by Aliza Baidya June 30, 2016

Headphone-Zone-PRODUCT-REVIEW-chord-mojo


Vaibhav Pisal


Vaibhav Pisal, Delhiite audiophile, tells us what he thinks of his Chord - Mojo











Detail

Detail retrieval on the Chord Mojo is very good with excellent dynamics, both macro and micro. I can hear small details in timber and the sound of instruments. I think, compared to the FiiO X5, the Mojo takes a listener one step closer to the mic feed. However, there are no new instruments I could detect. Same number of music strands were present on both the players. With the Mojo, you get an added sense of clarity and detail on the instruments themselves.

Tonally, both the X5 and the Mojo are neutral with a warm tilt. When I compare the X5 to its sabre based elder brother FiiO X7, I could hear new instruments. For example, the song "D Se Dance" from the Hindi movie "Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya", is a very busy song with a smattering of tiny little details. I could hear murmuring in the background on both the X5 and the Mojo. On the other hand I could clearly hear what they were saying with the X7.

Overall, I think some tiny details get lost on the Mojo due to its warmth in comparison to the focus on clarity with the X7. However, the X7 loses on dynamics and clean transient response.



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Soundstage
Soundstage on the Mojo is on the intimate side. I think my portable rig FiiO X5+E12 offers a similar size with a slightly more width whereas the Mojo offers more depth. I was initially disappointed with theFiiO E12's soundstage but I think its par for the course. This should be expected from portable gear with full size headphones like the Sennheiser HD 700. All desktop AMPs I tried had bigger soundstages.

Frequency Response
Subjectively to my ears, the Mojo sounds neutral with a warm tilt. Warmth is easily noticeable with my headphones. Mids and treble have a very smooth transition and I can't pin point where one starts and other ends. Bass impact is good with the right headphones. Both mids, bass and a little bit of sub bass is present and it does not tilt too heavily in one direction. Overall, sound is smooth from the top to the bottom with treble showing some wetness. It's easy to listen to even on the Sennheiser HD700. Overall, the frequency response sounds very linear with no peaks or noticeable dips.

Dynamics
Dynamics on the Mojo are top notch. Some of the very best I've heard. And that's with me using the HD 700 which also has very good dynamics. I don't think it masks any dynamic shift that the Mojo is able to unearth. The Mojo sticks to the tune of the instruments being played with great dynamic clarity and lets you hear all push pull effects between instruments happening onstage. With HD700 having a good depth, it gives you a clear view of the entire stage in one glance. Such interactions between instruments are very easy to hear. In this sense, it's a great match.

Transient response
The Chord Mojo has an effortless transient response and sounds very clean. Instruments fade out again cleanly without disturbing the black background at all, leaving no trace of noise. This makes the details pop. 

Timber
Timber on the Mojo is rich and separates colours of instruments very well. Tone of different instruments are varied and vibrant. I think it has one of best timber I have heard on a solid state DAC/AMP. My tube amp, the Garage 1217 Project Solstice is the only piece of equipment that gets better in terms of variation of tone and richness of sound. When I first heard it, the X5 sounded positively dull and lifeless in comparison because of its more traditional solid state sound.

 

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Aliza Baidya
Aliza Baidya


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