The British audio manufacturer Chord has announced a successor to the excellent Mojo, a battery-powered accessory that aims to enhance the sound of your wired headphones or speakers when paired with your phone, laptop, tablet or other digital media source. New features for the Mojo 2 include a USB-C input, better battery life and new tone controls that work effectively as an equalizer to personalize the sound it emits.
The Mojo 2 retails for $ 725 (£ 449), which is hardly affordable. However, if it’s as good as its predecessor, then this may be a price worth paying to accompany a pair of suitably premium cable headphones or speakers. It is available worldwide today.
Mojo 2, like the original Mojo, is an efficient digital-to-analog converter powered by batteries (also known as DAC) and a headphone amplifier. Basically, anything that can play digital audio sources and output them to a pair of headphones has a built-in DAC to convert digitally stored audio to analog output. But the argument is that many of these built-in DACs are of poor quality and your sound will sound better if you use a decent external DAC like Mojo. Connect the Mojo to your phone, laptop or other devices and your wired headphones to the 3.5mm jack of the Mojo.
The big new feature on the Mojo 2 (and the reason it has four buttons compared to the three on the original Mojo) is the new tone control system. Like the equalizers included in many parts of the software, it allows you to adjust the relative volume of the different audio frequencies of the song (in this case its bass, mid bass, bass and treble). Chord advertises that this process is completely transparent and does not degrade the original audio signal.
Other enhancements include a 9 percent better battery life for a total of over eight hours, as well as a USB-C port for your audio data, located next to Mojo’s existing micro USB, coaxial and optical inputs. Unfortunately, you will still need to charge the DAC via a separate Micro USB port. Chord has retained this deprecated port to maintain compatibility with the Chord Poly accessory, which adds support for playing music from a microSD card to Mojo or streaming via AirPlay, Bluetooth or DLNA server.
The combination of ports results in a slightly strange, crowded look at the end of the Mojo 2 digital input. At the other end, there are a pair of headphone outputs that are designed to allow you and your friend to listen at the same time. Although the Mojo 2 battery may suggest that it is primarily intended as a portable accessory, it is also possible to leave the Mojo 2 permanently connected to a power source and get it to completely bypass the battery.
Priced at $ 725 and serving mostly wired headphones in an era where wireless headphones are now the norm, the Chord Mojo 2 is definitely a niche product. But if you have already invested in your dream pair of cable headphones and want to improve the quality of everything you include them in, then Mojo 2 wants to be the accessory for you.