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What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023. The Best DACs

Reviews & Awards
Every year, the well-known publication „What Hi-Fi?“ selects the best audio and video content playback equipment. Today, we'll share what the experts from the magazine have to say about two components from our partners at Chord Electronics, which have received an award.

Chord Electronics Mojo 2. DAC and headphone amplifier

"Familiar in appearance but elevated in every other aspect, the Mojo 2 can be likened to the 'Godfather Part II' among compact DACs."

During our testing, we used the Mojo 2 with an Apple MacBook Pro laptop, a Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphone, and Chord Poly, the 'native' streamer. Later, we integrated it into our Hi-Fi system, and every combination brought us excitement. And not only because we no longer needed to use a USB-C to Micro USB adapter for some of them.
We are not exaggerating when we say that Chord has improved the Mojo in nearly every aspect. The Mojo's soundstage has become more open, and this added depth and dimension that are complemented by higher resolution, which is clearly present due to increased clarity and more precise positioning.

Listening to Ludovico Einaudi's composition "Rolling Like A Ball" in Hi-Res is enough to tell us that the piano sounds clearer, seamlessly integrated with the flow of the piece, while the nuances are more easily distinguishable.

Put on the Tidal Master recording of Elbow's "What Am I Without You," and the organ intro gains more texture and liveliness, with the echo tightly hugging Guy Garvey's tangible vocals. The bass also noticeably increases in volume.

The overall sound result is a set of improvements compared to the previous generation, helping give Mojo 2 a neutral and lively character. Music becomes vibrant, intricate, and demands your attention.

Chord Electronics Qutest. Desktop DAC

"Chord does it again! Qutest sets a new benchmark for quality in this price range."

Please note! Qutest exhibits some initial stiffness in the midrange, requiring a few hours of operation. When the device warms up, we play Gregory Porter's "Holding On" and immediately hear an increase in clarity, precision, and subtlety.

The soundstage, full of clarity, purity, and precision (not to mention the exceptional instrument detail), fills the space between our acoustic systems. Let's also mention the exceptionally neutral tonal balance that is characteristic of all Chord DACs.

We are so pleased with the improvements accompanying Qutest that we ask ourselves: in what direction will Chord's future progress in desktop DACs take us?
We don't know the answer, and we don't even know what such a continuation could be called. "Qutester" doesn't quite fit. But, based on experience, we believe that when Chord is ready, they might find another way to raise the bar to the next level. We won't exert any pressure.
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