Chord Mojo versus Dragonfly

2018-03-27 21.04.21So, i’m getting to grips with this baby. The reviews are mostly accurate I’d say, but DAC’s (albeit ones with a headphone amp built-in), are always gonna be subtle, compared to headphones, speakers or amps. I tend to back away slowly with arms raised, from any reviews which claim a ‘night+day’ revolutionary difference between DACS.

I consider myself to have, if not golden ears, then certainly silver ones and it took me at least half an hour after set-up in the shop, to start to be able to put into words the differences I was hearing between my Dragonfly DAC and the Mojo.

So, the Mojo has a smoother sound, but that smoothness does not, to my ears, result in any decrease in detail. Quite the opposite in fact. This, to me indicates that the smoothness is an innate characteristic of the hardwear, rather than the shortcut which i feel some lesser devices employ- simply filtering off higher frequencies to give an ‘analogue’ type sound. Um, no.

The Dragonfly, on the other hand, made vocals stand out that little bit more- they were less a part of the whole soundstage and more distinct, yet flatter sounding. Overall though I prefer the Chord and it’s soundstaging is magnificent; when used in line-out mode through speakers, I was hearing layered female vocals, way out from the speakers. That said, for the purposes of this comparison I was not able to use the Dragonfly through speakers.

AKG 712k Pro – proper cans

I have too many headphones. In-ear, over-ear, on-ear, (“underground, overground, wombling free..”), wired, bluetooth, wireless, noise cancelling .. and now.. studio monitors.

Suddenly however, all of my previous headphones sound thumpy, congested and muffled. It’s official. I’ve seen the light. Or more precisely, I’ve heard a neutral and realistic sound from around my head for the first time, and it’s a revelation.

Of course no transducers, be they speakers or headphones, offer ‘perfect’ sound. There’s a flaw or something you wish could be better in every set of phones, or speakers, or indeed any hifi component. In the case of the AKG’s, I find that I do miss some of the subsonic, rumbly bass that, for example my B&W P7’s produce. Trouble is, they also produce a lot of upper-mid bass too and this tends to get wearing after a while.

But it’s a trade-off I’m more than happy to make.

More to follow.

I’ve got a lot to say. I’ll be back…

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