excellent sound to Beyerdynamic Xelento, Dita Fidelity, Fealy and Dita Truth, Campfire Atlas, and many more.

    What came to me as a surprise is that it was able to handle also CrossZone CZ-1, which is fairly hard to drive well.


    This eans that Mojo isn't afraid of either hard-to-drive headphones with low or with high impedance, and this indicates that both its voltage is very clean and clear, and so is its current, both headphones that need a good voltage and which have a high impedance sound good, and the same can be said about IEMs and headphones with really low impedance that hunger for large amounts of current.

    All in all, the portable usage of Mojo is mixed with the desktop usage, but it is a very versatile and capable DAC/AMP, and the fact that it can be used equally well in both modes, and that it can drive pretty much all of the normal headphone under 1000 USD, and even headphones and IEMs that are true flagships or Summit-Fi makes Mojo a truly versatile product.



    Comparisons


    Chord Mojo has to stand well against three main competitors to be worth its asking price, and being a portable product, all of those are portable DAC/AMPs. The 3 products it has to stand well against are iFi xDSD (400 USD), FiiO Q5 + AM05 (450 USD), and iFi iDSD Micro Black Label (500 USD). There are other interesting DAC/AMPs out there, but almost all questions and inquiries about Mojo were about comparisons with those three, and so I'll be focusing on those.

    [​IMG]

    ChordMojo vs FiiO Q5 (AM05) - Things start to get funny as soon as you start comparing Mojo to other devices, because, besides the sonic quality, how practical a device is, comes into play. Q5 + AM05 from FiiO is pretty much the versatility master of DAC/AMPs, it is pretty much the most versatile one, it has both the power and the abilities to be named as such, it has Line Out, Bluetooth, multiple AMP modules, and it has the shape that makes it perfect to stack to a smartphone. Furthermore, Q5 also comes with all the cables required to connect it to pretty much anything, making it a better package as well. Where things start to get interesting is at the sound level, because Mojo has a different sound, Q5 with AM05, which is the best configuration for Q5 will be wider, considerably more neutral, and have similar note decay to Mojo, but at the detail and micro detail level, Mojo reveals more details and micro details than Q5. Mojo is also more dynamic and deeper, but I'd say that Q5 is a touch more crisp in the treble, where Q5 is smoother and more fatigue-free.

    Chord Mojo vs iFi xDSD - iFi xDSD may take a few trophies home for its design and aesthetic, but when it comes to the package, it is also pretty nice, with all the cables and accessories necessary to use it included in the package. The battery life between xDSD and Mojo is quite similar if we're being honest, and so is the overall usage scenario, but xDSD has some tweaks, like the X-Bass and the 3D Soundstage tweaks that you can simply flick on or off with a button. When it comes to the overall sound, Mojo feels more detailed, more smooth, has a way smoother treble, but still with a natural amount of energy, xDSD feels a touch wider, while Mojo feels deeper and more layered, Mojo feels like it can expose certain details better, while xDSD feels like it has a slightly more versatile approach. The driving power is better on Mojo, and it can drive quite a few more headphones, louder, with better control, and can drive Sundara, for example, to its full potential, better than xDSD, although both Mojo and xDSD are pretty much dead silent with IEMs and low impedance headphones. It is probable, though, that users who invest so much in xDSD won't use the Bluetooth function on xDSD quite that much, so at the end of the day, the two features that xDSD has, and are quite important, are the 3D soundstage, and the X-Bass enhancements, and this is because sometimes just turning those on will make the EQ process of a headphone simpler. On the other hand, although for Treble, you may feel like Mojo is a touch smooth, for bass, its overall performance is smoother and yet more detailed, has more authority and is more powerful than xDSD, simply put, Mojo naturally drives headphones better (when talking about hard to drive headphones especially). Both xDSD and Mojo can be used as a full time desktop DAC, but only Mojo has 2 Headphone outputs. xDSD has a Balanced outputs, although the sound is very similar to its single ended output if you use it (they have a unique approach to balanced outputs). xDSD can decode MQA, while Mojo can't, but on this note, within my rather large collection of music, I have about zero albums available in MQA (including my Tidal library), so when deciding between the two, you should check whether you actually have any albums in MQA in your collection. At the end of the day, if you're looking for a more portable versatile device, that charges faster and which is a touch more versatile, then xDSD is a nice choice, but Mojo does overtake it in terms of overall technical detail, smoothness, and depth, and also in terms of driving power and control.


