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It’s not too often we rave about portable headphone amp/DACs revolutionizing our sport, but the Chord Electronics Mojo unit is certainly worthy of effusive praise. Everything about it from its impermeable aircraft-grade anodized dark aluminum enclosure to its three lighted scroll ball controls to the freewheeling dynamics emanating from such a tiny device screams, “game changer.”
Even just from the way the build feels rock-solid and weighty to the high-performance array of digital connection options, you can plainly tell the Chord Mojo is a mini audio Hercules geared for discerning listeners employing the very best music sources and headphones possible. The sound is not only smooth and 'neutral' to use a popular term but even evanescent - there’s just no sonic coloration added by the little Mojo.
Instead, we hear a lightning-fast, precise dynamic grip that showcases your favorite music in a deep-relief light & shadows presentation with equal balance at both ends of the acoustic spectrum.
The raw power lurking under the Mojo’s rounded bonnet is quietly controlled until demanded, and the innovative engineering makes the need for a gain switch superfluous. Plug in whatever killer headphones or in-ears you want to use, and the Mojo instinctively knows how to respond.
The Chord Mojo sample frequency input is indicated by Logan’s Run-ish colored lights glowing underneath the scroll ball. Sample rates range from 44 kHz up to 768 kHz as well as DoP DSD, allowing the Mojo to work with basically any high-end audio connection you can find. USB and mini-coaxial are fully supported all the way up to 768 kHz along with digital optical connections up to 192 kHz.
The Chord Mojo audio input selection is 100% automatic; when more than one input is connected, the default priority is USB, coax second, then optical last. After the initial 10-hr start-up charge cycle, the Mojo charges surprisingly quickly via the dedicated USB charger plug and it can be simultaneously charged and used to listen to music if needed. Battery run time per charge is 10 hrs. The battery status indicator is a plus, an often overlooked but nice visual warning so you know when its time to plug in the unit before the music disconcertingly stops mid-jam.
Two 3.5mm headphone outputs grace the front panel so you and a friend can share the tunes. As another cool Chord Mojo feature, the headphone outs can be configured as true line-level outputs for those audiophiles wishing to employ the Mojo as a dedicated stand-alone DAC.
We used the Mojo with everything from Audeze LCD cans to Mr Speakers Ether C to Sennheiser HD800S to a set of custom-molded Ultimate Ears 11Pro IEMs with equally spectacular results. Somehow, the Mojo seemed to audibly improve all of our varied headphones' best sonic characteristics - it nicely steadied the spiky high-end of the HD800S, added breathy vocal space and dimension to UE11 Pro in-ears and lended a potent dynamic drama to the planar Ether C Flow headphones, while tightening the low-end in all.
Of course, it's not a miracle worker and low bitrate files ( under 192kHz) will show dynamically limited or grainy artifacts given the unflinching resolution of the Chord Mojo. So it logically follows that uncompressed music will enable the unit to really shine at full luster.
What's in the box: