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Chord Electronics - Hugo 2 - The Official Thread

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by ChordElectronics, Jan 5, 2017.
  1. flyte3333
    Hi @GreenBow

    I'm not sure about Voce . I did a search of 'Voce' by Rob on the entire forum and nothing came up.

    I know he's had a pair of Aeon Closed for a while though and you can search various posts by him on the forum.

    Anyway I only used that info to go and demo for myself and I was instantly hooked. Everything sounded just right, to my own ears and tastes.

    The key to not being disappointed is always to demo before buying.

    Best of luck with the decision! Keep us posted which way you decide to go.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  2. GreenBow
    Thank you. I had been overlooking Ether, apart from seeing one review of the Voce in HiFi+. The impressions that I get of the other Ether though, just from looking a bit online, is good.

    The short story is that while I want some good headphones, I am flat out stuck at what to buy. I'd like to audition, Focal Clear and Stellia, and Meze Empyrean. Also I am not even sure whether to buy open or closed back. I have long known the issues each type have. Those issues alone, have stopped me in my tracks. Like I am wary of closed back getting hot, and sounding possibly odd when there is no music. Like with ears sealed up, you get a sound in your ears like you're underwater. Open backs sounding weak, and thinner, being their problem.

    I think though, that the best thing to do is audition. Then I can judge if the closed back Stellia, would get too hot, etc. I also know that some open back phones can sound full in timbre and tone. Like Focal Clear are supposed to be really quite full sounding.

    I guess the best bet is take my Mojo, and audition some. Or maybe Hugo 2. Either way, I would get the right impression of headphone tone. Plus whatever I bought would sound perfect on either Hugo 2 or TT2. (Since they all have a natural balance.) I have become significantly stuck though in trying to choose. Additionally, I am not bound to want to buy some top of the line, like Empyrean. Focal Clear of some of the Ethers, would be interesting.
  3. AC-12
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  4. greenkiwi
    Definitely go out and listen, and do it for long enough to see how comfortable they are too. Since you'll never want to wear uncomfortable headphones. And it's cool how easy the Mojo & Hugo2 is to bring with for auditioning.

    I personally find that I only used closed backs if I am in a noisy environment.

    When listening to the Ethers, definitely listen to the Ether Flow and Ether 2. The Focal Clears are on my list... I enjoyed them very much.

    Once you know what you like, the used forum often have them at good prices.
  5. musickid
    Try sony's flagship mdr z1r GreenBow. Closed back but very wide stage like an open back reports say.
    £1650 ish. Very comfortable leather pads.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
    GreenBow likes this.
  6. GreenBow
    There's actually a review of the Mr Speakers Ether 2 in the (digital) copy of HiFi News that dropped today. (July 2019.)

    They say good things about the Ether 2, and some slight negatives. However they mention that since the Ether 2 have low sensitivity and require a gutsy headphone amp. The TT2 will work fine for that. I am sure the Hugo 2 would, and probably the Mojo too. I think some debate whether the Mojo has the power for hard to drive headphones. However they most likely would not work properly on my Sony DAP, although I probably would not pair that.

    There is an issue with cable noise though apparently. (Similarly I read that the Focal Stellia suffer cable noise.)

    I think I am partly trying to work out my headphone buying conundrum, by reviews. I sometimes think that buying e.g. the Meze Empyrean, or any neutral headphone would be almost guaranteed successful. Since I am pairing with Chord. (I know folk always say audition. However there is the problem of finding a run in pair to go and hear. Or even just finding a pair to audition.)

    NB. I have ruled out the Sennheiser 800s and Focal Utopia.

    @musickid yeah, I have looked over the Sony headphones that you mentioned. They review well. I think buying any good headphones at this level will reward in a good experience.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  7. musickid
    I'm sure they are wrong. The sensitivity of ether 2 has not been disclosed by Dan owner of the company and he stated they could be driven very well by my hugo2 when i asked him. Don't believe everything. They use hugo2/mojo at shows to drive their headphones.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  8. GreenBow
    HiFi News measure equipment themselves. They mentioned low sensitivity and also low impedance trend (while also being flat).