    Chord Mojo vs iFi iDSD BL Micro - iDSD BL Micro is actually the one device on this list that's actually less portable than Mojo, and by a rather good margin, because it is both heavier, and it is also larger physically, although, it does have more raw driving power than Mojo. The sound of iDSD BL is different from Mojo, iDSD BL has a very different approach to music, with less emphasis on dynamics, more emphasis on depth, and with a considerably less forward and a much much more laid back presentation. This makes Mojo stand out as more dynamic, more punchy and more forward, with more detail, and judging by the fact that most people describe Mojo as slightly laid back, you should get an idea of where each of them stands. In terms of micro-details, both have good micro-details, but with the very laid back character of iDSD Micro BL, you feel like those micro-details are farther away from you, while Mojo brings them closer, and makes them slightly more articulate. The driving power of iDSD BL is considerably stronger than Mojo, but by the point you need that driving power, you're most probably standing at a desk rather than using either of them portably. Overall, iDSD Micro BL is an excellent device for audio portability, features a true line out, 3.5mm Aux input, it features one of the best DACs seen in a portable, can charge a smartphone, and can also take Coax signal input, making it really easy to recommend as a portable DAC/AMP. Mojo, on the other hand, kind of completes it, with a more forward sound, also taking in Coax input, but optical as well, having two Headphone Outputs, Optical Inputs, and also having a really nice battery life, the two DAC/AMPs, at the end of the day, feeling a bit more complementary, you're most probably in need of one or the other, but it is good to take into account that Mojo is quite a bit more convenient to take portably, while iDSD Micro BL not exactly.



    Pairing


    The pairing of Mojo is pretty much flawless with any Headphone and IEM unless they are exceptionally hard to drive or picky, and as such picking just 3 to write about in this review has been quite challenging, but I have selected Dita Fidelity, for its excellent resolution and clarity, for its analytical sound that will surely reveal Mojo's characteristics well, HIFIMAN Sundara, which I consider a true workhorse for portability, I actually use this quite often while on-the-go, and consider that Mojo and Sundara make a great pair (now that I had more time to listen to them), and also Audeze LCD-MX4, which is a true flagship that's beautiful to pair with pretty much anything for their enjoyable sound, and to spend more time with them. Sennheiser HD660S pairs just as nicely with Mojo, and so does Campfire Atlas and many others, but the ones above are my choices for today's review, as offering more pairings would make this a really long read.

    [​IMG]

    Chord Mojo + HIFIMAN Sundara - Sundara makes an interesting pairing with Mojo because Mojo has all the power needed to drive Sundara, but above that, Mojo adds an amazing layer of micro-details and clarity, but also a nice depth to Sundara. The dynamics are as amazing as you'd expect from a well-driven Sundara, making this pairing really easy to recommend, especially to those who wanted a Sundara that has a more full and smooth sound, rather than their usual neutral-ish presentation.

    Chord Mojo + Dita Fidelity - Dita fidelity is another example of headphone that makes a great pair with Mojo, and this is because Fidelity is one analytical IEM, and Mojo compliments their nature quite well if you wanted them to have a fuller, deeper and more smooth sound. Of course, you lose a bit of edge and sparkle when pairing Fidelity with Mojo rather than with a very neutral DAC/AMP, but you gain quite a bit in smoothness and in overall enjoyment for long hours of listening, as otherwise an analytical sound can get a bit fatiguing after a while.

    Chord Mojo + Audeze LCD-MX4 - LCD-MX4 is one of the best flagship studio monitoring / mastering headphones out there, created and designed by Audeze and made to be a statement in how good a Planar can be for monitoring, mixing and mastering. Mojo has all the power needed to drive LCD-MX4 quite well, and also pairs well with them in terms of sound, giving them a deep and precise sound, and enhancing their already smooth signature to allow you to work for many hours in a row to get that perfect mix / master you've been looking for. The details of this pairing are quite great, and so are the dynamics.



    Value and Conclusion


    Chord Mojo has been one interesting DAC/AMP to review and you can understand both its price tag, and the reason why it is so widely used, just a bit better now. The fact that it stood the test of time so well, having been released quite a while ago, without dropping in price much, and still being not only considered, but also bought by many, shows that it provides a fair performance for its price.

    [​IMG]

    The package is very basic, and I can't say I'm quite satisfied, there are 100 USD DAC/AMPs that come with more, but to be fair, besides some rubber bands, and a silicone band separator, which isn't even absolutely necessary, there's very little that you could desire for more with Mojo. It is probably a good idea to purchase high quality cables for Mojo anyways, and an OEM probably wouldn't have been quite as good as a good aftermarket cable, but still, Mojo will not win any competition for its package.

    The build quality is extremely solid, Mojo has a nice touch finish, it doesn't get scratched easily, and even after taking it out during rain, snow, storm, and sandstorm, it has zero scratches and works as new. Pretty great job from the guys at Chord. The software is also pretty much rock stable, and although it charges a bit slow, it provides good battery life, and its operation is hassle-free.


