2014 CHORD HUGO
There’s a strong case to be made for quite a number of Chord products to appear in this list. But it’s the oddly named Hugo that gets the nod, and we’ll say here and now that it’s a classic-in-waiting. Everything that Chord does differently to any of its competitors is in place here, from the delightfully tactile casework, through the lovely shades of illumination indicating what Hugo is up to, to the inputs that are just slightly too close together for comfort.
But what elevates Hugo is the sound it serves up when amplifying your headphones or converting your digital audio files. Unlike its nominal competitors, Chord doesn’t buy in DAC chipsets but instead uses bespoke programmable circuits of its own design – and the results are unarguable, as a brace of What Hi-fi? Awards demonstrates.
“What elevates Hugo is the sound it serves up when converting your digital files” Chord Hugo