One of the most anticipated releases of the past few years in the audiophile world has definitely been the Mojo 2 from Chord Electronics. Since its original launch almost seven years ago, the Mojo has been a huge player in the market, setting the standard for portable DAC/amps for many years. Since Chord discontinued the Mojo, many have been eagerly awaiting the next iteration of the Mojo, and now it is finally here. Aptly called the Mojo 2, Chord has given its popular device the much-needed update it deserves. It currently costs $725 at retail, so it might not be such an easy sell for newcomers. However, does the Mojo 2 offer enough to keep its dedicated listeners happy too?
A lot of the same materials from the previous Mojo are brought over to the Mojo 2. It would even be hard to tell the difference between the two units if it wasn’t for the 2 on the face of the device. Chord’s design philosophy is still fully on display on the Chord Mojo 2, with their notorious polychromatic buttons making a return. The aircraft-grade aluminum chassis and jet black finish are also carried over. Although there’s no drastic change to the main build, the materials work to give the Mojo 2 its value and durability, making these similarities welcome.
Other similarities are less impressive at this point, such as the dual 3.5mm headphone jacks on the front. I was hoping the Mojo 2 would adapt either 2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced inputs on top of the provided 3.5mm ports. Another minor gripe I have with this build is the way USB type C is implemented. Its inclusion is absolutely necessary for a 2022 DAC/amp, but the way it looks, the port doesn’t look like it was an afterthought. The way it’s grafted onto the Mojo 2 just doesn’t look as up to par with the build quality possessed by the rest of the device. Along with the new type C port is the return of the micro-USB inputs for integration with the Poly. You can also use them for data and charging if you prefer it. Coaxial and optical ports are also included.
There are some significant innovations Chord packs into the Mojo 2. One of its big improvements3 that has carried over from the last model is the return of the FPGA processor, which has been enhanced for better sonic integrity using better processing. These custom-coded circuits aim to provide the conversion process with unparalleled performance. Its other main feature is its new menu function, which houses a few different operations for sound personalization. Here you’ll have access to the Mojo 2’s UHD DSP, which houses an assortment of filters to tailor the output to your preference.
The original Mojo had a notable sonic character that I really enjoyed. It offers smoothness and warmth that’s so easy to just fall in love with as soon as you hit play on your first track. You could drive an assortment of power-hungry headphones with no problems whatsoever. I expected the same for the Mojo 2, and that’s exactly what I got and more. Not only does this small device still carry that big sound, but it differentiates itself from the original Mojo by developing its own unique timbral character.
The warmth of the original Mojo is now replaced with a more neutral tone that feels a lot more dynamic in response. Starting with the soundstage, the Mojo 2 shares some similarities with the previous iteration, but the capabilities of the imaging are more vast. For instance, while listening to the Focal Clear MG, I feel like I’m getting a much grander space than what I usually hear from the headphones. The imaging has more inward depth, and the separation of elements has a more substantial dimension. It brings out textures in the Clear MGs that I haven’t heard before, and it re-characterizes the headphones for me with its more present coloration in the sub-bass. This complements the purity of the MG’s sound signature while at the same time adding a new level of enjoyment to its timbre to keep things fresh for testing new music.
Switching over to the Audeze LCD X, I felt what was most changed was the touch of spark in the highs that brought the frequencies out in a crisper fashion. The placement of instruments was a lot more accurate too, respecting the fidelity of the mix a lot more than what I heard in the Mojo previously. Midrange frequencies are given a more open space to operate in, and it creates a precise clarity that better places you at the center of the performance. From the quietest hum to the loudest crescendo, the Mojo 2 seems like it is capable of displaying details effectively and with excellent control.
The Chord Mojo 2 improves on the previous model in almost every single way. It more than makes up for the wait with its stellar sound signature and innovative internal design. Its more neutral timbre combined with an impressive level of depth makes its output far more dynamic than ever before, increasing its sonic capabilities and reach to a wider assortment of listeners. In terms of downsides, the lack of any other headphone input that isn’t 3.5mm is a bit of a disappointment, but with the proper adapters, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. Overall, the Mojo 2 was well worth the wait and I wait to see what new innovations Chord has in store for the future.
The Chord Mojo 2 is available at Audio46.