Chord Mojo USB DAC/AMP - Official Thread

chord

#1

This is the official place to discuss the Chord Mojo


Chord Mojo Reliability and other Questions
#2

I love the Chord Mojo. I travel frequently and this amp is always a part of my travel rig. It pairs up well with my Astell and Kern 240 media player. https://us.astellnkern.com/products/ak240

My favorite custom in-ear monitors (CIEM) are my Noble Audio Kaiser 10’s. https://nobleaudio.com/en/shop/custom/

I’ve listened to this setup for hours on end traveling to China, India and Europe. The sound is non-fatiguing with a wide sound stage. It’s a really nice experience.

I found that cables make a big difference. I use Silver Dragon cables from Moon Audio. They will custom make cables to fit your specific components if you ask. The difference between the cables my CIEMs came with and these is dramatic. Drew who owns Moon Audio is great to work with. https://www.moon-audio.com/dragon-audio-cables/silver-dragon-audio-cable.html

This set up was not cheap, but has been a great investment in my quality of life while stuck in airplanes, airports and cabs.


#3

I have used the Mojo and a set of JH Audio Roxanne’s now for a few years with an iPhone and the Onkyo HF Player app by ripping cds to flac. Very nice sound, easy to use and compact for travel.


#4

This is just a tangent, but I always find it funny when some folks purchase cheap crap that a) doesn’t perform optimally and b) tends to break within a year, so they end up having to reinvest and in the meantime never get full enjoyment out of their gear. I can fully endorse your approach. Your enjoyment makes it worth it. Not like you asked for my approval or anything. :wink:


#5

Has anybody got a Chord Poly to go with their Chord Mojo ? I know the thought of paying more for an attachment then the DAC/AMP cost is hard to swallow but I’m sure someone out there bit the bullet and bought one!


#6

I had one … you can read about why I don’t still have it here.


#7

Ah yes, thanks for link! I’ll read up on that now.

Generally that is not a good sign for stability and usability haha.


#8

I’ve read numerous user reviews of the Mojo. Nearly everyone praises its sound quality. However there are a number of reports regarding its reliability. Mostly headphone jacks or USB input becoming loose or failing. Also some where the unit just failed and typically these problems are within the first year. Can anyone share their experiences with this unit regarding reliability?

Also does the Mojo come with a USB cable to attach an iOS device via the CCK? It seems to come with a USB to Micro USB for charging. Can that also be used to connect the iOS device?

Finally does it get very warm when using it?

Thanks.


#9

To start with, Chord have sold an absolute crap-tonne of Mojos. That means, like any product, there will be a significant number of people who have problems with them, and people with problems are more likely to talk about it.

I haven’t asked Chord specifically (I probably should) but I’d guess that frequency-plugged ports, especially if they aren’t screwed to the chassis, are more likely to break a solder joint and fail. Especially now with ROHS compliance and the lack of lead in solder, joints are more likely to break.

The one area the Mojo is prone to failure is the battery. Given its shorter usage time, the LiON battery is more likely to pass through more usage cycles and end up deep-discharged, resulting in it losing its ability to hold a full charge faster. I’ve found this to be a problem with modern DAPs as well (not to mention, phones) and now have a few with terrible battery life due to being left around to go flat. I ended up buying a charging station where everything gets plugged in whenever it isn’t in use to prevent this.

The CCK: The Mojo comes with a short USB to micro USB cable. You’ll need to buy a CCK to use it with an iPhone. A few companies make unofficial CCK-containing Lightning to micro USB cables, but they can get expensive and their reliability is not always guaranteed.

The Mojo can get warm, about the same as a basic hand-warmer. If you charge it while using it then it can get hot enough to trigger the thermal shutdown.


#10

Thanks for the info.


#11

Most of the Mojo failures I’ve seen, outside of the battery issues, have been down to the users using them “on the go” … i.e. sticking them in pockets with USB and headphone cables connected.

Using optical connections, with a form-fit cable and right-angled headphone plugs will help with that somewhat, but I would consider all of Chord’s smaller DACs (Mojo, Hugo, Hugo 2) to be “transportable” or “desktop/tray-table portable” than something I’d want to use while actually in transit (airplane/train tray-table notwithstanding).


#12

I had the mojo and ultimately got rid of it as it frustrated the heck outa me. Sounded great, loved the style, but all the little quirks … RFI issues with every phone I tried it with, cheapy plugs & jacks, the battery risk which I never experienced but didn’t want to and eventually got terrified of, the high-pitched whine at end of the charging cycle … just not worth it.

I will add that the most frustrating bit was dealing with their customer service who told me my device couldn’t be making a high pitched whine because my unit was a 2016 device and they fixed that issue a long time ago … so i sent them a video and their response was basically, “oh. huh.” Also Rob Watts told me they hired a engineer who worked for a year to fix RFI issue and ultimately couldn’t … so they just keep making them and have no plans on a version 2. Not a warm and fuzzy customer experience.

For me it was finnicky little device that never let me enjoy music because it was always degrading the experience one way or another. If it had been $350 or less I’d have kept it, but at nearly $600 no way, it’s not a $600 device, not even close, at least for me, especially with ifi competitors out there then and many more now.

Chord basically left me a very skeptical customer and, while they may have some great tech to put into a product, I’m not confident they know how design and build great products end-to-end … and for the premium they’re asking for their equipment it’s table stakes for me … so until they fix that I won’t be buying any Chord products.


