Both FiiO and Chord are market leaders in the world of portable and desktop DAC/amps. Recently, Chord and FiiO have released DAC/amps that fall in the same price range. But apart from price, the Mojo 2 and Q7 couldn’t be any more different. So let’s compare and contrast these two models, and find out which one is right for you.
In the Box
|Chord Mojo||FiiO Q5|
|A MicroUSB to USB type A cable||Leatherette case|
|AC power cord|
|USB power cable|
|TypeC to TypeC data cable (long)|
|TypeC to TypeC data cable (short)|
|Lightning to Type C cable|
Design and Build
If size matters, then the choice becomes a lot easier. And surprisingly, the Mojo produces a ton of power for being so small. Perhaps even more so the FiiO Q7. But at the end of the day, they are equally capable of driving higher impedance headphones of up to about 250-300 Ohms.
Apart from their similar power capabilities, there are some major differences. For example, the FiiO Q7 provides a balanced output, while the Chord Mojo 2 is limited to two standard 3.5 mm connections. Another significant advantage the Q7 has over the Mojo 2 is the built-in Bluetooth capability. And when you factor in all the extra goodies in the Q7’s box, then the Q7 starts to seem like a better bang for your buck. On the other hand, the Mojo 2 allows you to have almost complete control over your equalizer settings and filters, a capability that’s missing on the Q7.
The Q7 feels faster, tighter and more lively, while the Mojo displays better articulation and a more realistic timbre. The Mojo is also a lot warmer, smoother and more controlled in its presentation. Indeed, the Mojo 2 presents an easier, crowd pleasing profile. With respect to soundstage, the Mojo 2 not only feels more expansive (especially on the horizontal axis) but its imaging is more precise and multidimensional. Compared to the soundstage on the Q7, the Mojo 2 just sounds like a more immersive experience.
There’s no question that the soundstage on the Mojo 2 is a lot more fun than it is on the Q7. The level of transparency seems superior as well. But at the end of the day, I think it comes down to taste more than it does skill. If you like a more neutral, lively sound, the FiiO Q7 delivers. But if you prefer it smooth and warm, then the Mojo should undoubtedly be your choice. Furthermore, if you appreciate having creative control over your balance, then the Chord Mojo 2 is a no brainer. But if you’re accustomed to having a balanced connection, the Mojo 2 will involve some compromise.
You can buy the Chord Mojo at Audio 46
You can buy the FiiO Q7 at Audio 46
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