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    The colored balls of Mojo are fun to use, and I don't mind a bit of color in my DAC/AMPs, and if you walk a lot late at night, they make a good flashlight, although I'm not sure they were designed as such. The volume and driving power is enough for pretty much all your typical and even for most hard to drive and special headphones, bar the 2-3 in this world that you wouldn't take outside anyways (this is keeping in mind Mojo is Chord's Portable DAC/AMP).

    Chord Mojo sounds pretty majestic, with a natural sound through and through, a great depth and weight to its music, a slightly forward yet smooth and extremely detailed midrange, and a fatigue-free treble that still bears all the detail and clarity it should have, but has zero fatigue. The soundstage is natural in size, and the dynamics are quite amazing for its price point, making Mojo a really nice overall DAC/AMP.

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    At the end of the day, if you're looking for a well-built, portable DAC/AMP that you can also use for your desktop setup, which has two headphone outputs, which has USB, Optical and Coaxial input, which has a good amount of driving power and is extremely versatile, with a really natural, yet incredibly detailed sound, you should check out Chord Mojo, as it may become your next music companion, as it did even with a ton of music industry workers and other music lovers.



    Full Playlist used for this review

    While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.


    Tidal Playlist

    https://tidal.com/playlist/64555551-ec3c-4279-ae44-248fdfcf6c4b

    Song List

    ats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
    Eskimo Callboy - Frances
    Incubus - Summer Romance
    Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage
    Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
    Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir
    Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
    Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us
    Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
    Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
    Attack Attack - Kissed A Girl
    Doctor P - Bulletproof
    Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
    Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
    Escape The Fate - Gorgeous Nightmare
    SOAD - Chop Suey
    Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
    Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
    Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
    Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
    Eminem - Rap God
    Stromae - Humain À L'eau
    Sonata Arctica - My Selene
    Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
    Metallica - Fuel
    Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
    Masa Works - Golden Japang
    REOL - Luvoratorrrrry
    Dope - Addiction
    Korn - Word Up!
    Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
    Fever The Ghost - Source
    Fall Out Boy - Immortals
    Green Day - Know The Enemy
    Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
    A static Lullaby - Toxic
    Royal Republic - Addictive
    Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
    We Came As Romans - My Love
    Skillet - What I Believe
    Man With A Mission - Smells Like Teen Spirit
    Yasuda Rei - Mirror
    Mojo Juju - Must Be Desire
    Falling Up - Falling In Love
    Manafest - Retro Love
    Rodrigo Y Grabriela - Paris
    Zomboy - Lights Out
    Muse - Resistance
    T.A.T.U & Rammstein - Mosaku
    Grey Daze - Anything, Anything
    Katy Perry - Who Am I Living For
    Maroon 5 - Lucky Strike
    Machinae Supremacy - Killer Instinct
    Pendulum - Propane Nightmares
    Sirenia - Lithium And A Lover
    Saving Abel - Addicted
    Hollywood Undead - Levitate
    The Offspring - Special Delivery
    Escape The Fate - Smooth
    Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe
    Dope - Rebel Yell
    Crazy Town - Butterfly
    Silverstein - My Heroine


    I hope my review is helpful to you!

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      volly likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Dobrescu George
      Dobrescu George, Apr 23, 2019
    3. szore
      Great review. I wonder how the sound compares to the Sony 1a?
      szore, Jul 4, 2019
      Dobrescu George likes this.
    4. Dobrescu George
      @szore - If I'll have a chance to hear 1a, I'll surely let you know! At the moment I only heard 1Z, and there, I actually felt they were somewhat similar, Mojo felt more liquid, also had more punch, where 1Z was warmer in general.
      Dobrescu George, Jul 4, 2019
      szore likes this.
  7. Drewminus
    Mojo & Poly a pair for all occasions
    Written by Drewminus
    Published Mar 11, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Amazing detail, separation and articulation
    Cons - Bit pricey (especially with poly), polys still needs some fine-tuning
    Chord Mojo & Poly Review
    So I admit that this is a little. Later than I had originally planned to have this review out, life getting in the way and all that, but finally here it is, my review of the Chord Mojo & Poly.

    [​IMG]

    I purchased these myself as a pack that also includes a case (more on that later), I was hoping that gofigure (the poly configuration app) would be out by the time it came to publishing this review, but as I understand it’s still stuck in approval limbo, so I’ll have to update this review after it is released, though for the most part it doesn’t affect my opinion of the Mojo-Poly combo.

    Chord Mojo

    The Mojo comes packed in a fairly small box, the box has a picture of the Mojo on it as well as the usual specifications, overall while full gloss colour its nothing too over the top.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the box you will find the Mojo held securely in place with some foam packaging and a very short USB cable……and that’s it, now I like minimalism as much as the next person but I do feel a manual could have been included, still I guess everyone has the internet and it’s hardly a difficult product to use.

