To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Chord Electronics’ DAC 64, the company  has launched Chord_hugo_Ces_2014Hugo at CES 2014 – Hifi Pig reported the imminent launch and gave a sneaky peek in late November.

Chord say  Hugo is the world’s most advanced headphone amp/DAC, offering five digital inputs including A2DP aptX Bluetooth, plus advanced 384kHz PCM and DSD 128 playback for today’s high-resolution DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) music files.

The new Hugo, which can be used as both a portable headphone amp/DAC as well as a source component in a static system, brings the digital audio expertise of Rob Watts and Chord Electronics to headphone listening.

Hugo is ready to take advantage of today’s advanced studio-master-quality (DXD) music files and can decode sample rates ranging from 44.1kHz to 384kHz (PCM). Hugo also benefits from two advanced USB inputs: one driverless input for legacy USB devices and one asynchronous high- definition USB port for operation up to 384kHz. It also has two additional digital inputs, coaxial and optical.

The new Hugo also has A2DP Bluetooth capability and uses a custom-made module with the aptX codec to feed a digital signal directly into the DAC circuitry and in addition to 384kHz PCM files, the Hugo can also process DSD 128 data using the latest DSD-over-PCM standard (DoP). Whether using Mac OS or Windows OS, Chord Electronics’ own proprietary driver software is provided.

Hugo has a built-in battery-charging circuit, with a full charge reached in approximately two hours. Hugo takes no power over its USB input and only takes signal data, therefore, it is fully compatible with all iPhone, iPad and Android devices.


  • Optical TOSLink 24-bit/192kHz-capable
  • RCA coaxial input 24-bit/384kHz-capable
  • Driverless USB input 16-bit/48kHz-capable (designed for tablets/phones)
  • HD USB input 32-bit/384KHz and DSD128-capable (for computer/laptop playback; requires driver installation on Windows, others TBC)
  • A2DP Bluetooth link

Price: UK £1,200

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