Headroom Show – Chord Hugo TT

HugoTTFirst of the new launches for me to check out at the Headroom Show was the Chord Hugo TT desktop (or Table Top, as that’s what the TT stands for) DAC/headphone amp, which was initially shown at CES in Las Vegas.

The Hugo TT features improved connectivity and performance, a remote control, alphanumeric LED display and an asynchronous USB-B digital input.

The idea for the Hugo TT arrived when Chord received feedback that their original Hugo (you go) was impressing listeners so much that they were using it in their main rigs as opposed to on the road as intended.

Chord HugoHaving listened to the Hugo device at Headroom (above), which sounded amazing, I can only agree and now try to imagine what the TT sounds like as I was unable to get ears on with it at the show.

The Hugo TT has support for up to 32-bit/384kHz audio via coaxial and USB, and 24-bit/192kHz over optical, as well as DSD64 across all inputs and DSD128 via coaxial or USB.

The TT also boasts XLR outputs, two quarter-inch headphone outputs on top of a single 1/8-inch socket, aBNC digital input and asynchronous USB reception, both with Type B socketry more common on ‘audiophile’-grade USB cables – as opposed to the micro-USB inputs on the original Hugo.

chord hugo tt and hugoThe ‘portable’ Hugo didn’t really need a remote but, as the TT is designed to stay put, it comes with a remote control for source selection and digital domain volume attenuation – this is kept honest by the same Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA loaded with Chord’s custom code – and LED display to show settings.

In surrendering portability, the Hugo TT has been designed to run continuously from the supplied wall charger. However, the battery has been doubled in size and is now ameliorated by 10,000,000 uF of supercapacitors providing greater power storage potential than the standard capacitors found in the original Hugo.

This new internal circuit design was reportedly only possible with the Hugo TT’s larger chassis.

All of this points to the TT being a superior sounding product. Chord are asking £2950 for the Hugo TT. The portable Hugo costs £1400.

I hope to get the opportunity to review the Hugo TT, or take its little sibling out for a while.