    [​IMG]
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    Design

    Onto the Mojo itself, its design, like 90% of dac/amps is a rectangle, though in this case it is a rounded rectangle and the volume and power controls are significantly different from anything else not made by chord, but more on that in a sec.

    [​IMG]
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    So on the top of the device you get three buttons, the leftmost button is the power switch and shows the source quality being played via a colour coding, next you have the volume up in the middle and volume down on the right, again using a spectrum of colours to show what the volume currently is. Adjustment of the volume is very easy, the increments are quite small so you can fine tune it for sensitive IEM’s, you can also hold both buttons in on power up to set the device to line out volume.

    [​IMG]
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    On one end of the device you have two 3.5mm headphone jacks, not sure why they decided to put two in but I guess you can share with a friend if your phones have similar sensitivity/impedance. On the other end there is a USB in, USB charging port, optical in, and coaxial in. Under the USB charging port there is a LED which shows the battery status, again using a colour code. The Mojo also has four rubber feet that keeps it in place on your desk.

    Sound

    The first thing that stood out compared to other DACs/AMPs/DAPs when listening to the Mojo was the superior separation and its presentation of micro-detail. The sound produced is incredibly articulate, its very easy to pick out the individual instruments and vocals in a track, the definition and detail is simply amazing.

    In addition to the detail I was stuck by the crispness presented, the sound of cymbals is near perfect, they sit above the music, completely un-muffled and clear. This is potentially the Mojo’s strongest trait. Now I’ve harped on about detail so I should clarify, I wouldn’t describe the sound as analytical, the amplification section has a slightly warm feel to it, making the Mojo sound alive, not at all sterile.

    While the Mojo is incredibly detailed, it thankfully isn’t too harsh on lower-quality sources. So stuff like Youtube still sounds quite good with the Mojo bringing out the best in it without ripping it to shreds. That said, there is a limit where bad is bad.

    [​IMG]

    My predominate listening to the Mojo has been with the Chord Poly as a source and my Campfire Audio Jupiter’s, which have a fairly laid-back sound, but offer incredible detail. I have also done a bit of listening with my Sennheiser HD650’s and more recently Campfire Audio Cascade’s (impressions with these will have to wait for later).

    [​IMG]

    I was not initially impressed with the pairing of the Mojo and the HD650’s but on further listing I’ve found the articulate crispness starting to come through. I can also hear much greater separation than I normally hear with Modi 2 – Vali 2 stack. The micro detail I heard on my Jupiters is there, but not nearly as obvious, the 650’s are simply not as resolving.

    The soundstage on the Modi/Vali feels, if not better, more realistic than the Mojo, but the Mojos is preferable to the Opus #1′ so it might just be the Vali’s tube injecting a little more life into the music. I did however find the bass on the Mojo to be tighter and cleaner than either of the other two.

    On the whole I really can’t fault the Mojo, there might be some features I’d like it to have and it could probably be slightly cheaper, but it’s really at the pinnacle of truly portable audio, I give it a 9/10.

    Chord Poly

    Just like its partner in crime the Poly comes in a reasonably sized gloss box. Inside the box you will find Poly packed in the same sort of foam as Mojo, however unlike Mojo Poly comes with an instruction manual (and rightly so, as its certainly less straightforward) as well as a configuration pin, a slightly longer yet thinner USB cable and, a Roon voucher for a two-month free trial.

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    The Poly has the same rounded aluminium shape as the Mojo, but has no buttons save for a configuration pin hole and also has a plastic corner to allow for greater wireless reception.

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    On one end Poly has two male USB connectors and a couple of plastic pins to connect it to the Mojo, on the other end you get a USB charging port (this also charges the Mojo while its connected to Poly), a micro SD card slot, the small configuration pin hole, and a light-pipe and LED that shows the batter status of the Poly and Mojo (the Poly’s LED also shows its connection status, flashing if there’s no wireless connection).

    [​IMG]

    The Poly feels fairly solidly attached to the Mojo, but it doesn’t take much force to connect or disconnect, so if your planning to use them together on the move then you will probably need a case (which my pack came with, but more on that later). To use Poly all you need to do is power on your Mojo and the Poly will automatically power on shortly afterwards.

    To set up the Poly you use a pin to push the configuration button on the end and then connect to its network, doing so opens up a web page where you can enter network details that Poly will then automatically connect to in the future. In this set up screen there are also some other options including setting your Poly to Roon mode. In future all of this will be replaced by the Gofigure App, the greatest benefit to this being the ability to easily swap between normal and Roon mode as well as being able to add networks on the fly, which currently is inconvenient to say the least.