#13

love my mojo, too.
used it early on as a brick with my ipod touch (using the special chord mojo adaptor)
and now use it mostly at home with my lovely big ass 65’’ lg oled tv as
optical out to mojo to cans/iems.
just testing out Quello right now for concerts at cdn 12/mo
https://qello.com/welcome/

for me i much more enjoy music and use my gear more,
when i have visuals, so Quello checks those boxes.
(guess i’m not a hardcore audio guy, but whatever)
not sure if i’ll keep the service but lots of concerts there.


#14

The Chord Mojo. It has little marbles the light up, glow different colours, and look really cool. Thats all you need to know. Go buy one now. /End review.

But seriously. Is the Mojo a good piece of kit? Definitely. Is it over priced? I’d say so, yeah. Are you paying for the name on the box a little bit? I’d say so, yeah. Would I buy one again? In a heartbeat.

The Mojo, short for “Mobile Joy” is a little tank of a device. Its heavyish. It has very good build quality. For those techies out there

• TECHNICAL SPECS:
• Output Power @ 1kHz
• 600 ohms 35mW
• 8 ohms 720mW
• Output Impedance: 0.075 ohms
• Dynamic Range: 125dB
• THD @ 3v - 0.00017%

I think the Mojo is perhaps a little big, and a little heavy, to truly be called portable device. I use it more as a transportable device. I take it around the house, I take it travelling, but I don’t use it with my phone and IEMS out and about the town. It could definitely be used to do so, but I think if that is your primary use there are other options that might be better suited.

There are four inputs on the Mojo, one to connect to your source via usb, and one to charge it via usb, with optical and coax inputs as well. I’m not a huge fan of the usb ports being micro usb, I find micro usb a bit unreliable. However, I’m sure they went with micro usb due to space concerns, and in that case, I understand the decision. There are two headphone outputs (3.5mm) so that you and a friend can listen if need be. There is no balanced output on the Mojo, only single ended.

The power button of the Mojo lights up different colours, depending on the sample rate you are listening to, and the volume buttons change colour depending on the volume level you are at. Its very easy to get a specific volume level as there are quite a lot of steps. Again, the lighty up marbles are cool.

The Mojo uses a Lipo battery which charges in 4 hours, and gives you up to 8-10 hours of play time. Compared to the WA8 i used to own, this absolutely smashes it. The Mojos battery life is great (until it dies and needs replaced…)

The Mojo does all kinds of different sample rates, and even does DSD. Lets be honest though, I don’t use DSD, and I doubt many people here do either, but I guess its nice to have the option.

The Mojo can be used as a system dac, which is really cool. Yes, if you press down both volume buttons whilst turning on the Mojo, it sets it to Line out mode. However, this doesn’t bypass the amp or anything. I’ve read a while explanation on how this works, and its technically past me. I thought it would be a problem with double amping, but supposedly the way the Mojo is designed it is not a problem. To get the full answer to how this works, I’d head over to the head-fi thread on the Mojo, and read the third post.

Now, the most important part. The sound. I’ve heard a few other chord products but the Mojo, for the most part, gets you the chord house sound for a lot less money than the rest of their products.The Mojo is a little bit warm, crystal clear, with a great soundstage and dynamics. It rivals a lot of big desktop systems. Its max power output is 720mw which is enough for most headphones. I would have liked to see it put out a full watt of power, but as long as you aren’t using the Abyss, or HE-6 etc…at loud volumes, you should be fine. I’ve heard my Mojo with a lot of headphones, and it really does do most of them justice. If you have a specific can you are wondering about, just ask, I might have heard it with the Mojo. For the most part, what you can expect with most cans is great clear sound, good dynamics, punch, and a little bit of warmth.

To quickly wrap up. If you like colourful little marbles I suggest you go buy one right now. If you like great sound, with enough power to drive most headphones, and don’t mind paying a little bit of a premium for it, I suggest you go buy one right now. The mojo is a great little device, with great flexibility, and apart from having a little bit more output power, I can’t think of anything it could really do better for the price. It works as a desktop system dac, it works as a portable device, it works as a transportable device, and hell, it could even work as a desktop system on its own in a pinch. Yes you are paying a little bit extra for the “CHORD” on the box, but in my opinion, it is worth it.


#15

Hi great write up - I have the Shure 1840 headphone and looking for a dac amp, do you think the chord mojo is a good match for this? It’s 65 ohms 95 dB sensitivity


#16

That would great I would think? I could be wrong of course, but I think it would work well.


#17

Ok thanks for your feedback, I was curious because in other threads I see where some amps are brighter than others, and these headphones are on the bright side so I was hoping the mojo or even the IFi black label is not a bright amp.


#18

The Mojo is pretty mid-heavy relative to others in its price point. One way to interpret that is that it’s somewhat weaker at either extreme, so pairing it with headphones that have a touch too much weight in the bottommost octave or too much shimmer up top would be a good call. Don’t particularly recall anything about the Shures, but just going off measurements it should be a good match.

The fact that it uses DVC instead of a volume pot is another bonus, mind. 65 ohms 95 dB means that a powerhouse like the Micro iDSD might be a bit too loud unless you engage IEMatch, and in my experience the toggle can get a bit finicky; I’ve had to had that sorted out once before, and it’s acting up again now.

*EDIT: unless you’re talking about the Nano iDSD BL, in which case it might not be so obscenely powerful that you’d have trouble with more sensitive cans.


#19

i was originally using the mojo with the extension kit and an ipod as a ‘brick/dap’ for a while.
now use it primarily at home from oled tv (optical out) to mojo to cans/iems.
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