Chord Announces Poly, Hugo 2 and Blu MkII @ CES 2017

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  1. AxelCloris Administrator
    Not too long after the announcement of the Mojo it was teased that Chord was working on a line of accessories and a few of the ideas caught my eye immediately. On moon-audio.com, Drew Baird shared that Chord was experimenting with add-ons that could add Bluetooth, WIFI streaming and an SD card slot. Based on Drew's recount it was looking like these were going to be separate devices, but I was still salivating over the idea of taking my Mojo around without it constantly tethered to my phone. An SD card reader and a Bluetooth module? I couldn't wait.
     
    Poly1.jpg    Poly2.jpg
    (Chord Mojo and Poly)​
     
    Today Chord has officially revealed the Poly and I simply cannot contain my excitement. The Poly was designed to mate with the Mojo and it looks like they're a perfect pair. The Poly adds a MicroSD card slot, Bluetooth A2DP and 2.4GHz WIFI connectivity to the Mojo all in one compact package. Thanks to the Poly it's it's now possible to stream any music app, or any app at all really, from a smartphone to the Mojo. It's also possible stream music at home from network-attached storage (NAS) without being tethered to a chair. And thanks to the MicroSD there's no need to fill a smartphone's storage with music for offline playback.
     
    Like the Mojo, the Poly has a precision machined aluminum casing that's designed to stand up to the stresses of everyday use. On the outside face there's a USB port for charging, MicroSD slot and an opaque acrylic window for the wireless signals to get through the metallic enclosure. The Poly contains its own 2200mAh lithium polymer battery and when connected to a power source will charge at the same time as the Mojo's internal battery. With the Poly attached, the Mojo can get over 9 hours of wireless listening on a charge and both can be fully recharged in under 4 hours.
     
     
    Poly will be available later this year for £499 GBP.
     
    Chord is also unveiling a redesigned Hugo which they've called the Hugo 2. The Hugo 2 is snuggled inside of a redesigned, precision-machined aircraft-grade aluminum case. It retains the button configuration from the original Hugo, but the new body is sporting a sharper, lower profile shape. The spherical buttons are now top-mounted for future expansion modules (and I do so love expansion modules). The colors are retained as well, indicating the current power state, filter, input and crossfeed settings. The volume sphere locate on the top has been made larger for easier access, huzzah! Chord has even created a full-function remote control for the Hugo 2 in order to improve the user experience when using it as part of a desktop or full-size 2-channel system.
     
    Hugo2-BPAKTop.jpg    Hugo2-SsPhoneCan.jpg
    (Chord Hugo 2)​
     
    The Hugo 2 is loaded with Chord's latest FPGA and Watts Transient Aligned (WTA) filters bringing the Hugo into Chord's modern age. Chord is reporting improvements in the timing accuracy. dynamic range, noise reduction and headphone amp power in the new Hugo 2. Chord has also improved the battery life with the Hugo 2, increasing it to 14 hours, up from the Hugo's 10. Every input and output from the original Hugo are still here, ensuring that owners of the current Hugo will not have to worry about changing their stereo configuration if they upgrade.
     
    The Hugo 2 will be available later this year for £1,800 GBP.
     
    To round out Chord's announcements they've also revelaed another prouct refresh with the Blu MkII. The Blu MkII is an upscaling CD transport and replaces Chord's original Blu. The Blu MkII features a powerful new FPGA core, one that Chord says has extraordinary capability. The Blu MkII's Xilinx XC7A200T FPGA, containing 740 DSP cores, was paired with Rob Watt's WTA filtering and upscaling algorithms, outputting up to a digital signal up to 705.6kHz. That's 16 times a CD's normal 44.1kHz resolution. Watts' M-Scaler technology ensures maximum memory efficiency to allow the FPGA system to operate without skipping a beat. The Blu MkII also features a redesigned chassis with a curvy face lift, one that doesn't look out of place alongside the Chord DAVE.
     