    Now to actually use the Poly you need a smartphone (or computer, but I think that defeats the purpose a little) and for Poly and your control device to be on the same network (I haven’t filled with it too much but there is also the possibility to stream to the Poly via Bluetooth as I understand it). Now there are a few options when it comes to playing music usingt he Poly, you can use it as a Roon endpoint, you can stream music from your device to it (I use an iPhone and as such stream to it via airplay, it currently does not have chrome cast support but hopefully will in the future), or you can access music on the internal SD card and either play this music on another device (the Poly acts as a DLNA server) or set Poly as the output and play directly through the Mojo. This last method is why I bought this combo as I thought this was a great idea, the ability to store and play music on a portable dac/amp but control it from my phone really appealed to me.

    On usability I find for the most part its very reliable, I control Poly using Glider (there a few apps available that will control Poly, but this was the best one I found) which is fairly seamless and easy, but occasionally I simply run into an odd bug somewhere (Poly, Glider, the network? no real way to know) but even then it only means your playing of music takes 30 seconds longer than one would like, not massive in the scheme of things but slightly annoying.

    I find the Mojo-Poly combo manages its 9ish hours of battery life quite comfortably, the bigger issue being the drain of power on my phone from being in hotspot mode (I should add, if your willing to sacrifice the ability to use the net, you can connect to the poly’s network instead which is probably a little kinder on your phones battery)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    A further point on usability, a case to hold them really is essential to use them on the move. The one that was included as part of the combo is very nice, it’s made of a rubberised plastic of some sort, nice and solid and but nice to touch, and is lined with a kind of fabric to keep Mojo & Poly pristine. Chord also makes a leather one which looks really nice but has a price tag to match.

    Conclusion

    The Poly is an interesting device, it has more features than I’ll ever use and this is probably my main criticism. I feel a more focused and potentially cheaper device might have been a better choice, and I can’t help but worry about the reliance on 3rd party apps. That said it is a really impressive device and for me personally it does exactly what I want, its a bit useless to score it on its own so I give the Mojo-Poly combo 8.5/10.
  8. snellemin
    Audiophile Basshead grade.
    Written by snellemin
    Published Dec 2, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great sound. Reveals all the little details in your music.
    Cons - Looks like a kids toy
    It would of gotten a 5 star rating, if it wasn't so expensive.
     
    So I got to listen to the MOJO yesterday through the JVC SZ1000.  Total different animal of an amp.  Nice clean subbass, while staying musical.  MOJO sounds like the good stereo equipment from the 70's and 80's with the JVC's plugged in. You can hear all the little details in your music.  I think it's worth 350,- , but not the current asking price.  Looks like a child's toy, but feels solid. 
    Still amazes me how well the JVC responds to EQ and on different equipment.  I've been "remastering" some of older music and been using the JVC's for that.  When I listened to the MOJO, my old music sounded like they were remastered by me.  Stereo image is a tad wider, has a bit of BBE/sonic maximer effect going on.  Mojo for the win.
     
    I used the MOJO as a dac only most of the time.  Didn't like the sound signature as much, which is a personal thing.  So I used line out mode and send the output through the FIIO's and Parasound equipment of mine and liked it way more.  The biggest difference in sound quality for me, is when playing my music from the Iphone through the MOJO.  Huge difference in sound quality.  Mojo for the win again.  
     
    Subbass is really really really clean.  Sounds like a pair of 18" EV horn loaded subwoofers.  MOJO for the win yet again.  
     
    Hearing all the little details in my music with the MOJO, reminds me of when I use my old Luxman C12 preamp.  The Luxman is a big dinosaur and the MOJO is the evolution of it.  So with the MOJO you get the T-Rex sound,  from a unit the size of a house lizard.  Mojo for the WIN!
     
     
     
    WP_20161201_12_04_18_Pro.jpg
     
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    WP_20161201_13_20_31_Pro.jpg
     
    WP_20161201_13_24_16_Pro.jpg
      Hawaiibadboy and hqssui like this.
    1. Hawaiibadboy
      Nice review bro!
      Hawaiibadboy, Dec 3, 2016
    2. pbui44
      Dang, just another reason to possibly set up another local meet in the coming months. ;+)
      pbui44, Dec 3, 2016
    3. snellemin
      snellemin, Dec 4, 2016
  9. EagleWings
    Mojo Brings the Best Out of My IEMs
    Written by EagleWings
    Published May 23, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Sound Quality, Technical Capabilities, Resolving yet Smooth, Build and Design
    Cons - Better Battery Life Would Have Been Nice, Orbs Can Get Dirty
    PRODUCT INFO:
    Following their success with the Hugo DAC, Chord Electronics released a much more portable solution, targeted at mobile users, called the Mojo. MoJo stands for Mobile Joy. It retails for $599.
     ​

