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Chord Mojo vs Astell & Kern KANN

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by k1282, Oct 31, 2017.
  1. k1282
    Hi all,

    I am currently a chord mojo user which I pair with a range of headphones depending where I am or what I am listening to. At the low end there are my sound magic on ears and on high end are my beyerdynamic Xelento remote.

    I mostly use the mojo at my laptop or iMac. In the beginning, I also used it with my Google Pixel phone.

    Now that headphone jacks are an artefact of the past inside mobile phones, I am considering 3 scenarios for listening to music (CD quality upwards)
    1. Pair my new pixel 2 XL with mojo via USB-C always when listening to high quality music files
    2. Buy a wireless add on for the Xelento
    3. Buy an astell & Kern KANN an use that with my Xelento for listening to music

    For these scenarios I would like to hear your experiences regarding my following questions:
    1. How is the SQ of the mojo compared to KANN?
    2. Does it make sense to combine a KANN with a mojo or is the KANN amp "great" enough?
    3. How is the KANN from a portability perspective? Do you guys always carry it around together with you mobile phones?
    4. In general: who is the KANN for? Is there a typical profile for someone who would need a KANN or portable music player?

  2. Beb-fr

    I'am in the same situation. I have a MOJO that i use with my PC. But it is a little cumbersome and boring. So i would want to have a system more practical. But i don't want loose musicality and details.
    Is the KANN equal MOJO or MOJO is better ?
    K1282, have you an idea yet ?

    Thanks in advance for answer.
    Best regards.
  3. myusernameislove
    Maybe you just choosed wrong earphones/headphones for your Mojo. As most of dac/amps, Mojo pairs best only with subset of earphones/headphones.

    Mojo may sound boring with brigth iems, try something more bassy (IE800s, Xelento, Acoustune - my choice, or your best choice would probably be Oriolus Reborn.) It cleans up and fastens up and brightens up and narrowes up sound of lazy, dark earphones. Wise cable choice (usually copper for Mojo to avoid dry sound of Silver) is recommended. Mojo can not do miracles - it does not change the sound signature completely, you should just think it through - what are the characteristis of Mojo, what are characteristis of your earphones, what is the charavcter of your cable. What you should change and why. Only if you have earphones that do not match with Mojo very well (due to super low output impedance of mOjo, f.e. CA Andromeda is not great match with Mojo, it sound better with Sony that has 1-2 impedance, or some brigth iems may be picky on source and Mojo may sound thin and brigth), change Mojo for something else.
    If you are looking for a nice pairing of Mojo with headphones, I can recommend Hifiman HE-400i modded with MrSpeakers Alpha Pads and Dyson Audio Gotham GAC Starquad headphone cable. It is cheap solution with greatly improved sound especially with these specific pads. It sounds great for its price, just not as musical as Hifiman Edition X, which is my favourite sounding headphone. I have listened to it on both Kann and Mojo, and both pairings are very good.

    Direct comparison of KANN vs Mojo - sorry, no can do. I listened to both at the same time very briefly. What I offer is introspective in the sound of Mojo. Strengths, weaknesses.

    1 - I occasionaly use Shanling L2 USB-C OTG cable with my Sony XZ1 phone and Mojo with Tidal, however, I prefer to go wireless, because music stops playing when something goes bad in the bag where Phone and Mojo dwells. I also can not use phone freely while having Mojo connected to it. So this scenario is usable only in Office, when both phone and Mojo is laying on the table. Therefore I recommend to choose option 2.
    2 - buy best BT receiver (ldac connection to phone) or Poly (wifi connection to phone). I decided to go with LDAC receiver, as it is cheaper and sufficient for portable use. The advantage of Poly is actually that you will get Mojo sound, which is superior to sound of any other portable BT solution out there:frowning2:
    3 - As I use Tidal subscription through LTE on my Sony phone, and I pay for unlimited Music data package to my local Mobile phone carrier, I can listen anywhere anytime any amount of any music for cheap fixed price of 4USD (unlimited data for certain music services incl.Tidal) + price of Tidal itself. I would not choose to use KANN, because with KANN I would not be able to listen to Tidal anywhere through LTE online without making WiFi hotspot on my phone. That cheap price of umlimited Music services data package does not apply to hotspots. It applies only to use of certain applications in phone, so if I would like to use KANN, I would need to pay more for more GBs of LTE internet. If you do not mind using KANN on WiFi Hotspot from your phone, then consider using it.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  4. k1282
    Actually, I banned this whole idea to the back of my head. As I realized that KANN does not support Tidal anyway while on the go. So it was a deal breaker for me.

    So in the end I solved by:
    Using BT in ears while on the go with my mobile phone (I had to be realistic: how much can you enjoy music while on the subway or on the streets? So the added increase in music quality would not be noticed anyway)
    Using mojo, laptop and my top tier headphones as a stationary setup at work.

    This works fine for me and am really happy with it.
  5. myusernameislove
    Yeah, it is quite similar to what I do. Mojo at home + headphones.
    BT receiver outside and in office + earphones.
    Tidal everywhere.
  6. myusernameislove
    btw bt receivers with LDAC are booming now. Still they use older BT4.2 standard. So my advice for future: wait until BT5 ldac receiver is available (maybe FiiO BTR3). BT5 has advantages over BT4.2, that t no manufacturer of BT4.2 will tell you about - more range and less signal drops. But even if it is BT5, man should read review - does it do LDAC? What chip it uses (influences sq - most important thing). Build quality. Charging time. Does it have balanced connection? Does it have impedance switch? At the moment, there is no BT receiver that would tick all the boxes. So Poly is still an option.
  7. Accoustic
    Mojo stay home and AK for the Sun.
  8. Beb-fr
    :relaxed: It's a good answer ! thank you.
    So i understand that it is not the best thing to listen to his KANN at home when we also possess MOJO ... knowing that i use only with headphone. Because the sound will be always better with MOJO. KANN more praticable outside OK.

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