Is the Chord Hugo 2 the best small amp/dac for headphones in the universe right now?

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  1. Gigi86
    Right now i'm using a Fostex HPA4-BL with my HD800S trough balanced 4 pin and i'm very happy with it, is small and have really good build quality and sound as far as i understand, i can switch between my PC and PS4 while at the same time switching to my 2.1 setup to my headphones; but i want to try something different or better, i don't want something huge tho, is the Hugo 2 the best that comes in that form factor?
     
  2. ZMG885
    Well, it's certainly hard to beat for it's size, mainly because it's capable of driving nearly any headphone. At all the shows I've been, Audeze uses the Hugo 2 to demo it's gear and it drives the LCD 3 and LCD4 with ease. I've also listened to it with Senn 650s, Mr Speaker Aeon Flow and Focal Elears. It comes at a fairly steep price though. The Mojo is more compact but not in the league of the Hugo 2, not even close IMHO.
     
  3. theveterans
    Hugo 2 is probably the undisputed best sounding transportable DAC/amp for now. It sounds subjectively even better than other TOTL desktop DACs such as Schiit Yggdrasil A2, Holo Audio Spring Lvl 3, Denafrips Terminator, etc. Mojo for its price IMO is underperforming when used as a DAC/amp, but it shows its worth its asking price as DAC in 3V line out mode.
     
  4. Hifi Boy
    Yes, I would think so.

    Its driving my HEK1 very well and I couldn't be happier.
    I would certainly recommend it as a "budget" desktop system.
     
  5. Gigi86
    Better than WA8 Eclipes Tube Amp?
     
  6. Whazzzup
    TT2 all the way. or even TT used. I have owned simultaneously HpA8, hugo, TT and tested ch2.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  7. freesole
    Do you think the Hugo 2 benefits from additional amplification? Or can it be used as a standalone, connected to a phone or PC? I plan to use it with IEMs such as Westone UM30's, Sennheiser IE800's, and over ears such as Focal Clears and Sennheiser 6XX.
     
  8. theveterans
    Those are easy to drive headphones and IEMs so you won’t need an amp to make them sound great out of Hugo 2. Unless you’re looking for a different sound signature (i.e. to make the treble less forward or more mid-range bloom), that’s when you pair it with an amp
     
  9. Rhamnetin
    I'm confident that it is. It's hard to believe how good the Hugo 2 is at everything. And on top of that, it is by far the best DAC I've heard at any size.

    Those aren't really portable due to their size, and the TT 2 doesn't use batteries at all unlike the TT.

    With IEMs, absolutely not. Putting an amp in front of it will only color the sound and reduce transparency. Focal Clear is pretty efficient, doesn't really need a dedicated amp. The Sennheiser HD 6XX I find is extremely boring out of the Hugo 2... that headphone really needs to be mated with tubes I think, but that's just me.

    Very power hungry headphones however will benefit from high end, especially balanced amplification.
     
  10. Whazzzup
    Yet, it’s not any size that you are comparing then, if it’s portable only then sure, I’ll give the chord Pom poms a twirl. But ch2 has competition big time in desktop segment. The tt2 super cap utilization is really not a debatable factor.
     
  11. FangJoker
    Hugo 2 easily blows the WA8 out of the water. The Hugo 2 will unfold layers upon layers of things you never heard in the recording. It can be bright at the beginning then gets better with burn in and you can use the filters to change the signature.
     
    Rhamnetin likes this.
  12. Whazzzup
    There is no burn in
     
    Rhamnetin likes this.
  13. nazrin313
    IMG_20181015_174755.jpg Demo'd the Hugo 2 extensively. Source was DX200, USB C to Hugo 2, using the LAB1. Not for me. Everything was muddy as if it sounded like there was a something holding back the music (like a sheet, or many pieces of paper). Tried various music from Jazz, EDM, Blues. Not for me, dunno maybe the chain was wrong or it didnt play well with the LAB1. Playing the LAB1 direct from the DX200 (with AMP5) was better. ALOT better
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  14. Rhamnetin
    Muddy Hugo 2? Well a filter is applied in that photo, which does make it muddier. Hugo 2 without filters is the complete opposite of muddy however, it's a transparency and detail monster.
     
  15. nazrin313
    Owh darn, i missed that opportunity. Was in Japan, and the guys there unfortunately couldn't explain everything to me as they dont speak English. Must get a second demo in. Im sure its great, cos alot of people said so. That is what surprised me, albeit with filter on. IMHO, it sounded bad...and I mean real bad. Btw, what filter was the Hugo2 on when I demoed it?
     
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