Posted on 11th May, 2018


Chord Electronics today unveiled Hugo2 TT, its next-generation Table-Top (TT) DAC/headphone amplifier to press via its packed room at the High End Show in Munich, Germany.

The updates include flexible new features and redesigned casework with a scheduled release for autumn this year.

The new Hugo2 TT boasts “unrivalled technical performance” and is based upon new Artix 7 FPGA chip which has been uniquely custom-coded by Chord Electronics’ Digital Design Consultant, Rob Watts.

Its enormous power reserves come courtesy of a new super-capacitor-based power supply unit. This has been designed to drive even the most difficult headphones, including high-impedance IEMs/CIEMs. Watts told the audience there’s even enough power to drive efficient compact loudspeakers.

Amazingly, the new unit offers five times the processing power of the original Hugo TT (offering a 98,304-tap 16FS WTA 1 filter) and deploys 86x 208MHz DPS cores in parallel to create the WTA filters.

Additionally, it also benefits from an extremely low noise floor of -178dB with no measurable noise floor modulation.

The device’s highly advanced 12th-order noise-shaper, which uses 10 Pulse Array elements, is much improved over the original with well over 100,000 times more resolution than before, resulting in what Watts says is greater detail resolution and perception of soundstage depth.

A high-power discrete output stage with distortion-reducing second-order noise-shaping is integrated into the DAC output amp and filter.

Ditching the battery supply used in its predecessor, the new Hugo (Newgo?) instead uses six super caps in the power supply unit, capable of delivering huge, linear dynamic currents: peak output currents of 5A and 9.3V RMS.

As well as all the internal tech, the outer of the Hugo2 TT has been reworked.

The number of digital inputs has risen to six plus extended-range aptX Bluetooth. Three headphone outputs are also included: 2x 6.35mm and one 3.5mm, with simultaneous operation.

Further outputs include balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA analogue connections, plus dual BNC DX outputs for use with future Chord Electronics’ devices.

The casework has been significantly redesigned to include front-panel buttons (Menu, Set and Power) to cycle between and select filtering and crossfeed modes, plus switch inputs and control power. The new design also includes a larger, top-mounted viewing window for the internal circuits, a larger volume control sphere, plus an improved LED display.

The Hugo2 TT’s comprehensive digital connectivity suite includes a galvanically isolated HD USB-B connection capable of decoding 768kHz PCM data and DSD 512. The unit’s two optical TOSLink inputs are 24-bit/192kHz-capable (with the appropriate source and cabling) and the dual BNC coaxial inputs are 24-bit/768kHz-capable for connection to Chord Electronics’ M-Scaler technology as seen in the BLU MKII digital/CD transport.

Hugo2 TT can be used in pure DAC mode, enabled for high-power (incl. low- and high-gain modes) when headphones are connected or used in amp mode for use as a digital preamp or when directly driving efficient loudspeakers.

Despite its technical complexity and powerful output, the unit’s topology remains simple with just two resistors, two capacitors and one global feedback path, so the connection from the digital domain to analogue is very direct for maximum transparency.

Technical specifications

  • Dynamic range: 127 dB A wt.
  • Noise: 4 uV A wt., (high gain) 1.7 uV A wt., (low gain) no measurable noise floor modulation
  • Distortion: 0.00008% at 2.5 V 300 ohms; 0.00016% at 6 W 8 ohms
  • Single-ended OP power (@1% THD) 288 mW RMS 300 ohms; 7.3 W RMS 8 ohms  
  • Balanced XLR OP power: (@1% THD) 1.15 W RMS 300 ohms; 18W RMS 8 ohms
  • Output impedance: 0.042 ohms
  • Stereo separation: 9 V RMS 300 ohms -138 dB
  • 98,304 tap-length 16FS WTA 1 filter

Australian pricing and availability has not been confirmed but it will sell in the UK for £3,996.

For more information visit Chord Electronics.

Originally published on StereoNET UK as Chord Electronics Debuts Hugo TT 2 at Munich High End

    Jay Garrett's avatar

    Jay Garrett

    StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

    Posted in: Hi-Fi Headphones
    Tags: chord  highend2018  radiance audio visual 

    Get the latest.

    Sign up to discover the best news and review from StereoNET in our FREE Newsletter.

    Commercial Interests Disclosure

    In accordance with the ACCC Guidelines for online Reviews, StereoNET advises readers that we may have commercial marketing relationships with some of the brands featured within our reviews and editorial. These relationships may include display advertising and other promotions, but do not in any way influence the outcome of our independent product reviews.


    Want to share your opinion or get advice from other enthusiasts? Then head into the Message Forums where thousands of other enthusiasts are communicating on a daily basis.