I was going to start off with a pun about the name, until I was informed the name is a pun - Hugo goes where ever 'you go'. Groan. So, now that's out of the way, what the hell is this chunky block of aluminium all about? Well, the Hugo is a DAC. And a headphone amp. A portable dac/headphone amp. Ok, so that's been done before, but never approaching this level of quality.


Chord has a pretty awesome reputation in the world of digital to analogue conversion. The DAC64 was a truly remarkable product, the kind of thing you could drop into a system and watch as peoples jaws would hit the floor. It was so good, you could tell the difference in our cramped office when it was being used in an adjoining dem room. So we're pleased to report that the Hugo is a fine addition to that pantheon.

So how does it sound? In a word, stunning. It's a crime to consider this thing just a portable accessory, as it's a true bit of hifi kit - it just happens to run off battery too. Perhaps it's something to do with the batteries decoupling the unit from the mains - please note I am not a Doctor(of electical engineering) - but the unit sounds amazingly transparent.

Naturally, the press have fallen in love with this thing, showering if with stars and gongs or whatever metric they use to let you know they've gone bonkers for it. Here's an interview with Chord head honcho John Franks talking about what makes this thing so darned special: