Arguably the company’s most successful product to date, Mojo from Chord Electronics which was introduced in 2015 at the Shard in London is the company’s second portable offering after the Chord Hugo. During an interview with Porta-Fi recently, John Franks, Founder and CEO of Chord Electronics shared how Mojo was conceived, “Rob and I were travelling around Indonesia and meeting many enthusiasts that said to us that they love the Hugo but it will take them more two years to save up for one. We both decided that we should try to develop a smaller unit with comparable performance.”
The success of the Mojo also highlighted to the team at Chord Electronics that majority of the Mojo users used the DAC/Amplifier with their smartphones, these are individuals who download or streams their music on their smartphones. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could turn the Mojo into a player?”, remarked John Franks.
Created as a companion accessory for the Chord Mojo, the Chord Poly plugs itself into the input end of the Mojo. The Poly is a portable high-resolution streamer/player for Mojo, enabling music streaming functionality from a range of wirelessly connected devices as well as music playback of local music files stored on the microSD card in its built-in microSD card slot. With the Mojo handling the Digital-to-Analogue conversion, the Poly is high-resolution audio compatible with support for the latest studio-quality files including PCM data up to 768kHz resolution as well as DSD64 to DSD256 (Quad-DSD). Analogue audio output is via Mojo’s twin 3.5mm single-ended outputs.
The integrated design allows the pair to become a fully functional digital audio player with the use of Android and Apple smartphones/tablets acting as the controlling interface via the device’s companion app, GoFigure which is available on both Android or iOS.
Design and Build
As with all Chord Electronics products, the Chord Poly is designed and built in England. With dimensions measuring 50mm (L) x 62mm (W) x 22mm (H), the Poly has the same width and height as the Mojo, allowing the pair fit almost seamlessly with each other. The Poly also sports a matte-black finished aluminium enclosure similar to that of the Mojo.
On the left of Poly, there are two Micro USB output connectors which are designed to connect to the respective Micro USB input ports on the right of Mojo, with one providing the digital input and the other providing the power input. When connected together, Poly and Mojo can be charged simultaneously with an estimated charge time of 8 hours from flat while charging Poly on its own will take an estimated charge time of 5 hours from flat using a 5V/2A charger. When charging Poly and Mojo simultaneously, the intelligent charge sensing circuitry on the Poly will prioritise charging the Mojo first if you are using a charger less powerful than 5V/2A.
On the right of Poly, you will, of course, find the Micro USB input port for charging purposes at the centre. To the left of the Micro USB input port, you will find two LEDs, labelled P(Poly)-status and M(Mojo)-status to communicate its operational status of the Poly and the battery status of the Mojo respectively. The two LEDs are positioned on the bottom right of the antenna window where the Bluetooth and WiFi antennas are located in order to radiate without disruption. To the right of the Micro USB input port, you will find the microSD slot where one can slot in a microSD loaded with compatible music files for local playback, below the microSD slot is the configuration button which can be accessed using the configuration pin provided.
The internals of the Poly is what makes it an enormous engineering undertaking. To miniaturise the Poly as much as possible, the technology that the team used on the printed circuit board is very advanced. It features a ten-layer circuit board with about 4,000 buried via holes with tracks within tracks, planes within planes. Poly also features a high-level custom coded multi-core ARM processor which toggles the operational states of cores for maximum power efficiency.
Detached from the Mojo, the Poly is smaller than most of the cases of True Wireless headphones. When attached with the Mojo, the combined size is similar to that of an average DAP with a shorter width, this makes the combination absolutely portable. There is nothing to pick on the Poly’s design and build. If anything, it is an engineering marvel, miniaturisation at its best.
For the purpose of this review, Chord has kindly sent us the Chord Mojo/Poly Gift Pack via its local distributor Eng Siang International Pte Ltd. Included in the pack together with the Chord Mojo and the Chord Poly is an original Mojo + Poly polycarbonate case, a 64GB Micro SD card, a Type A USB to Micro USB charging cable, the configuration pin as well as the Poly user manual.