    Apparently Mr Speakers quote 16ohm, but HiFi News measured ~20ohm flat across frequency range. (Am struggling to make sense of this.)
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  9. musickid
    Dan stated the ether 2 will be driven easily by any mid level or average power output amp so that his product will demand and include a wider range of customers. They have a lovely detailed and smooth sound but they clamped a little too tightly around my head. You may have to travel to dealers to audition as comfort is essential. A dealer with a large selection on demo is best. Maybe hifi lounge.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  10. x RELIC x Contributor
    I have read many mixed impressions of the Empyrean, and reading impressions of those who I relate to sonically have said the Empyrean is rather bass heavy. Others say it’s spot on. This why auditioning is crucial as we all have our own idea of what is ‘neutral’. I consider the Utopia neutral with my gear and others find it bright. I consider my ETHER Flow open slightly warm and smooth, and the ETHER C Flow slightly bright and sharp.

    Also consider what gear is used when reading impressions. The Empyrean May sound neutral from a bright source, but too bass heavy from a warm tube amp. Just spit-balling here as I’ve never heard it. The point is that, optimally, there is absolutely no substitute for auditioning with your own gear.

    Not every measurement will be the same as it depends on the measurement rig and setup so take it as a guideline not absolute truth from one source.

    Also, don’t just look at the impedance as the sensitivity will be the bigger determination of how hard something is to drive. The impedance (Ohms) will determine the ratio between how much Current vs Voltage is used. The higher the impedance then the higher Voltage is needed vs Current. The lower the impedance then the higher Current vs Voltage is needed. The Amp design will be a large factor on Voltage and Current delivery and some amps are Current limited and will not be able to drive low sensitivity and low impedance headphones.

    The ETHER2 has a sensitivity around 92dB SPL/mW, and while not it’s the most efficient headphone it can do just fine from the Mojo, from both a Current and Voltage perspective, and of course easily from a Hugo2 and TT2.
  11. GreenBow
    I think anyone who says the Empyrean is bass heavy is definitely being obscured by their own equipment. https://www.head-fi.org/threads/meze-audio-empyrean-measurements.891149/

    Almost every review mentions the complete flat response all the way up to 1KHz. Some do however say that it has a slight roll off at the top end. Which apparently is characteristic with planar magnetic. You can buy sliver plated Meze optional cables I think to give the top end a slight lift though. Or use different Meze pads, that come shipped.

    I think using Chord DACs will pair very well, with their flat response.
  12. GreenBow
    Going slightly off topic if I can, but still relevant to Chord DAC use.

    I am thinking about buying a phone, but it will most likely be a rugged one. The one I looked at does not list playback of high res music. It lists FLAC, WAV, and various other formats. However it's a stock Android OS. This means I will have no trouble installing UAPP music playing software. That supports high-res music. If I run the phone in OTG mode to a Chord DAC, will it feed high res files to the DAC. Or will somehow the OS stop it running high-res files. I know the high res files will not pass through the on-board sound chip. (Or rather they might pass through it, but not likely.)

    At the moment I just want to buy a phone, that I can potentially use to run Poly. I want it OTG, with average camera performance. Primarily I want a rugged phone though, and it means compromising on luxury specifications, like high-res music. I am thinking that it should feed high files over OTG though. I'd use it for a while as file source of Hugo 2 and Mojo.
  13. SteveOliver
    I don't see any reason why UAPP won't play your high res files over OTG on any recent Android device. Its certainly worked with all the smart-phones I've used it with.
    GreenBow likes this.
  14. greenkiwi
    Random H2 question – I've seen some comments about people running the H2 with small nearfield monitors and having an enjoyable experience. All the examples have been relatively expensive monitors ($1500+). Are there any monitors in the $500 range that people have tried?

    I'm now in a work environment where I could have speakers beside my monitor, so figured it would be nice to have a second option for listening.

    Is it worth trying? Or not really worth it? thx
  15. Satir
    Put aside super-efficient single driver monitors small and affordable enough to be powered with H2 in desktop setup. I'm not proficient DIY'er and high quality single driver speakers don't come cheap. Had my H2 connected through powered Audioengine speakers, and verdict was - H2 with headphones and iFi Nano One with Audioengine speakers on the desktop. The Nano One is affordable, versatile in connectivity and sounds pretty good with affordable powered speakers. Best of luck in your audio pursuits.

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