Thursday, December 8, 2022
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Chord Mojo + Poly Review

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Goh Beng Yeow
Goh Beng Yeow
Goh Beng Yeow, the Founder / Editor at Porta-Fi™, is a recipient of the IT Youth Award in Singapore. Twice nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Beng Yeow has previously founded startups such as PDALive.com, Coded Pixels Consultants and was a Tech writer for TODAY, a national daily newspaper under MediaCorp. Since 2017, he has been writing, editing and producing commentaries, interviews, news and reviews on Porta-Fi™. In 2019, Beng Yeow was appointed Advisor to LHDC™, the industry's latest low latency and high-definition Bluetooth audio codec.

Sound Quality

Those of you who have had conversations with me about the Chord Mojo would know that I am an admirer of Robert Watt’s work in Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) as well as the efforts behind realising the Mojo, arguably the most affordable portable DAC few could match both in terms of performance and size. However, I am not a fan of the sound signature the portable DAC/Amplifier.

This however changed with the introduction of the Poly. Now, there is a reason why this review is a Chord Mojo + Poly review and not just a Chord Poly review.  When you put the Mojo and Poly together, it does seem that the pair is a match made in Porta-Fi heaven. Sonically, it has made me fell in love with the sound signature the pair offers, a set-up which no doubt rise above any assumed limitations of a product of its pocketable dimensions.

Chord Poly with microSD Card

MPD playlist playback or DLNA playback off the microSD card provided the best audio experience. Playing back from the microSD card directly takes away the variables of a wireless network allowing the digital signals from the Poly to be directly transmitted to the Mojo via its Micro USB digital input port, cutting out the wires and this is how I recommend one to experience the Chord Mojo + Poly.

GoFigure app screenshot Part 6

Playing “Our Love Is Easy” (24-bit/96kHz FLAC) from Melody Gardot‘s recent Live in Europe album, her mellifluous voice floats over skeletal but telling arrangements. The Chord pairing’s excellence shine when they allowed the vocal textures so critical of her gift for conveying intimacy to come through, coupled with detailed and rich instrumental textures rightfully conveys what is a mournful rendition of Gardot’s signature song.

The pair’s ability to dish out simple instrumental recordings is evident when listening to “The Rain” (24-bit/96kHz FLAC), a cinematic live version with an ambience that is almost noir-esque as we enter a full four mins of instrumentals starting with the crescendoing patter of tom-tom drums, followed by a violin and subsequent the appearance of a jazzed-up saxophone. This, coupled with the ability to handle Gardot’s pristine vocals with such fluidity as she begins to narrate a tense story in which the rain forms the backdrop to a dire love affair as she intonates the words “The rain, the rain. Rain came down in sheets that night …” helps telegraph the experience of the established vocalist.

Streaming over AirPlay, DLNA and Bluetooth, one would observe a notable loss of sound quality particularly in the area of details translating to a reduction in clarity and transparency which was within expectations.

Part 1: Introduction, Design and Build
Part 2: Usability
Part 3: Sound Quality
Part 4: Product Specifications
Part 5: Review Ratings, Summary

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