Hugo appears in What Hi-Fi? Top 40 Products of all Time

Posted on: 22/09/2016

To celebrate What Hi-Fi?'s incredible 40th anniversary the world's largest circulated HiFi print mag shuffled through their archives to unearth what they consider to be the Top 40 Products of all Time. However, the team didn't have to reach that far back before they uncovered what they call a 'classic in waiting'. That's right, after being named the What Hi-Fi? Best DAC in its price category for three years running, our portable Hugo DAC/Headphone Amp became a legend and entered it's way into the history books.

From start to end, Hugo was a massive project to undertake. It was the first time that we had ever attempted to shrink our desktop, multi-award winning, FPGA technology designed by Rob Watts and convert it into a portable device. DAC chips were simply not an option for us even if we were, quite literally, on the fringes of what was technologically possible with FPGA chips and battery technology. But finally, in 2013, Hugo launched and we couldn’t have been happier. It was undoubtedly the precursor to Mojo.

What Hi-Fi? say:

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.

Read the list at What Hi-Fi?