     
    INTRODUCTION:
    Just within a few months, after I bought a set of Sennheiser IE80 and a Fiio X3ii, I wanted to upgrade to a High-End setup. I demoed and bought the 64-Audio A-10. When I demoed the A-10, I felt the A-10 was not performing to the best of its capabilities. Twister6 who owns a 64 Audio U-12 (Universal form of the A-12 which is just a darker version of A-10), brought to my attention, that the X3ii was an average source for these IEMs and, I would benefit from a better source. I did not want to spend more than $800. I started looking around and, there were close to 10 options, but I kept coming back to, these 3 options: Chord Mojo, Onkyo DP-X1 and Fiio X7. 
     
    MY LISTENING SETUP AND USE-CASE:
    99% of my listening is done indoors, at my desk at the office or home. To shuttle my gear between the office and home, I prefer a very portable setup. I only own and use IEMs for portability and ease of use factors. Similarly, I prefer a portable source gear. Fiio X3ii for music I own and iPhone 6 for streaming works good enough
     
    WHY I CHOSE CHORD MOJO OVER OTHER DAPs:
    Although a dedicated DAP would have proved to be more practical based on my above requirement, I did not want to deal with issues regarding UI, when I already owned 2 devices (iPhone 6 and Fiio X3ii) with excellent UI. If I was buying the Mojo, the trade off would be to carry an additional device and the corresponding cables. I weighed the options and decided to get the Mojo.
     ​
    **Since the Mojo has been around for quite some time and, there is a lot of information out there, I am just going to dive straight into the Sound aspect next**
     ​
     

     ​
    SOUND:
    IEMs: 64-Audio A-10  |  MUSIC GENRE: Multiple and Varying  |  FILE FORMAT: 16/44 FLACs and 320 kbps MP3 (16/44)  |  FILE SOURCE: Macbook, Windows 7 PC
     
    In short, I would describe Mojo's sound as highly resolving yet smooth, with great clarity, musicality, natural tonality and a 3-D presentation. The sound quality of Mojo as a whole, is truly impeccable.
     
    This review is based on Mojo being paired with my 64-Audio A-10 Custom IEM. Mojo and A-10 go hand in hand in exposing each other's strengths. Mojo arrived a few days after my A-10 was delivered. During those couple of days, I was using my A-10 with Fiio X3ii and iPhone 6. I was a little underwhelmed with the performance and, was a little anxious on, what kind/level of improvements, Mojo would bring to the A-10. To my delight, the improvement was significant.
     
    The first thing I noticed was the un-real (or should I say very realistic) imaging, instrument separation and layering. This is one of the strengths of the A-10. And Mojo makes sure it provides every ounce of juice, A-10 requires to display those strengths. This combo sounds so good, in this aspect that sometimes, I just lose concentration on the musical aspect of the track and, start observing the instruments. I am able to point in the direction, where an instrument is played. I was not able to do the same on the Fiio X3ii. The sound-stage width seems to be the same between Mojo, X3ii and iPhone 6. I was not too impressed with A10's soundstage depth initially. But the depth in the music presentation that Mojo renders, offers a sense of increase in sound-stage depth. The transparency and timbre were improved as well. It is amazing how Mojo can be very resolving and, yet manages to sound very smooth. The dynamics is also very good and a step-up over the Fiio X3ii and iPhone 6. 
     
    To my ears, the tuning seems to be neutral, as it does not enhance any particular frequency. People in the ADEL IEMs thread were talking about hearing textured bass. When I demoed the A10, I certainly did not hear this texture, nor did I hear it, when my A10 first arrived. Then comes Mojo and I can hear this texture. It adds a lot of natural tonality to the mids, that the instruments and vocals sound very natural. It maintains a good treble quantity on the A10 and,, does not have the tendency to make the sound bright to give an impression of more sparkle. It basically shows what is in the track and presents it in a natural way. 
     
     
    IMG_0446.jpg
     

     
    POWER & HISS:
    Given that I only own IEMs and do not own any hard-to-drive headphones, I do not need too much power and am not able to test it either. As far as hiss goes, I can hear a very slight background hiss on my A-10. But it is not bad given the fact that the A-10's impedance is 18 Ohm and has a sensitivity of 117 dB. Now the problem arises when I start thinking about IEMs that have a lower impedance rating and higher sensitivity.
     
    BIT-PERFECT SIGNAL:
    Ok, this is a very critical aspect. For Mojo to perform its very best, it needs to be fed a bit-perfect signal. These days, manufacturers of consumer electronics, seem to be keen on up-sampling the digital signal. Up-sampling refers to taking the original signal and increasing the bit depth and frequency. Bit-perfect refers to feeding the original signal as it were without modifying it.
     
