The new Chord Electronics 2go is a high-performance streamer/server designed to transform the Hugo 2 portable DAC into a fully featured Wi-Fi- and Ethernet-enabled device, bringing the proven sound quality benefits of the company’s proprietary DAC technology to network audio. The 2go first made its world debut at the CanJam New York (February 15-16), followed by its European debut at The Bristol Hi-Fi Show (February 21-23).
In addition to Hi-Res music streaming, the 2go expander also benefits from 2x 2 TB-rated SD card slots for digital storage and playback, enabling Hugo 2 as a high-capacity solid-state digital music server (using MPD), all from a compact, space-saving and highly portable device.
The 2go is more than just an enabling device for Hugo 2, however. Chord Electronics has also developed 2yu, a digital interface that connects to 2go to provide four digital outputs (USB, optical, coaxial and BNC), effectively making 2go and 2yu a standalone Chord Electronics streamer/server, to be used with any compatible DAC or digital-input device. This means the 2go/2yu duo can also benefit from the Hugo M Scaler’s 768kHz upscaling.
When using 2go with Hugo 2, (once charged) all forms of digital playback can benefit from battery power alone, negating the need for external power supplies, expensive mains conditioners, distribution boards and cables etc., and removing the potentially degrading influence of AC mains noise and artefacts.
The Chord 2go features highly advanced miniaturized electronic engineering to enable streamed and SD card-stored digital music files to benefit from the same Chord DAC technology found in the Hugo 2. "Adding 2go to Hugo 2, effectively creates the most sonically advanced compact music streamer available today," the company claims.
The new device brings the benefits of both wireless convenience (2.4GHz Wi-Fi and A2DP Bluetooth) plus the stability and performance of wired (Gigabit) Ethernet connectivity, the latter offering set-up-free plug and play operation. The Chord 2go also benefits from comprehensive audio interfacing and offers Tidal, Qobuz and Internet radio playback with Spotify (and others) earmarked for the future. 2go is also Roon Ready, offers gapless audio and DoP/Bit Perfect support, as well as being fully DLNA-compliant (server/renderer) and AirPlay-ready.
A key feature of 2go is its auto-switching input function: every audio interface is always on, therefore switching between inputs is as easy as hitting ‘play’ on the chosen control point app. The device switches between all its inputs automatically, giving a seamless user experience when playing music from different sources or even streaming services.
Like all of Chord Electronics’ hardware, the 2go uses aircraft-grade aluminum casework, featuring a powerful triple-core audio processor, Micro USB charging of the internal batteries, a power on/status/battery/network indicator, 2x 2 TB-rated SD card slots, a Gigabit Ethernet port and an IR window; an internal voice engine also allows for audible status information.
Set-up is via Chord Electronics’ Gofigure configuration app which is also being upgraded and streamlined for Android users. The updated version will feature simplified operation and a new fast Wi-Fi configuration option, plus a new Bluetooth LE configuration option.
The Chord 2yu
The new Chord 2yu add-on device is a digital interface enabling 2go as a fully-fledged standalone streamer, independent of Hugo 2. The 2yu boasts 2,000 MIPS of processing power, an integrated sample rate converter, plus a low-jitter audio phase lock loop, and connects directly to 2go to add TOSLINK optical S/PDIF, coaxial and BNC (both 75 ohms) digital outputs, plus an integrated USB-A output.
Together, the 2go with 2yu can be used by installers wishing to create a discreet remote Roon streaming solution. The duo can be wired into an Ethernet port to provide streaming to a system in any room. The 2yu alone can also be used with PCs and Macs via USB to create a high-quality USB-to-digital-audio converter for audio. Like other Chord devices, the 2yu is also made with aircraft-grade aluminum, featuring four polychromatic spherical controls governing output selection, power, mute and dim functions.
The 2go will retail for $1,295 US and is expected to begin shipping in USA and Canada by the end of February 2020. The 2yu will retail for $595 US and is expected to ship in March 2020.
www.chordelectronics.co.uk | www.bluebirdmusic.com