The Chord Hugo has definitely redefined the digital decoding for our generation of music lovers. In fact, at a recent interview of John Franks, CEO of Chord Electronics & Rob Watts’, Lead Design Engineer, Rob took the time to explain and describe his creation of the decoding chip he utilized in the Chord Hugo.
It was really interesting and quite different than we expected. He described the design process in details and a few of the roadblocks he had to overcome internally and externally to finalize the product. Despite its tremendous success in the last 18 months, it can be hard to believe Mr. Watts’ had anyone that prevented him from bringing this circuit design to market; however, as well all know, most pioneers and trailblazers hit a few roadblocks or detours along the way.
Using Rob Watts’ own bespoke circuit designs, the Chord Hugo has made and gained a tremendous lead in measurable performance and subjective performance. The Hugo is also the first DAC that is able to resolve over 120 dB DNR and drive high end headphones at <0.001% THD+N.
In fact, John Franks can be quoted in an interview last year in Japan explaining that if more companies had tackled and solved the DAC circuitry issue so completely, as Rob Watts’ has with his Hugo design, he believes there would have never been a reason for the High Res audio files that are popular today.
Now that’s a tremendous thought, how different would our music offering be today if we did not have the Hi Res offerings? Nonetheless, we receive emails daily on how to connect the Chord Hugo with Apple™ idevices, headphones, computers and also what cables to buy and use for all applications. We simplify this connection process below.
4 Chord Hugo + headphones cable options
1. Hugo + Apple idevices connections
First, the Hugo does not have an Apple authenticity chip in it, therefore you cannot connect the Hugo directly to an Apple iDevice product. You can connect by purchasing an Apple Camera Connection Kit (for use with iTouch, iPhone, iPad only) and a Silver Dragon USB Cable. You can connect via Bluetooth as well but it is not ideal at this point.
While the Hugo uses the latest in AptX technology, sadly Apple™ is not which deteriorates the sound quality. We will let you know when Bluetooth becomes a good option with Apple™ idevices.
2. Hugo + Headphones & cables
We customize headphone cables here daily and we always ask first, what is the primary way you’d like to connect your headphones?
The Hugo has both a 1/4″ or 1/8″ connection so you should pick the one you will use with other headphone applications too. If you want to also connect your headphones to an iPhone on occasion, then the 1/8″ connection is more desirable for you as the 1/8″ fits both an iphone and the Chord Hugo.
3. Hugo + Computers
Most people are storing their music library on their computers or idevices these days so utilizing the Chord at home, the office or on the go as a DAC, can be a great way to enjoy your music everywhere you go (just like Chord says).
The Silver Dragon USB Cable with a USB A to USB micro B configuration will transfer the digital audio from your computer to the Chord Hugo DAC . Standard USB cables are not up to the task of large bit rate information so Moon Audio has optimized this cable for audio transmission of large High Res files.
It will easily handle your 24bit 192kHz and DSD formats.
4. Hugo + Media Players
Media Players are very popular and now there are tremendous options available to match with the Hugo. If you own a high end media player such as the Astell & Kern AK120 or AK240, you can connect it to your Hugo with a Silver Dragon Toslink Digital Cable.
The Silver Dragon Toslink will help you with the:
- Bandwidth to deliver up to 24bit/192k resolution
- DSD Signals and minimal connection loss
Have other questions about connecting the Chord Hugo? Please leave a comment below and we’ll answer it LIVE on the blog.
Thanks for reading this post.