    So if you are planning on using your Mojo, with your PC or Mac or Smartphone or iOS devices, please make sure you check the Mojo thread on Head-Fi, to research how you can get bit-perfect signal out of your device. This is where DAPs have a certain advantage (except the DAPs running full version Android and do Digital Out through USB). DAPs like Fiio X3ii/X5ii, iBasso DX80, AK models can act as a reliable transport to carry your music with you in a potable package, at the same time, not having to worry about up-sampling as these devices do bit-perfect.
     
    COMPARISONS:
    FiiO X3ii & iPHONE 6: Fiio X3ii and iPhone are pretty much on the same plateau, when it comes to Sound Quality. Mojo when fed bit-perfect and used with a High-End IEM, displays clear improvement in all areas. Especially the technical capabilities and presentation. The imaging, instruments, tonality, transparency and timbre are on a level above. The soundstage width seems to be the same on all 3 devices, while there is an improvement in the depth on Mojo. The whole presentation itself seems more 3-Dimensional on the Mojo, while it sounds a bit flat on the iPhone and X3ii. Mojo presents sound in a natural analogous way, while X3ii and iPhone sound more digital.
     
    IMG_0435.jpg
     

     
    CONCLUSION:
    Mojo is truly an amazing device that can bring the best out of your IEMs and headphones (as long as they are not too difficult to drive). You can get better results out of it if you could invest in better set of IEMs/Headphones. But the most critical factor is the bit-perfect signal for the Mojo to perform to the best of its capabilities. It is small, portable, easy to use and does exactly what it is meant to do.
     
    The device is Built Like a Tank, Crafted Like a Jewel & Performs Like a MarvelI set out on getting an End-Game-For-Now setup. And that is exactly, what I have got with the Chord Mojo and the 64-Audio A-10 combo.
     
     
     ​
     ​

     ​
    I WOULD LIKE TO THANK:
    @twister6 who encouraged me to purchase a good source for my IEM and few other members who pointed me in the direction of Mojo and answered my questions that helped me in the purchase.
     
    - Members on Mojo thread, especially @Mython and @x RELIC x , whose helpful posts helped me a great deal in getting the maximum performance out of my Mojo.

    ---THE END---
      Khuramb, snellemin, bolmeteus and 6 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. EagleWings
      The dark side of the moon is also a treat with the Mojo+A10 combo. 
       
      I see. Need to read more about this ROOMFEEL technology..
      EagleWings, Jun 5, 2016
    3. linux4ever
      Does anybody have experience with Mojo + U12 combo? How does it pair up? Good? Great? Okay? Bad? Terrible?
      linux4ever, Jun 5, 2016
    4. EagleWings
      You can PM @Ike1985 and @Sound Eq . They've had experience with the combo. ike1985 have mentioned that he loves the combo(A12+Mojo) with the B1 Modules.
      EagleWings, Jun 6, 2016
  10. ShreyasMax
    The Mojo. Get Inside Your Music.
    Written by ShreyasMax
    Published Apr 24, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Brilliant Natural Sound, Detail Retrieval.
    Cons - No Volume Knob :)P), Lack of accessories & interconnects
    Intro >
     

    For all head-fi users and visitors, it'd be a surprise for me if they haven't come across the Mojo ever, in the last six months or so. The amount of threads and discussion on this one device has been huge.
    For the uninitiated though, the Mojo is a portable DAC/amp by Chord Electronics that takes digital audio input from your smartphone, computer or DAP (Digital Audio Player) and outputs a superior quality audio signal to two 3.5mm headphone jacks. The digital inputs are USB and Coaxial, and there's a line level output option set by jointly holding down both volume buttons when powering on the device. The technical specifications are available on many a website, including Chord's own, and I shall avoid describing them again here.  

     

    But do read through all the research and development involved in the custom DAC implementation based on FPGA programming done by its creators, as it’s a very interesting and informative discussion in itself. 
     
    Yours truly was provided with the Mojo by my good friend @raghavsomani of Headphone Zone (India) for a couple of weeks; I duly picked it up from their office in Mumbai, and spent the two weeks of my holiday at my hometown in Kerala in blissful happiness.

     
    So big thanks to them for giving me the opportunity to listen to this wonderful piece of gear in exchange for my honest opinion and thoughts.
     

     

    Build/ Size >

     

    This is a diminutive little device, all 'aircraft grade' aluminum, and is truly bulletproof, in my humble opinion. Not that I've tested it, but I certainly feel so, and invite you to take out that shotgun, and fire one into the Mojo. Okay, please don't. It still might survive unscathed though.
     