    BluMk.II-CDOpen.jpg    BluMk.IIDave-RLOpen.jpg
    (Chord Blu MkII and DAVE)​
     
    The Blu MkII will be available later this year for £7,995 GBP.
     
    Tom Yum Goong likes this.
  2. Tom Yum Goong
    Slightly disappointed.
    I was kind of hoping for a Mojo add-on that makes it a full-fledged DAP.
    Maybe a bit unrealistic in hindsight. I guess this is the next best option.

    Mojo and Poly together kind of sounds like monopoly....don't get too cocky, Chord :p
     
    Onny Izwan likes this.
  3. harpo1
    That probably would have been $1000 or better.  
     
  4. Hansotek
    Mojopoly does look quite convenient. Seeing as how Mojo works so well on 2-channel systems, it does offer some intriguing possibilities. Would certainly be simpler than my current setup. A bit steep, IMO, but cool nonetheless.
     
  5. Naugrim
    I will, without a doubt, get this.  Not having to deal with a stack will be great! Smartphone in one pocket, Mojopoly in the other connected to my headphone. Awesome. Gonna have to get a battery case on my smartphone though. 
     
  6. openears
    Sorry, novice over here... but is the idea that the Poly is creating its own wireless network, wherever you go? And am I correct in thinking wifi streaming would be the best audio quality (able to stream FLAC files and so on)? 
     
  7. Mython Contributor
     
     
    It's not pocket-change, but the development and production of Poly are not run-of-the-mill. It's a deceptively-complex little beast, under that simple exterior.
     
  8. NaiveSound
    How much will Poly be in the US?
    Not that I can buy anything but Ramen anyways
     
  9. esimms86
    While I understand the focus of the discussion thus far being the Poly, I believe the major product announcement to be the Blu mkII. Connect your digital source out via BNC S/PDIF to the Blu mkII's BNC S/PDIF input and then connect the Blu mkII to the Chord Dave and you get to enjoy listening to the sound of over 1 million taps. The CD transport is nice to have but I would imagine that the bulk of the interest in the Blu mkII will come from people who already own Dave coupled with their digital source of choice. Yes, £ 7,995 or ca. 9907 USD is a lot of money (and to get a Dave/Blu mkII combo you're looking at over 20,000 USD post Brexit). So no, it's not for everybody, but those fortunate enough to be able to afford Dave/Blu mkII should be in audiophile heaven. Plug your favorite headphones into Dave and it could be game over. I very much look forward to getting a chance to listen to this combo.

    P.S.
    - Just imagine what you might experience with this combo starting with the S/PDIF out of a Smyth Realiser A16.
     
  10. ProfFalkin
    If you can afford food in this hobby, you are doing it wrong.
     
    Delayeed, franzdom, Mython and 5 others like this.
  11. Ike1985
    Waiting to see how poly plays with Android, Incredible work Chord!!!!
     
  12. Currawong Contributor

    That's what your smart phone is for. The alternative would be years of development hell, such as has been going on with FiiO's DAPs. I think this system is better, as a DAP would have limited hardware support over time, whereas if you upgrade your phone, you don't have to worry about it so much.
     
    That being said...some smart person with time and money could always design an X7 adaptor in place of the amp to fit it to the Mojo, once they've got OTG working properly.
     
    Edit: Just saw the Hugo 2 picture with the LCD-4. If that combo actually works well, then the Hugo 2 must surely have quite a bit more serious headphone amplification in it.
     
  13. Andrew Rieger
    Yawn. Seriously, this is what everyone was getting super hyped about? A Mojo clip on accessory, an overpriced DAC that gets the crap kicked out of it by Schiit multibit DACs half the price and a CD player? Where is Chord's Mimby/Bimby competitor? Where is MQA support? Big missed opportunity here. The whole countdown thing gets people hyped for nothing. 
     
    reddog and Subhakar like this.
  14. Niyologist
    I was close on those guesses. Oh well. I'm glad there's a new Hugo.
     
  15. music4mhell
    What's your current set up ?
     
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