Value for money isn’t the preserve of inexpensive products — it can exist at any price point. Chord Electronics’ Hugo 2 is a DAC that edges out similarly-priced rivals on detail retrieval and spatial cues to take up residence in a many a two-channel enthusiast’s hi-fi system, seemingly flying in the face of its internal rechargeable battery and high-quality headphone output that give users go-anywhere possibilities. Where we go, Hu-go. That spells Value with a capital V, italicised and emboldened.
Recognising Chord contractor Rob Watts and his FPGA + WTA filter code as over-achievers in the DAC world, the British manufacturer has since shorn the Hugo 2 of its Li-on battery and headphone output for a standalone decoder that uses a 5V wall-wart supply to take squarer aim at home hi-fi-ers. The result – the Qutest DAC – was previewed here.
Keeping the Qutest’s Value quotient buoyant, Chord has trimmed six hundred Brexit pounds from the Hugo 2’s street price. Depending on your territory, £1195 / €1600 / US$1895 brings the Qutest home.
Less obvious, but more interesting, is the Qutest’s audible edge on the Hugo 2. A smidge more detail, a little more refinement and marginally more emphatic biff bang pow. Our video tells the rest of the story:
Camera: Line Kühl | Editor: Jana Dagdagan
Further information: Chord Electronics
Chord Qutest music playlists…
(Playlists converted from Spotify to Tidal and Qobuz with Soundiiz)