    WP_20160402_15_27_41_Pro_LI.jpg WP_20160405_16_01_17_Pro.jpg
     
     
    Above: The Mojo hooked to my FiiO X3 1st gen using the L16 interconnect via coaxial. Listening done mainly with Fidelio X2.
      

     

    Moving on, it fits very comfortably when held in one hand, and is a welcome departure from the usual rectangular brick shape for dacs that has become now commonplace, barring the Sony PHA series, and maybe a couple others. The 'Made in England' label is an added reassurance of the build quality. 

     

    The most striking feature, apart from the glowing orbs of course, is that it has all subtly rounded corners, and the matte finish adds to a surface that is very touch friendly in my opinion. I wish Chord included some sort of a case in the box, but there are a few available for purchase separately. 

     

    As far as looks go, it's a no-holds-barred approach that Chord have adapted, sticking to their tradition, and I personally find it attractive. YMMV though. 

     

     
    Sound >

     

    Now for the all important aspect, that outweighs all other features as far as I'm concerned. Put simply, it sounds, wait for it, just brilliant.  

     

    What makes it brilliant for me are a combination of many different aspects of the sound that when compared to other devices in its class, it just edges ahead in my opinion.  

     

    The Mojo has a slightly warm sound signature, meaning that the mid range frequencies and sounds get that slight preference, if one may call it that, ahead of the lower and treble frequencies. But this isn't to say the bass or treble regions are recessed by any means. On the contrary, the bass and treble sounds have class leading extension and definition, to my ears. And for me the winning feature in favor of the Mojo is, in one word, natural.  

     

    My continual quest for the best sound possible at the best price has begun to define itself more clearly after using the Mojo. I've realised that rather than looking for the most detailed, most resolving, and most 'fun' sounding devices or combinations, my ideal target sound is making me look for the most 'natural' and 'realistic' sounding device or setup. This is my goal. But this statement has an inherent and fundamental problem; what exactly is the natural sound of an instrument? How 'real' can one get in terms of an instrument or voice? The word 'timbre' is used to describe the tone of an instrument as heard, compared to when its played live in front (or side, depending on recording of course) of the listener. 

     

    Earlier when I had the FiiO X7 for review I had thought that its timbre was the most realistic I had heard up till then. Added to this its slightly enhanced treble made acoustic guitars among others sound as natural as I'd heard. But there was that slight enhancement in the treble that still retained the X7's 'digital' roots, if one may call it that. 

     

    Recently I purchased the iBasso D14 'Bushmaster' dac-amp, and have been running it through coaxial out of my FiiO X3 1st gen. I'm thoroughly satisfied with its sound; detailed, uncolored, fairly neutral IMO. But having the Mojo made me realize that the D14, in spite of being very detailed, clear, and uncolored, was still not as natural sounding. Though there was no flaw or lack of detail in the D14 that I could pick, it just wasn't that 'involving' as the Mojo. The D14 though, at its current price of 199$ US, is a brilliant performer by itself, and its no surprise that its preferred by many over the sound of the DX90 DAP. 
     
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    The iBasso D14 'Bushmaster' is no slouch

     

     
    The Mojo, on the other hand, retails for a higher price of 600$ US, and is almost on par pricewise with the FiiO X7.  Comparing these two, I believe the Mojo has better matchability with a higher number of headphones and IEMs with varying sound signatures, whereas the X7 would suit listeners who prefer their sound to be slightly enhanced in the treble, or those looking to balance out overly warm headphones.  

     

    But to my preferences,  the Mojo is the winner, because every little detail seems effortlessly retrieved,  instruments and vocals sound more 'real', and it has gotten me that bit closer to, what is to my ears, that ideal sound reproduction.  

     

     
    Value/ Conclusion >

     

    At its price, I feel that currently it is the best value for a portable source device in terms of sound quality alone. And to get an even better sense of realism than that offered by the Mojo, I would think one's wallet would have to start getting unreal, real soon. 
     
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    Thanks for reading, folks.
     
    Cheers & happy listening.

      salla45 and jatergb like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. ShreyasMax
      @TomNC - Thanks for your comment; you're welcome.
      ShreyasMax, Apr 24, 2016
    3. xEcuToR
      Good stuff. How long does Mojo run with one full charge? 
      xEcuToR, Apr 24, 2016
    4. ShreyasMax
      @xecutor - Thanks for the compliment; appreciate it.
       I didn't do a proper battery run down test as I was continually travelling throughout the time I had the unit with me, but I can tell that it does last the stipulated 8 hours or so on continuous usage. I used to charge it out of USB on my laptop for about a couple hours every other day or two, and it never went down to zero battery; it got till red on the charging LED only once. 
      Hope this helps, cheers
      ShreyasMax, Apr 25, 2016